Neurodiversity Hiring Programs: A Guide for Job Seekers
If you're like me, you may be overwhelmed by the growing number of neurodiversity-focused hiring programs and portals out there!
As companies become more aware of the benefits of a diverse workforce, they're focusing on neurodiversity and the unique strengths that neurodivergent individuals bring to the workplace. With so many neurodiversity-focused hiring programs and portals available, it can be overwhelming for job seekers to navigate.
In this article, I provide a brief history of these initiatives and highlight some of the top resources available for neurodivergent job seekers, as well as answer some common questions about these programs.
Top Resources for Neurodivergent Job Seekers:
Neurodiversity Career Connector: Job board that provides a one-stop shop for all the employers with neurodiversity-focused hiring initiatives.
SourceAbled: Create one profile to get matched to many jobs. SourceAbled helps you throughout the job search process and provides support once hired. Resumes submitted through SourceAbled get priority consideration.
Neurodiversity in the Workplace: Create one profile to get matched to many jobs. NITW offers job search help, alternative interviews, and professional development training.
Ultranauts: Tech company that strongly encourages neurodiverse candidates to apply.
Inclusively: Platform to find jobs with employers who are intentionally seeking candidates with disabilities. Also offers networking and community support.
abilityJOBS: Platform to find jobs with employers who are intentionally seeking candidates with disabilities.
Mentra: Platform to create one candidate profile to get matched to jobs through AI.
A little background and history:
The concept of neurodiversity first emerged in the 1990s, when sociologist Judy Singer coined the term to describe the idea that neurological differences like autism, ADHD, and dyslexia are normal variations in the human population rather than disorders to be cured. In the early 2010s, some employers began to recognize the unique strengths that neurodivergent individuals can bring to the workplace and started launching autism hiring initiatives to specifically target this group.
In 2017, an article in the Harvard Business Review brought wider attention to the concept of neurodiversity in the workplace, leading to increased interest and investment in these initiatives. Today, many companies have neurodiversity hiring programs in place, and the trend towards neurodiversity in the workplace continues to grow.
Are these neurodiversity hiring programs only for entry-level positions? No, these programs are available for various positions, including entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level roles. However, the availability of positions may vary by employer.
If I get hired through one of these initiatives, will my future manager know I came through the program? Most of these initiatives are designed to preserve confidentiality. However, some include Inclusion Training for the hiring manager, so they are aware that a team member was hired through the program.
Do I have to show proof of a formal diagnosis? Usually, no. Most of these programs allow self-disclosure and don't require documented proof of diagnosis.
What are the advantages of participating in these programs? The benefits of participating in neurodiversity hiring programs vary by program. Some programs offer extra interview training, interview accommodations, and job search support, while others simply provide an opportunity to join a company that is actively seeking neurodiverse candidates. Regardless of the benefits offered, participating in these programs can provide another avenue for job seekers to find a great job.
Can people with neurodiverse conditions apply for any job posting within the company, or are there specific jobs for which they are hired? While some employers have specific job postings for neurodiverse candidates, many of these initiatives are intended to help neurodiverse individuals apply for any job posting within the company. Candidates can request job accommodations based on their needs and abilities, and the employer will try to accommodate them as much as possible.
Do you know of other resources not listed here?
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