Neurodiversity Hiring: Important Ideas for More Inclusive Organizations

Hosted by

Steve Boese

Co-Founder of H3 HR Advisors and Program Chair, HR Technology Conference

Trish Steed

CEO and Principal Analyst, H3 HR Advisors

About this episode

Guests: Tracy Powell-Rudy, Vice President of Corporate Engagement at Integrate Autism Advisors; Dr. Colin Willis, Senior IO Psychology Consultant at HireVue

Sponsored by: HireVue

This week, we spoke with Tracy Powell-Rudy and Dr. Colin Willis about how to expand your organization’s hiring capabilities in a neurodiverse world.

– How the social process of recruiting can be updated to include neurodiverse candidates

– Ways our hiring process has changed through the pandemic

– Importance of early intervention for autistic individuals

– Gamification of assessments and their use in the hiring process


Learn more about hiring in a neurodiverse world here

What is the science behind HireVue? Click here

Thank you Tracy and Colin, for joining the show today!  Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour wherever you get your podcasts.

Transcription follows:

Announcer 0:07
Welcome to At Work in America sponsored by Paychex. We welcome a wide and exceptionally impressive array of guests, business leaders, HR leaders, academics, practitioners, consultants and authors to talk about the most timely, relevant and challenging issues that are influencing the workplace today. At Work in America digs in behind the headlines and trends to the stories of real people making a difference in the world of work. And now here are your hosts, Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane steed,

Steve 0:40
Hi everyone, we have a great show today. Trish, how are you?

Trish 0:44
I’m good, how are you?

Steve 0:46
I am great. I am super excited about today’s show. Trish, we are going to be talking about one of our favorite subjects that we’ve covered a few times here on the podcast, which is hiring in the neurodiverse or neurodivergent kind of talent pool and the importance of hiring neurodiverse candidates and setting a level playing field etc. It’s a great topic, and I can’t wait to dig into it.

Trish 1:08
Yeah, me too. I know, we’ve had so many shows lately, just on the challenges people are having, you know, sort of as the pandemic rolls on with great resignation, and tapping into untapped talent pools, right. That’s something everyone is wanting to do and may not know how to do so hopefully, we’ll give some good suggestions and clear that up a little bit today.

Steve 1:30
So let’s get into it. We have two guests today. Our first guest is Tracy Powell-Rudy, she is at Integrate Autism Employment Advisors, Vice President of Corporate Engagement, and contributing author for their new book “The Neurodivergent Candidate Recruiting Autistic Professionals”. She’s also co-author of the recently published journal of intelligence article examining the use of game based assessments for hiring autistic jobseekers. Tracy, thanks so much for joining us.

Tracy Powell-Rudy 1:55
Thank you.

Steve 1:56
We also have today Dr. Colin Willis. He is a senior IO psychology consultant at HireVue. In addition to developing, validating and implementing selection assessments for customers, Colin also researches ways of improving pre-hire assessment, predictability, and reducing bias and adverse impact and selection decisions. His current research interests focus on the intersection between neurodiversity emerging HR technologies, and hiring fairness. Colin, how are you?

Dr. Colin Willis 2:22
Good, how are you? Thanks for having me. I’m great.

Steve 2:24
Or should I? Should it be Dr. Collin? If I were you, I’d make everybody call me Doctor like all the time.

Trish 2:32
Even my family, right.

Dr. Colin Willis 2:34
And the only time that ever came up was on wedding invitations.

Steve 2:39
Yeah, that’s impressive. Except you don’t want to be that person, though. Like on an aircraft or a cruise ship or something. And they call it for a doctor in a crisis. And they’re looking at you like, Wait, you’re a doctor? Like no, no, no. Not that kind. Yeah. Well, great. Thanks, guys, for joining us. This is a super topic, one that we’re passionate about. And we’re so glad that that you could join us today, I think I want to start first off with kind of some of the story like what kind of maybe I’ll throw to you first, Tracy, what kind of brought you and Integrate Autism, to the stuff you’re doing with employers and then subsequently with HireVue, kind of what’s what’s some of the background that you could share.

