Critical Steps in Hiring and Retaining Autistic Employees

Starter Guide to Hire and Manage Staff with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

Susan A. Fitzell

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It’s well known that people on the autistic spectrum may need special considerations and allowances in the workplace. Although this can seem time-consuming and too complicated, considerable research has shown that the benefits can far outweigh the cost.[1]

Increasingly, workplaces are seeing the benefit of hiring and maintaining autistic employees. These benefits include the employee’s ability to maintain sustained concentration, superior memory, strong attention to detail, high integrity, faster problem-solving, and so much more.

So, what can your organization do to get prepared to harness these advantages and get ahead of your competitors? This starter guide will give you some of the basics to get prepared from team education, interviews, and more:

Educate Staff and Human Resources (HR)

Educating your staff and HR team may be the most important step, whether you aim to hire autistic employees or generally educate yourself on ASD-related issues and benefits.

Educating yourself on some of the more general characteristics of people with ASD can help you understand your employees and ensure the correct allowances can be made so other team members can be aware and more accepting of some of the ‘quirks’ of ASD.

Many autistic people have some stimming behavior –they may flap hands when agitated, play with their hair, repeat your words back to you, and many others. Other autistic people can be very blunt in their interactions with others (this is covered more below). These are all common characteristics of ASD and should be considered a normal part of their daily life and not seen by the team as ‘strange’ or ‘concerning.’

Getting your team educated by one of the local autism organizations or groups in your area can be a great way to learn. These groups help us to gain insights into providing a psychologically safe environment, hear firsthand from autistic employees and inform your HR policymaking. Not only will this ensure you have the basics, but it can also put you in touch with people with ASD that may be…

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Susan A. Fitzell

I write, speak, and coach to foster understanding of neurodiversity in organizations. Top Neurodiversity Writer https://lnk.bio/susanfitzell