How Microsoft is making Hiring more Inclusive with Minecraft
01 Oct 2021
For most of us, job interviews can be stressful and difficult to prepare for. Traditional interview formats can also present unique challenges for neurodivergent candidates. Organizations including Microsoft are working on new ways to interview to create greater equity and inclusion in our world.
The Inclusive Hiring team at Microsoft explores and tests hiring process innovations to improve the interview experience for candidates identifying as neurodivergent. The team began utilizing Minecraft: Education Edition to develop a series of group participation exercises which are included in the hiring process.
Neurodivergent candidates join a customized world in Minecraft to complete challenges as a group, presenting an opportunity to illustrate skills in competency areas such as teamwork, creative problem-solving, leadership, and communication. These are critical skills that can be shown in real-time through participation in each team exercise, as candidates work together and communicate via voice and text chat and feel empowered to bring their authentic selves to the interviewing experience.
To celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month with Microsoft and Xbox, we're excited to share a new video about this Inclusive Hiring program.
The Inclusive Hiring team has also developed a playbook which is available to all types of organizations to empower greater adoption of inclusive hiring processes for neurodivergent candidates. More resources are available online regarding inclusive hiring experiences for both candidates and hiring managers, or for anyone seeking tools to consider and learn from.
We often hear from educators in our Minecraft community that learning through Minecraft: Education Edition supports connections with neurodivergent students who are challenged to present their learning in more traditional ways. We were excited to work with the Microsoft Accessibility team to show how this works in the professional world, too!
We hope this encourages more organizations to hire and support neurodivergent candidates and establish more inclusive hiring programs. In the words of Jordan Cowe, Software Engineer at Microsoft, who was part of the Inclusive Hiring program, “Being able to be yourself is the most important thing anyone could ever give you.”