Neurodivergence in Recruiting

In the world of recruiting, you spare no effort in finding the perfect fit for your open roles. This should mean sourcing every type of talent available, including those who are neurodivergent. Even without intending to, you could be overlooking professionals with valuable skills and incomparable knowledge. Adjusting to a more modern way of recruiting, and eliminating certain traditional practices, could solve this problem.  

What is neurodivergence? 

Neurodivergence describes people whose brains function differently than is considered typical. This can include autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and more. And while some of these may consequence some disadvantages or delayed learning, they bring along some strong upper hands. WebMD explains this by saying, “People with ADHD may have trouble with time management. But they often show high levels of passion, drive, and creative thinking.” 

How to embrace neurodivergence in recruiting 

The biggest reason neurodivergent people are left unnoticed is due to the various critical thinking tests they have to endure. Monster.com says, “Neurodiverse candidates often possess the crucial aptitudes and qualifications, but get flustered from the stress and mechanics of the interview process. Their performance can be critically hampered which often leads to their non-selection.”  

The emphasis traditionally placed on social skills and personality assessments is a hurdle for those who are less seasoned in these areas, yet proficient in others. To avoid this happening, recruiters and hiring managers can determine which positions in their industry may be a perfect fit for neurodivergent candidates. From there, adjust your job descriptions, switch around the interview process, and keep simple focus on whether or not these candidates can successfully perform the duties of the role. Forbes tells us to “Include questions that assess a candidate’s natural level of sensitivity…break interviews up into sequential sessions or spread them out over a period of a few days to avoid overstimulation… Offer reasonable take-home interview assignments.” 

Valuing neurodivergence in the workplace 

It is also advisable to seek out employees in your company or industry who are neurodivergent themselves. This can determine which aspects of the workplace they find helpful or supportive, ultimately improving your corporate culture to be more inclusive. Additionally, Forbes suggests taking opportunities to adjust to different work styles. For instance, “Normalizing no-meeting days and the use of “Do Not Disturb” on work messaging apps. You’ll get higher productivity and work quality from your entire team, but especially your sensitive strivers.”  

It is almost extremely important to eliminate any type of toxic tendencies or bullying in the workplace. Keeping those with neurodivergence comfortable and appreciated will increase retention rates and, in the end, create a healthy environment for all employees.  

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