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Immigration Program Maturity Assessment

[Name], Thank you for completing our Immigration Program Maturity Assessment. Below, find a summary of your overall results, as well as results within each category.
Overall: Mature
Chaotic
Emerging
Predictable
Optimized

Your immigration function is unwieldy and reactive. There's plenty of room to improve all aspects of your program.

Your immigration function is staying afloat, but there are glaring weaknesses that should be addressed to create a more scalable and effective program.

Your immigration function is employing scalable, proactive, and employee-centric processes. You have a solid foundation in place, but there's even more your team can do on your way to immigration excellence.

You are running a top-tier immigration function, optimized across all key dimensions. There are opportunities to further level-up, but you are already well ahead of your industry peers.

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Operational Efficiency: Emerging
Chaotic
Emerging
Predictable
Optimized

Your immigration processes are manual and inefficient. This is creating process delays and consuming valuable time that could be spent elsewhere in your business.‍

You've started to streamline and digitize your immigration operations, but you still have a ways to go before achieving operational excellence.

You are running an operationally sound immigration process using efficient processes and good data. The foundation is strong. Now build on it to unlock the next level of operational excellence.

Your immigration process is a well-oiled machine. You are doing an exceptional job leveraging tools and data to run an efficient and organized program.

Here are a few quick tips to continue moving up the maturity curve in this area:

Process Management: Email and phone collaboration is making your immigration process feel chaotic. Create a step-by-step plan for your typical immigration processes. Each task should have an assignee and estimated due date.

Process Management: You have tried to streamline your process but the results aren't there yet. Identify specifically why your current tools are not getting the job done (e.g. lack of automation or collaboration). Once the root cause is identified you can explore alternatives that better meet your needs.

Process Management: You're off to a great start with structuring your process. Make sure all stakeholders feel the same way. At the end of each immigration process, or periodically, survey all stakeholders to identify ways to further improve.

Data Management: Most of your immigration data is exchanged by email, a disorganized and insecure medium. Start using cloud-based file storage options to share data and documents.

Data Management: Your data is secure but can't be easily used. Consider ways of creating a "single source of truth" for your immigration data.

Data Management: Your core immigration data is centralized and secure. Make sure you are also tracking data that has second-order immigration implications like employee address changes and travel.

Reporting: Without good reporting, you are likely to be caught by surprise in today's dynamic immigration climate. Start by tracking some key data points that affect your employees' immigration status.

Reporting: Your spreadsheets likely have stale or incomplete data. There's a reason you don't manage your HR and recruiting data in spreadsheets anymore! Start by defining the insights you'd ideally have about your program, then consider solutions that can get you there.

Reporting: You are unlocking the power of good data! Now leverage that data to get a seat at the table during your People team's strategic discussions.

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PAF Management: Your PAF process is very manual, increasing the risk of non-compliance. Consider ways of digitizing the PAF creation and retention process.

PAF Management: You have taken the initial step towards digitizing your process, but remember that any PAF stored beyond the required retention period is still a potential liability. Regularly purge these documents to eliminate that risk.

PAF Management: Your PAF management process is well ahead of your industry peers. As one additional layer of risk mitigation, consider doing a periodic "spot check" of PAFs at random to ensure they are error-free.

I-9 Compliance: Your I-9 practices are inconsistent, exposing you to unnecessary legal and financial risk. Here are some tips to make your I-9 procedures for international employees more consistent.

I-9 Compliance: Your I-9 practices are relatively consistent, but without an internal audit process your I-9 compliance isn't airtight. Perform regular self-audits and use those learnings to continuously improve your I-9 procedures.

I-9 Compliance: Keep up the amazing work on your I-9 procedures! Consider estimating how much risk you've mitigated and sharing that internally so all stakeholders can celebrate this achievement.

Employee Experience: Optimized
Chaotic
Emerging
Predictable
Optimized

International talent at your company is getting the bare minimum treatment. The immigration experience is likely frustrating and distracting for them.

While you've taken a few steps towards improving the experience for international talent, employees are likely still anxious. Your processes don't instill confidence or peace of mind.

You have made some good investments to deliver a delightful experience for international talent. A few additional initiatives and your employees will begin raving about the immigration experience at your company.

The experience you provide international talent is a true competitive advantage. This will continue paying off as you look to recruit and retain top talent.

Here are a few quick tips to continue moving up the maturity curve in this area:

Process Visibility: Your employees are understandably anxious. This anxiety can impact productivity, moral, and even retention. At the beginning of the process, share important information with the employee about what to expect during the immigration process. This can include responsibilities, milestones, and expected dates.

Process Visibility: Your employees have limited visibility. Implement a self-service tool that can provide detailed, real-time visibility. With a process as high stakes and time-sensitive as immigration, this can be the difference between costly frustration and invaluable peace of mind.

Process Visibility: Great job delivering a transparent experience to your employees. Set up a simple survey to collect valuable feedback directly from employees to further improve your process.

Legal Accessibility: You and your employees are playing a game of "telephone". Indirect communication can often frustrate employees, while also burdening people teams. Identify scenarios and channels through which employees can interact directly with your provider, even if you remain in the loop.