Tracy Powell-Rudy 3:18
So a few years ago, we started working with a global financial services company. And our process when we start autism hiring programs is to start with an assessment. And, and that’s right before we start to train and educate the organization, and then we start to source candidates. And so, as we finished our assessment, literally at the end of that session, the person who was responsible for the program asked us if there was a way we could present this slate of candidates for them in about two weeks time and anyone who works in the recruiting fullness that’s really, really fast. And they explained to us that they were installing this new system called HireVue. And they were concerned that this system might weed out autistic candidates. So after that meeting, we took a look at the HireVue website. And I reached out to them HireVue CEO, Kevin Parker, and said that that was an issue that had been raised in our assessment with a mutual client. And it was does HireVue create any challenges or impediments to success for neurodiverse individuals, specifically around those individuals whose tone word choice and facial movements during interviews might be or during a video interview might be quite different than their normal typical pir. And Kevin replied literally within a day and said we’d love to learn more about how we might collaborate. And since then, we’ve been working with HireVue on a number of related initiatives in this space, with the kind of a shared objective of turning the unemployment and underemployment numbers upside down for autistic individuals.

Trish 5:02
Yeah, thank you for sharing that the thing that strikes me as you were speaking about the impetus is really that sounds like these aren’t things that are necessarily conscious choices that employers are making or some sort of, you know, thing that they’re, they’re doing on purpose, right. So not, yeah, not thinking about how tone or or word choice or visual effect might impede an interview. Right? But it’s still something so important that they really need to be thinking about this, especially in this market, right?

Tracy Powell-Rudy 5:36
I think and I would like call and talk to the fact that actually HireVue does not measure things like tone and facial effect. And it’s not not a feature in the system at this time. But if you look at the typical recruiting process, it’s really very much a social process. And, you know, it’s, it’s involving things like impression management and self monitoring behaviors that that Colin talks to in the study that we put out there as well. So the data actually shows that interviewers will make a decision about whether or not there will be a candidate for it in the first 90 seconds of the conversation. 65% of those individuals will say that they will rule somebody out if they don’t make eye contact. And then I believe it’s 40% said that they felt a lack of smile is a reason not to hire a candidate. So you know, the other thing that we also are aware of is and I’m generalizing here, but you know, our candidates, autistic candidates can be singularly focused on their academic success while in college, so they’re not necessarily having internships and they’re not having neurotypical resumes presenting to their, to the interviewers. So when you think about all these factors, you can kind of understand why maybe a typical autistic college graduate might not be able to get through these unintentional barriers that are being created in our selection process.

Dr. Colin Willis 7:04
Yeah, I think that’s the, to me, that was really the thing that stood out reading the literature was just how social the typical selection processes are taking a step back, right from HireVue. And from technology aided selection tools, just sitting down with someone and interviewing with them is a game of, you know, smiley, nodding, getting along, anticipating what they’re gonna say, reading between the lines.

Steve 7:32
This is this weird dance of this interpersonal, I’m quoting for folks who are just listening to this, this interpersonal connection and social skills, right. And I feel like we’ve all been kind of, traditionally, we wanted to evaluate those things. And we we rate them kind of highly right in a selection process. Like, if you want to oversimplify the classic Oh, I could see myself, you know, going out for a drink after work with this person, right? Like that, that level of connection, which is weird. I mean, as we think about it now.

Dr. Colin Willis 8:05
Yeah, absolutely. And that’s the, you know, an issue that HireVue, I think, has always tried to change the story about a little bit, right. It’s we’ve gotten so used to this idea of sitting down with someone having that conversation and that interview, and that the kind of the de facto standard for what good selection practice looks like. But as you said, there’s so much kind of bias that kind of creeps into that, right? It’s like, do I like this person? Did they go to the same school I went to? Do I want to have a drink with them. And those things aren’t job related, right? They’re not gonna actually predict whether or not you do a good job at that company. And that’s where it kind of these kind of steps come into play is what can we take out of the hiring process that’s biased and not job related, and keep all the things that are still good about it?

