84% of autistic adults in the UK are not in employment despite 77% expressing a desire to find a job, according to statistics from the National Autistic Society.
Kurt Schoeffer is CEO of IT company Auticon and his company specialises in hiring autistic people to work in IT. Speaking to the BBC told them of the benefits he has found in actively seeking out autistic job applicants: “The thing that I particularly learned in Auticon is that neuro-diverse teams can make a huge difference. You need to be a fighter, especially at the beginning, because you have the impression this will never work out.”
“We had no doubt when we started that autistic people can do a tremendous job,” Schoeffer continues. “But what we underestimated is how meaningful and strong it is for the whole team when they come in. Certain things like communication are getting better, people are just more focused – their thinking is very different, but it always gives fruitful thoughts to others.”
One in 100 people have autism in the UK, so there is a huge potential pool of talent. Those living with autism have proven to be some of the most loyal, diligent and hard-working employees.
The CEO of Ambitious about Autism, Jolanta Lasota, has previously spoken to HR grapevine about the benefits of hiring candidates with autism: “It has been shown that those with autism can make for loyal, diligent and hard-working employees. The clarity of vision that autism sometimes gives mean[s] that some people with autism are about the most principled and socially conscious people you’ll ever meet – making them a great addition to any working team.”
Companies should know that autistic people can find some issues with interviews and may not react as well to this form of review, once hired they should be given clear instructions and deadlines for tasks. With the right management that is attentive and patient, autism is no barrier to being an excellent employee.
For advice regarding your HR department, please contact HPC through our website, social media or other forms of contact.
Link to HR grapevine article going into greater depth on this issue: https://www.hrgrapevine.com/content/article/feature-2017-02-27-ceo-of-auticon-why-i-actively-seek-autistic-employees