Why Neurodiversity Matters for Business Profitability?
  • 14 min read

Investing in neurodiversity can increase an organization’s profitability, so why aren’t you doing it?

Are you missing out on 1 in 10 of your potential top-talent choices?

The neurodiverse pool of talent holds highly qualified professionals with some of the most in-demand skills. However, for many organizations, they aren’t on their radar.

Read this article to find out what big employers know about hiring talent that you might not. It’s time to invest in neurodiversity.

Benefits of neurodiversity in the workplace

Neurodivergent people, irrespective of their potential and skills, are among the most unemployed population. Unfortunately, most employers overlook neurodiverse candidates because they have not tailored their normal recruitment processes to include them. 

Instead, they see the advantage of hiring and investing in neurodiversity as ticking “the diversity box” rather than recognizing the benefits they bring to a workforce.

Hiring a neurodiverse workforce is an accurate move—many top companies, including Microsoft, Ford, Accenture, Ernst and Young, GE, and various other big names are now placing a hiring focus on neurodivergent talent.

Microsoft is proactively stimulating the search for neurodivergent applicants. The company has created a new digital job board and talent engagement platform to encourage neurodivergent candidates to apply for roles. This marketplace enables candidates to discover job openings and connect with a breadth of employers and position types. These roles highlight some of the most likely opportunities for neurodivergent applicants.

What is neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity refers to the idea that all of our brains function uniquely, giving each rationale a different perspective. A neurodivergent workforce shows a greater retention rate, high motivation, and also an increase in innovation and productivity. Albert Einstein famously said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

If you agree with this notion, you’d probably also agree that hiring people who think differently is a way to solve modern problems. Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, would agree.  He has said,

“The world needs a neurodiverse workforce to help try and solve some of the big problems of our time.”

However, the question stakeholders want to know the answer to persists: “What financial advantages will neurodiverse candidates bring to the organization?”  So, is it worth taking on neurodiverse employees?

The financial benefits of investing in neurodiversity

Innovation

It’s widely known that thinking outside the box prompts innovation. Studies show that hiring neurodivergent employees pays: they often possess excellent creative thinking skills and above-average levels of reasoning and problem solving.

According to Harvard Business School professor, Michael Porter, widely known for his theories on economics and business, innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity.

Although innovation drives economic change, the trajectory of its growth is defined through diversity. In fact, it is actually a straight line— diversity drives innovation, and innovation drives profitability. But why?

The reason for this is that divergent thought processes are igniting the spark of innovation. Businesses that prosper have something new to offer. They know how to reach new audiences and innovate in the right way, which undoubtedly is a competitive advantage.

Many neurodiverse people, particularly those on the autism spectrum, tend to be technologically inclined, analytical, creative, and possess strong skills in pattern recognition, and information processing. These skills are a must in data-centric businesses. Furthermore, research from the University of Montreal found that autistic people are up to 40% better at problem-solving.

As more and more businesses are showing an inclination toward AI, machine learning (ML), and robotics, the increasing demand for IT roles and skilled talent shortage, neurodivergent talent is a largely untapped pool of candidates. 

The aforementioned study also found that diverse companies have 19% more revenue due to innovation. This percentage is expected to grow once companies begin to take measures to attract and retain more neurodivergent talent.

“We have a number of neurodivergent employees, including those with dyslexia and autism. Some are quite low on the autism spectrum, others very high. The day to day challenges our employees with autism face can greatly vary. Without exception, we find they bring a different dynamic to our team. That said, you do need to ensure they have sufficient support depending on their unique needs. We have found it beneficial to coach neurotypical workers on how to work with neurodiverse colleagues–to appreciate what they struggle with and how to accommodate them into the workforce in a way that works for everyone” says Ian Tomlin, CMO of Simplify Workforce UK.

Talent Retention

After the chaos brought on by the Great Resignation, employers are more aware of the importance of staff loyalty. Neurodiverse individuals are shown to be more reliable, conscientious, punctual, and have a stronger commitment to their employers. It is also notable that neurodiverse people tend to be more comfortable with familiarity, and therefore are less likely to job hop.

The four largest companies with autism hiring programs (SAP, JPMorgan Chase, EY, and Microsoft) all have a more than 90% higher than average retention rate in their industry. 

We know that HR plays a vital role in employee engagement, talent retention, and hiring more diverse and innovative candidates. This all results in increased profitability and efficiency within the business. 

Productivity 

Research by Deloitte, shows that neurodivergent professionals are likely to be 30% more productive in some roles than neurotypical workers. A report by JPMorgan Chase states that people on the autistic spectrum are 90% to 140% more productive than neurotypical employees and make fewer errors. Harvard Business Review states that neurodiverse people are 30% more productive than others. This signifies that for businesses hiring neurodiverse workers productivity increases efficiency and therefore revenue.  This can also be linked to how managers can accommodate flexibility in working culture. This will facilitate neurodiverse candidates to increase their efficiency and therefore productivity.

Companies know that neurodiverse people do not just cater to problems uniquely, but with their logical thinking they can spur improvement of the process. This ultimately can increase business productivity greatly.  And remember, a 10% increase in productivity equals a 20% uplift in revenue.

