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updated on 08 December 2021
Neurodivergent lawyers have a number of unique strengths, abilities and perspectives that can benefit any employer and workplace. Attention to detail, hyper focus, problem solving, creativity, spontaneity, determination, high-work ethic and identifying where the employer can autonomise or make services more efficient are just some of the abilities that can add a great deal of value to a firm.
It, therefore, makes sense that firms would want to employ neurodivergent talent at all levels and benefit from these unique abilities.
But our challenges can make the standard application procedure inaccessible or unnecessarily difficult for neurodivergent candidates, particularly if it involves:
So adjustments to the standard application process and the working environment to allow neurodivergent candidates to showcase our best selves are not only essential, but a legal obligation too.
A neuroinclusive workplace is essential to allow us the opportunity to be at our best, and for a firm to benefit from our unique abilities, experiences and perspectives for themselves, their partners and their clients.
Here are a few reasons why it makes business sense to foster a neuroinclusive workplace:
What should firms consider during the recruitment process?
Here are a few things firms should think about when recruiting.
Application and pre-interview
During the interview
Each individual neurodivergent applicant will have different needs to other neurodivergent applicants at the recruitment stage. It isn’t enough to say that what you’ve put in place for one applicant is what every applicant will need. As the saying goes: “If you’ve met one of us, you’ve met one of us”.
The best way to learn what each neurodivergent applicant needs is to engage them at the earliest possible opportunity, ideally at the written/online application stage.
Now that the candidate has been offered the role, here are some day-to-day things to think about:
Onboarding and inductions
Day to day
Adjustments to the application process and the day-to-day working life of a firm don’t normally cost anything to implement; only an open mind and time to actually adjust the working day for their neurodivergent employees.
By doing so, the firm is not only complying with its legal obligations to provide an accessible workplace for disabled employees, but the firm will also have employees who want to be there and who want to help their firm be more inclusive. In turn the firm will become much more profitable thanks to the unique abilities, and genuine desire to work hard and add value to the employer that neurodiverse employees can offer.
Phil Steventon is an autistic aspiring solicitor, blogger, content creator, speaker and charity trustee. Phil can be found on LinkedIn.