In our latest stakeholder training post, we discussed why training is key to realizing an ROI for any strategic immigration foundation. Today we’re sharing why recruiters are perhaps the stakeholders with the most to gain when it comes to leveraging immigration policy to meet talent goals.
Are we really in a “war” for STEM talent?
Yes! Fortunately, this war is fought with offer letters and competitive benefits in lieu of pitchforks and armor.
Let’s start by taking a macro lens to today’s STEM talent pool:
- For every unemployed STEM worker in the United States, there are 13 open STEM positions.
- International employees make up nearly a quarter of the STEM workforce in the U.S., up by nearly 50% since the year 2000.
- Nearly 70% of Master’s degree candidates in STEM fields are international students.
Whether employers are aware or not, international employees are a growing cohort within the already scarce STEM talent marketplace. In competitive job markets like San Francisco or New York, it’s not uncommon for international candidates to routinely make up more than 50% of the qualified applicants for open STEM positions.
Let’s take a micro lens to our same environment:
How non-international employees measure a prospective employer will vary from person-to-person; however, attributes such as company culture, compensation, benefits, responsibilities, and flexibility are commonly used to measure companies against their peers. For international employees, those same criteria certainly apply, but sponsorship adds an additional layer of complexity to that same calculation.
As international candidates become a larger share of the STEM talent pool, forward-thinking employers can appeal to international employees by implementing more aggressive immigration policies and training recruiters to discuss immigration benefits. For growing companies or companies in more technical industries, if they are willing to create a better international candidate experience, the potential for a competitive talent advantage is even greater.
To play “offense” correctly, employers must first formalize an immigration policy. From that milestone, the primary objective of this training is to not only prepare recruiters for how to discuss sponsorship with international employees, but also to ensure recruiters are fully aware of and appropriately offering the company’s agreed-upon immigration benefits. Alongside the formalization of an immigration-vetted job bank, recruiters should also know which positions are permitted for sponsorship, per company policy.
To play “defense” with recruiter training, employers are preparing recruiters to remain compliant with how they approach hiring international candidates. That includes the consistent offering of immigration benefits and removing any unintentionally biased hiring practices that hurt the candidate experience, or in extreme cases, land the company in a wrongful discrimination lawsuit.
- Generate awareness of the company’s immigration policies
- Leverage any competitive immigration benefits your company offers when recruiting international employees
- Understand what your company is willing to sponsor for and which positions qualify for work visas
- Familiarize yourself with some common visa types and expected preparation timelines
- Create intentionality around how to act in the company’s best interest when interacting with international candidates
How to start
While having written extensively about some of the topics above, if you’d like to learn more about stakeholder or recruiter training more broadly or discuss your team’s individual strategies, feel free to book some time to chat with our team of experts.
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.