While they often struggle with social interaction, communication, and some cognitive functioning, the non-profit association Autism Europe said that neurodiverse individuals can hold detailed factual knowledge or technical skill and have the ability to excel at repetitive tasks.
Most people with Asperger’s syndrome have above-average intelligence and a propensity for obsessive research, while people with dyslexia often display leadership, creativity, and initiative — the most in-demand skills for the workforce of the future.
Neurodiverse people also possess conditions that are particularly useful for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) industries. This makes them a perfect fit for the ever-growing tech sector.
Aside from creative problem-solving skills, hiring neurodiverse individuals could also help organizations. A 2020 McKinsey study found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity outperform their competitors by 25% while those in the top quartile for ethnic diversity outperform their competitors by 36%.
US software and quality assurance (QA) testing non-profit Aspiritech is made up of people on the autism spectrum.
Its Chief Marketing Officer Brad Cohen said that this scheme helps their clients benefit from an “affordable, US-based, highly skilled solution for their QA testing needs” while their staff gains “a well-paying job in a suitable environment that supports their long-term employment.” It’s a win-win!
Building a neurodiverse workforce
While improving neurodiversity in the workplace has its perks, the reality is that many organizations are not set up to help these employees be successful.
Aspiritech’s Cohen says there are many barriers to overcome. He explained that it primarily includes identifying and accommodating someone’s talents and knowing how to work around their weak social skills.
Improving neurodiversity in the workplace will also require everyone to think differently. Organizations need to ensure that, culturally, colleagues are aware and accepting, and thoughtful of their peers’ different needs.
This brings us to the point of this entire article. As companies struggle to fill their vacant positions with suitable candidates, some have closed their doors to the other half of the population — the neurodiverse workforce.
With their advanced learning capabilities, ability to focus, and penchant to solve problems at any cost, hiring them could alleviate the talent gap in the global workforce.