Legal Accessibility: Your employees have direct access to your provider, but responses are delayed or limited in scope. Set clear expectations with your provider (e.g. SLAs, scope of services), and consider ways to get employees support beyond simply the immigration application process (e.g. travel, visa stamping).

Legal Accessibility: Your lines of communication are strong. Measure your provider's response time and quality to ensure it doesn't dip over time or during high-volume periods.

Self-service: Your employees lack resources to stay informed about the changing immigration landscape. Doing their own research can be a distraction and even lead them to misinformation. Encourage your employees to subscribe to a credible newsletter or blog for regular immigration updates.

Self-service: You have access to timely immigration updates, a good first step. Create or request from your provider guides to help with continuous immigration education for your employees.

Self-service: Your employees are educated and informed. Add live webinars to your education toolkit to offer a more interactive learning experience while fostering a sense of community.

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Benefits Programs: Companies you compete with for talent are clearly communicating their immigration benefits, but you are not. You may lose talent as a result. Proactively communicate your immigration benefits during the recruiting process, or at minimum once an employee has joined.

Benefits Programs: You provide employees some loose guidance on your immigration benefits. Level that up by documenting your immigration benefits, just as you likely do for health insurance.

Benefits Programs: You provide employees clear guidance on your immigration benefits. Create a long-term immigration timeline for each employee to give them greater clarity and confidence in your plan.

Talent Management: Chaotic
Chaotic
Emerging
Predictable
Optimized

Your immigration function is reactive and inconsistent. While your immigration applications might be getting approved, you will inevitably hit bumps in the road as the program grows and these ad-hoc practices get exposed.‍

You've started down the path of creating a more strategic immigration function, but there are a number of areas for improvement. Continue to prioritize initiatives outside of ad-hoc processing of immigration applications.

You've made some great strides toward creating a proactive and strategic immigration function. Now it's time to level-up and create a truly best-in-class program.

Your immigration function is proactive and consistent. You efforts to build a strategic -- not transactional -- program will continue benefitting the entire organization for years to come.‍

Here are a few quick tips to continue moving up the maturity curve in this area:

Candidate Eligibility: The inconsistency of your assessment process can delay hiring and create additional uncertainty in the recruiting process. Work with your provider to define a candidate assessment process that aligns with your company's recruiting motions.

Candidate Eligibility: You're dealing with the same standardization challenges that haunt many immigration programs. Getting your recruiting team to follow immigration best practices isn't easy. Create a simple process with your existing HR tools to standardize what inputs (e.g. JD, resume, intended start date) and outputs (e.g. visa type, adjusted start date) everyone should expect from the assessment process.

Candidate Eligibility: Your structured assessment process is helping you steer clear of surprises in your recruiting process. Regularly train recruiters on immigration compliance so they don't ask any prohibited questions.

Stakeholder Training: Your immigration decisions are being made ad-hoc, which can frustrate employees and create a reactive immigration function. Create some guidelines around common immigration scenarios to create more consistency.

Stakeholder Training: Your immigration rules are being followed inconsistently. Formalize these rules by documenting your immigration policy, then training all stakeholders on it.

Stakeholder Training: Great work! Your immigration rules are well-defined and consistently-executed. Leverage that further by sharing a long-term, step-by-step immigration plan with each employee. This visibility can improve the employee experience and retention.

Role Standardization: You haven't yet tried to standardize and modify your job descriptions for immigration use. This will add time, risk, and cost to your immigration applications. Start by understanding what makes a job description "immigration-ready" and apply those concepts to your most frequently sponsored positions.

Role Standardization: You've tried to standardize but you continue to find use cases where the job description needs to be adjusted for immigration purposes. Use the job descriptions you've used in all prior immigration applications to begin creating a "job bank". Collaborate with your provider to create a job bank used for all future immigration applications.

Role Standardization: You have mastered the art of immigration job descriptions. Be sure to revisit the job bank periodically as you sponsor for new positions or adjust your hiring requirements.

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Proactive Risk Mitigation: You are addressing risks after the initial application is filed. That is often too late, as any supplemental information provided must be consistent with the initial set of facts. Strategize with your provider how to mitigate risk upfront using the requests for evidence ("RFEs") you've received and an understanding of the most common reasons for an RFE.

Proactive Risk Mitigation: Your risk mitigation strategies don't seem to be producing the desired results. Ask your provider what strategies and outcomes they've seen work with comparable clients. Immigration outcomes follow patterns, and providers with the right scale and data can spot these trends.

Proactive Risk Mitigation: Your application legal strategy is sound, for now. Immigration adjudication trends are dynamic, so watch for any changes and be nimble enough to adjust quickly.

Forecasting/Spending: Your visibility into immigration spend, both historical and projected, is very limited. Start with historical data. Aggregate your spend from the past year and estimate whether you'd expect that spending to increase, decrease, or stay flat in the next year.

Forecasting/Spending: You lack visibility into your future immigration spend, which affects your ability to plan. Creating an employee-level budget in Excel is difficult and time consuming. Evaluate immigration software that can automate this process for you.

Forecasting/Spending: Bravo, you are ahead of your peers with respect to immigration budgeting. Use this data to make strategic decisions that inform your immigration policy. Surface these insights for your People team.

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