Trish 8:46
Yeah. Colin, do you think that being in a pandemic now where we’re not doing the typical hiring process anyway? And not only that we’re we’re working on video, do you think now that the rest of us have been thrown into a very uncomfortable maybe situation where it’s very difficult, even even as we’re recording this today? Right, it’s, it’s difficult to convey eye contact sometimes with the camera, you know, versus being in person. Do you think that the rest of us now being put in situations where we are not maybe communicating in that typical, comfortable way? Will that help people when we all do kind of start going back to the workplace, do you think or is that hard to tell at this point?

Dr. Colin Willis 9:29
Yeah, I think it’s kind of open for debate, I would say that it definitely helps in the sense that, you know, even 2019, before the pandemic, the idea of talking to a camera and video interviewing, just recording your answers was really strange, right? You know, there wasn’t an interview on the other side for a lot of our assessments. And that’s, I think, way more normalized. Now. It makes sense, right? Like, I don’t want to go into the office, I don’t want to risk getting sick. I don’t want to go meet someone in person. So this is a totally acceptable way to interview now. And I think just The increased reliance now on virtual technologies, right, using Slack or teams, zoom, I think just opens up the idea of, you know, communication can take many forms and we don’t need all the kind of, you know, soft interpersonal, you know, you know, I’m gonna kind of smile, you nod or know that to get my job done.

Tracy Powell-Rudy 10:19
They’re gonna few benefits from our perspective for for autistic employment relative to COVID. A lot of the companies now are have virtual employees. And for some autistic individuals, that has been a real boon. The other aspect is, for individuals who are autistic anxiety can be a co occurring experience. And I think as a result of COVID, we have a population that really understands what it feels like to be anxious now, you know, neurotypical or active autistic alike, understand anxiety and have lived it. So there’s, you know, more understanding and compassion around an individual who discloses that there may be prone to experiencing more anxiety as well. And we have actually seen an uptick in activity in our recruiting space over the last year. You know, nothing compares to nothing like what we saw before. And I should just kind of qualify that with, you know, the incidence rate for autism is 144 individuals that are diagnosed, and that’s eight year olds who are being diagnosed as autistic. The Journal of Pediatrics actually says that numbers really more one in 40. And if you and I are in the state of New Jersey, they report that the numbers one in 34. And again, that’s eight year, eight year olds for being diagnosed. Of those individuals, we know that at least a third about 35% Go on to some form of post secondary education, college and university. And for those individuals who graduate, the unemployment or underemployment rate is somewhere between 75 and 85%.

Tracy Powell-Rudy 12:06
So just to kind of give you that picture of what we’re talking about in terms of looking at an inclusive recruiting process that is not necessarily totally based on your social performance and your interpersonal skills. And that provides for a supportive environment, and a company that’s inclusive, where you can disclose as well. Right? You know, without those things in place, it’s been, obviously very difficult for our talent pool to find inclusive competitive employment. And that’s what’s changing. And that’s what our work with, with HireVue has been all about. And by the way, higher views walking the walk and talking the talk, they, as part of our work with them, began an autism hiring program where they brought an individual on board versus as a intern, and then ultimately, we were so pleased with her performance that they can bring to her to full time hire. And we are engaging with them now to discuss another number of hires as well, to bring on board. So there they’re living and breathing, as well.

Dr. Colin Willis 13:10
I just like to add, it’s sad, right, she has actually left HireVue, but has gone on to do even bigger and better things. And I think because of that, you know, she’s been able to kind of go and find really where passion is and that she can succeed at work and sad to lose her but at the same time, so great that she is kind of gotten that professional confidence to go on and do the next thing.

