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Bringing Consistency to a Chaotic Talent Acquisition and Immigration Process

Bridge Team Member

Consistently addressing immigration eligibility with candidates helps to drive a more effective hiring process.

Recruiting in today’s competitive talent market requires having processes for determining candidate fit for your organization and culture. But, in addition to assessing candidate capabilities, knowledge, and work experience, you also need to understand their immigration eligibility and how soon they could begin employment.

If you are relying on an ad-hoc and reactive immigration process, you can experience delays that will only slow down your ability to fill open positions with best-fit candidates. Worse, you can end up moving candidates through the interview and selection process, only to find out later that they don’t have viable immigration options.

When your organization routinely recruits non-U.S. workers—whether they are based in the U.S. or abroad—you need mechanisms in place to facilitate well-rounded candidate assessments. Specifically, you need a clear process for learning about candidate immigration eligibility early in the hiring process.

The Importance of a Consistent Candidate Assessment Process

When you hire talent, you likely follow a process for screening candidates and having them meet with the right mix of individuals to determine fit for a role. Perhaps you follow a structure of first and second-round interviews, possibly combined with other kinds of assessments to help you visualize how candidates might perform in a specific role. 

It is understandable—and common—to go beyond the standard candidate interview when seeking high-quality talent. In fact, according to Talent Board research, 71 percent of organizations use some kind of pre-employment assessment in their talent acquisition efforts.

However, if you don’t follow a similarly well-thought-out process for determining candidate immigration eligibility, then you could be setting yourself up for delayed start dates and a host of immigration hurdles you had not anticipated. You could also end up wasting your time on candidates that simply aren’t a fit because of their visa status or type. 

Conversely, when you have a more consistent process for assessing candidates and understanding what is required to obtain approvals on immigration applications, you can ultimately create a more effective talent acquisition program and realize the following benefits:

  • Better candidate experience: Communicating with candidates about immigration up front helps rule out misunderstandings and reduces the likelihood of abruptly stopping the hiring process.
  • A more efficient hiring process: Assessing candidate immigration eligibility can help you avoid delays and course corrections that slow down the hiring and onboarding process. 
  • More predictable hiring outcomes: By understanding candidate immigration options, you can begin immigration planning sooner and anticipate employment start dates more accurately.
  • Better partnership with hiring managers: Asking the right immigration questions early in the candidate selection process demonstrates a strong commitment to helping hiring managers find qualified candidates.

How to More Fully Align Immigration with your Talent Acquisition Process

Given the increasingly competitive talent landscape, it is critical to have candidate assessment and selection processes that enable an efficient and transparent talent acquisition program.

You may already be experiencing the confusion that can result from having talent teams following different immigration processes. For example, one part of the organization may be having immigration eligibility discussions with candidates, while others aren’t, resulting in an uneven candidate experience. 

To avoid such inconsistency, you will need to create a reliable process for understanding candidate immigration options early. To get started, take the following steps:

  • Work with your immigration services provider to define a predictable candidate assessment process that aligns with your company's recruiting activities.
  • Communicate the new process consistently across all talent acquisition team members.
  • Create opportunities for dialogue with candidates about their immigration eligibility, where you can ask questions and also offer information to help candidates understand available benefits.

Begin the Journey to a More Predictable Candidate Assessment

Though your talent teams may not yet have a regular process for learning about candidate immigration eligibility early in the hiring process, it is possible to have those conversations more consistently.

Working in partnership with your immigration services provider, you can incorporate immigration more fully into your talent acquisition activities and operate the hiring process with greater confidence and transparency.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult a Bridge-affiliated partner attorney or another qualified legal professional.


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