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Must-know recruitment trends for a diverse 2024 workforce

The way we do business is changing, and in 2024, recruitment culture is set to change with it. As businesses navigate the evolving needs of a diverse workforce, one thing has become clear: organisations must adopt innovative recruitment strategies that not only attract top talent but also foster inclusivity and fair evaluation. 

Let’s explore the key trends shaping recruitment in 2024.

Inclusive job ads attract diverse talent

Redefining the traditional approach to job ads is the first step to making your hiring process more inclusive. Job descriptions typically list a narrow set of skills, experience, and expectations that can prevent neurodiverse people from applying in the first place. For example, listing ‘exceptional communication skills’ indicates a narrow understanding of what great communication can look like – something that many neurodivergent people can struggle with.

Creating an inclusive job description doesn’t mean that you can’t list the essential skills needed for the role, it just requires you to create a space where neurodivergent individuals feel encouraged to apply. Make it clear that your workplace values all different people and recognises the unique skills and perspectives that diverse employees bring to the table. This shift towards inclusivity not only broadens the talent pool but also enriches the collective capabilities of the workforce.

Implementing assessment-based hiring

Traditional interviews may not always be the most effective means of evaluating a candidate’s suitability for a role, particularly for neurodivergent people. For this reason, businesses are turning to assessment-based hiring to evaluate a candidate based on their skill rather than an arbitrary interviewing process.

By assigning short, role-specific tasks, employers can accurately gauge a candidate’s skill set. This approach levels the playing field, ensuring that individuals are assessed on merit and skill alone. This promotes a fair and unbiased recruitment process for candidates who may not perform as well in interviews. It also ensures that the person you hire is truly skilled at what they do – something you cannot guarantee from a CV alone.

Streamlining the recruitment process with AI

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has proven helpful for many tedious and time-consuming tasks, and recruitment is no exception. As generative AI tools like ChatGPT become more widely used in 2024, recruiters are bound to find that it can be a great way to streamline the recruitment process.

Try as we might, it is a fact that personal bias makes its way into the hiring process at every turn. AI can help to eliminate some of these pre-conceived judgements by analysing CVs for a set of objective skills or experiences. This also allows recruiters to make informed decisions and expedite the hiring process. 

While AI is undoubtedly useful, there are some limitations to what it can do. AI cannot take the place of innately human qualities, such as looking past a candidate’s nerves to see their potential or assessing whether they will be a good cultural fit within your business. While businesses still need humans to apply a personalised and empathetic approach to recruitment, AI can be a great tool to turn to when it comes to the more pragmatic elements.

Transferable skills take priority

For far too long the traditional hiring process has prioritised degrees and years of experience over a far more important factor: having the right skills for the job. While these two factors can be important to a role, this narrow approach can eliminate great candidates from your hiring pool. This includes neurodivergent people with a wealth of self-taught skills, as well as people with transferable skills.

With many industries throughout Australia experiencing a major skills shortage, we are bound to see businesses opening their doors to a wider pool of candidates in 2024. The focus now will be on identifying specific skills rather than prioritising formal qualifications. This shift will open the door to a more diverse range of skilled candidates, creating a more diverse workforce and ensuring businesses have the staff they need to thrive.

Personalised onboarding

The onboarding process is an overlooked part of recruitment, but it can ultimately make or break an employee’s success within your organisation. Being forced to conform to a narrow set of training standards can be an incredibly overwhelming experience, especially for neurodivergent people.

Acknowledging that one size does not fit all, we will continue to see businesses personalising their onboarding processes in 2024. Instead of inundating new hires with team meetings and training manuals, employers should instead take the time to understand and adapt to each individual’s preferred learning, communication, and feedback style. This personalised onboarding approach not only respects the unique needs of each employee but also cultivates a culture of mutual understanding and support, laying the foundation for success that will benefit both your business, your new employee, and the wider team.

In 2024, we can expect to see businesses depart from conventional recruitment techniques in favour of more inclusive and innovative processes. By revolutionising the way we hire, employees and organisations can enjoy a more diverse and successful workforce.

About The Safe Space Collective 

The Safe Space Collective is on a mission to create more inclusive, meaningful, and supportive workplaces for neurodivergent people all over the world. The innovative platform specialises in providing tailored and affordable education, advice, tools, and strategies to HR teams and leaders while also supporting neurodivergent employees to feel empowered in their careers.

With research showing that many neurodivergent people often find themselves unemployed just 3-6 months after joining a new organisation*, The Safe Space Collective endeavours to create a world where every neurodivergent individual has access to the same opportunities for meaningful and sustainable careers.

About April Lea, Co-Founder of The Safe Space Collective

April Lea founded The Safe Space Collective with the goal of creating supportive and inclusive workplaces for neurodivergent people following her autism and ADHD diagnosis. After working as a product and engineering leader in the tech industry for over a decade, April was hospitalised for severe burnout, which saw her take a six-month hiatus from the workforce. Before this period of burnout, April was a high-performing professional included in the Top 100 List of Emerging Engineering Leaders in 2021.

April’s experience with severe autistic burnout prompted a profound reevaluation of her lifestyle, forcing her to come to terms with the realisation that she could no longer sustain the levels of performance she once achieved. Upon re-entering the workforce, April assumed a less senior role in a different industry within a larger organisation, one with more inclusive policies and practices.

April’s journey post-diagnosis has not been without challenges. She has encountered discrimination, stigma, and backlash within the workforce, leading her to establish The Neurodiversity Network and The Safe Space Collective in 2023. Driven by a mission to dismantle barriers to meaningful and sustainable employment for neurodivergent individuals globally, April is actively working towards fostering a more inclusive and supportive professional landscape.

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