CFGI Mentioned – “The Ups and Downs of Hiring Foreign Workers”


“Politics has made it harder for employers to identify and hire qualified foreign applicants for open positions, attendees told panelists June 13 during a session at the Council for Global Immigration's 2017 Symposium in Arlington, Va.

“In fact, conference attendees said they're seeing ‘crazy denials’ for temporary work visas. 

“…In some situations, employers may need to sponsor foreign nationals for certain jobs if qualified U.S. workers can't be found, according to a panel of immigration experts that included Justin Storch, manager of agency liaison at the Council for Global Immigration, an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management; Scott Fitzgerald, a partner in the Boston office of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy; and Allyson Gonzalez, an immigration and global mobility expert in international HR for AT&T in Orlando, Fla.

“…Sometimes…employers will file for visas without bothering to see if their organization…has a policy, Gonzalez said.

“Having a policy makes it easier for companies to find foreign talent, the panelists said. With a policy, companies have processes in place to engage with appropriate parties when recruiting and retaining foreign national employees.

“…‘When determining whether or not to sponsor applications, the company should consider risks,’ Gonzalez said. These include ‘time [to hire], cost [of hire] and qualified candidate pipeline,’ which means ‘if you have qualified U.S. workers who are available to do the job, you might not consider a foreign national…’

“…Helping foreign nationals with their immigration status isn't cheap.

“‘It's … quite expensive,’ Gonzalez said. ‘Filing an H-1B and the various work visas can be a budgetary constraint. In Great Britain, the cost has increased sevenfold.’

“Additionally, the time it takes to process a visa may not be feasible for your organization. As for the aforementioned risks, ‘we're in such a [political] environment that we have to consider what that means if we hire them on a student visa,’ Gonzalez said, since those visas require additional paperwork and are limited in number.  

“…Fitzgerald said that for the second time in the last year, a client has told him the organization doesn't want to hire foreign talent.

“…Fitzgerald recommended recruiters ask hiring managers…questions when looking to fill a high-skilled position…

“…‘You have to talk to your recruiters,’ Fitzgerald said, because they may recruit people who aren't legally able to take jobs. ‘Set reasonable expectations around cost, timing and stress—it's part of the process.’”

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