Military conflicts, political turmoil and natural disasters across the globe are displacing people at record rates, creating a flood of refugees into more stable countries such as the UK and the US. Often overlooked, companies can seek out these new residents to fill both temporary and permanent roles with diverse talent. 

This month, the Tent Partnership for Refugees — a global network of more than 350 companies committed to the labor market integration of refugees — launched a program in Mexico, while Adecco announced an expanded program. 

Untapped Supply 

At the end of 2022, 108.4 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations and events seriously disturbing public order, according to the Global Trends report released by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. This represents an increase of 19 million people compared to the end of 2021 and marks the largest-ever year-over-year increase, according to UNHCR’s statistics on forced displacement.  

“Ongoing and new conflicts have driven forced displacement across the globe,” the report states. “The Russian Federation’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 created the fastest displacement crisis, and one of the largest, since the Second World War. At the end of 2022, a total of 11.6 million Ukrainians remained displaced, including 5.9 million within their country and 5.7 million who fled to neighboring countries and beyond.” 

Conflict and insecurity in other parts of the world either continued or reignited, such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and Myanmar, where more than a million people were displaced within each country.  

Adecco Commits to Hires, Launches Jobs for Refugees Website 

Adecco, part of the Adecco Group, announced it has pledged to find jobs for 85,000 refugees globally and train or upskill 17,000 by the end of 2027. 

The commitment follows Adecco’s first pledge at Tent’s European Business Summit in June 2023 to connect 50,000 refugees to jobs over three years and to provide technical and language training to 10,000. Adecco has been a partner of the Tent Partnership for Refugees (Tent) since 2020. 

Adecco is also launching a dedicated website, Jobs for Refugees. This online platform enables refugees of all nationalities to explore and connect to job opportunities worldwide, focusing on a skills-first approach. The group said the launch of the site is in recognition of the “transformative power of meaningful work and the ability to create positive, lasting change in the lives of refugees worldwide.” 

“No one chooses to be a refugee,” said Adecco President Christophe Catoir in a press release. “We strongly believe that work is not just a source of income but a first, important step for rebuilding a life, integrating in a new country and finding a place in society again. Moreover, for companies, embracing diversity by employing refugees brings unique perspectives, strong loyalty and much needed skills to the workforce. This not only fosters a more inclusive workplace culture but also contributes to the overall success of a company.” 

In Germany, Adecco recently joined the “Job Turbo for the Integration of Refugees into the Labour Market” initiative announced by the Federal Minister of Labour in October 2023. The target is to employ at least 10,000 refugees in Germany by the end of 2025. To achieve these goals, Adecco Germany is working with committed companies such as L’Oréal. 

“At L’Oréal Germany, we are committed to employ people from disadvantaged socioeconomic communities,” Kenneth Campbell, CEO L’Oréal Austria, Germany and Switzerland (DACH) said in the Adecco press release. “Through our inclusive sourcing program, we explicitly include people with a refugee background. A more sustainable and inclusive future is possible, but it can only be achieved together. That’s why we are working with partners like Adecco to combine business performance with a positive impact on our society.” 

Tent México 

Tent México, the organization’s first national coalition to launch in Latin America, adds to Tent’s existing coalitions in Canada, France, Spain and the US. Tent launched the program on Feb. 7, describing it as “a first-of-its-kind coalition of Mexico’s largest employers to bridge this gap — helping Mexican businesses fill acute labor shortages by harnessing the talent of refugees and migrants who are eager to build new lives in Mexico.” 

The 50 inaugural companies joining Tent México include brands such as Accenture, Accor Hotels, Adecco Group, Amazon, Arca Continental, AT&T, Chobani, DHL Group, Dow Chemical, Femsa, H&M, H-E-B, Hilton, HP Inc., HSBC, Hyatt, ManpowerGroup, Marriott International, SAP, Walmart and WeWork. 

In recent years, Mexico has added more than 600,000 displaced people from countries such as Venezuela, Haiti and Cuba. At the same time, 75% of employers in Mexico say they struggle to find workers, and Coparmex, the Mexican Employers Association, reports between 1.2 and 1.6 million vacancies in Mexico’s labor market.  

“The 50 companies launching Tent México today are forging a pathway and showing that the future of business in Mexico is an increasingly diverse and inclusive one — one that refugees and migrants should not be left out of,” Gerardo Ancira, Tent’s director for Mexicom, said in a press release. “We look forward to working with these businesses to hire refugees and migrants at scale as well as help them better access employment opportunities across the country, and [we] urge even more companies to recognize they can make the biggest and most sustainable impact by integrating refugees and migrants into their workforce.” 

Tent México will provide a range of free services to companies that will support their efforts to connect refugees and migrants to work. Tent’s global business network will provide best practices and lessons learned to help companies successfully set up and implement their refugee hiring programs.  

“We are thrilled to see Tent México launch today and honored to be a part of this vital movement to connect refugees and migrants to work,” José Antonio Fernández, chairman of the board of Femsa, said in the Tent press release. “At Femsa, we have hired thousands of refugees and migrants over the years and have seen firsthand the tremendous impact they have made on our company, our employees and our community. We look forward to building upon this success and deepening our work with Tent to welcome even more refugees and migrants into the Femsa workforce.”