Reducing employment barriers which separate skilled candidates from hiring managers enables companies to more effectively hire top notch individuals. That’s what we did last week when we brought members of our Autism Advantage cohort to the offices of LinkedIn.
Many highly-skilled autistic candidates face difficulty navigating the professional networks and personal interactions that other candidates rely upon to connect them to job opportunities. To solve for this, we partnered with San Francisco’s AASCEND Job Club on a strategy session between our members and over 20 LinkedIn staff. The session centered on how to effectively maximize exposure on the professional networking site. LinkedIn staff worked with our members to polish profiles, to add specific elements to make LinkedIn profiles stand out among colleagues, and to strategize around how to effectively utilize online networking. LinkedIn staff also volunteered to take updated headshots for any participant who requested it.
LinkedIn staff and cohort graduates also strategized about how to effectively use the network beyond finding job leads, like using the platform to grow one’s professional stature among colleagues and within a field of expertise. That was particularly relevant to our initial Autism Advantage cohort, as we placed most members with companies even before their graduation in May (with projected 100% placement in 60 days).
Continued support is essential to growing a professional’s career no matter what their background. Just as LinkedIn staff helped us recognize how the site supports professionals in their careers after their initial hire, we continue to provide support to cohort graduates and their new employers well-after graduation.
Our Autism Advantage cohort is one way we help skilled candidates scale cultural barriers in the hiring process. We operate our program with Expandability (501c), the organization which helped establish the Autism at Work initiative at SAP. Our next six-week Autism Advantage cohort begins on June 19 and will center on those skilled in data analytics. Interested candidates can find information here. If you are an employer interested in observing our training, becoming one of our corporate speakers, or in hiring from our students, please reach out to Jack Hogan at Jack@buzzhero.io .
At BuzzHero, we provide solutions to ease the work of the hiring manager. We partnered with Expandability to launch our Autism Advantage Program when we recognized these barriers were preventing many highly-skilled candidates from connecting with qualified positions. We’ve further scaled that success by learning from corporations like LinkedIn, with amazing community partners like AASCEND, and with autism and user experience experts like AASCEND Lead Facilitator David Platzer.
Reducing barriers separating hiring managers from talent is an essential component to growing the diversity, innovation, and productivity of Silicon Valley. Companies like LinkedIn recognize that fact. It’s what makes them innovative, and it’s what makes us want to learn from them.