SAP employs over 65,000 people worldwide and by 2020 one percent of these will be autistic, it announced from its headquarters in south-western Germany. The same percent of the world that is, experts think, affected by the condition.
Recruitment will start in Germany, the United States and Canada this year and is being carried out with the help of specialists from a Danish initiative that helps find work for people with autism that does not affect intelligence.
Those with the condition are, SAP human resources head Luisa Delgado said, suited to programming and testing software because they “think differently from other people.” Having mixed teams also not only helps productivity but also boosts customer satisfaction.
"Only by employing people who think differently and spark innovation will SAP be prepared to handle the challenges of the 21st century," she added.
The employment scheme also gives SAP the advantage of picking out “particularly talented people” from the many that are competing for work in the IT industry.
In Germany, employers with at least 20 staff members are legally required to ensure that at least five percent of these jobs go to severely disabled people.