German software firm SAP is recruiting autistic workers. To help the company hire autistic workers, SAP has hired Specialisterne. Together, SAP and Specialisterne will recruit individuals with autism that can work as software testers, programmers and data quality assurance specialists.
SAP, which employs more than 65,000 people worldwide, is confident that there is a competitive advantage to recruiting autistic workers, as these individuals have unique talents that are underutilized in the workforce. SAP also hopes that this program helps people with autism link up with an employer that will give them the type of work opportunities they need.
Autism Speaks defines autism as a term for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are represented, in differing degrees, by problems with social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
According to the German software firm, Specialisterne is the industry leader in finding the right way to utilize the unique talents of individuals with autism in tech jobs such as software testing, programming and data management. Specialisterne, which already operates globally, will help SAP expand this program around the world in the near future.
Luisa Delgado, a member of SAP’s Executive Board, says that this recruitment drive will change the way the software firm looks at unique talents by concentrating on what autistic workers bring to the table. According to Delgado, innovation comes from the “edges” and only by challenging traditional ways of thinking, will SAP and other companies be prepared to face the problems of the 21st century.
Thorkil Sonne, founder of Specialisterne, concurs with this sentiment. He contends that recruiting individuals with autism and placing them in positions where their talents can be utilized will raise SAP’s profile as a powerhouse in innovation.
SAP has already successfully tested this program using pilot projects in India and Ireland. The German software firm found that recruiting autistic workers improved productivity and togetherness in several key areas.