Earlier this week Clicks and Specialisterne put together a second collaborative event in Brisbane to highlight the value as well as the unique skills and capabilities that neurodiverse candidates have to offer. We gathered a room full of IT, Business and HR owners and senior leaders. Now before you go any further, if you think this is an exercise in pity, or a box-ticking exercise to hire your ‘token disabled person’ whose photo appears on every second page of your annual report, you are gravely mistaken. If you are interested in understanding the significant commercial and cultural benefits to your organisation, then please, read on!
We heard from senior leaders in the Queensland Government, who have engaged neurodiverse workers to increase innovation. We also heard from Ruth, an Associate Infrastructure Services Specialist who gained employment with Westpac through their ‘Tailored Talent’ program. It was great to hear how a candidate like Ruth, who was often overlooked through the typical recruitment process was afforded the opportunity to prove her incredible value through the ‘Tailored Talent’ program.
I could go on for hours about the things we learned, and how everyone walked out of the room being truly schooled. But let me sum up.
Facts shared at the event:
- Autism represents the largest portion of the Australian disability community.
- In very rough numbers, this is around 250,000 woefully under-employed and extremely capable, talented adults who are ready to rock ‘n roll. So much for the War for Talent – doesn’t seem like we’re really going into battle that hard when we’ve completely overlooked this section of our community.
- Neurodiverse people have great retention rates.
- Neurodiverse people learn much more quickly than neurotypical people.
- It’s SO much easier than you think to employ a neurodiverse candidate. The people who need the most support are the manager and team, not the neurodiverse person themselves.
- Neurodiverse people will tell you what they need to perform better in their jobs when you ask them. And guess what? The changes they suggest are invariably great for your neurotypical workforce too. So you aren’t just benefiting that small handful of people – the ripple effects are literally huge.
Why am I telling you all this?
Clicks wants to create a community of ‘opted-in’ organisations and have taken the first steps towards such a program, having recently launched the ‘Front of Mind’ initiative. Clicks will partner with Specialisterne and every organisation who is interested in exploring the benefits of the neurodiverse community at some point in the future (no pressure, no short deadlines). We think this is a strong alignment with the sector in which we work, and it is our vision to create a channel from job seeker identification to meaningful employment.
If you would like to form part of the Clicks’ Front of Mind community, please email me. We are just starting out, but we hope to have more events to help educate the business community, to identify which roles in your organisation could be knocked out of the park by a neurodiverse candidate, to help you identify suitable candidates and to provide you with ongoing support once you hire.
If you’ve read to the bottom, you are clearly a like-minded meerkat. So get in touch and let’s make this happen.
Nick Bacon, Regional General Manager – NSW & QLD, Clicks IT Recruitment.