Neurodiversity increases productivity, which in turn increases profits. Investing in neurodiversity is a win-win.

Neurodiversity in the External Workforce

In times of the Great Resignation, where there’s a shift in the paradigm of work culture, and retaining employees is a challenge, a neurodiverse workforce can aid the organizations’ growth.

What neurodiverse workers look for is flexibility, support, and perhaps some adjustments during their employment journey. It is worth understanding that a small adjustment can have a huge impact on a company’s ability to prosper. As HR is one of the key strategic decision-makers when it comes to recruitment, this makes their role even more important.

It is crucial that HR managers champion neurodiverse hiring when recruiting external candidates alongside internal ones. This could be done by ensuring they are evenly and fairly treated throughout. But, it could also require the adoption of a neurodiverse platform. HR could help them by not just making the environment reasonably adjusted, but welcoming their differences.  

Many VMS technology providers have recently created neurodiverse platforms that allow companies to access and hire previously untapped talent. This should become a crucial part of any business’s recruitment plans. This is the perfect opportunity for employers to reshape their workforce to include both external and neurodiverse talent.

Still not convinced?

Workers who think outside the box are a valuable asset for any company. Making way for a more neurodiverse workforce makes sense, as it brings forth efficiencies, productivity, and innovation—it fills vacancies that today stand open for jobs that are monotonous, or jobs that require specialized tech and analytical skills where candidates are few and far between.

It’s time that employers begin acknowledging the neurodiverse talent pool.

A simple tip; to attract neurodiverse candidates, it helps to explicitly say so in the job description!

The costs associated with embracing neurodivergent candidates are relatively minor. It comes down more to adapting your workplace culture and perhaps supporting their emotional needs with counselling and mentoring services. Indeed, employing neurodivergent candidates has many rewards—without any significant onboarding costs. It’s more about how you do things, rather than what you need to do differently.

Leading HR teams should focus on making room for neurodivergent candidates. It involves formulating a talent agenda and considering what provisions need to be made to accommodate people’s unique needs. Installing a neurodivergent talent quotient to your talent agenda can bring home a point. And, considering that 1 in 10 people are neurodivergent, perhaps start at 5% of your workforce and grow from there.

If we’ve learned anything through our research on this topic, it’s this: you have to treat neurodivergent candidates differently.  Only then can you unlock the untapped potential of neurodiverse candidates that you are missing out on today, that will help your organization thrive. It’s time to invest in neurodiversity.

Investing in neurodiversity can increase an organization’s profitability, so why aren’t you doing it? 

Jul 21, 2022 | Neurodiversity

Are you missing out on 1 in 10 of your potential top-talent choices?

The neurodiverse pool of talent holds highly qualified professionals with some of the most in-demand skills. However, for many organizations, they aren’t on their radar.

Read this article to find out what big employers know about hiring talent that you might not. It’s time to invest in neurodiversity.

Benefits of neurodiversity in the workplace

Neurodivergent people, irrespective of their potential and skills, are among the most unemployed population. Unfortunately, most employers overlook neurodiverse candidates because they have not tailored their normal recruitment processes to include them. 

Instead, they see the advantage of hiring and investing in neurodiversity as ticking “the diversity box” rather than recognizing the benefits they bring to a workforce.

Hiring a neurodiverse workforce is an accurate move—many top companies, including Microsoft, Ford, Accenture, Ernst and Young, GE, and various other big names are now placing a hiring focus on neurodivergent talent.

Microsoft is proactively stimulating the search for neurodivergent applicants. The company has created a new digital job board and talent engagement platform to encourage neurodivergent candidates to apply for roles. This marketplace enables candidates to discover job openings and connect with a breadth of employers and position types. These roles highlight some of the most likely opportunities for neurodivergent applicants.

What is neurodiversity? 

Neurodiversity refers to the idea that all of our brains function uniquely, giving each rationale a different perspective. A neurodivergent workforce shows a greater retention rate, high motivation, and also an increase in innovation and productivity. Albert Einstein famously said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

If you agree with this notion, you’d probably also agree that hiring people who think differently is a way to solve modern problems. Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, would agree.  He has said,

“The world needs a neurodiverse workforce to help try and solve some of the big problems of our time.”

However, the question stakeholders want to know the answer to persists: “What financial advantages will neurodiverse candidates bring to the organization?”  So, is it worth taking on neurodiverse employees?

The financial benefits of investing in neurodiversity

Innovation

It’s widely known that thinking outside the box prompts innovation. Studies show that hiring neurodivergent employees pays: they often possess excellent creative thinking skills and above-average levels of reasoning and problem solving.

According to Harvard Business School professor, Michael Porter, widely known for his theories on economics and business, innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity.

Although innovation drives economic change, the trajectory of its growth is defined through diversity. In fact, it is actually a straight line— diversity drives innovation, and innovation drives profitability. But why?

The reason for this is that divergent thought processes are igniting the spark of innovation. Businesses that prosper have something new to offer. They know how to reach new audiences and innovate in the right way, which undoubtedly is a competitive advantage.

