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The business case for the role ...

by Greg Hayes


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The business case for the role of diverse executive teams in improving organisational performance is as strong as ever - McKinsey’s longstanding work on this is illuminating. More organisations are broadening their view of diversity and we are beginning to see neurodiversity becoming a prominent aspect of clients’ inclusion efforts. Shockingly, this is not universally the case; a recent survey by the Institute for Leadership and Management found 50% of employers would not hire someone with a neurodivergent condition.

One in seven in the UK is estimated to have a neurodiverse condition such as ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, or Tourette syndrome. Some are expecting this statistic to jump significantly when the 2021 Census information is released in the coming months. What can our sector do to reduce barriers and successfully hire neurodiverse people who may bring different perspectives?

A good place to start is job descriptions, one of the first stages of a hiring process which many organisations are getting wrong. Too many job descriptions have evolved through amendments over the years to become almost entirely irrelevant. Many neurodiverse people need clarity around what is being asked of them, in order to feel comfortable to apply. They are receptive to seeing actionable tasks and the genuine skills required to succeed. Some local government clients have done fantastic work on achieving clarity around this, but others would benefit from rejuvenating tired, lengthy descriptions and revaluating what the role means in this ever-changing landscape. What skills are needed to do the job well? Must somebody have all those skills, or just some? If we can get that right, we will improve the chances of hiring people who think and act differently, as they will be able to see where their skills fit the job and the organisation. Hiring those who think and act differently is a real asset to organisations in dealing with the challenges ahead that we face as a society.

Greg Hayes is a Director at Tile Hill

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