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Why You Should Hire A Person Who Stutters

Encounters with people who stutter (PWS) in the workplace are common among job applicants and employees. While people who stutter can make valuable contributions to the workplace, their skills and talents are often overlooked or misunderstood due to misconceptions and negative stereotyping about stuttering.

One study shows that more than 70 percent of potential employees who stutter think that their chances of getting a job or promotion are significantly reduced by their speech fluency disorder. As an HR professional, you have the power to influence hiring decisions and help change the misperceptions around people who stutter.

Employers should embrace the opportunity to hire people who stutter, giving them leadership responsibilities and chances for promotion, congruent with their knowledge, skills, experience, and abilities.

Here are a few reasons why employers should consider hiring a person who stutters:

People Who Stutter May Have Great Listening Skills

One of the leading misconceptions about the people who stutter (PWS) is that they are bad at communication. Yet when a person is unable to express themselves whenever they wish, they tend to resume the role of an active listener. People who stutter often try to make up for their lack of fluency with stellar listening skills.

In the workplace, an employee who is ready to listen and understand may become a valuable asset to your company. They are more likely to understand their responsibilities and carefully approach client-side communication, job briefs, and new instructions.

They Can Improve Workplace Dynamics

Hiring someone who stutters can improve workplace dynamics by fostering a sense of belonging and inclusivity

PWS often show higher levels of emotional intelligence. Unfortunately, this may result from years of negative reactions they received from their listeners. However, PWS can turn it around and apply their high emotional-quotient (EQ) to manage interactions in the workplace expertly.

On the flip-side, understanding anyone who stutters may require some patience. Your employees may need to brush up on their sensitivity training. By training employees, they may begin to pay more attention and become more careful of what they say or do in the office.

They Can Be Dedicated Employees

Throughout their lives, PWS face challenges and adversities with communication, but have risen above these difficulties to show up for job interviews. Their lack of speech fluency doesn’t reflect their determination and drive to succeed.

Many employees who stutter turn out to be dedicated and tenacious. They can exhibit  perfectionist qualities and do not give up easily when faced with unfavorable circumstances. This cultivates a sense of resiliency and commitment toward their work.

They May Be More Observant

Good listeners also tend to be more patient and observant. If an employee is listening quietly and doesn’t rush to share their input during a discussion, they naturally acquire the necessary skills for becoming an outstanding observer. 

As empathetic listeners, employees who stutter may notice details that other employees might overlook. They can offer fresh insight from their astute observations of ongoing processes and interactions with the team.

So, What Should Interviewers Never Forget?

While interviewing someone who stutters, it is your responsibility to look beyond the way they speak. What they have to say is always more important than how they say it.

For people who stutter, job interviews are among the worst feared situations. They may stutter considerably more than they do in their comfort zone.

So hiring managers and employers should consider making reasonable accommodations while interviewing a candidate who stutters.

Want to learn more about inclusive hiring practices? Check out our blog post on Tips to Improve Diversity Recruiting.

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