February 10, 2017
Microsoft and other big employers such as the American firms Freddie Mac and Walgreens, and the German company SAP have started to specifically hire people with autism. Why? Because many autistic traits are exactly what employers often seek but cannot find: Where other people may get distracted by their phone at work, or arrive late, or take extended lunch breaks; people with autism are often very meticulous and hard-working – attention to detail and the desire to finish a project perfectly can lead to great results in the workplace.
Recruiters have recognised this; the BBC quotes Tim Weiler from the human resources consulting firm Towers Watson: “They’re loyal and diligent and are a lower turnover risk.”
Employers report that the people with autism they employed for tasks such as software programming, quality assurance, statistical testing and financial checks are better at concentrating for a long time on even repetitive tasks, and are better at spotting mistakes than non-autistic employees. People with Asperger’s Syndrome or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) tend to carry many positive traits that make them great assets for employers. Just to name some: Problem-solving skills and attention to detail, high levels of concentration, reliability and loyalty, technical ability and specialist skills and interests such as in IT, detailed factual knowledge and an excellent memory, workplace retention, resourceful. Their main problems on the other hand tend to lie in social communication. However, this does in no way affect their intelligence or willingness to learn and work.
Now the only thing left to do is go out there and make sure employers appreciate you and your skills!
Check out the upcoming article about tips and tricks that can help people with autism in the workplace. And don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like advice on workplace assessments and support to adjust your workplace to your needs. We can also offer support and counselling if you are looking for work, want to develop your skills or need general advice on how a learning difficulty can affect your working life.
This is an ongoing series of how developmental difficulties can affect working life and how to tackle them. Look out for the next article!
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