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ASC and recruitment​

This page sets out some of the possible strengths for autistic people and also goes through some of the considerations when engaging with the recruitment process for people on the autistic spectrum.

Autistic skills and strengths

If you're bored of hearing about all the "deficits" challenging people on the autism spectrum, you are not the only one. But for the perceived down side to autism, there seems to be more positives - with traits that are rarer among the "typical" community, but shine among the autistic community. These are worth celebrating.

Rarely judge others

Who's fatter? Richer? Smarter? For many people on the autism spectrum, these distinctions generally hold much less importance than for neurotypical people. In fact, people on the spectrum often see through such surface appearances. Often having an inherent sense of equality, not only are they less likely to judge others on stereotypical standards like attractiveness or wealth, but also more likely to be accepting of others from different background and ethnicity or with a disability which can help fitting in to an organisation.

Rarely lie or have hidden agendas (Integrity)

Integrity is a highly rated quality by employers, but many people tell small untruths. This is less likely from those on autism spectrum. They often consider that truth is truth and a good word from a person on the autism spectrum is to be valued. Most of the time, if a person on the autism spectrum tells you what they want – they are telling you what they want. No need to second guess or read between the lines! This makes communication much less complicated and more clear.

Work when nobody is watching

It is the focus and commitment to do what they are tasked to do with good adherence to rules. Often people with ASC make dependable and diligent employees that get on with doing the job.

Passion that lead to productivity

Autistic people can be truly passionate about the things, ideas and people in their lives. Because autistic individuals can have intense, specific interests, the best jobs may be those that allow them to be involved with those interests. Intensity can be an asset that helps them focus on the task at hand. An employee who is perfectly suited to a position because of a passion results in a win-win situation. Working in an area of extensive knowledge and being hyper-focused can lead to productivity.

Attention to detail

Whilst it is important to look at “the big picture” when thinking about an issue, sometimes focusing on smaller details, which can sometimes seem less important, can be a benefit. This is thought to be linked to a hypersensitivity to sensory input, which while sometimes distracting, can also help autistic individuals take in the details that many of us miss. This perceptiveness can be highly useful in providing insights that may otherwise be missed.

For example, Some IT companies (such as SAP) actively seek autistic people for employment as they can find issues with software that others cannot due to their intense focus on details, rather than on whether a program works functionally overall or not, as these small mistakes can cause problems that may not be immediately obvious but can have negative impacts later on.

Good memories

People on the autism spectrum are often much more tuned in to details. They may have a much better memory than their typical peers for all kind of critical details. Some autistic people have exceptional memories, and can remember information they read weeks ago and are also less likely to misremember something.

A different world view

Autistic people see things differently than those who are considered “neurotypical”. The differences in thought that autistic people have can lead to revolutionary ideas that can change how others view certain concepts. Not only does neurodiversity add to the workplace dynamic, but also their perceptiveness allows them to approach problems innovatively and creatively.

Expertise in special interests

Some people think that having an obsessive interest in a particular subject will limit social interactions, but colleagues will recognise the level of expertise and appreciate the assistance with tasks relating to the topic of special interest, and can connect through a shared interest.

Many people have hobbies, but not many are experts? Often, autistic individuals are not afraid to devote their time and energy to the pursuit of their areas of interest. The special interests of an autistic person can be marketable. For example, people who have used their deep fascination with animals may excel in positions at zoos and animal reserves. Another example, an individual who really enjoys searching for and collecting rocks/minerals may seek to become a geologist. It is about connecting the area of focus with relevant opportunities that will bring the most out of these areas.

Great at auditory and visual tasks

Recent research has shown autistic people with often outperform others in auditory and visual tasks, and also do better on non-verbal tests of intelligence. In one study by Mottron, on a test that involved completing a visual pattern, autistic people finished 40 percent faster than those without the condition.