In the second column brought to you by Skills Development Scotland about recruiting neurodivergent talent, chief executive of ScotlandIS Karen Meechan gives us her perspective on the subject.

In Scotland, one in ten individuals are neurodivergent. Yet a clear focus on how we can support and champion non-neurotypical talent in the workplace often seems lacking. Like other individuals who are diverse for other reasons such as ethnicity, sexuality, or gender, neurodivergent individuals often hit societal barriers.

In the tech industry, we have long acknowledged a skills shortage, and neurodivergent talent could be part of the answer to bridging that gap – especially when looking at cyber security.

Neurodivergent individuals are fantastic recruits for cyber security businesses. They are highly detail-oriented, methodical, easily recognise patterns, have high focus levels, and are excellent problem solvers. These qualities are all hugely important in cyber and indeed are necessary for talent to excel. The neurodivergent talent pool is abundant with these strengths.

With neurodivergent individuals demonstrating key skills for the job, it’s clear that tech businesses can only benefit from seeking out greater organisational neurodiversity.

Much of this starts with help during the job application process. Job adverts that are laden with jargon typically do not attract non-neurotypical individuals, or if they do, they interpret the jargon in different ways, often leaving them disadvantaged in the process.

Tapping into Scotand’s neurodiversity can help reduce our tech skills shortage and better our sector. It’s time to look at how we can do it.

For more information about the support available for companies to recruit neurodivergent talent, visit SDS’ employer dedicated site Our Skills Force where you will also find more case studies to inspire you.