CFGI Employer Survey: Access to Global Talent Key to Competiveness


February 27, 2017                                                             

CFGI Contact:            
Pete Janhunen
The Fratelli Group
(202) 822-9491

SHRM Contact:          
Kate Kennedy
(703) 535-6260

CFGI Employer Survey: Access to Global Talent Key to Competiveness

74 Percent Say Obtaining Work Visas in Timely Manner “Critical” to Achieving Business Objectives 

Washington, D.C. – The Council for Global Immigration (CFGI) today released its new Employer Immigration Metrics (EIM) Survey report. The report shows that, while American employers are under tremendous strain to compete and win in the complex, global economy, they face a challenge finding the most qualified candidates to fill critical job openings. Seventy-four percent of respondents reported that the ability to obtain visas in a timely, predictable and flexible manner is essential to their competitiveness in the global economy. 

The survey, conducted with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Fragomen Worldwide, also found that cumbersome immigration procedures contribute to the lengthy hiring process for most employers. Additionally, employers dedicate significant financial and staff resources to complete immigration processes to hire foreign nationals. 

“American employers are struggling to find qualified candidates to fill their most critical job openings, which makes it more difficult to compete and win in today’s complex, global economy,” said Lynn Shotwell, executive director of CFGI. “These survey findings underscore the importance of ensuring timely access to top global talent and a need to modernize our outdated employment-based immigration system to make it more fair, innovative and competitive.” 

The EIM survey is the latest resource produced by CFGI as policymakers weigh changes that could shift the landscape for the U.S. employment-based immigration system. 

Earlier this month, CFGI released its “Immigration 101,” a guide to understanding the U.S. employment-based immigration system, as well as the latest in a series of short, informative videos highlighting the importance of access to high-skilled global talent as a component of broader 21st century workforce policies. 

The biennial EIM survey gathers the latest information from U.S. employers on whether the immigration system is meeting their needs. Additional survey findings include:

  • Thirty-five percent of respondents reported that they had lost key organizational talent due to H-1Bs being unavailable under the cap.

  • Cumbersome immigration procedures at least double the
length of the hiring process. In some cases, the total time needed to hire an employee increases six-fold.

  • The average employer reported having three employees working full time to complete immigration processes, and another ten employees for whom immigration processes make up a portion of their job function.

About the EIM Survey
In August and September 2016, CFGI, SHRM and Fragomen Worldwide conducted their biennial EIM Survey. The survey was distributed to 2,784 members of CFGI and SHRM – 236 primary contacts from CFGI’s membership database and 2,548 SHRM members working at organizations with 2,500 or more employees. The overall response rate was 8.6 percent (239 total responses, including 140 complete and 99 partial responses).


The Council for Global Immigration (formerly known as the American Council on International Personnel), a strategic affiliate of SHRM, comprised of over 200 corporations, universities and research institutions is engaged in the global movement of talent. CFGI members are in-house professionals responsible for ensuring compliance with immigration and related employment laws worldwide.  Learn more about us at

Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit SHRM Online at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SHRMPress.