Trish 13:32
Yeah, that’s great. Thank you. First of all, just there are so many things. I’m like writing notes frantically as you’re both talking. And I’m glad that we have this time with you. Because I know Steve probably is doing the same thing over there. So I’ll make mine sort of quick. And then let Steve chime in. But, Tracy, you mentioned about diagnosis, one in 44. And that’s obviously a lot more diagnosis than in the past. My question is, do you think that will two things? Why do you think there are more diagnosis now than ever before? Right, maybe when we were all younger? And the second follow up to that is because of the early diagnosis? Are you finding that school systems, whether that be, you know, grade school, high school, or even you mentioned, you know, college students? Is that going to ultimately help those of us who are already in the workplace, in working and communicating with people who might be on the autism spectrum.

Tracy Powell-Rudy 14:32
So as I answer that question, I’ll give you a when we’re working with companies, we talk about interview questions, and we talk about interviewing strategies and techniques that are autism friendly. And your question is an example of a nesting question. So it’s a question in a question in a question.

Tracy Powell-Rudy 14:55
That requires a inability to use have a really strong working memory. And when you’re looking at some of the things that can impact an autistic person’s performance, one of the things that they can struggle with is something called executive function, executive functioning skills. And that’s working memory. So I say that because I’m late diagnosed as autistic. And one of the things that I discovered is that my working memory is not great. So as I’m formulating and trying to hold on to the question, I’m like, Okay, well, I’m going to start with the last part of the question, and then go to the first part of the question. And now that I’ve talked about this whole other issue, it’s going to be hard for me to grab back to the first part. So I’m sharing that with you is one of the things that we talk about in our training, when we work with companies, right? Are these are some of the challenges and meeting an autistic person so they can bring their whole self to work? And answer that question and informed appropriate manners is one of the things that we talked about in the training.

Tracy Powell-Rudy 15:52
So with that, during my working memory, and normally what I would do is write down to make some notes to help compensatory strategy, right. But I don’t have a because I’m not a medical practitioner scientist, I don’t feel that I have a really great answer for why the incidence reviews what it is, there’s probably a number of factors that contribute to that, including the fact that we are much more focused on in looking at early intervention and diagnosing at an earlier age. And there’s actually a lot of research now that’s coming out there about using MRI techniques and the like to look at the different ways that different brains function and identifying those individuals early on. What we do know is that early intervention has been really successful. And that’s in the data that I mentioned earlier, in terms of that we have a good 35% of autistic individuals that are going on to college and graduating from these institutions of higher learning, including, you know, alrighty and MIT and Caltech, and UCLA and all over all over the country.

Steve 17:04
All righty, tigers. I spent some time there. Tracy, how about that?

Tracy Powell-Rudy 17:07
I didn’t know that. But glad I mentioned that. So, you know, early diagnosis and more effective diagnosis, neuro psych evaluations that are available. And I think that’s probably a tribute, the credit to some of the our school districts and focus in awareness, you know, for pediatricians as well. To now see it now I’m gonna pay them second part of the question was going make sure I’m answering this.

Trish 17:39
The second part, then is now that we have people who are being maybe diagnosed or identified earlier, do you think that that will help employers ultimately, because there may be getting different treat, I don’t use the word treatment, that’s probably not the right word. So apologies if it’s not developing better support, support and coping during their education to prepare them to be more accepted in the workplace.

Tracy Powell-Rudy 18:08
You know, I think it’s just like when you’re recruiting, it’s all about fit and kind of matchmaking. It’s the same thing here. Our focus, we’re an employer focused organization, integrate is, so when we work with companies, it’s all about creating an autism friendly organization. And, you know, as I mentioned earlier, you know, we start with assessment, which is, how it is a company. What are their recruiting practices and processes, typically? And are those processes inadvertently screening out artistic talent, Marathon super day interviews, not necessarily conducive to an artistic employee success. Interview questions that might inadvertently screen out artistic talent, job descriptions that are written in such a way that if you’re really moral, honest, black and white, literal, concrete thinker, might have you self select, right and not even apply, which, by the way, I think it was Google that had cited the fact that if you had a job description, and you were a woman that you met seven out of 10 of the requirements listed, you would not apply their male counterparts, three out of 10. Right? So you’re just talking about a difference in for whatever reason, that’s, you know, a gender difference. But an autistic individual might read that job description and say, Well, I only have nine out of 10 of what they’re asking for. And those are 10 requirements.

