FRANKFURT May 22 German software company SAP
is looking to recruit people with autism as
programmers and product testers, drawing on skills that can
include a close attention to detail and an ability to solve
SAP has asked start-up Danish recruitment company
Specialisterne to help it find, train and manage employees
diagnosed with the disability.
"They bring a special set of skills to the table, which fits
with SAP," said a spokesman for the company, which has already
hired people with autism in India and Ireland.
Specialisterne Chief Executive Steen Thygesen said the
partnership was his first with a multinational company to help
with its worldwide recruitment.
The Danish company says it has already helped several
hundred autistic people to find a job. Sufferers often find it
harder to communicate and some have lifelong learning
Those with a form of autism known as Asperger syndrome can
sometimes have above-average intelligence. As children, they may
prefer mathematics and other subjects rooted in logic and
systems, according to Britain's National Autistic Society.
"People with autism have some unique abilities to really
focus on their task and stay focused for long periods of time.
They are also good at spotting discrepancies in data," said
Thygesen, a former manager with Microsoft and Nokia whose
14-year-old son has Asperger syndrome.
According to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and
Prevention, 1 in every 88 children in the United States and
almost 1 in 54 boys are diagnosed with autism.
The SAP spokesman said the company aimed to reflect the
proportion of people diagnosed as autistic in society within its
65,000-strong workforce - or about 1 percent.
A Berlin-based company, Auticon, already exclusively employs
autistic people as software testers. It has a team analysing
data for Vodafone Germany, an Auticon spokesman said.