Microsoft, Google, Dell and a handful of other tech companies are helping to roll out a career portal for neurodivergent job seekers.
The Neurodiversity @ Work Employer Roundtable and Disability:IN introduced the Neurodiversity Career Connector, a platform for neurodivergent job candidates to find employers, the organizations announced today. Almost 50 companies that are part of the Roundtable, including Ford and SAP, are contributing to the portal.
Microsoft Accessibility piloted the Neurodiversity Career Connector in February, but the portal connects candidates with jobs from several employers, not just Microsoft. A search for a data scientist position on Microsoft's platform shows openings from Google, IBM and others.
"Neurodivergent candidates are an untapped talent pool that can help close record high job openings," the organizations wrote in a release, citing a nearly 40% unemployment rate for neurodivergent adults. "The NDCC is bridging this disability talent gap with a curated platform of current jobs from only employers with a track record of hiring and supporting neurodivergent individuals."
Organizations hoping to post jobs on the career connector must be part of the Roundtable, have a neurodiversity hiring program that’s been active for at least one year and show public support for neurodivergent talent. In addition to posting job opportunities on the career portal, members of the Roundtable can join monthly employer meetings and participate in working sessions about topics like finding talent and supporting workers.
Neurodiverse hiring programs have gone through lots of change as companies like Microsoft develop more mainstream practices, although many programs are only in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it harder for companies to recruit neurodiverse candidates, but remote work itself has brought some upsides.