Making Meaningful Career Connections With Neurodiverse-Friendly Employment ServicesDiscover how an expert consultant can help you navigate the hiring process

Person searching for jobs on their laptop

For individuals on the spectrum, finding meaningful employment is getting more accessible thanks to the support of more than 40 neurodiverse-friendly employment service companies. These organizations are entrepreneurial and laser-focused on bringing together job candidates with developmental disabilities and employers who are seeking to tap into this incredible pool of talent.

Seek expert advice as you begin your job search.

If you’re in the market for a new job, expert consultants at neurodiverse-friendly employment service companies can help you navigate the hiring process, understand the unwritten rules of interviewing and match you with a role that aligns with your unique skills, experiences and career interests.

Plus, these collaborative companies work closely with corporations that are committed to building more inclusive workplaces. The services they offer range from neurodiversity training and education to revising HR policies and practices to ensuring that employees are fully integrated and appreciated in their new work environment. And typically, the employment companies are funded by corporations when candidates get hired and through strategic consulting and training fees.

Here are a few companies that offer training, coaching and support throughout the hiring process.

  1. Inclusively– This employment platform connects job seekers who need accommodations to succeed in their role, with employers. While most neurodiverse-friendly employment service companies have two modules, one for the candidate and one for the employer, Inclusively built a third module specifically for advocates. This feature provides caregivers, vocational rehab counselors, case managers and others with access to the candidate’s dashboard, so they can assist with resume building, see all the jobs the candidate has applied for, share new job leads and message candidates about what to do next. To date, more than 50 companies have posted jobs in Inclusively.
  2. NeuroTalentWorks– Over the last several years, this organization has made great progress in supporting neurodivergent job candidates and employers through its three signature programs. As part of its talent readiness program, individuals learn how to become competitive job candidates and gain business skills, so they are prepared for a corporate environment. In the corporate readiness program, employers receive neurodiversity workplace counseling and help identify jobs that harness the strengths of neurodivergent talent. Last, NeuroTalentWorks matches the candidate’s skills and career interests to one of its corporate partners. As a result of its work in the neurodiverse community, the company has impacted the lives of more than 2,100 individuals.
  3. Integrate Advisors– Founded in 2010 by Marcia Scheiner who has an adult son on the spectrum, Integrate works closely with companies to identify, recruit and retain autistic professionals. It does this by helping job seekers find the right opportunity, prepare for the interview and educate potential employers and co-workers on autism. Then post-hire, Integrate continues to provide ongoing support like regular check-in meetings with both the candidate and their new manager. The company can even help the candidate establish a mentor at work. In addition to accepting online resumes, Integrate sources potential applicants at job fairs across the country.

If you’re interested in learning about other similar neurodivergent-friendly employment service companies, check out MentraGrit and FlowPotentia Workforce and Zavikon.

Find out which corporations are actively hiring neurodiverse individuals.

Some of the largest companies in the world, including Microsoft, SAP, EY and dozens of others, are part of the Neurodiversity @ Work Employer Roundtable, a collection of employers focused on hiring neurodiverse talent. To be part of this group, members must have implemented a neurodiversity hiring program and publicly announced their efforts for 12 months or longer. Since the group started in 2017, about 1,400 neurodivergent employees have been hired for positions spanning various industries like tech, biotech, financial services and more.1

In April 2022, the group launched a new career portal, the Neurodiversity Career Connector, to help applicants with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia and other conditions find jobs in the U.S. By featuring open roles at companies that specifically hire and support neurodivergent talent, this new online marketplace eliminates some of the stress and anxiety that candidates often feel during the application process.

While these major employers are working tirelessly to reduce hiring barriers, there is still a long way to go to assist the millions of neurodiverse candidates sitting on the sideline.

What else could companies do to build an inclusive and equitable workplace?

The companies that are part of the Neurodiversity @ Work Employer Roundtable have modified their HR systems and processes and provided training to their organizations on how to work in an inclusive environment. So, what are they missing? The big answer is culture.

Companies must continue to make systemic changes in their culture to allow the neurodiverse community to have a chance at a successful career like other neurotypical employees. The good news is that we are starting to see some cultural shifts inside these large corporations as more existing employees self-identify as neurodiverse.

Proof of this was clear when I heard leaders from Google speak at the Stanford Neurodiversity Hiring event in 2021. Google recognizes the many contributions of neurodiverse individual and is actively supporting recruitment of neurodiverse talent. The company’s Google Cloud’s Autism Career Program is starting to gain momentum after starting 10 years ago and they are continuing to leverage partnerships like the Stanford Neurodiversity Project to help them train managers in the hiring process.

The future is bright for neurodiverse job seekers.

Now that you’ve learned about which organizations can help you grow in your career and reach your full potential, the next step is to start reaching out to them. And as both large and small companies across the country begin to recognize the value and competitive advantage of hiring individuals with a diverse range of thinking styles and abilities, you will find an increasing number of employment opportunities and support systems.

References:

Microsoft press release

About the author:

Dan Middleton specializes in Clinical Excellence Strategy at Catalight. He is also a BetterUp Fellow Coach providing career and leadership coaching services, as well as a volunteer Career Coach at AASCEND.

Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. We’ve come a long way, yet there’s still more we can do to support inclusivity for all. In our latest read, Catalight’s contributing editor and certified career coach Dan Middleton shares how finding meaningful employment is getting more accessible thanks to the support of a growing number of neurodiverse-friendly employment service companies. hashtag#ADA32 hashtag#catalight hashtag#neurodiversity hashtag#autism hashtag#employment