The corporate software development company, SAP, has reassessed its staff selection process to prioritize a more diverse and inclusive workforce

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1 out of every 160 children around the world suffers from autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, this does not exclude coming across countless abilities and skills among people with ASD. Most of them achieve high scores in intelligence tests; however, due to the design of personnel selection systems, which highlight their weaknesses, they are not considered for jobs.


Five years ago, the corporate software development company, SAP, decided to change their personnel selection process to recruit a more diverse and inclusive workforce. This resulted in the Autism at Work programme, which aims to prioritise neurodiversity within the company to people with these conditions. This new proposal analyses specific qualities, such as observation, concentration and visual perception. After this change, the company has hired more than 140 people with autism disorders in the United States, Germany, Canada, Ireland, India, Brazil and Argentina. In addition, they expect that 1 per cent of the workforce will consist of people with these conditions by 2020.

Autism at Work

This program has drawn the attention of the public and private sectors; and has deserved numerous awards and recognition. The company’s goal is to continue selecting these new talents. At its inception, the programme provided for a 12-month process to promote labour and social inclusion through open communication channels, as well as providing the support needed during their stay in the company.

The German multinational is seeking to employ the best talent, with different points of view regarding the solution and anticipation of problems. In this way, SAP began to work with Specialisterne, a leading international talent acquisition organisation for the technology sector.