Over 65 percent of employees are looking for a new job per a recent survey by PwC.

The United States is near an all-time record high for open jobs — with over 10 million jobs currently open.

And while leaders seem to have an understanding of why employees are leaving their organizations, they haven’t been able to stem the tide.

When refilling their ranks — leaders should consider expanding where they are sourcing candidates from, and the types of candidates they are looking for.

Take a lesson from Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft from starting the Microsoft Neurodiversity Hiring Program:

“By adjusting our hiring practices, we are able to recruit from a new talent pool — a talent pool that is rich with mad skill. We’re hiring these folks because they’re amazingly talented individuals who are going to help us do amazing things at Microsoft.”

By developing a program to specifically recruit individuals with Autism — Microsoft was able to recruit from an entirely new talent pool.

Who should consider sourcing autistic talent?

  • Hiring managers and HR: Autistic candidates provide a talent pool that can help fill specialized or difficult roles (such as analytics, data engineering, data science, developer, and other roles).
  • Recruiters: Diverse talent pools are still an underutilized source for overlooked candidates. Platforms like Inclusively or Canvas can reach talent potentially missed by others.
  • Leaders: Work with your recruiters to ensure they are seeking autistic/diverse candidates, and have an appropriate budget to do so.

What are trends for Autism hiring? In the past few years many leading technology companies have started Neurodiversity and/or Autism hiring programs. A few quick examples of these include:

  • Microsoft — Started in 2015, they have had success with Software Engineer, Service Engineer, Build Engineer, Lab Engineer, Data Analyst and Data Scientist roles.
  • Google Cloud — In July 2021, Google Cloud launched a program to train 500 managers and others in the hiring process to help remove barriers in the hiring process for Autistic talent.
  • SAP — Started in 2015, they lower barriers and helps candidates show their real selves during the hiring process. They recruit for a variety of roles.
  • Auticon — A tech consultancy that focuses their hiring on autistic talent. They have recently been growing in the US, growing an office in Utah.

The list continues: VMware, Ultranauts, Dell, IBM, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and others.

Recruiting Platforms:

  • Inclusively — A platform aimed at those with disabilities, mental health conditions, and chronic illnesses.
  • Canvas — A (very) broad diversity recruiting platform.

How can you build an Austim @ Work program?

Experts such as Hala Annabi, PhD at the University of Washington can be engaged as consultants to implement a program at your organization.

Dr. Annabi was an author of the Autism @ Work Playbook.

This playbook provides organizations clear guidance on how to setup their own programs, and how they can get started.