As businesses adopt applications like robotic process automation, they become more data-driven and connected. Strong analytics and cybersecurity are critical for effective, stable operations. At EY we’re addressing these strategic business issues by leveraging an often-overlooked pool of talent – people on the autism spectrum.
In 2016 we launched a neurodiversity program in Philadelphia to hire people on the autism spectrum to serve as Account Support Associates (ASAs).
ASAs organize and analyze data sent in from account teams and translate it into meaningful information to help improve our client service.
Our neurodiversity program is part of a wider, ongoing effort to continuously rethink who, and how, we recruit, to meet rapidly changing business needs.
Sam Briefer, one of the first hires under the neurodiversity program says: “We bring something to the table that a lot of people cannot. We are very detail-oriented. We analyze things in a very specific way, and we are good with numbers. And we see things slightly differently, which means we can come up with new and innovative ways of doing things.”
“But,” says Director Hiren Shukla, who leads the organization’s Automation Central initiative for the Americas and the ASA Program, “For the neurodiversity initiative to be successful we couldn’t apply our usual recruiting, training and on-boarding practices.”
People with autism often communicate and interact differently. “So instead of traditional face-to-face interviews we interview by phone and Skype, conduct online skills assessments, and then bring in finalists for live training and group exercises where they can show their problem solving skills and work in team settings,” says Hiren.