UK employers' guide to hiring refugees
A guide published by Breaking Barriers and Tent
Hiring refugees is an impactful way for companies to drive their business forward while addressing one of the most pressing challenges of our time - the global refugee crisis. Breaking Barriers and Tent have published a resource for British businesses looking for practical ways to take the first step to hire refugees.
Leading businesses have already experienced the many benefits of hiring refugees, including higher retention rates, increased diversity, and a strengthened brand and reputation.
The benefits of diversity and varying experiences in the workplace are well-documented, and diversity is increasingly being seen as an enabler and a strategic priority in order to succeed in the evolving global marketplace. Research has shown that companies with employees from a variety of ethnic backgrounds are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors. When companies harness the power of their employees’ diverse experiences, knowledge, and skillsets, including their refugee employees, it can drive innovation, better decision-making and leadership, and positive organisational culture shifts – and ultimately, business growth. See also an earlier blog - How diversity makes us smarter.
When businesses hire refugees, they also benefit from refugees’ comparatively high retention rates. Refugees are often seeking periods of stability, and are therefore likely to take jobs with longer-term employment and careers in mind. Studies have shown that employers regularly find retention rates for refugees relatively high and turnover amongst refugees tends to be lower. A recent report by the Fiscal Policy Institute and the Tent Partnership for Refugees found that 73% of the U.S. employers interviewed for the study reported a higher retention rate for their refugee employees. This observation was consistent across various sectors and locations, with many employers also seeing an overall improvement in the company. For example, many senior employees became more versatile as they adjust to managing a more diverse workforce.
Refugees are too often depicted in the media as helpless individuals needing charity and benefits. Most are far from this perpetuated image and instead want to be given the chance to utilise their talents, skills and training in the UK labour market and to add a unique perspective to any organisation that offers this opportunity.
The assistance required by refugees often boils down to support as they navigate their way in an unknown society and strive to re-master occupations in a new language and unfamiliar job market. For many, employment is more than just a job; it offers the opportunity for independence in a new home, exposure to professional and social networks, and ultimately, integration and the meaningful strengthening of communities. By committing to hiring refugees, you can bring enormous benefits to your refugee employees – and to your business.
“Being a refugee defines an experience, not an identity” Mohammed Badran
Download the full guide here.
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