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Creating a Reliable Spending Strategy for Your Emerging Immigration Program

Bridge Team Member

Learn to leverage immigration technology to support your spending and forecasting activities.

You've started down the path of understanding your past and projected immigration spending, but there remain areas for improvement. More specifically, while you have moved beyond a chaotic immigration function and begun to aggregate historical spending, you are constrained by the limitations of spreadsheets and struggle to create accurate forecasts.

As one of the critical metrics to help you assess the effectiveness of your recruiting efforts, the cost per hire can vary greatly for international employees. And while the investment in international talent is worth it for the skills it brings into your organization, you need better tools for budgeting and forecasting immigration costs. Now, you’re ready for technology that can help you automate the process and anticipate costs more predictably.

The Drawbacks of Manual Immigration Cost Tracking 

By capturing your historical immigration spending, you have already taken a critical step in building a more strategic immigration function. You have a good understanding of the fees you have paid for initial visa petitions, renewals, and the related attorney and USCIS fees.

However, creating an employee-level budget based on the figures you’ve aggregated in an Excel file is difficult. Spreadsheets are great for organizing inputs, but not so effective in generating insights that can improve your decision-making. In fact, you have likely already identified the following drawbacks of using Excel to create immigration cost forecasts:

  • Time-consuming: Someone has to enter information from receipts into the spreadsheet manually.
  • Error-prone: Manual inputs increase the chances of errors in your immigration data.
  • Limited reporting capability: Excel can sum and sort data, but it can’t easily generate dynamic reports to facilitate forecasting.

Possible Alternatives to Excel

Excel is not your only option for tracking immigration spending and developing an accurate forecast of future costs. And given the limitations of using spreadsheets, it’s worthwhile to consider alternatives. For example, your HR Information system (HRIS) and immigration software are possible solutions.

When determining which technology solution is the best fit to help you manage and forecast immigration spending, consider how it would help you manage the specific tasks that comprise your immigration process. 

For example, if you know you want to record immigration costs by employee or by job function, your HRIS might be able to track a single figure, but it probably won’t be able to track a breakdown of several interrelated immigration costs for a single employee. 

On the other hand, immigration technology designed to track every cost and milestone in the immigration process is more likely to deliver the reporting capability you need for budgeting and forecasting. It can offer the functionality to help you track and project your immigration spend, including:

  • Dashboards that provide a real-time view of immigration cases and their associated costs
  • Reports detailing historical and projected spend by employee, quarter, department, cost center, and in aggregate
  • Tools for estimating costs based on variables you toggle off and on, for example, number of dependents or green card sponsorship

Benefits of Using Immigration Technology for Forecasting

When you’ve made the decision to automate your processes for tracking immigration spending, you can do much more than summarize past immigration spending. You can gain greater visibility into your immigration activities and make better data-driven decisions about future spending. Here are just some of the things you can do when you use immigration technology for immigration budget forecasting:

  • Save time through the elimination of manual data entry.
  • Identify opportunities for cost savings.
  • See trends in immigration spending over time.
  • Develop a more accurate picture of your cost per hire.
  • Explore total rewards with employees with more confidence

Elevate Your Talent Acquisition Function With Immigration Technology

Understanding your immigration spending is critical to the success of your talent acquisition program. Just as you need to effectively track and forecast spending on search firms and job postings, you also need full visibility into anticipated immigration costs for all international hires.

With the aid of immigration technology, you can do more than measure past spending. You can also draw insights about your immigration activities and create budgets that allow you to anticipate future spending.

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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