October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month! Therefore we have a great excuse to discuss the benefits of employing people that have autism. Here are 5 reasons to employ people with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Reasons to employ people with Autism number 1: Opportunity and numbers
2.5 million unemployed in the U.S.
- Approximately 500,000 teens with autism will reach adulthood over the next ten years. There is an 85% unemployment rate among college graduates with autism.
- Young adults with autism had lower employment rates and higher rates of complete social isolation than people with other disabilities – Drexel University, National Autism Indicators Report, 2017
Reasons to employ people with Autism number 2:
According to Blue Star Recyclers, employees with ASD have an average turnover rate of less than 10%, compared to a 300% rate for someone without ASD in the same job. The average cost of turnover is roughly 20% of a person’s salary, approximately $30,000 per employee, this benefit adds up quickly.
Reasons to employ people with Autism number 3:
High performing Teams
Teams that include people with autism outperform non-inclusive teams by 80%
Groups of employees that include those with autism can foster creative problem solving and project innovation.
Reasons to employ people with Autism number 4: Dedication
Incredible employee engagement!
At Blue Star Recyclers, people with autism exhibit over 98% clock task engagement compared to 49% for the average worker without Autism.
Reasons to employ people with Autism number 5: Attention to Detail
“We find them good for software testing and quality assurance; they can concentrate a long time on a repetitive task and spot mistakes better.” -Anka Wittenberg, SAP’s head of diversity
Microsoft found that a person with Autism is able to catch errors in software code 40% quicker than a person without Autism.
The Harvard Business Review has made the argument that neurodiversity can be a competitive advantage with research showing that many adults with autism possess higher-than-average abilities in pattern recognition, memory, or mathematics.
Here are some specific examples of the benefits companies have realized from hiring people with disabilities
Top 5 benefits reported:
57% Addition of highly motivated employees
47% Creation of an inclusive culture that is attractive to our talent pools (There is a positive response to addressing Diversity & Inclusion at a business strategy level)
44% Improved customer satisfaction
34% Improved communication between/across cultures
34% Enhanced employer brand
Blue Star Recyclers Findings:
The challenges of hiring people with disabilities are fewer than expected and the benefits are greater than anticipated.
Positive reactions from employers and employees abound.
Shawna Berger, Director of Marketing and Communications at the US Business Leadership Network states:
“Businesses that embrace disability inclusion have found there is a positive correlation between their profitability, employee morale and engagement. These businesses report lower turnover, better safety records, innovation and higher productivity among their employees with disabilities. For customer-facing companies, there is the side benefit of customer loyalty from America’s largest minority group, numbering 56.7 million Americans.”
We hope that you are willing to employ people with autism!
At Independent With Autism we work with corporations to match ideal candidates with ASD for your jobs then help both your team and the candidate integrate successfully into your workplace.
Rebecca J. Weaver is a Certified Autism Specialist at Independent with Autism, working to empower individuals with ASD. Need help creating positive strategies for employment? Check out IndependentwithAutism.com for more information.
- SHRM: Recruiting People with Disabilities
- Just One Job Initiative: Connecting Employers with Candidates with Disabilities
- USBLN: national non-profit that helps business drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace.
- Employers’ Practical Guide to Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Business Focused Disability Organizations, Resources for Employers, Press Clips on the Benefits of Hiring People with Disabilities
- ASTEP https://www.integrateadvisors.org/