The Impact of Refugees on Recruitment5 min read

Ali Neill / June 29, 2022
Category : Human Resources, International recruitment, Recruitment advice
Caption: The Impact of Refugees on Recruitment5 min read

The issue of integrating refugees in the labor market has for long been filled with endless negativities. However, hiring refugees has shown a number of benefits, which more and more businesses are slowly awakening to. Some big companies such as Starbucks, a coffee giant, and WeWork, a reputable office-sharing organization, are at the forefront in hiring refugees as other organizations follow suit. With the current war in Ukraine or the one in Syria, thank goodness companies are guiding the way towards helping refugees settle in their new homes. This is not only a humanitarian and moral-driven approach: these businesses are witnessing several benefits, almost like good karma. Here, we look at how refugees can impact recruitment in your business, what you stand to gain as well as tips on how to attract refugees and build a great refugee recruitment program.

Diversifying your workforce

Building diverse teams have been a goal for many organizations. However, the process is easier said than done. Having a refugee recruitment program can go a long way in supporting your efforts towards achieving a diverse workforce. Having refugees apply for jobs in your company raises the chances of hiring individuals from minority groups that are often overlooked. Additionally, refugees come from different cultures, languages, and backgrounds. Furthermore, these people have witnessed varying cultures the both liked and disliked. This knowledge can help improve your business for better cooperation and prospects. Refugess also come with different skills, expertise, and experiences. This means different perspectives and mindsets, which translates to a more creative and innovative company. What’s more, hiring refugees can be good for your brand reputation. It can be your competitive edge to gain more business and garner top investors.

Benefits of employing refugees

Besides helping you build a diverse team, recruiting refugees can benefit your hiring and recruitment strategy in other ways. They include:

  • High retention rate – Most refugees have a hard time securing gainful employment. When they find someone who trusts them enough to give them a chance, they are likely to be loyal and give their all in their work. Considering how expensive it is to rehire, you can enjoy greater savings on your recruitment strategy, not forgetting fewer disruptions on work processes. Of course, this does not mean you should take advantage of people’s vulnerability so remember to always show appreciation for a job well done.
  • Hiring refugees is cheaper and easier – Refugees are always eager to support their own. When they find a good employer, they are likely to invite other members of their community to work with them. Your recruitment strategy can benefit a great deal from such willing referrals. Once again, it is morally wrong to reduce anyone’s wages based on their vulnerability but they may be willing to put you in touch with more eager workers.

How to attract refugees

We have seen that refugees can affect recruitment in your company in a good way. But, how do you attract them? You can start by building a culture of diversity and inclusion in your company. You can create a buzz around it on your website and social media platforms to market yourself as a brand that is welcoming to anyone regardless of their culture, origin, and background. In addition to this, offering internships and job placements can go a long way in attracting refugees. Besides, it can be a good way to test fit and skills on the job before committing to a long-term contract. To do this successfully, consider partnering with recruitment agencies or local employment services that are focused on refugees employment.

You could even go directly to any official agencies set up to welcome refugees, among other people facing some kind of instability: immigration services, employment offices, housing agencies, etc.

Common barriers to recruitment of refugees

Hiring refugees isn’t without any challenges, but they are nothing that you can’t work around. Some common ones include:

  • Language and cultural barriers – Most refugees have limited knowledge of the English language, which makes processes that require a high level of the language quite difficult. You can get around this by considering translation services. You can have documents and key instructions translated to different languages. Also, consider using refugees with English knowledge as translators during interviews and whenever necessary.
  • Transportation issues – Most refugees have to deal with long commutes mostly at inconvenient times to get to work before they can acquire a driver’s license or afford a car. Allowing a flexible time for reporting to work and signing off lessens this burden for refugees.

Tips for creating a good recruitment program for refugees

Your success in hiring refugees largely depends on how well you have created your refugee recruitment program. Here are some tips that you can try:

  • Consider reviewing your language requirements for roles that the English language doesn’t affect performance.
  • Help refugees to verify and prove their qualifications for them to qualify in roles that fit their skills and expertise.
  • Conduct unconscious bias training to hiring managers to sensitize them on giving an equal opportunity to all candidates.


Hiring refugees can be seen as a positive step towards more global inclusion and openness, and that is good because it helps with your brand reputation. Furthermore, it goes a long way in helping you build a brand of diversity and inclusivity. This brings a number of benefits to your recruitment. Of course, it isn’t that easy to hire refugees because it can be hard to target them directly. But, the above tips on attracting refugees and improving your recruitment program for refugees can help you hire easily and successfully.

Author: Ali Neill

As the job board tester and blog editor for the Jobboard Finder, Ali works on job boards from all around the world and keeps a close eye on the recruitment trends thanks to a number of sources, including the website’s social media pages.

1 thought on “The Impact of Refugees on Recruitment5 min read

  1. A fascinating article, as we build out our own program to support refugees at Visa. This article highlights some really valuable insights to consider.

    Thank you!

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