Microsoft’s Pilot Hiring Program For Candidates On The Autism Spectrum

The Visitor's Center at Microsoft Headquarters campus is pictured July 17, 2014 in Redmond, Washington.

With keen interest, and dedication in making sure that every organization, and every person, including those with disabilities, is empowered, and given the ability and tools to flourish, Microsoft announced a pilot job hiring program last year to specifically hire people on the autism spectrum. Microsoft acknowledges that people on the spectrum bring in exceptional abilities to the work environment – from amazing abilities to retain information to thinking at a totally different level of depth. Several others can excel in math or code.

The pilot was started keeping in mind that the normal hiring process, which typically consists of several grueling interviews all day (at Microsoft), doesn’t work with candidates on the spectrum. Many of them struggle with making eye contact, and can get flustered in a new environment. To avoid those situations, Microsoft invites people on the autism spectrum to work on projects for several weeks, where supervisors get familiar with candidates. Eventually, candidates who meet job requirements are hired.

Once hired, each candidate gets a mentor to help them with social cues, and to make sure that their behavior is not misinterpreted by other colleagues. Managers are also provided training on autism so that they are sensitive to challenges that people on the spectrum face.

Watch the video below, and read the source article to learn more about Microsoft’s pilot program.

Source: GeekWire

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