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Insights into Neurodiversity in the Workplace

As we celebrate Autism Awareness Month, our Neurodiversity Research Program continues to pursue evidence-based best practices for assessing neurodiverse talent. In this blog, we share insights from our latest Neurodiversity Research Report.

What is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is an umbrella term which refers to natural variations in the way people think and process information. It is estimated that approximately 15-20% of the global population is neurodivergent.

In recent years, organizations have shown a growing interest in inclusion efforts aimed at increasing disability employment. However, the unemployment rate for neurodivergent adults is three times the rate of those with other disabilities, and eight times the rate for those who are non-disabled.

Key Findings from Neurodiversity Research

The 2023 Neurodiversity Research Report provides an update on our progress since the publication of our Assessing Neurodiverse Talent white paper, which analyzed the performance and reactions of over half a million candidates. The research focused on understanding the neurodivergent experiences in 3 key areas: Performance and Reactions to Different Test Types, Disclosure Decisions and Accommodation Considerations.

Here are a few key findings:

  1. The research highlights that cognitive ability assessments are a promising option. Whether the assessment is given in a traditional or interactive format, cognitive ability assessments offer an opportunity for neurodivergent candidates to demonstrate their skills and abilities
  2. Our findings emphasize the significance of inclusive language and accommodations for fostering a supportive assessment environment.
  3. Our research aligns with the neurodiversity movement, emphasizing diverse cognitive perspectives and advocating for universal design principles in assessment content and technology.
  4. Continued data collection across neurotypes underscores our commitment to inclusivity, driving ongoing refinement of our platform and products to better serve diverse candidates.


Continuing to Advance DEI Initiatives with Inclusive Assessment

SHL is proud of our commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging & Accessibility. As leaders in this space, SHL aims to bridge the divide between research and practice. Our research not only informs best practices for assessing neurodiverse talent, but also underscores the broader value of fostering a culture of acceptance.

In 2024, our neurodiversity research team plans to continue the expansion of our research scope. We are diversifying the assessment types we are conducting research on to include Situational Judgment Tests and biodata, alongside our ongoing data collection efforts aimed at incorporating a wider array of neurotypes.

Check out our Neurodiversity Collection to discover more about neurodiversity, neurodiverse talent and insights from our Neurodiversity Research Program.

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McKenzie Specht, M.A.

McKenzie Specht is a Scientist at SHL and has been with the organization since May 2022. McKenzie is an active contributor to SHL’s Neurodiversity Research Program, which is dedicated to researching how the personnel selection process may be uniquely different for a neurodivergent candidate than that of someone who is neurotypical. This research aims to inform best practices for employee selection to create a more fair and inclusive experience. McKenzie received her M.A. in IO Psychology from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

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