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How to Begin to Optimize Immigration Risk Mitigation Strategies

Bridge Team Member

Progressing from an emerging to predictable immigration program can take months or years of effort. There’s no such thing as an overnight success, particularly when standardizing processes, reducing RFEs, and mitigating other legal and internal risks.

But now, your organization has implemented a strategy that works well for your recruiters, hiring managers, People team, and international employees. You can be tremendously proud of everyone’s hard work. Let that satisfaction and momentum guide you into the next stage of your program: optimization.

Immigration programs that see the best return on investment are the ones that stay current on regulations and enforcement efforts and, more importantly, are prepared to adapt.

 

The Fundamentals of an Optimized Immigration Program

Optimizing your talent recruitment and immigration programs requires continuously monitoring your results, focusing on your employee experience, and remaining nimble.  

Empower Your Recruiters and Hiring Managers 

Ensure your core group of People team members aren’t the only ones who understand immigration policies. Recruiters who aren’t sure about the law or internal policy are at a disadvantage in attracting international professionals.

Instead, when your recruiters and hiring managers know how to wield your immigration policies and employment-based visa eligibility, they can entice top talent in the industry with competitive offers, including the potential for long-term U.S. residency or immigration assistance for relatives.

Immigration policy isn’t necessarily a hindrance to your organization—you can leverage it. As a significant majority of STEM US graduates (up to 72% for Computer and Information Sciences) from international backgrounds, use the prospect of permanent residency and the opportunities here to encourage high-quality applicants to apply for your team.

Keep Your Job Descriptions Immigration Ready

Recruiters and hiring managers shouldn’t be making up job descriptions on the fly. That’s why you’ve invested in role standardization and creating an immigration-vetted job bank.

Your job bank isn’t a one-and-done task, though. It’s best if your People team and hiring managers regularly review job descriptions and makes changes based on:

  • A better understanding of DOL and USCIS adjudication
  • New strategies to limit Requests for Evidence (RFEs)
  • New immigration policies

When you keep your job ads immigration-ready, you enable your People team to reduce the risk of RFEs, improve the likelihood of visa approvals, and guide candidates through a smooth application process.

 

Never Underestimate the Employee Experience 

There’s little point to the time, effort, and cost it takes to bring on international employees if your organization doesn’t follow up with an excellent onboarding experience.

A difficult application, travel, and onboarding experience can harm your work culture and contribute to lost productivity and employee churn. You may discourage international employees before they even get started in their roles, which can potentially be more costly than the total sponsorship costs.

Instead of leaving international employees to fend for themselves, help them navigate their immigration status changes, the potential move and new living situation, budgeting, and more. Being a partner in their life-changing journey lends itself to happier and more loyal employees.

 

Rely on Reporting and Forecasting

By now, you have likely invested in a comprehensive immigration platform. It’s up to you to take full advantage of that platform’s reporting and forecasting capabilities.

Risk mitigation is complex in that your leaders must:

  • Decide the organization’s risk tolerance;
  • Define risk-associated metrics; and
  • Regularly review data metrics for performance. 

Only by reviewing the organization’s data routinely can you determine if your efforts are genuinely reducing risk, and if not, adjust your strategy.

Leadership can also use data to determine if the immigration program is helping them reach their goals, whatever those may be regarding talent acquisition and retention, productivity, revenue, and expansion.

Additionally, your immigration platform helps you look forward, not just backward. Forecasting is particularly helpful in planning for future activity and spending. Your stakeholders can prepare for upcoming immigration tasks, including PERM applications based on current government processing times.

 

Keep a Close Eye on Immigration Trends

If there’s one thing U.S. companies know, it’s immigration regulations and enforcement consistently change. Each administration handles employment-based immigration differently.

For instance, the Trump administration created several policies hindering immigration, despite no major ones sticking. However, the Biden administration has since proposed new changes, which could boost the number of individuals eligible for H-1B visas or permanent residency.

The right immigration partner will keep you apprised of these changes and their relevance to your program.

 

The Right Immigration Partner Helps You Remain Dynamic 

A benefit of an immigration vendor that acts as a strategic partner is support in adapting to change quickly. Immigration changes will come, and in all likelihood, they will impact your organization’s recruitment efforts, internal policies, and workflow.

Your platform can support your adjustments by offering easy ways to update workflows, permissions, forms, and other resources. In addition, your internal stakeholders, candidates, and immigration counsel continue to communicate directly in the platform, even if you’re navigating new policies for the first time. 

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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