Tracy Powell-Rudy 19:41
So I’m not even going to apply because why would they want me to apply it? I don’t have all 10 out of 10 that they listed as requirements. So that’s, we know we when we work with companies, we bring that autistic lens to their entire process, and then we look at how we might subtly tweak that process to make it more inclusive for those individuals. And so creating an inclusive environment and then creating a brand that can be recognized as being inclusive is going to attract this talent that would feel comfortable disclosing would feel comfortable sharing, would feel that they were able to put their their best self forward in an interview. And, you know, so that that’s our goal. And we hope to not be here in 10 years, you know, our mission is to help companies identify, recruit and retain autistic talent. With the Gobi net, once you are autism friendly, and you know how to do these processes and practices. All the way through onboarding the individual, that you won’t meet us anymore. So that’s our story.

Steve 20:54
It won’t be a recruiting and hiring neurodiverse friendly recruiting won’t be a thing anymore. It’ll just be recruiting. Right? That’s the goal, right? That’s the endpoint that you hope to reach? I think that’s great. You mentioned assessments and con, I didn’t want to go right to you the X to talk a little bit about that. Because right, we know so often in just just normal recruiting, right, some type of a an assessment or background check or quiz, whatever you want to call it, is the literally the front gate to the hiring process. So I’d love maybe com for you to share a little bit about about that, just and then what you guys have done and what some of the research showed around some of the game based assessments that that candidates have to often interact with as they begin the recruiting process.

Dr. Colin Willis 21:43
Yeah, absolutely. And I just want to go to the kind of start that we’re gonna go back, actually, to Trish’s question around the incidence rate of autism. And, you know, talking about how that’s changed over time. And Tracy has pointed out, you know, a lot of is about improved detection, right, you know, a lot of different factors that seem to boil down to, we’re just finding more people with autism than we did before. You know, the base rate, in other words, in my mind hasn’t necessarily changed. Which means if you think about today, right, there’s not really a wave of, you know, autistic candidates coming into the workforce in the next 10 plus years. They’re already here, we just don’t know that they’re here. And that I think, has really big implications for how organizations, you know, think about their talent pools today, because we talk about people with autism diagnoses, right in terms of placement programs, in terms of conducting research on them. But there’s a huge pool of undiagnosed people with autism, who are struggling to get employment, just the same as people with diagnoses are, but they don’t understand why. And traditional recruiting practices kind of put a barrier up there. And there’s kind of this and no one knows why. But there’s this disconnect, and kind of the, the field there.

Dr. Colin Willis 22:59
And to Tracy’s point, I think, you know, as we get better about recruiting practices, that starts to go away as well, too, right? If recruiting practices improve in a way that become autism friendly, people who don’t have diagnoses today, suddenly start to find opportunities that they didn’t have before. And I think that’s really where assessments can come into play. Because if our assessments are fair at the start of the recruiting process, and they’re, you know, socially equitable for people who are neurotypical or who are autistic, then that different starts to kind of melt away. And so what we were looking at, really kind of one of the first projects that our partnership between ourselves HireVue integrate, and then Colorado State University, we brought in Dr. Josh Prasad and his lab to help us with the research and add that academic lens, we wanted to see whether a game based assessment would essentially be a fair way of making an early decision about a candidate whether it moves them forward or not. assessments in general, as you said, Steve, are essentially ways of determining whether a candidate is a good fit for a job. And that can take many different forms from a knowledge test, right? Think about like, oh, do I need to know X, Y, or Z? You know, do I need to have certain data skills, whatever, it could be personality test, it could be a cognitive ability test. There’s all sorts of different ways you can even be, can you lift 50 pounds, right? There’s all sorts of different ways that can or companies can put kind of, you know, guidelines around who do they kind of restrict the funnel down to get kind of top candidates. Higher view has taken the what we call a cognitive ability test, which is actually one of the most robust predictors of job performance in the scientific literature, essentially, you know, are you do you possess the cognitive abilities like strucid, working memory, executive function, pattern recognition, verbal reasoning, you know, essentially, the more you have those typically the better you are going to be at a job, whatever that job is. In the past, those types of tests have been perfect. by people they’ve been they’ve cultural biases, they’re long, they’re not very candidate friendly. They’re very anxiety provoking, even for people who are neurotypical.

