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Neurological and developmental conditions are cognitive trait variations in individuals. In general, 15% to 20% of the population globally experiences it. And though this human diversity concept has been existing since the 1990s, many neurodivergent individuals still face challenges in landing new job offers with the current standards and competitions out there. Neurodiversity @ Work Employer Roundtable has a solution for that: the Neurodiversity Career Connector.
The Neurodiversity Career Connector is a site presenting job listings by different employers in the US. It was initiated by the Neurodiversity @ Work Employer Roundtable, which is a group of 50 companies led by Microsoft looking for workers with neurodivergent conditions like autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and others. The companies belonging to the group are known for having their own neurodiversity hiring programs and support systems for such individuals. Specifically, the employers on the site offer coaching, trained recruiters, and supported interviews that suit a neurodivergent person.
“We’re trying to solve the problem where employers say they want to hire neurodivergent talent and can’t find people. And we have job seekers who say they can’t find who all these employers are,” said the Microsoft Director of Accessibility and Inclusive Hiring Neil Barnett.
Just like Microsoft, Susanne Bruyere, academic director of the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University, sees the struggle of neurodivergent job seekers with social dynamics and new environments. According to her, traditional job interviews focus on social skills and answering indefinite questions like “Describe a challenge you faced,” but they just lead to barriers.
“It’s important that we rethink how we screen people so we’re not discouraging or eliminating people who are neurodivergent,” said Bruyere. “This career platform is a huge signal of welcoming. It is saying, ‘We recognize this is an untapped population of talent, and we are going to minimize the barriers people may have historically experienced.’”
The Neurodiversity Career Connector site will make things easier for employers who previously needed to make a huge amount of effort and time in setting up neurodivergent job hirings in local universities, nonprofits, and advocacy groups. With the collection of certified companies, it will be a beneficial place for both employers and applicants. Even more, the process on the site is simplified, wherein job seekers simply need to create a profile and upload a resume. If they spot the job listing for them, they can communicate with the employers directly. Recently, the site posted job listings for software engineers, graphic designers, and financial analysts.