Harnessing the neurodiverse advantage

Xceptional’s UNSW partnership boosted their understanding of technology’s role in developing inclusive recruitment business practices. The research outcomes will potentially uncover new approaches to success metrics, which will help inform Xceptional’s future R&D program.


Shortly after launching, Xceptional realised they could better meet the growing needs of both businesses and autistic people who are seeking meaningful employment by shifting from a ‘technology service’ company to a ‘digital social enterprise’ – specialising in inclusive recruitment and placement services and focusing on the skills and abilities of neurodivergent individuals.

“With labour shortages everywhere, businesses are asking us to help solve their talent problem, but they’re also being intentional around inclusion and diversity.”
Aron Mercer, Chief Growth Officer.

To build the most innovative human resources technology solution, Xceptional needed to expand their knowledge of IT-enabled inclusive business practices to help inform their future R&D program priorities.


Enabled by TechVoucher funding, Xceptional and UNSW researchers worked together on a two-pronged solution: first, establish a strong, inclusive recruitment theoretical foundation to ground Xceptional’s unique technology solution; second, strengthen their knowledge on the role of technology in the development of diverse and inclusive business practices.

UNSW researchers undertook desktop research and provided a program definition for future research.

“Just being able to have research that identifies what it is that’s working and where the gaps are and then being able to plug that, that’s going to be really useful, I think.”
Kurt McLachlan, Chief Operating Officer.


As an outcome of knowledge transfer, UNSW’s research report has helped ground Xceptional’s business model as a digital social enterprise that is trailblazing in IT-enabled impact sourcing in Australia. 

In partnering with UNSW to better understand technology’s role in enabling neurodivergent talent, Xceptional now has the proper foundation to help inform their future R&D program and drive social impact by creating a more fit-for-purpose model for inclusive recruitment.

“The introductions from Felix to your AI and ML expert were really useful conversations that myself and our head of technology had.”
Kurt McLachlan.