Dr. Colin Willis 25:12
And we thought, well, what can we take something else that’s emerging in the literature, gamification, and apply that to cognitive ability. Gamification is really the idea of taking things about games that we play video games, that make them you know, if we’ve ever played anything on our phone, or on a council, you’re really engaging, right, you really want to play them, taking some of those features and applying them to tests. So we took things like leveling up, badges, colors, sounds, and redesigned kind of the old school cognitive ability game into or test into a game to make it the same thing, but do in a way that is quicker, seamless, is a little bit more candidate friendly. And we have a whole suite of these games, that’s what we use to essentially see whether or not artistic candidates perform the same or different than the general population on them. So that’s the research we did and that’s the paper that we published. And we found that there was really no difference between the two groups. And what we actually did two different game packages. One package, autistic candidate scored slightly higher, but not you know, significantly higher in the state, the other game package slightly lower, but again, not significant lowers are really the two groups are almost identical to one another and their performance on these games, which is really encouraging evidence that there are ways out there of kind of finding and selecting talent, regardless of autism status, and getting those people into organizations where they would they will succeed.

Tracy Powell-Rudy 26:43
I think what that does, Steve is that overcomes an objection that might be consciously or unconsciously formulated by an interviewer. What we’ve found with some of our clients is that we will have, we use HireVue, or we’ll have some other skills based assessment, if it’s a, you know, technology position, or a finance and accounting position, where we have our individuals who go through our own vetting process before we present them to our clients as as Work Ready candidates, we will have them do that skills assessment, and present that result to the interviewer or the recruiter, before we present the candidate. So that they are now looking at it and and are well disposed to that individual, regardless of how they might present maybe they don’t make eye contact, or they speak with a more kind of vocal prosody, like a professor, if that’s the case, and I you know, I’m stereotyping. But that’s, you know, I think that the success is in overcoming an objection before it’s articulated, either verbally or in just in someone’s own home mind. So anything we can do to facilitate that, which goes back to training and education, which is a one of our four pillars in terms of our approach, which is really critical, you know, level setting expectation, and, and creating an environment where an individual a manager knows what, what are hidden curriculum issues, what’s what’s theory of mind, you know, how can I be an effective manager for somebody who is more literal? So just, you know, creating that awareness, which, you know, as we all know, it’s I think it’s changing attitudes will lead to change behavior, which ultimately will hopefully lead to opportunities for these individuals. And we’ve got a huge untapped talent pool of these college graduates who are can be really contributing individuals in organizations and be successful as long as the organization is, is autism friendly, and creates that environment for them to be successful.

Trish 28:49
Tracy, have you found that the organization’s you’re working with once they go through some amount of education are not just receptive to change, but are actually then doing even more than what they might have anticipated? Because it’s going so well? Are you seeing that?

Tracy Powell-Rudy 29:09
Yeah, I think where we see the greatest success is typically where we have an executive champion in an organization, somebody who’s willing to sponsor and put that focus on, on what we’re doing. And that then ties in with their di organization or their HR and talent acquisition organization. So that that’s where we see the the quickest opportunity. What we see happen time and time again, is as we do our training and education, which is that critical part of what we do. We have individuals disclose, as soon as the company does outreach to their employees and saying, Hey, we’re engaging with integrate and we’re going to start this autism hiring program or participate in some way shape. perform, they will have individuals who will step up and say, I’ve been diagnosed or I have a family member who has been diagnosed. And we know from the work of some of the leaders in this space like, you know, JPMorgan Chase, SAP, Microsoft, that, where you see an increase in employee engagement, I think it’s for every 1% increase in employee engagement, you see a $50 million revenue uptick, as well. So you can talk about some, you know, quantifiable benefits as well across the organization. Plus managers just become more effective and thoughtful and strategic managers as they become busy. Think about what they say, you know, because we don’t necessarily mean what we say and say what we mean. And so that’s, you know, critical to success as well. But I think that executive sponsorship is, is key where we’ve seen success and getting the program off the ground. Once you have individuals in the company who are comfortable disclosing and we’ve started that process, we don’t see much in the way of objections. Once Once the process is started. I can’t think of any company where it’s starting to say, Well, no, this is not okay, we’re not going to do this.

