Chronicle "My life in a box". One can lament the helpless arrival of destitute refugees after abandoning their property in flight from a country at war. One can also make the wish that these tragedies become rare. In this New Year period, it's time! But we can also act. In business, especially. Is not it said that in this period of full employment for executives in France it becomes particularly difficult to recruit qualified people in a growing number of trades "in tension"? Refugees have talents. Difficult to imagine, as the habit is great to associate intellectual level, skills and appearance; when one has survived an extremely dangerous journey, one is rarely dressed to the nines.
"Refugees have invisible talents, a cultural richness and a different worldview, which are real assets for the company"
Some pioneering companies have seized all the interest of this pool of unsuspected labor. By the summer, the IT department of the Transmission System (RTE) should have hosted a dozen refugees. Two leaders of the group are at the origin of the project: Nathalie Devulder, director of sustainable development, and Olivier Grabette, member of the executive board. "Refugees have invisible talents, a cultural richness and a different worldview, which are real assets for the company. But we had problems to find skills in the digital field. The convergence between these two elements has become essential ", explains Nathalie Devulder. "A company must be connected to the issues of society," adds Olivier Grabette.
On the advice of Singa, a refugee aid association, RTE is assisted by Tilt & Co, a social innovation consultancy. Together, they conducted four workshops with volunteer employees of RTE to define the desired profiles. "We found them very easily despite super-constrained agendas," says Nathalie Devulder. "The project was a response to the desire of employees who wanted to give more meaning and human value to their professional life", Olivier Grabette analysis.
"The fear of unfair competition"
In a completely different sector, L'Oréal has hired 20% of the 19 refugees it has hosted since mid-2017. The Wintegreat association had selected trainees from 800 higher education graduates, before accompanying them and training them in one of the ten grandes écoles (ESCP Europe, Essec, Mines de Paris ...) with which it is in partnership. "We evaluated them like all the other trainees. The diversity of their career, their different vision of beauty bring a lot of wealth internally ", explains Tony Cocoual, director of recruitment of selective divisions of L'Oréal.