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Strengthening Your Strategy for Determining Candidate Immigration Eligibility

Bridge Team Member

Boost the success of your talent acquisition activities with a structured immigration eligibility process.

You have taken clear steps to standardize the process of determining candidate immigration options, but the next challenge is ensuring recruiting teams use it consistently. Though you recognize the importance of having recruiting teams follow immigration best practices, it is often difficult to achieve amid competing priorities and aggressive recruiting timelines.

Thankfully, bringing more structure and consistency to the way you handle candidate immigration eligibility can result in a smoother hiring process and help you gain more clarity about when non-U.S. hires will be available to begin work. By building on the actions you have already taken, you can create more transparency and build more predictability into your talent acquisition program.

Celebrate Your Progress

Now that you have created a structured process for engaging candidates in discussions about their immigration options, you have been able to sidestep many of the complications of a chaotic immigration process. 

One key benefit of your efforts thus far has likely been a better candidate experience, which research shows can improve your talent acquisition success overall. For example, an IBM study found that individuals who are satisfied with their candidate experience are 38 percent more likely to accept a job offer and twice as likely to recommend the organization than individuals who have a poor candidate experience.

Now that you have a protocol for addressing candidate immigration eligibility, recruiting teams no longer have to create their own process or avoid immigration discussions with candidates. As a result, you can establish a more consistent candidate experience and reduce the likelihood of surprise delays in start dates.

Acknowledge Areas for Improvement

Though you have made some headway in developing a more streamlined immigration process, you recognize there remain some areas for improvement. Because your immigration eligibility process isn’t being used consistently throughout the organization, you may still be struggling with the following challenges:

  • Recruiters are having limited immigration discussions with candidates, leading to a lack of understanding of all that is required to have international hires begin work on their anticipated start date. 
  • Talent acquisition teams aren’t sure which questions they should be asking when candidates may be eligible for less common visa types, such as E-3 and O-1 visas.
  • Instead of following your process, some recruiters make assumptions about candidate immigration eligibility based on where candidates have worked, studied, or lived in the past.
  • Candidate immigration details are often overlooked because they aren’t well-integrated with your applicant tracking system (ATS) and HR information systems (HRIS).

How to Make Your Emerging Immigration Program More Predictable

To build upon your success and take your emerging immigration program to the next level, you need to fully incorporate immigration eligibility into your talent acquisition program. 

You have started down the path of creating a strategic immigration function, and now is the time to make it a formal part of your talent acquisition program. To maximize the impact of your efforts so far, recruiting teams need to understand the actions they must take to support the new process, as well as the potential repercussions of failing to do so.

Take the following actions to more fully incorporate immigration eligibility into your recruiting practices:

  • Standardize your immigration program by establishing guidelines for immigration timing and fees.
  • Educate recruiting teams about the many potential visa types, including the more common H-1B visas, as well as lesser-known visas.
  • Ensure recruiters understand the potential downside of not asking the necessary immigration questions early in the hiring process, including a poor candidate experience, delayed start dates, and disappointed hiring managers
  • Incorporate immigration eligibility into your end-to-end recruiting process, for example, by making candidate immigration eligibility information a prerequisite for new hire approval.
  • Integrate immigration, ATS, and HRIS platforms, so each candidate profile includes the following information: job description, resume, visa type, and intended start date

Now that you have a solid foundation on which to build an effective immigration program, you have new opportunities to boost the candidate experience and carve a more predictable path to hire. With support and guidance from your immigration partner, you can create a process where determining candidate immigration eligibility is not an afterthought but an integral part of your robust talent acquisition 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.


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