Refugees as Employees: Good Retention, Strong Recruitment

May 22, 2018.

Employers that hire refugees see positive outcomes for their businesses, according to a report released today by the Fiscal Policy Institute and the Tent Partnership for Refugees. The study, based on over 100 interviews in four regions of the country, finds that when employers hire refugees they see lower turnover rates among refugees, and widen their pool of potential employees. In addition, many see overall improvements in the company, with their managers becoming more versatile as they adjust to working with a more diverse workforce.

These findings of positive outcomes in the workplace seem at odds with recent restrictions on the number of refugees admitted to the country. Despite record numbers of refugees around the world, the Trump Administration is currently on target to let in the lowest number of refugees resettled in recent decades.

Among the report’s findings:

  • Three quarters of firms surveyed saw lower turnover rates for refugees than overall
  • The turnover rates were lower in all industries, sometimes by half or more. In manufacturing, average annual refugee turnover was 4 percent annually, compared to 11 percent overall. In a hotel it was 29 percent compared to 36 percent overall. In meat packing it was 25 percent compared to 40 percent overall.
  • Lower turnover translates into efficiency for companies. Replacing an employee was estimated for these employers to cost about $5,000—more than enough to offset the costs of hiring and retaining refugee employees.
  • Employers often saw overall improvements in their managers after refugees were hired.

 

Click here for the press release.

Click here for the full report.

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