Improving immigration benefits communications with international employees can dramatically improve their immigration experience.
As you incorporate international hiring into your talent acquisition strategy, you need an effective way to help your international employees navigate the immigration process. But if the benefits communication process is chaotic or uneven, your international employees will be unclear about the immigration assistance available to help them.
Being vague about immigration benefits can only leave international hires in the dark. It also invites unnecessary worry about their visa status and timelines. Conversely, when you communicate immigration benefits clearly during the recruiting and onboarding process, you can help employees get the assistance they need and find better peace of mind during the immigration process.
Complications of Poor Immigration Benefits Communication
Though international employees can help your organization fill talent gaps in many areas, a confusing immigration process can make it that much harder to attract and retain them.
If you have ever experienced the disappointment of having to delay an international transfer or end an employee’s assignment early due to visa complications, you know how disruptive a chaotic immigration process can be for everyone involved. Without well-communicated immigration benefits, you can encounter any one of the following problems:
You can lose talent to competitors
Chances are, some or all of your competitors may already have a more predictable process for communicating and delivering immigration benefits. If they do, they may have an advantage in attracting the international talent your organization needs.
In an age where candidates can learn much about your company through word-of-mouth and online reviews, you don’t want to lose out on international talent because candidates don’t know enough about available benefits.
Employees can become distracted and disengaged
Whether your international employees are having trouble obtaining the necessary documents for a visa renewal or they have a spouse in need of immigration assistance, the immigration process can quickly become overwhelming.
Employees who repeatedly request visa updates from HR are signaling a strong need for better immigration support and education. Without an efficient way to connect employees to valuable immigration benefits, they can end up taking precious time away from their workday to make calls and search for information.
You can miss critical deadlines
Immigration benefits help international employees understand how and when to submit supporting documentation and other information for their visa or green card. But if they don’t have help understanding due dates and the many complexities of the U.S. immigration system, you can run the risk of missing critical deadlines.
If the immigration process takes longer than it has to, both employees and your organization can suffer the consequences. For example, in the case of H1-B visas, missing a deadline can mean the difference between submitting a visa application before the annual cap limit is reached and missing out until next year.
Key Steps to Improving International Benefits Communications
Your ability to hire and retain international employees depends on a smooth and effective immigration process. In fact, a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) found that 74 percent of employers said their ability to obtain visas in a timely and predictable way was critical to meeting business goals.
To meet your goals for a positive employee experience, it will be necessary to provide immigration benefits that help to limit employee anxiety, reduce turnaround times, and overcome obstacles in the visa application process.
Here are some key actions you can take to communicate and deliver immigration benefits more effectively:
- Communicate benefits proactively: Don’t wait for international candidates and employees to become worried about immigration assistance. Introduce them to your immigration benefits during the recruiting process and follow up throughout onboarding.
- Offer dedicated immigration support: Make sure employees know about the individuals and resources available to help them with documentation, deadlines, renewals, and more.
- Keep immigration benefits information organized: Organize immigration benefits so employees can get a clear picture of key milestones, application due dates, and anticipated outcomes.
Create an Emerging Immigration Program
Cultivating a positive immigration experience for your international employees is an achievable goal when you have the right tools and partners to help you.
While an ad-hoc technology solution may help to organize some of your immigration data, it is likely to fall short in its ability to deliver personalized immigration benefits tailored to each employee’s unique needs and immigration situation.
By using an immigration-specific platform to deliver resources, updates, and guidance to your international employees, you can begin to create a more predictable and stress-free immigration process that is built around predictably and equitably delivering immigration benefits.
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.