This book provides guidance on recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding practices that will allow employers to successfully hire neurodivergent professionals into inclusive, competitive employment.
Today, 35% of 18-year-olds with an autism spectrum diagnosis attend college, yet they have a 75-85% under-employment and unemployment rate after graduation. While organizations are looking to expand their diversity and inclusion hiring efforts to include neurodivergent professionals, current recruiting and interviewing practices in general are not well-suited to this. With over one-third of the US population identifying as neurodivergent, employers need to address how to attract this talent pool to take advantage of a meaningful segment of the workforce. Readers of this book will gain an understanding of how to guide their organizations through the creation of recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding processes tailored to neurodivergent professionals in any field.
Written by authors with extensive experience working in the corporate world and consulting with Fortune 1000 companies on autism hiring efforts, this book is targeted at employers, acknowledging their perspective. Structured as a reference guide for busy recruiters, hiring managers, and supervisors, this book can be read in its entirety, in relevant sections as needed, or used as a refresher whenever necessary. This book also provides a background on the thinking styles of autistic individuals, giving the reader a deeper understanding of how to best support neurodivergent jobseekers.
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Marcia Scheiner is the President and Founder of Integrate Autism Employment Advisors (Integrate), co-author of An Employer's Guide to Managing Professionals on the Autism Spectrum (2017), and frequent speaker on autism employment. Prior to founding Integrate in 2010, Ms. Scheiner held senior management positions in the financial services industry. Ms. Scheiner is a graduate of Wellesley College, Massachusetts and has an MBA from Columbia University's Graduate School of Business, New York. She is the parent of an adult son with autism.
Tracy Powell-Rudy is a contributing author of this book.
Joan Bogden is a Content and Media Training Coach and the President of Blonde 'n Blue Productions, as well as the co-author of An Employer's Guide to Managing Professionals on the Autism Spectrum (2017). She has over 30 years of experience in the communications and training industry and has a BA in psychology from Vassar College. Ms. Bogden received an MA in clinical psychology from Fordham University, where she was also a published researcher and a doctoral candidate in that field.
Acknowledgements; Introduction; How to Use This Book; PART 1: UNDERSTANDING THE ESSENTIALS; Chapter 1 - What Should I Know to Get Started?; The Myth of the "Normal" Brain; Neurodiversity 101; The Language of Neurodiversity; The Language of Autism; Disclosure; Chapter 2 - Why Hire Autistic Professionals?; Business Benefits; Economic Benefits; Societal Benefits; Chapter 3 - Are Neurodiversity Hiring Programs Necessary?; The History of Neurodiversity Hiring Programs; Hiring Approaches; Where Do You Find Autistic Talent?; Launching your own program; Chapter 4 - The Autistic Jobseeker: Not Your Typical Candidate; The Unwritten Rules of the "Hidden Curriculum"; Theory of Mind; Sensory Sensitivities; Anxiety; Chapter 5 - Differences in Autistic Thinking; Disorder, Disability or Difference?; Seeing the "Big Picture"; Reasoning and Decision-Making; Executive Functioning; The Importance of Previewing; PART 2: RECRUITING AUTISTIC TALENT; Chapter 6 - Screening Techniques for the Atypical Resume; Job Fit; The Myth of the Computer Geek; The Atypical Resume; Work History; Chapter 7 - Does Your Company Embrace Neurodiversity?; Appeal to the Broader Autism Community; Become an Employer of Choice; Avoid Job Description Jargon; Simplify the Application Maze; Chapter 8 - Sourcing Autistic Jobseekers; Campus Recruiting; Effective Use of the Internet; Sourcing Partners; The Autism Community; PART 3: INTERVIEWING; Chapter 9 - The Autism Factor in Interviews; The Importance of Appearance; Ways of Speaking; Turn Down the Volume; Chapter 10 - Interview Alternatives; Non-traditional Formats; Interview Practice Modifications; A Word about Virtual Interviewing; The Interview Process: A Different Perspective; Chapter 11 - What Are You Evaluating? Mindset Versus Skillset; Mindset; Mindset of the Autistic Candidate; Interview Questions; Artificial Intelligence; PART 4: THE FIRST 100 DAYS; Chapter 12 - Getting the Candidate to "Yes"; Making the Offer; Drug Testing; Reference Checking; Relocation Assistance; Chapter 13 - Onboarding New Hires; Onboarding vs. Orientation; Orientation; Onboarding; Chapter 14 - Preparing Your Organization for Success; The Supportive Workplace; Education and Training; Manager Support; Office Environment; Social Distractions and Demands; Chapter 15 - Performance Issues; The Role of the Hidden Curriculum; The Role of Executive Functioning; The Role of Anxiety; Epilogue; APPENDIX; Example 7.1 - Job Description; Example 7.2 - Job Description; Example 7.3 - Job Description (Before); Example 7.4 - Job Description (After); Example 11.1 - Rephrased Interview Questions; Example 13.1 - Mentor/Mentee Guidelines; GLOSSARY; REFERENCES
"Marcia Scheiner has done it again with a second resource that will prove to be a value add for companies seeking to employ individuals on the Autism Spectrum, in addition to providing clear and direct examples for individuals that are seeking employment. Ms. Scheiner's overview of how to apply this resource is extremely helpful. Her ability to provide history, application, and foundational principles as a starting point is straightforward and effective. The strategic use of statistics, tables, and flowcharts is helpful as they allow the reader to visualize steps and processes. I see this book being used heavily with a dual focus that benefits employers and potential employees."
- Jamell G. Mitchell, EY NCoE Global Community Engagement/Ecosystem Leader
"As organizations become increasingly conscious of the imperative of more neurodiversity-inclusive practices, staff in key roles require support and resources to recognize and address potential pitfalls. Marcia Scheiner's latest book - following the successful blueprint of her first - is packed with information and tips while also being neatly structured and highly navigable. The practices she highlights will help individual recruiters and their organizations conduct hiring that is more intentional, more inclusive, and ultimately more successful."
- Ed Thompson, Founder & CEO, Uptimize
"What a wonderfully practical and helpful book for employers on why and how to hire autistic people; and for autistic people on how to improve your chances of getting a job. Clearly written and accessible, Marcia Scheiner makes the case for why all employers should embrace neurodiversity."
- Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Cambridge University
"Marcia Scheiner's The Neurodivergent Job Candidate: Recruiting Autistic Professionals is a book long overdue. As we emerge from a post-COVID world, smart businesses will look to diversify their employment efforts to include neurodivergent people. I know from my prior position as CEO of Specialisterne USA, best intentions and publicized desire to hire neurodiverse people do not reach far enough to make an impact. Current recruitment processes screen out potential neurodivergent applicants, resulting in an erroneous belief that there are not enough neurodiverse candidates with the required skills. The Neurodivergent Job Candidate is a must-read to fill in the gaps in common recruitment efforts, allowing companies to screen in this exceptional talent."
- Tara Cunningham, Founder, Beyond-Impact
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