Envoy survey reveals anticipated changes to U.S. immigration and trade policies aren’t curbing employers’ plans to hire and mobilize global workforces

CHICAGO, Feb. 14, 2017 — Fifty-five percent of employers expect their foreign national headcount to increase during the next year, a 21 percent increase from 2016, according to the Second Annual Envoy Immigration Trends 2017 Survey. Conducted online by Harris Poll, the survey reflects the insights of 442 employers across the United States. In addition, 59 percent of employers expect their demand for work authorization in jurisdictions outside the United States to increase.

“Despite uncertainty surrounding how the current administration will restrict legal immigration or trade, the Envoy survey results reveal that the desire of, and necessity for, employers to hire and mobilize a global workforce remains very real,” said Dick Burke, president and chief executive officer of Envoy. “The continued ability of employers to acquire and develop global talent is vital and plays a crucial role in helping our country remain competitive in today’s economy. Our country’s political leaders must keep this in mind while considering any immigration or trade policy changes.”

The majority of employers believe that hiring and developing global talent is a key building block of their talent management strategy:

  • 63% say sourcing foreign national employees is extremely or very important to their companies’ talent acquisition strategy, up significantly from 42 percent in last year’s report.
  • 7 in 10 cite the following as very or extremely important in regards to their company having a global workforce:
    • 77% filling skills gap;
    • 76% global competitiveness;
    • 73% foreign nationals bring valuable new perspectives to the way their company does business;
    • 73% foreign nationals have knowledge of markets, business practices and cultures outside the United States;
    • 71% international transfers are critical to managing and expanding their global business.

Employers are investing in attracting and retaining this key talent pool through immigration-related perks and green card sponsorship:

  • 83% of employers offer immigration-related perk packages, most commonly paying for travel, housing and dependent visa or green card applications for family members.
  • 38% of employers spend $16,000 or more on immigration-related perks for each individual.
  • 71% of employers have sponsored a foreign national for a green card, up from 63% in the 2016 report.
  • 84% of employers pay for all green card-related fees with half enforcing a payback stipulation if the employee leaves.
  • 36% start the green card application process after one year of service.
  • 36% of employers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields are likely to start the process immediately versus 24 percent of non-STEM employers.

Totals may not equal 100 percent due to rounding or the ability to choose more than one response.

Survey Methodology

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll from Nov. 28 to Dec. 16, 2016, with 442 HR professionals and hiring managers participating across a variety of industries and company sizes. Questions covered internal and external global immigration processes and challenges. The data is weighted; a full methodology is available.

About Envoy

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 attorneys at one of the two U.S. Law Firms who provide services through the Envoy Platform. Please visit envoyglobal.com for more information.