New Microsoft program connects recruiters with neurodivergent talent

The Neurodiversity Career Connector aims to help employers tap into the neurodiverse talent pool
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In February, Microsoft Accessibility, which provides disability hiring resources for job seekers and employers, announced the pilot phase of its Neurodiversity Career Connector (NDCC), a job portal specifically developed to connect neurodiverse candidates with employers committed to being inclusive of them. Employers who are members of the Neurodiversity at Work Roundtable can use the NDCC to source talent or post job listings to attract neurodiverse candidates.

Neurodivergence is when a person’s brain functions differently than what’s considered standard or typical. Neurodivergence includes (but is not limited to) autism, dyslexia, Tourette syndrome, and ADHD.

According to a LinkedIn post from Microsoft’s director of inclusive hiring and accessibility, the program is “a simple way for neurodivergent job seekers to connect to organizations that intentionally hire, support, and grow neurodivergent talent.”

What’s behind the NDCC? The NDCC beta program has the support and involvement of the members of the Neurodiversity @ Work Employer Roundtable, a collection of employers dedicated to creating and executing on neurodiversity hiring initiatives. According to the NDCC homepage, at least one in 15 Americans is neurodivergent. Disability:IN and Microsoft established the Roundtable in 2017 and it currently has more than 40 corporate members, including IBM, Deloitte, Wells Fargo, Dell, and Warner Brothers.

According to The Center for Neurodiversity and Employment Innovation at the University of Connecticut, the unemployment rate for neurodivergent adults runs as high as 40%, eight times the rate of non-disabled adults.

How does it work? If employers want to post jobs on the NDCC, they must be part of the Roundtable, have a neurodiversity hiring program that’s been active for at least one year, and be publicly committed to supporting neurodivergent talent. The Roundtable admits new members on a monthly basis, allowing them to post jobs to the site.—KP

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Quick-to-read HR news & insights

Our HR newsletter delivers need-to-know industry news and insights to HR pros every weekday for free.