Germany Based Firm Brings Autistic People in the IT Industry

Auticon is staffing only autistic people, and it's working quite well.
Joseph Wolkin

Auticon, a Germany based tech firm, is doing something as unique as it gets.

The BBC just showcased how amazing Auticon is, not for the service it provides, but for the people it employs because remember, what makes a company special is the people.


Auticon is different. It has a goal different from other companies, and that's to employ people who are on the autism spectrum. Founder Gray Benoist made it his journey to help people like his two sons, who each have the developmental disorder.

"Both are incredibly capable and smart and deserve an opportunity to be able to express that," Benoist said in a BBC interview. "Our mission is about enabling a group who have been disenfranchised.

"There are many segments of society that are under-utilized and people on the autistic spectrum are one of them." 

Why Is This So Rare?

Auticon is currently home to more than 150 employees. It is one of the few organizations that makes it possible for people on the autism spectrum to chase their dreams, specifically in the tech field. 

The team at Auticon makes it their job to help people develop their potential. They do so by making things personal.

"Companies also benefit from adapting to working with people on the autism spectrum by responding to our autistic colleagues and creating autism-friendly working environments together with us," the organization's career page says. "With understanding, awareness and know-how we create an environment that enables our consultants – consistently people on the autism spectrum – to call up top performance in accordance with their own high-quality standards."

Think for a minute just how rare this truly is.

Auticon makes its employees feel safe in the work environment that they are in. It puts them in situations that are comfortable, not foreign. They can thrive in social conditions, usually tricky for those with autism.

There is a month-long training to determine if people have what it takes to be full-time employees at Auticon.

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Job interviews are usually tough for people who have with autism. 

"The list of things you are not supposed to do in an interview is practically a definition of autism," Steve Silberman, author of Neurotribes, a book which looks at the evolution of autism, said in the BBC interview. "Don't look away, look the employer in the eye, sell yourself. All of these are very difficult for autistic people."

But thanks to Auticon, people with autism can finally feel safe during a job interview. Just the prospect that they might land an opportunity with people like them is certainly a major step forward and surely a confidence boost.

While some companies have adapted their interview process to help autistic candidates, this is one of the first of its kind. It is literally a dream come true for so many people who want to excel in the workforce.

"Sensitivity to our employees' issues is our first priority," Benoist said. "But that means putting the processes behind that to ensure you still deliver the highest quality to your client, which requires thought about how projects are put together and how resources are assigned."

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