What is a neurodiversity recruitment program?
A neurodiversity recruitment program is a hiring initiative that a company designs and implements to specifically find neurodiverse candidates for job openings. Some neurodiversity recruitment programs have been around for years, like the Autism at Work program at SAP, which was launched in 2013; others are relatively new or still growing. Each program is a little different in terms of how it operates and the exact services it provides, but generally each provides application opportunities that are only available to neurodiverse candidates.
There are many companies out there with neurodiversity recruitment programs… too many for me to list in just this one post! Below is some advice about how to find out if a specific company has a neurodiversity recruitment program as well as some examples.
How do I know if a company has a neurodiversity recruitment program?
If you have a specific company in mind and you’re wondering whether or not they have a neurodiversity recruitment program, the easiest way to find out is to Google it. For example, if you are interested in working at Microsoft, you might want to Google phrases like “Microsoft neurodiversity” or “Microsoft recruitment disabilities.” Using these keywords will likely bring you to the company’s human resources page, which will have more information about the program. For example, the first result I received when searching “Microsoft neurodiversity” on Google was the Microsoft Neurodiversity Hiring Program & FAQ page.
If you don’t get any results with any of these searches, that likely means the company does not have a neurodiversity recruitment program. However, that shouldn’t discourage you from applying. Neurodiverse candidates add value to any company and are always able to apply for any opportunities they find on the company’s human resources page. If you are offered an interview for a position you apply for, you can always ask the interviewer what support the company has for neurodiverse candidates and employees if you feel comfortable doing so.
In addition to the SAP Autism at Work program and Microsoft Neurodiversity Hiring Program linked above, here are a few other companies that have well-known neurodiversity recruitment programs:
- Ultranuts Inc. Autism Hiring Initiative (engineering)
- DXC Dandelion Program (information technology)
- EY Neurodiversity Centers of Excellence (professional services)
- Freddie Mac Neruodiversity at Work Program (mortgage loan company)
- JPMorgan Chase’s Autism at Work Program (investment banking and financial services)
- auticon’s Autism Hiring Process (information technology)
The list above includes many larger, well-known organizations; however, small businesses have begun to establish neurodiversity hiring programs too! This webpage from EARN (the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion) has a list of examples (at the bottom).
How can I prepare to apply for a neurodiversity recruitment program?
A great first step in preparing to apply for these types of programs is visiting the Center for Career Development. If you are applying for positions at one or more companies, you will likely need a résumé, cover letter, and interview practice… perhaps even a few other materials. Career coaches at the Center can help with all of this and more. Whether you have specific questions about a document, are looking for guidance on which companies/programs to apply to, or general advice on putting your best foot forward during the application process, we are here to help! Follow these instructions to schedule an appointment today.
Photo by Alex Robinson on Unsplash