Steve 31:13
There’ll be a really tough kind of stance to take, I would think for most organizations like No, I’m not for this, right. This doesn’t make sense.

Tracy Powell-Rudy 31:19
Right. Where you two problems is if you volunteer for somebody, to be engaged in this, and instead of sitting somebody volunteer to be engaged, as you get started, that’s where we’ve seen some, some missteps. And then we have some companies who have come to us and said, just send me resumes. I know what I’m doing. I don’t need the education and training. And we’ve done that once. And it does not work. You know, we we know what the understanding the concepts and setting expectations and creating an environment for success is, is really, really critical.

Steve 31:56
It’s this is you know, you guys wouldn’t have heard this Tracy are calling. But Trish and I have just recorded a different show. Recent show, I think it’ll be out now. But the time people are listening to this show, so I think I’ll I can reference it to the listeners. But it was about a different untapped talent pool that we were talking to somebody about re engaging back into the world of work. And it was formerly incarcerated individuals, right. And we talked with a gentleman who has written an entire book about about that subject and implemented that type of programming in organizations. And what strikes me is some of the prerequisites, Tracy in the best practices that you’ve discussed around appealing and attracting and being more inclusive of neurodiverse candidates, were some of the exact same things this guy talked about when he talked about that talent pool, right? executive sponsorship, education and training, support commitment. He talked a little bit about measurement as well. And I imagine that’s probably a product of successful programs here too. But churches, I mean, it was almost the same kinds of things. Right? That’s very, very curious to me.

Trish 32:58
Well, I think it’s because you were really meeting to address and not the specific talent pool, it’s more your internal reaction. And interaction with people is the is the problem. Right? So it’s, it goes back to what Tracy was talking about with education. And with Kyle and talking about, you know, doing research and where the gaming shows there isn’t really a difference between the people you’re trying to recruit, necessarily, it’s internally and how you respond to them setting up a more maybe caring, empathetic, compassionate workplace, where you aren’t just trying to find someone who you can imagine yourself going to get a drink with after work. Right. So no, I guess the real work

Steve 33:43
I’m not going to get a drink with anybody after work. I’m gonna go home. Yeah, very nice.

Trish 33:47
No, but I think I think you know, we’ve talked about that in other episodes as well. I do think it’s about looking at ourselves as whether it’s being a colleague or a leader to anyone, and are we doing all we can to be inclusive? Are we helping the people we work with feel like we belong together? Right. And it’s, it’s organizations where you don’t see that, that they aren’t connecting maybe, to, you know, non neurotypical talent pools, or they’re not connecting to people who were formerly incarcerated. So I think that’s, I don’t know, I guess what, what I’m kind of taking away especially Tracy, from what you just talked about is that the ownership really does need to be on the organizational leaders and buying into we aren’t doing it well necessarily, but we can do better. Right, and you’re going to potentially have really great results with all of your employees. If you take some of these steps.

Steve 34:47
Yeah, absolutely. I think the last thing for me guys is maybe are their future plans. I know this research has just been published Colin and Tracy, are you doing additional research? Are you looking at other aspects maybe of the recruiting process that that you can dive into to study, college anything coming up that we can afford to?

