Hiring is Changing

Microsoft has become the latest employer to specifically target autistic recruits.

The software giant is working with a specialist hirer in the US to bring a greater number of autistic employees into the organisation; something it believes is a win-win situation.

“People with autism brings strengths that we need at Microsoft,” says May Ellen Smith, Corporate VP Worldwide Operations, whose 19 year old son is autistic.

“Some have an amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in maths or code. It’s a talent pool we want to continue to bring to Microsoft.”

Smith says existing autistic employees have an attrition level of just 1%. Only 15% of adults with autism in the UK are in full-time employment, but the BBC, the NHS and Lockheed Martin are among organisations that have recently worked with autism recruiter Specialisterne to source candidates.

Software firm SA has a target for 1% of its workforce to comprise of autistic staff within 5 years.


People Management (2015) Hiring is Changing. People Management. May 2015, pp.7.


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