Episode 3

Why Neuro-inclusive Hiring Is Crucial, and How to Excel at It

About this Episode

"One in every seven human beings worldwide are neuro-divergent. That's an estimated 1.1 billion people in the world that are under and unemployed by 80%. However, that 80% is not due to a lack of skills or ability. It's due to the systems in place that aren't designed to be cognitively accessible for this population."

In this episode of Offer Accepted, Shannon Ogborn sits down with Jhillika Kumar, CEO and Founder of Mentra. Kumar shares her personal journey — inspired by her brother's experiences as a non-speaking autistic individual — which led her to create Mentra, a platform aimed at building the world's largest neurodiverse employment network.


Diversity Equity Inclusion

This Episode's Guest

Jhillika Kumar

CEO @ Mentra

One of Forbes 30 Under 30, Jhillika is a passionate advocate for neurodiversity in the workplace, leading the charge in building Mentra – the world's largest neurodiversity employment network.

Key Learnings

Shannon and guest Jhillika Kumar discuss the challenges faced by neurodivergent individuals in the workforce, emphasizing the need for a shift in how talent is evaluated. They focus on the details of a more inclusive approach, focusing on non-traditional measures of talent such as past projects, work samples, and certifications. Kumar also highlights the importance of creating a supportive environment for neurodivergent individuals, especially with the advent of hybrid and remote work.

The conversation also delves into the benefits of neuro-inclusive hiring practices. Kumar cites studies showing increased productivity and lower turnover rates among neurodivergent employees when placed in the right environments. The episode concludes with a discussion on the importance of empathy and understanding in fostering neuro-inclusion in the workplace.

Major takeaways:

  1. Neurodiversity is a crucial part of DEIB. Jhillika emphasizes the importance of bringing together different talent pools, including universities, boot camps, and government vocational rehabilitation centers. She also highlights the potential of neurodivergent individuals who are looking for a career pivot, underscoring the need for inclusivity across all age groups and underserved populations, saying, “A lot of the challenge with this population is how can we look at those non-traditional measures of talent? Because it’s a population that might not have had previous work experience or might not have a linear path to education. There's so much more that we have to look for and evaluate when assessing talent."
  2. Neuro-inclusive practices benefit everyone. Jhillika sheds light on the benefits of neuro-inclusive practices in the workplace. She cites, “When placed in the right environments, neuro-divergents have demonstrated a 30% increase in productivity compared to the average employee. In addition to that, we're seeing that there's a 50% less turnover in studies conducted by Harvard Business Review for this population."
  3. Accessibility is key to creating neuro-inclusion. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of cognitively accessible systems to fully "I think it takes every single one of us going through a mindset shift in an organization. And I think that's sort of the principle of universal design — that if you build something that's accessible for one subsection of the population, it makes life better and easier and more accessible for everyone."

Hosted By

Shannon Ogborn

RecOps Consultant & Community Lead @ Ashby

Shannon Ogborn is a Recruiting Ops expert with nearly ten years of experience at companies from Google to Hired Inc and more. She’s shining a spotlight onto what makes a recruiting strategy one of a kind.

Other Episodes

Where Increasing Internal Transparency and Accountability Can Lead to Recruiting Team Success

Where Increasing Internal Transparency and Accountability Can Lead to Recruiting Team Success

In this episode of Offer Accepted, Leah Knobler, VP of People at Help Scout, shares her insights on the hiring process. She discusses the importance of continuous improvement in recruiting teams, drawing parallels with sales and marketing, where constant evaluation and refinement are the norms. Leah emphasizes the need for transparency and learning from successes and failures in the hiring process.

Listen to this episode
How To Best Use (and Scale!) Recruiting Personnel and Tools

How To Best Use (and Scale!) Recruiting Personnel and Tools

In this episode of Offer Accepted, host Shannon sits down with Marty Hauck, Founder of The People People Group. They start with the nitty-gritty of recruiting, discussing the importance of choosing the right tools and systems for your team. Marty emphasizes the need for autonomy and creativity in the process, advocating for a balance between individualized workflows and centralized tools.

Listen to this episode

Join the Hiring Excellence movement

New episodes every month - subscribe here so you never miss out.