Many neurodiverse people, particularly those on the autism spectrum, tend to be technologically inclined, analytical, creative, and possess strong skills in pattern recognition, and information processing. These skills are a must in data-centric businesses. Furthermore, research from the University of Montreal found that autistic people are up to 40% better at problem-solving.

As more and more businesses are showing an inclination toward AI, machine learning (ML), and robotics, the increasing demand for IT roles and skilled talent shortage, neurodivergent talent is a largely untapped pool of candidates. 

The aforementioned study also found that diverse companies have 19% more revenue due to innovation. This percentage is expected to grow once companies begin to take measures to attract and retain more neurodivergent talent.

“We have a number of neurodivergent employees, including those with dyslexia and autism. Some are quite low on the autism spectrum, others very high. The day to day challenges our employees with autism face can greatly vary. Without exception, we find they bring a different dynamic to our team. That said, you do need to ensure they have sufficient support depending on their unique needs. We have found it beneficial to coach neurotypical workers on how to work with neurodiverse colleagues–to appreciate what they struggle with and how to accommodate them into the workforce in a way that works for everyone” says Ian Tomlin, CMO of Simplify Workforce UK.

Talent Retention

After the chaos brought on by the Great Resignation, employers are more aware of the importance of staff loyalty. Neurodiverse individuals are shown to be more reliable, conscientious, punctual, and have a stronger commitment to their employers. It is also notable that neurodiverse people tend to be more comfortable with familiarity, and therefore are less likely to job hop.

The four largest companies with autism hiring programs (SAP, JPMorgan Chase, EY, and Microsoft) all have a more than 90% higher than average retention rate in their industry. 

We know that HR plays a vital role in employee engagement, talent retention, and hiring more diverse and innovative candidates. This all results in increased profitability and efficiency within the business. 

Productivity 

Research by Deloitte, shows that neurodivergent professionals are likely to be 30% more productive in some roles than neurotypical workers. A report by JPMorgan Chase states that people on the autistic spectrum are 90% to 140% more productive than neurotypical employees and make fewer errors. Harvard Business Review states that neurodiverse people are 30% more productive than others. This signifies that for businesses hiring neurodiverse workers productivity increases efficiency and therefore revenue.  This can also be linked to how managers can accommodate flexibility in working culture. This will facilitate neurodiverse candidates to increase their efficiency and therefore productivity.

Companies know that neurodiverse people do not just cater to problems uniquely, but with their logical thinking they can spur improvement of the process. This ultimately can increase business productivity greatly.  And remember, a 10% increase in productivity equals a 20% uplift in revenue.

Neurodiversity increases productivity, which in turn increases profits. Investing in neurodiversity is a win-win.

Neurodiversity in the External Workforce

In times of the Great Resignation, where there’s a shift in the paradigm of work culture, and retaining employees is a challenge, a neurodiverse workforce can aid the organizations’ growth.

What neurodiverse workers look for is flexibility, support, and perhaps some adjustments during their employment journey. It is worth understanding that a small adjustment can have a huge impact on a company’s ability to prosper. As HR is one of the key strategic decision-makers when it comes to recruitment, this makes their role even more important.

It is crucial that HR managers champion neurodiverse hiring when recruiting external candidates alongside internal ones. This could be done by ensuring they are evenly and fairly treated throughout. But, it could also require the adoption of a neurodiverse platform. HR could help them by not just making the environment reasonably adjusted, but welcoming their differences.  

Many VMS technology providers have recently created neurodiverse platforms that allow companies to access and hire previously untapped talent. This should become a crucial part of any business’s recruitment plans. This is the perfect opportunity for employers to reshape their workforce to include both external and neurodiverse talent.

Still not convinced?

Workers who think outside the box are a valuable asset for any company. Making way for a more neurodiverse workforce makes sense, as it brings forth efficiencies, productivity, and innovation—it fills vacancies that today stand open for jobs that are monotonous, or jobs that require specialized tech and analytical skills where candidates are few and far between.

It’s time that employers begin acknowledging the neurodiverse talent pool.

A simple tip; to attract neurodiverse candidates, it helps to explicitly say so in the job description!

The costs associated with embracing neurodivergent candidates are relatively minor. It comes down more to adapting your workplace culture and perhaps supporting their emotional needs with counselling and mentoring services. Indeed, employing neurodivergent candidates has many rewards—without any significant onboarding costs. It’s more about how you do things, rather than what you need to do differently.

Leading HR teams should focus on making room for neurodivergent candidates. It involves formulating a talent agenda and considering what provisions need to be made to accommodate people’s unique needs. Installing a neurodivergent talent quotient to your talent agenda can bring home a point. And, considering that 1 in 10 people are neurodivergent, perhaps start at 5% of your workforce and grow from there.

If we’ve learned anything through our research on this topic, it’s this: you have to treat neurodivergent candidates differently.  Only then can you unlock the untapped potential of neurodiverse candidates that you are missing out on today, that will help your organization thrive. It’s time to invest in neurodiversity.