Specialisterne Ireland and the untapped talent pool by Specialisterne

Specialisterne Ireland and the untapped talent pool
by Specialisterne
In today’s job market, there is a pool of finance and accounting graduates eagerly seeking employment opportunities. They have finished their degree, done up their CV, applied to many companies, completed the interviews, and then hit a wall. The traditional interview is a significant barrier to employment for neurodivergent people. Many will end up unemployed or underemployed – doing a role that does not match their qualifications or ability. Why?
Firstly, in case you don’t know, let’s explain what we mean by neurodiversity. It means that there is a difference in an individual’s brain function and behavioural traits. It is regarded as a normal variation. It is estimated that 15-20% of people in Ireland are neurodivergent, which includes conditions like autism, ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Alarmingly, Ireland has the lowest rate of employment for people with disabilities in Europe at just 32.6%.

Getting back to the traditional interview and traditional hiring practices. Why don’t they work for neurodivergent people?

Man smiling as his eyes are glancing somewhere off into space as he is seated down next to two other women that are looking downward at a laptop screen who are also seated down too in an office environment setting
The emphasis on social interaction and communication skills presents a challenge. Many neurodivergent individuals struggle in this area, often underselling their achievements, having difficulty with eye contact or succumbing to interview anxiety. These same people might have a love of data, they might enjoy routine tasks that others find boring, they might love the nitty gritty detail that others shy away from. Sound like a great employee? Unfortunately, they can’t get past an interview.

Also, fear is a huge factor. If a manager doesn’t know about neurodiversity, they might have misconceptions or worries about having someone who is neurodivergent on their team. What if an issue comes up that they don’t know how to address? Fear often results in exclusion.

To address these points Specialisterne Ireland was established in Ireland over ten years ago. We are a specialist recruitment agency that guides a manager through the interview process, showing them how to make small and simple accommodations to put a person at ease and allow them (and the interviewer) the opportunity to have a good interview experience. If a person is successful at an interview (they need to be a good fit) then we advise on what accommodations might help in the workplace.

“Alarmingly, Ireland has the lowest rate of employment for people with disabilities in Europe at just 32.6%”
What makes Specialisterne different is that we provide on-going support, so should an issue arise we work with the hiring manager and the neurodivergent hire to problem solve. Our goal is long term retention and this real-time problem-solving feeds into this.

Lastly, what are these accommodations we mentioned? Let’s look at some examples.

Two individuals looking at a white paper document with statistical information on it as one of the individuals has a laptop in front of them with the same statistical information on it and is pointing at the same white paper document with a pen
When we work with each individual neurodivergent person, we ask them: what helps them to work to the best of their ability? It might be that they just can’t hot desk as it provides too much uncertainty, and they need to know where to go each morning when they arrive. It might be that they need a manager to be very clear in their expectations.

So instead of saying ‘when you get the chance can you get me that report’ they need you to say, ‘I need that report on my desk by lunch time’. This is much clearer. The expectation is not vague but direct.

Every person will be different and that is why we get to know the neurodivergent graduate and importantly we also need to get to know the hiring manager and their firm. Then we can support and provide a positive experience for both.

In case you aren’t convinced yet: research from Accenture has shown that companies that champion neurodiversity and disability inclusion benefit from 28% increased revenue and 30% better profit.

“In 2020 we commenced a Neurodiverse hiring initiative in partnership with Specialisterne. Despite a modest headcount of less than 50 staff members and the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have successfully onboarded 3 Neurodiverse team members into our Security Operations Centre team who are now fully contributing team members. They work in highly technical roles as Security Analysts who are protecting our clients’ businesses from cyber disruption. Our Neurodiverse hiring initiative has had many positive impacts on the team including increased morale, launching a buddy program for all new hires and improved our onboarding processes that benefit all of our new hires. Thank you to Specialisterne for all your amazing support”.

Testimonial from one of our partners

Let us know if you would like to have a chat around how to get started. We are happy to set up a call and see what steps your team could take. It might be some awareness training, or it might be hiring a neurodiverse graduate. You might have an employee that has disclosed as neurodivergent, and you don’t know what to do next – we provide coaching for neurodivergent employees and for their manager.

We work with many colleges around Ireland providing support to their neurodivergent graduates and undergraduate students. This is the talent pool you can tap into.

“Accenture has shown that companies that champion neurodiversity and disability inclusion benefit from 28% increased revenue and 30% better profit”
Specialisterne Ireland logo with mantra underneath typography and icon that reads Supporting inclusive recruitment

James Tierney | Senior Manager, SOC Operations

eSentire Inc. – The Authority in Managed Detection and Response