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Google Launches Initiative to Hire More Autistic People

Google has announced an initiative that will prioritize hiring more autistic people by adjusting the way the company approaches the interview process to accommodate neurodivergent applicants. The company aims to train up to 500 hiring managers and others involved in the hiring process to be more effective and empathetic when interacting with autistic candidates.

Google is partnering with the Stanford Neurodiversity Project whose goals include establishing a culture that values neurodivergence and empowering “talented” neurodivergent people through training and work opportunities. Google hopes to combat the high unemployment rate of autistic people by confronting biases that create barriers to equitable job access.

The Stanford Neurodiversity Project promotes specialized employment support programs for adults with autism. Their work at Google will shift the company’s hiring process. Rob Enslin, President of Global Customer Operations for Google Cloud, wrote that unconscious biases impacting candidates in the interview process will be addressed. He highlights the need to be more understanding when candidates do not make eye contact or ask for additional time to complete a task and wants to offer some flexibility in interview structures.

Lyric Holmans, an autistic Neurodiversity Consultant, notes that many neurodivergent people struggle to meet neurotypical standards for friendliness, might not know how to talk up their skills, and experience anxiety that neurotypical interviewers unfairly view as red flags.

Instead of asking those with autism to self-disclose, Holmans recommends always offering support—creating a more accommodating culture that exists in both interviews and the workplace. Leaders should consistently ask how to best support candidates and coworkers, offering options so they know and follow-up to make changes as necessary.

Excerpted from “Google Launches Initiative to Hire More Autistic People” in VeryWellMind. Read the full article online.

Source: VeryWellMind | Google Launches Initiative to Hire More Autistic People, https://www.verywellmind.com/google-launches-initiative-to-hire-more-autistic-people-5197356 | Ⓒ 2021 About, Inc. (Dotdash)

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