Why hiring refugees is good for business

When it comes to refugees, the business community is stepping up. For some an act of philanthropy; for others it is part of a wider realization that there are tangible benefits of hiring and training refugees (particularly amid the extreme skills and talent shortages employers are facing). In this light, UNLEASH (provider of market intelligence on the Future of Work) recently sat down with Veronica (Noni) Rossini, VP for Europe at the Tent Partnership for Refugees.

A brief background

Noni Rossini: The Tent Partnership for Refugees was launched in 2016 and is a network of over 300 major companies around the world committed to economically integrating refugees through hiring, training, and mentorship. Tent mobilizes businesses to connect refugees to work; one of the most important milestones for a refugee to successfully integrate in their new communities.

Refugees often face a number of barriers when looking for a job, including limited local language proficiency, minimal understanding of the local job market, lack of professional networks, and limited digital skills. In addition, companies can also unintentionally discard refugees’ CVs during their traditional recruitment processes as a result of gaps in CVs or out of date skills, for instance.

To address these challenges, Tent guides its companies in setting up inclusive recruitment and talent pipeline processes – ranging from working more closely with local non-governmental organizations, to participating in refugee job fairs, as well as establishing new processes, such as incorporating ‘blind’ resumes and skill-based hiring tests.

Hiring refugees: brand loyalty, employee engagement and retention rates

Noni: Hiring refugees, particularly at a time of severe labor shortages, is a “win-win-win” for companies, refugees, and the whole society. Focusing on the advantages for companies:

  • Brand loyalty: in our 2023 pan-European research report, 51% of respondents indicated they are more likely to purchase from brands that hire refugees.

  • Employee engagement: last year, Tent released a study of 100 large and mid-sized companies in Germany that have hired refugees: 68% of companies surveyed said hiring refugees contributed to increased employee engagement.

  • Increased retention rates: in 2018, a study in the United States showed that hiring refugees had a positive impact on companies’ retention rates: 73% of companies surveyed reported higher retention rates for refugees compared to other employees.

The value of finding a job

Noni: What most people agree on, irrespective of their political views, is that it is better for refugees who are already in the country to get a job, so they can provide for themselves and their families, pay taxes, contribute to their communities, and better integrate into society. Today, across Europe, far too many refugees are still unemployed, despite being ready to work and having so much talent and skills to bring to local economies.

Employers have such an important role to play in evening out the playing field, and ensuring refugees stand a fair chance of being considered for a job. Hiring refugees is a win-win, but recruitment as usual isn’t enough to successfully hire and integrate refugees into a company’s workforce. Language support and transport are just some of the key areas that Tent advises companies to develop provisions around, in order to support refugee hires.

Want to continue reading? Please visit the original article on the UNLEASH website. This article is a summary.

Want to join in? Refugee Talent Hub is Tent’s preferred implementing partner in The Netherlands. Get in touch with us to find out more about partnering up.

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