The case for employing autistic people

Why hire autistic staff?

A 2019 report revealed that 68% of UK employers struggle to find the right workers. Meanwhile, rough estimates show that 16% of autistic adults are currently in full time, paid employment. Although this number is a vast underestimate at best, it is still clear that the majority of autistic people are not a part of the workforce. There is a clear gap here but companies are increasingly recognising that committing to working towards a more diverse and inclusive workplace is critical to success. Tapping into the talent pool of neurodivergent people is one of the ways to start. By increasing diversity and inclusion, a company will not only attract valuable employees, but also expand its customer base and enhance the company’s reputation. Employing autistic people will add value to and benefit your workplace whilst improving your management skills.

Autistic members of staff are a brilliant thing to have, when enabled

Ann Memmott – Autism Mythbusting

Autistic employees are often associated with a variety of characteristic skills such as being honest, reliable, punctual and highly productive. Aside from those noticeable benefits, several others are frequently identified by employers and managers with autistic people on their teams:

  • Autistic people often show high levels of loyalty
    • Autistic people recognise the struggle of finding meaningful activity/employment and will therefore tend to stay with one company for much longer. This can help increase overall morale in the company and motivate all employees to value their jobs
  • Autistic people may look at things differently
    • In doing so they often have excellent attention to detail and memory which help them be accurate and notice errors that may have otherwise been overlooked
  • Logical thinking patterns and creative thinking skills help autistic people find innovative ways of solving problems
    • Autistic people will often accept alternative solutions and work out how to solve a problem in ways others may never have thought of. The willingness to experiment and adapt can motivate other employers as well and strengthen teamwork across the company.

Autistic people are present in every industry in every role type – no two people are alike and every individual has their own strengths, skills and needs