In 1965, a computer scientist called Gordon Moore released a study that predicted that the average computer speed would double every two years due to the increased volume of transistors available on a computer chip. This law held true well into the twenty-first century, and even today, while the growth isn’t quite at the two year rate he predicted, computer speed and capacity is still exponentially growing year on year. In the marketplace, this has drastically changed the way that just about every company conducts their business, as technology now underpins from sales to logistics to customer relations.
Autism and Technology
This increase in technology has brought about a minor revelation for autistic jobseekers. For decades, the traditional office workplace has been a minefield for autistic workers, and the inherent bias of the job application and interview process towards neurotypical individuals has left autism employment rates in the doldrums. As more and more fields become more technology driven, however, there has become a market for autistic workers due to their superior data analysis skills and ability to concentrate on complex tasks. Autistic workers have found big success in these technology fields:
- Computer programming – every computer language has been designed by logical minds and follows its own rules and syntax. This makes coding easy for many autistic individuals to learn as it plays into their logical processes and there’s no capacity for misunderstanding. Programming also allows them to use the unique way that each autistic person sees the world to design more efficient solutions to existing problems as well as providing a better user experience.
- Systems analysis – this out of the box thinking also helps autistic workers to become excellent systems analysts. They are often able to take the 30,000 foot vision of what a piece of software or system should be able to do and then find efficiencies and ways to streamline it in new and often unexpected ways. This sort of work does appeal to low support needs individuals as there is a fair amount of interpersonal work involved as well as giving and receiving feedback about their proposed solutions.
- Software testing – finally, software testing is a great career choice for autistic adults with medium to high support needs as it can be fairly repetitive and requires considerably less social interactions than other technology jobs. However, it is still an important part of any technology driven field and there is a lot of job satisfaction to be found in finding bugs for programmers to fix.
Hiring Autistic Workers
Given the wide range of options that increased technological capacity gives autistic employees, it can only be a matter of time before businesses across British Columbia start hiring more autistic workers. Indeed, major corporations like Microsoft and SAP are already leading the way with dedicated autism recruitment teams. However, most companies in Vancouver don’t have the people or the time to create a brand new autism hiring program, which is when getting professional help from an autism talent management agency can be a game changer. These dedicated teams of professionals can help you with:
- Recruitment – even in a city the size of Vancouver, it can be hard to know where to put your job advert so that qualified autistic jobseekers will see it, let alone how to write one so that they will feel confident to apply. All the guesswork is taken out of the equation when you sign up with an autism talent management agency, as they will already have a list of qualified and pre-approved candidates ready for you to look over. You’ll also know that they will have gone through workplace training to help them fit in with their neurotypical colleagues.
- Interviews – one of the biggest barriers to autism employment in any field is the face to face interview as it heavily favors neurotypical applicants who understand social cues and body language. An autistic talent management agency will work with your recruitment team to come up with interview strategies like group tasks or performance observations which will give you a much greater insight into each applicant’s strengths and capabilities.
- Accommodations – finally, there will be many changes and accommodations that you’ll need to make to help your new autistic hire settle into the company. Some of these will be legally mandated by their support plan, but others you’ll do as a result of advocacy work done by the talent management agency. In either case, they will have the expertise to know how to best accommodate your new technology star to allow you to get all the benefits of autism in your business.