Company News

Oyster for Refugees: Bridging the gap between talent and opportunity

You have the power to make a big impact!
May 31, 2022
Oyster Team
The words "Oyster for refugees" in stylized text

Global employment enables companies to overcome location bias and hire untapped talent all over the world, including refugees. 

While businesses are experiencing a talent shortage, there are millions of skilled refugees around the world who are ready to work but can't access these jobs. We believe bridging this gap could have a major impact on businesses, refugees, and the communities they belong to—and we're passionate about making it happen.

That's why we're proud to announce Oyster for Refugees: a program to help you find skilled refugee talent, hire them compliantly, and get the resources you both need to thrive together. (Click here to find out about the Oyster for Refugees discount.)

Stylized quote from Jack Mardack

The mission behind Oyster for Refugees


At Oyster, we’re on a mission to create a more equal world of work by enabling companies everywhere to hire, pay, and care for talent anywhere. To maximize our impact, we’re focused on connecting global companies with job seekers in emerging markets. 

"Our mission compels us to grow the number of people hired through Oyster in emerging countries to ensure our reach truly extends to everyone, everywhere,” explains Oyster co-founder Jack Mardack. 

We’re proud to share that our current customers are hiring job seekers in emerging markets, including refugees. Today, 25% of Team Members employed through the Oyster platform are located in emerging markets, with a projected $50 million to flow into these economies by the end of 2022. 

Because over 85% of refugees in the world are hosted in developing countries, we’re determined to increase the percentage of Team Members in emerging markets to 30% by 2024. Through this goal, we hope to help our customers hire more refugee talent and increase the total-dollar flow into refugee communities. 

You have the power to make a big impact

What excites us about this program is the level of impact it can create and how easy it is for global businesses to contribute. 

Tony Jamous quote

Impact on business and teams

By adopting more inclusive hiring practices, you can increase employee engagement and productivity. A Tent.org study shares that refugees have significantly higher retention rates than their non-refugee counterparts, reducing attrition and related costs. McKinsey also reports that companies with racially and ethnically diverse teams are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective industry medians. 

Here at Oyster, we’ve also seen first-hand that employees are more attracted to and invested in mission-led companies. In 2021, we received 150,000+ job applications. A survey of our current employees demonstrates that 90% are satisfied and engaged at work (+13% over the benchmark for the top 25% VC-backed companies).

The refugee talent pool could also be an incredible source of skilled workers in the face of the global talent shortage. By 2030, there will be a need for over 80 million skilled workers. Global employment and access to refugee talent can help you fill the talent gap in your business. 

Impact on refugees and their communities

By opening your workforce to refugee candidates, you can also make an impact on refugees’ well-being and quality of life. Rather than settling for whatever job they can get, they can land a job that aligns with their skills and interests and discover a sense of purpose. These jobs are also likely more stable and better paid, which can help refugee workers unlock social and economic mobility. 

Hiring refugees also supports the communities they belong to. According to UNHCR, there are 26.6 million refugees in the world and 85% of them are hosted in developing countries. Working remotely and feeding money back into their local economies and home countries can accelerate change and development in these communities. 

Oyster for Refugees: how to get started

We believe that where someone lives shouldn't dictate or limit their job opportunities. And if your company is (or strives to be) a global employer, you likely feel the same way. But you may not know where to start. 

The Oyster for Refugees program helps you find and compliantly hire skilled refugee talent at no or discounted costs. It also includes resources for your People Ops team and new refugee Team Members to help you thrive together. 

You may need help in one of these areas—or all of them. Take a look at the different resources available to identify where we can support you best:

Find refugee talent

If you're looking for help connecting with refugee talent, meet our partner, Niya.ai. Their diversity recruitment platform links you to pre-vetted candidates in 35+ countries seeking jobs in tech or data.

Quote from Niya's co-founder

How to get started: Create an account on Niya.ai using the "Get Started" button. Once that's done, you can discover skilled refugee talent in over 35 countries. 

Hire refugee talent

Found your next all-star and need help bringing them aboard? That's where we come in! As an end-to-end global employment solution, we help you compliantly hire, pay, and provide benefits in 180+ countries—including developing countries with high refugee populations like Turkey, Colombia, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Germany, and Bangladesh. The hiring process can be as quick as 24 hours to two weeks. 

How to get started: Create a new Oyster account, or log into your existing account, and submit a hire request. You can claim your Oyster for Refugees discount by contacting our sales team at sales@oysterhr.com or your Account Manager.

Empower your People Ops teams

We understand that global employment is new to many, and you may have specific questions about hiring displaced and refugee workers. Take a look at our Hire Equitably series for more information on creating an inclusive and equitable hiring process. 

How to get started: Consider the Hire Equitably series your centralized hub for resources, interviews, and how-to guides on hiring and managing refugee talent. Take a look—it's free!

Support your refugee talent

If you find an awesome refugee candidate who doesn't have a whole lot of remote work experience, that's okay! We've compiled remote-ready resources so they can upskill and prepare for your distributed work model. 

How to get started: Share this link with your new Team Members for free access to Oyster Academy, including this 3-5 hour course on preparing for distributed work. (Pro tip: there are some courses in there that your People Ops team will like too!)

The time to hire refugees is now

Joining the Oyster for Refugees program helps your business, helps refugees, and helps the communities they belong to. It’s a business decision that's a win-win-win. Ready to open up your workforce to brilliant refugee talent? We're with you every step of the way. 

Get started with finding and hiring refugee talent here.

About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, hire, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.

Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world—with reliable, compliant payroll, and great local benefits and perks.

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