Dr. Colin Willis 35:06
I think there’s a few different things we’re looking at right now. And really, I would kind of put it all under the umbrella of what are things that we can change about the recruiting process versus change about autistic talent? If you look at the literature in the past, even within up to like, you know, the last couple years, almost every research article is about what can you know, someone who’s autistic do to prove their job prospects? Can they go through training? Can they learn how to interview better, you know, how, what can they do to send you to adapt to change themselves to fit into the kind of typical mold of today’s recruiting world? And really, what I think we want to integrate karlstejn HireVue is really flip that script, right? What can what can we do as HireVue, as a provider of recruiting technologies, as you know, leaders in the area of thinking about recruiting in general, to say, what can we change about that world to make it just a fairer and more inclusive place? And that first step, of course, with the games paper, we’re looking at video interviewing to see to what extent do artists can’t perform similarly or different to the general population on video interviews? And then are there any sort of accommodations and increasingly virtual selection practices that would help equalize age differences, right, more time to prepare better explanations of the process that they’re about to go through? Anything else that might see equalize the playing field? Right, not a artistic, specific commendation, but rather, what can we change about the whole process that makes things fairer, more equitable for everybody?

Steve 36:38
Yeah, I love it. Tracy, I’ll give you the last word just for folks. We have a lot of people who are HR people, and hiring people, employers, etc. Listen to this show. To find learn more about your organization have perhaps how to get involved, what would you recommend?

Tracy Powell-Rudy 36:54
I am happy to take anyone’s inquiries, happy for anyone to get in touch with us at Integrate, no, we bet our websites and obviously, you’ll be including our contact information as well. But, you know, we are eager to work with any company who wants to look at how to tap into this untapped workforce, how to be more inclusive, and create an environment where all of their employees can bring their whole selves to work and be more more successful. We work with with the the coolest companies. And this exceptional talent and working with collaborating with with HireVue has been something that has been just incredibly rewarding and fun. And talk about fit, you know, it is all about fit. And you want to work in a company where you can make the contribution and make an impact. And that doesn’t mean that that’s every company, right? So we understand that. But, you know, the good news is that more and more companies are knocking on our door to do this work and get started along this path. And so if we’re going to continue to have more individuals who are diagnosed, the good news is that we’re going to have more more more places for them to ultimately work to be independent and contributing members of society. So I think a good news story.

Steve 38:18
That’s an absolutely great stuff. Trish, I love this topic. I know you do too. And I think we need to keep on it for sure. Because it’s it’s an important one. And I’m glad that it’s being paid, which it’s being paid more attention. Did I say that right? I don’t know. I tried to say it correctly.

Trish 38:36
Now, I think you’re right. I would say to you, if you’re listening to this episode, definitely make sure you’re connecting with both Colin and Tracy in their organizations, because you might have a personal connection to someone who is on the autism spectrum, you might be autistic yourself. So if your organization doesn’t feel like it’s inclusive to anyone who is non neurotypical, take that on yourself, right? Go ask the questions. You don’t have to be the CEO. You don’t have to be someone in senior leadership. So that’s a good place to start if you really want to make a difference is do the outreach on your own and talk to your HR department and, and your leaders and make it happen in your organization.

Steve 39:21
All right, great stuff. Well, thanks again to Tracy Powell-Rudy and Dr. Colin Willis. I want to make sure I get that out there. Dr. Colin Willis, I’m gonna just use gonna Dr. Collins, I’ll do my world. I’m gonna call you doctor every time I see you. Great, great stuff. We’ll put links to some of these resources in the show notes of course. And remember, you can get all the archives and even go back to some of the archives on shows we’ve done about this with Tim from the Frist Center down at Vanderbilt. We did a show with him a couple about a year and a half two years ago. Now we touched on some of these topics our Special Olympic shows, Trish we did last year one and one we did with the actual Special Olympians. It is one of my favorite shows of 2021. I’d encourage folks to find that as well. And you can find all those shows, maybe we’ll do that we’ll set up a special page for all these shows up in one place. And that’s all at age are happier than that. Okay. For our guests, for Trish McFarlane, my name’s Steve Boese, thank you so much for listening to the show. And we will see you next time and bye for now.

Transcribed by

Leave a Comment

Subscribe today

Pick your favorite way to listen to the HR Happy Hour Media Network

Talk to us

If you want to know more about any aspect of HR Happy Hour Media Network, or if you want to find out more about a show topic, then get in touch.