Celebrate an Emerging Immigration Program While Striving to Improve
Despite working toward a more predictable and consistent immigration program, you may still feel behind. There’s nothing wrong with realizing there’s room for improvement even though you’ve moved beyond a chaotic immigration process.
While your People team should be proud of bringing on talent from around the world, it can recognize there’s more to do. Through intentional process management, you can drive towards more efficiency and compliance.
Acknowledge Your Victories
Many organization’s immigration programs fall between chaotic and predictable processes. It’s common to have some well-managed tasks while struggling with other inefficiencies.
In an emerging immigration program, you may have:
- Started to define the organization’s immigration policy, including international applicants’ eligibility for recruitment;
- Started to define stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities;
- Documented the appropriate workflow, including assignees and due dates; and
- Adopted some technological tools, like employee collaboration solutions.
More consistent recruitment efforts
These steps can have a profound impact on an organization. Your recruiters are better able to identify potential candidates and move forward eligible individuals only.
More consistent workflows and accountability
Most of the time, the appropriate employee handles their portion of the workflow on time. Your team members are getting more comfortable with their specific roles and beginning to take ownership over their share of the process.
Improved employee experience
You may have improved your international employee or applicants’ experience throughout the immigration process. Better and faster communication among stakeholders can ease the international employee’s worry. Of course, it’s impossible to eliminate all anxiety. But new hires are more likely to start on the right foot after a smooth, clearly defined immigration process.
Given your more consistent processes, your team may be confident that it complies with federal immigration regulations and is better prepared for an audit.
Process Management Demands Evaluation & Change
The fastest way to a streamlined immigration program is a willingness to acknowledge and address the weaknesses in your policies, workflow, and technology.
Do you notice ineligible candidates?
Despite trying to define your immigration program, your process may kick off with inconsistent recruiting practices. Occasionally, ineligible candidates may slip through, trigging the next stage of the immigration process unnecessarily.
Are there too many inefficient processes?
Within your workflow, your team may perform time-consuming, error-prone, manual tasks. These tasks are inconvenient. But more importantly, they create a risk of someone making a serious mistake that impacts the immigration outcome for a current or prospective employee. Most likely, there’s room to make your workflow more efficient and effective with collaboration tools, automation, and other technology.
Are team members confused?
There may also be lingering confusion over responsibilities and ownership. If your team members aren’t on the same page, you likely won’t see the results you want—disagreements and figuring out responsibilities one step at a time bog down the process.
Do you rely on spreadsheets?
Unfortunately, an organized workflow that relies on spreadsheets can falter. It isn’t easy to manage a large volume of data in spreadsheets and translate it into useful reports. Meanwhile, it’s easy to insert small but impactful errors into spreadsheets. The wrong date here or there matters a great deal to an applicant or current employee if it costs them a visa and their job.
Can you guarantee compliance?
Compliance is an important measure of whether an immigration program is successful or not. You may believe you’re complying with I-9, PAF, and other regulations when, in truth, there are still problems to address. Your confidence may be misplaced if your workflow relies on manual tasks and inconsistently applied policies.
Do international employees have true visibility?
Transparency is another important measure. Even with improved communication, international employees might not have the degree of visibility into the immigration process that you want them to. You may need to manually tell them what they’re waiting on, what they’re responsible for, and what comes next, which leaves room for miscommunications, mistakes, and frustration.
How to Move Your Immigration Program Forward
You can define an emerging immigration program by your efforts to boost consistency and compliance. Yet, there’s room for greater efficiency and transparency for your team and international employees.
- Engage your immigration program stakeholders. You’ll need all hands on deck to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your current policies, workflow, and tools.
- Review your immigration policies and workflows. Note where you’ve experienced inconsistencies or breakdowns in the process. Have ineligible candidates made it too far into the recruitment process? Is there confusion about each person’s responsibilities? Are team members having trouble collaborating and tracking information throughout the process?
- Identify why parts of the process are failing. Once you’ve identified where the process goes awry, it’s essential that you identify the root cause of the problem. For example, data entry errors are a serious risk. Your People team may greatly benefit from automation, which can auto-fill forms and send out reminders. Automation’s more efficient and can reduce the risk of mistakes when data entry is involved.
Get Serious About Finding an Immigration Platform
If you’re ready to get rid of spreadsheets and manual tasks, the next step is to adopt a comprehensive immigration technology solution.
Look for a provider offering:
- Deep knowledge of immigration laws and policies,
- A highly responsive team,
- A secure, centralized hub for information,
- Customizable workflows that comply with current immigration law,
- Collaboration tools, and
- Visibility into the immigration process.
It takes careful thought and time to find the right platform and vendor for your organization. Despite the initial workload, the right solution will drive you toward a predictable immigration program.
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.