CHICAGO, Jan. 10, 2017 — Envoy, a leading immigration services provider offering the only platform that makes it seamless for companies to hire and manage a global workforce, has released a forecast of the top trends for acquiring global talent in 2017.

“In 2017, companies will continue to leverage global market opportunities, but they’ll also continue to face the rise of skilled labor shortages and globally minded employees,” said Dick Burke, president and chief executive officer of Envoy. “A company’s ability to build a world-ready workforce, or seamlessly hire, mobilize and manage their employees across international borders, will increasingly be the decider of success. The trends we’ve identified uncover helpful tips for employers to more effectively acquire and retain global talent and will have them well-positioned for success as we kick off the new year.”

Here are the top trends to watch in 2017 for hiring and retaining international talent:

1. Immigrants Will Play an Increasingly Important Role in Filling the Talent Needs of Employers
As companies continually come up against skills gaps and extended position vacancies, the global talent pool can deliver skills that an organization needs. The Envoy Immigration Trends 2016 survey, conducted online by Harris Poll and reflecting the insights of more than 400 employers across the United States, finds that 86 percent of HR and hiring managers say sourcing foreign nationals is important to their hiring strategy. Eighty-seven percent of employers say they expect their company’s foreign national headcount to increase or remain the same during the next year. Only one in 10 expects a decrease. Seven in 10 employers cite filling a skills gap as very/extremely important in the decision to hire a foreign national, with global competitiveness a close second (65 percent).

2. Green Card Sponsorship Will Give Companies a Talent Acquisition and Retention Edge
According to Global Talent Perspectives 2016, which reflects the insights of more than 700 visa and green card holders (“expats”) across the United States, green card sponsorship gives employers a competitive edge during the acquisition stage. Seventy percent of temporary visa holders say whether a company has a green card sponsorship policy in place is very or extremely important in deciding if they’d work for the organization. Fourteen percent of visa holders would leave their current company for a company that sponsors green cards. This presents a huge opportunity for employers to develop a policy that would attract global talent. Forty percent of employers who have sponsored a green card say they started the process after one year of service, and 31 percent say it happened immediately.

3. Top Talent is Looking for a Faster, More Transparent Onboarding Experience
Although onboarding is a crucial step in hiring, most expats have varied experiences when it comes to timing and process. Less than two months elapsed for 38 percent of expats between their first screening interview and their first day of work; however, 28 percent cite it took between two and seven months. Thirty-one percent of expats think the biggest drawback of coming to the United States is the difficult immigration process. For expats who did not have a positive visa application process, they claim the most difficult part was a slow process (40 percent); lack of control (15 percent); and lack of transparency with little to no view into the status of their application (13 percent). While this doesn’t translate to a clear picture of a perfect onboarding program, speed and communication become especially crucial when a candidate’s ability to come to (or stay in) the United States is at stake.

4. Immigration-Related Perk Packages Will Become a Competitive Advantage for Companies
Offering immigration-related perks, or assignment benefits, can make an organization incredibly appealing to top talent and serve as a distinguishing factor from competitors. According to Envoy’s Global Talent Perspectives 2016, 60 percent of visa holders state they were presented with an immigration-related perk package as part of their employment offer. Transportation, including a car service and/or a company or rental car, was cited as the most popular perk (44 percent), followed by temporary and/or corporate housing (42 percent); travel, such as free airfare to visit their home country and/or airfare for immediate family members (40 percent); and paying for dependent visa or green card applications for family members (40 percent). Since so many expats expect companies to provide some form of an immigration-related perk package, not having one could cause an organization to lose out on talent.

5. The Best Recruiting Strategies Should Align with the Job-Seeking Behavior of Expats
Envoy’s surveys reveal employers need different recruitment strategies for visa and green card holders, as well as STEM and non-STEM candidates. Expats cite referrals (31 percent) as the most important resource to their ability to find their first position in the United States, followed by a professional networking site (15 percent), job boards (13 percent) and a company’s career website (12 percent). While STEM workers rely almost equally on referrals (24 percent) and professional networking sites (22 percent), non-STEM workers depend most on referrals (36 percent), followed by company career websites (12 percent). When recruiting expats, it’s important to know which sourcing strategy is going to be most effective for a company’s goals. For non-STEM roles, investing in referral programs should be the priority, while leveraging professional networking sites should be a top resource for STEM candidates.

Click here to view the infographic highlighting these trends, and visit Envoy’s world-ready workforce resource hub for findings from Global Talent Perspectives 2016 and Envoy Immigration Trends 2016.

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 for more information.