Despite continued immigration policy changes, new Envoy Global survey reveals that 95 percent of employers believe sourcing foreign nationals is important to their talent acquisition strategies.
Conducted by The Harris Poll, the report surveyed 405 human resources professionals and hiring managers with employment-based immigration experience across different industries and company sizes. The annual report aims to gauge how employers approach inbound and outbound global immigration processes and challenges.
“Our findings confirm that despite the government’s tightening of employment-based immigration policies, U.S. companies’ need and search for foreign talent hasn’t slowed,” said Richard Burke, CEO of Envoy. “With record unemployment rates and acute talent shortages in STEM industries, our Immigration Trends Report aims to give organizations the resources they need to improve or build upon their existing immigration processes.”
Some of the top findings and trends from the 2019 report include:
The report reveals that the need for foreign talent in the U.S. remains high – 95 percent of employers said sourcing foreign nationals is important to their talent acquisition strategies. Sponsoring green cards is another method employers are using to gain a competitive edge in their recruiting approaches – two-thirds of employers said they sponsor green cards for their foreign talent and 80 percent cover all associated fees.
In addition, 80 percent of employers said they expect their foreign national headcount to either increase or stay the same this year. At the same time, many respondents are having a difficult time securing approvals for visas to keep up with this demand – likely due to processing delays and increased scrutiny evaluating submissions. For instance, 47 percent of employers said the visa application process for their foreign national employees has become more difficult.
Driven by the tight labor market, skills gaps and political attention, immigration has become top of mind for C-suite and board level executives. In response to this trend, employers are seeking better ways to manage their internal immigration processes.
“In the past year, we’ve seen more employers reassessing their immigration processes as C-suite executives look at immigration with a critical eye,” said Burke. “This is reflected in our report’s findings, as 47 percent of employers said awareness of new and better ways of handling the immigration process was the driving factor behind why they decided to evaluate their program. Moving forward, we anticipate that the C-suite will continue to become more involved in creating or evaluating global mobility programs as they look to attract and retain the best talent at their organizations.”
Employers are expressing the need for government policy changes that will accelerate the immigration process for highly-skilled foreign talent. The most frequently cited change they’d like to see is quicker processing time (97 percent), followed by expedited filing (95 percent) and better insights from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), such as processing (95 percent) and initiatives (93 percent) for both employers and employees.
The need for expedited policies also likely stems from Canada’s plan to bring 350,000 foreign nationals into the country each year between now and 2021 – making the competition for top talent even greater. According to the report, 65 percent of employers surveyed said they view Canada’s immigration policy to be more favorable than the U.S.’s and 35 percent said they are sending more people and hiring more foreign nationals in Canada.
The national survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll from November 27 to December 17, 2018, with 405 HR professionals and hiring managers participating across a variety of industries and company sizes. All participating companies have experience with employment-based visa sponsorship or green card sponsorship. Questions covered internal and external global immigration processes and challenges. The data is weighted; a full methodology is available.
Founded in 1998, Envoy is a global immigration services provider offering the only immigration management platform that makes it seamless for companies to hire and manage an international workforce by combining expert legal representation — for both inbound and outbound immigration — and proprietary technology. Envoy empowers companies to acquire the best talent regardless of where they are in the world; helps mobilize employees around the world to take advantage of business opportunities; and enables the management of entire global workforces, providing a strategic, proactive view into workforce and financial forecasting and compliance. Envoy has managed more than 30,000 cases and served more than 2,000 customers in a broad range of industries.
Website, technology platform and administrative services are provided by Envoy Global Inc., a Delaware corporation. Legal services are provided by Envoy-affiliated attorneys. Please visit envoyglobal.com for more information.
About The Harris Poll
The Harris Poll is one of the longest-running surveys in the U.S. tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963 that is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that strives to reveal the authentic values of modern society to inspire leaders to create a better tomorrow. We work with clients in three primary areas; building twenty-first-century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible. To learn more, please visit www.theharrispoll.com, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.