Forget stereotypes ... how to recruit talented, neurodiverse employees

James Neely used to work in an open-plan office. His journey to work included busy, stressful train journeys. “I tended to isolate myself from people, so I had my headphones on and turned up all day and I wore a cap to limit my peripheral vision and reduce the light,” he says.

However, the 33-year-old data analyst struggled to find the quiet he needed at work. Eventually he had a breakdown. During subsequent treatment for anxiety and depression he was diagnosed with an autistic spectrum condition.

Neely now works for Auticon, a company that employs 15 full time IT consultants who have autism. They work on projects at major companies in the UK, including Experian and GlaxoSmithKline. Neely’s found comfort in his new role. “We have back-office support from project managers and job coaches,” he says. This takes off some of the pressure if a difficult situation arises.

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31st August 2017