Working with a DESO: KPMG and Specialisterne

KPMG in Canada is committed to creating an inclusive and accessible workplace that has a sense of belonging for everyone. They are currently working with Specialisterne to recruit neurodiverse talent at KPMG in the Greater Vancouver region.

To support this commitment, we continue to make progress with positive changes to how we do things internally. We have redesigned our talent processes, we are continuously working with our colleagues to encourage inclusive language, we are advancing IT accessibility, and most importantly—we are creating opportunities for people with disabilities.

As such, we are currently collaborating with Specialisterne, a disability employment service organization (DESO). Their focus is on supporting Canadian businesses in increasing the neurodiversity of their workforce, through the adoption of more effective methods for candidate recruitment, selection, onboarding, and employee education.

Currently 1 in 66 people are on the autism spectrum, which equates to 105 million people globally and 50,000 are graduating each year. However, 85% of these people are unemployed or underemployed currently.

Specialisterne’s goal is to prove to organizations there is immense business value when engaging with this untapped talent pool. They are very explicit that it’s not about doing the right thing—rather, it’s to tap into this underrepresented pool of talent, drive successful business outcomes, and help people and businesses to further grow and innovate.

Our strategy in collaborating with them is to eliminate any barriers within our processes; which includes subjective or ambiguous criteria in our job postings, and instead focusing only on critical requirements of a role.

Specialisterne also performs a competency-based assessment with a practical component to better understand the individual’s strengths and best learning and working styles. Then they focus on the skills and ability of the individual versus their disability.

Once hired, Specialisterne collaborates further with KPMG in Canada’s teams by providing ongoing support for our employees and their managers, and deliver formal autism awareness training for everyone.

Through this pilot program we have successfully hired 4 individuals to the Greater Vancouver region and plan to extend this program in other regions across Canada in the near future.

“When you shift your talent strategy and internal processes to be more inclusive it allows you to fully understand the impacts that each individual can make within a team. One of our values at KPMG in Canada is Together; It’s the ability to respect each other and draw strengths from our differences.

As a Talent professional, I hold a strong sense of responsibility to provide everyone with an equal opportunity and collaborating with organizations like Specialisterne allows us to continuously revolutionize our approach to inclusivity.”

-Jenny Sidhoo, Talent Attraction Manager

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