Specialisterne partners with CIBC to hire employees on the autism spectrum

Bank benefits from internationally developed program to increase the diversity of its workforce

TORONTO, Dec. 3, 2015 /CNW/ - Specialisterne Canada has developed a partnership with CIBC to hire employees on the autism spectrum. Using a program widely adopted by Specialisterne business partners around the world, the bank recently hired eight new employees into a variety of full-time, permanent positions in its Risk Management, and Technology & Operations businesses.

According to Specialisterne Canada CEO, Alan Kriss "Many people with autism are highly motivated, and they often have talents of value to employers. Yet common recruitment practices present barriers to bringing employers and candidates together. We have helped CIBC to access this underutilized resource in our community, providing them with solid employees, while also increasing the diversity of their work force."

CIBC is the first financial services company to partner with Specialisterne in Canada augmenting the bank's commitment to explore new avenues for increasing diversity in its work force. After assessing the roles, recruitment started in August 2015. Instead of a resume and interview process, they used a different approach that included group workshops and observation to identify the unique strengths and talents of each candidate.

Once the recruits were selected, they went through a structured training, on-boarding and support process. In addition, the program included education and awareness training for current staff to prepare the workplace for the new employee. Job coaching was also provided to help ensure a smooth transition and effective communication was established between employees and managers. The eight hires started their jobs in October.

Kara Nagy, Senior Manager in CIBC's Information Technology Department, runs a team that helps the bank manage the risks to its information systems. Her new hire, David Francis is now supporting that effort. "Since David joined us, our team has learned to communicate better amongst ourselves and with others," she said. "The clearer we are, the more effective we are at what we do."

The impact of this partnership has been so positive for CIBC, that it is now exploring an opportunity to hire another group of people on the autism spectrum in the first quarter of 2016.

About Specialisterne

Specialisterne is an internationally recognized leader in harnessing the talents of people on the autism spectrum, providing them with the opportunity to sustain meaningful employment. Founded in Denmark in 2004 by Thorkil Sonne, it has operations in fourteen countries worldwide. Businesses partner with Specialisterne because they recognize the value in hiring people who think and communicate differently – an asset in problem solving, team building and innovation. The expertise Specialisterne has acquired over more than a decade is transferable, and the organization works closely with its employment partners to integrate proven practices into their operating environments. Specialisterne Canada has operations across Canada. Specialisterne delivers its programs in Ontario in partnership with Autism Ontario and JVS Toronto with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

SOURCE Specialisterne

Image with caption: "Specialisterne (CNW Group/Specialisterne)". Image available at: https://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151203_C8871_PHOTO_EN_557837.jpg

For further information: Media Contact: Matthew Hague, Associate, Kriss Communications Inc., matthew@krisscommuncations.com, (416) 532-5454

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