Leontien Rutenfrans

Marketing ManagerTextmetrics
May 30, 2024

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Advantages of hiring neurodivergent talent

Why neurodivergent talent is valuable to your business

Have you ever seen a normal person? This slogan was printed on cardboard and posters with mirror foil in the 1970s, so you could see yourself while reading. The message behind this was ambivalent. Did it insinuate that you were the only normal person or that normal people did not exist?
We don’t use a term like “normal” these days when it comes to people. This is non-inclusive language that unfairly excludes people who deviate from a norm. Within a company, neurodivergent employees – employees who deviate from the neurotypical norm – actually offer a lot of added value.

 

What is neurodiversity, the neurotypical norm and neurodivergence?

Neurodiversity encompasses the different ways the brain processes information. Estimates of the size of the neurodivergent population range from 10 – 30 percent of the total population. These individuals deviate from the neurotypical norm. As a result, they experience the world around them differently and respond differently to stimuli. Neurodivergent development includes autism, ADHD, dyslexia, OCD and more.

 

Benefits of neurodivergence in the workplace

The most important developments in human history occurred because people dared to deviate from a norm and, as a result, introduced different points of view and new techniques. Proven benefits of neurodivergence are:

1. Increased creativity by neurodivergent employees

One of the most striking benefits of hiring neurodivergent talent is the increased creativity that these employees often bring. Neurodivergent creatives of the past include prodigy Mozart who most likely suffered from Tourette’s Syndrome, and Louis Caroll who wrote Alice in Wonderland on the autism spectrum. Creativity expresses itself not only in art, but also in problem-solving ability: the talent to find solutions even when they do not logically exist.

2. Enhanced problem-solving skills

Neurodivergent individuals often excel at complex problem analysis and finding unorthodox solutions. Their approach frequently leads to more efficient processes and more productive work methods within a team. The eccentric Alan Turing demonstrated this by cracking the Enigma code during World War II. He is additionally known as “The father of Artificial Intelligence.

3. A wide range of skills

The diverse skills of neurodivergent employees, such as hyperfocus and pattern recognition, detailed orientation or in-depth analysis are employable in different functions within a company. That eye for detail characterized Michelangelo, who showed symptoms of Asperger’s. He created monumental paintings with countless details that most observers do not even notice.

 

How can you successfully integrate neurodivergent talent?

  • Training and awareness. Start with training and awareness to foster an inclusive culture that supports and celebrates neurodiversity. For example, organize an interactive workshop where employees themselves share how they like to work. This promotes recognition and understanding within the team.
  • Flexible work environment. Offer a flexible work environment to support neurodiversity. The office garden may be a great pleasure for (for example) communication specialists, but can be an excruciating torment for neurodivergent colleagues. Provide alternatives.
  • Adjustments in the hiring process. Make sure your hiring process is inclusive. Focus on the skills needed for the role rather than personal attributes. So instead of “You are a team player,” you should say “You can work well in a team.

 

Creating inclusive job descriptions with Textmetrics

An inclusive recruitment policy isn’t an option, it’s a must. After all, with the right guidance, an inclusive workforce leads to an expansion of skills, more innovation, and greater productivity.

So pay close attention to your job postings when you want to attract neurodivergent talent and avoid words or characterizations that scare off this group. The Textmetrics software helps you do this by checking your texts for inclusiveness and suggesting improvements. This way, you can quickly create an effective text to attract the best neurodivergent talents. So get to know the Textmetrics Job Description Generator quickly!

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