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Hiring Autistic candidates

Neurodiversity Hiring and Intrinsic Motivation at SAP

A diversity hiring initiative cannot be a one-size-fits all solution. Perhaps that’s a redundant way to begin a blog post given the definition of the word “diverse”, but as organizations continue viewing underrepresented talent as a solution to business needs (in addition to, ya know, the right thing to do), approaches to hiring talent have popped up as varied as the groups they seek to include.

One such approach is spearheaded by the Head of Talent Acquisition for Cloud Services at SAP, Tony Cornett. Tony and SAP have taken a focused approach to building an environment inclusive to the neurodiverse, particularly, those with autism. To understand more about this program and the challenges involved, Tony joined your fave recruiting podcast to bang out the nitty gritty. You can stream the full conversation below, or on iTunes, Google Play, or your favorite podcasting app.

“I don’t know Rob. Thirty minutes? Seems like a long walk for what could be a short bridge.” Fine. I pulled out my favorite parts into some hors d’oeuvres in order to whet your appetite for the complete interview. Sorry about that two part food metaphor. They say never to blog on an empty stomach, you know.

-Learn about SAP use of specialized third party organizations to identify “social stressors”, which to those with autism would create a non-inclusive environment.

-Explore the question of whether companies should create specific hiring goals for each under represented group or strive to create an environment in which any group can thrive

-Unpack how historic lack of opportunity has resulted in individuals being considered diverse, as well as the role of organizations in consulting candidates to find education and development so as to best attack new opportunities.

-Assessing for intrinsic motivation, as it leads hiring managers to consider whether candidates are the best fit or merely the most qualified. Most qualified candidates can solve the short term problem, but the best fit person can sustain the organization.