More than half (55 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 Report 2017. Conducted online by Harris Poll, the survey reflects the insights of 442 employers across the United States.
The majority of employers in the study believe that hiring and developing global talent is a key building block of their talent management strategy. In fact, 63 percent of survey respondents 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. What’s more, 7 in 10 cite the following issues as “very important” or “extremely important” in regards to their company having a global workforce:
- 77 percent, filling skills gap
- 76 percent, global competitiveness
- 73 percent, foreign nationals bring valuable new perspectives to the way their company does business
- 73 percent, foreign nationals have knowledge of markets, business practices, and cultures outside the United States
- 71 percent, international transfers are critical to managing and expanding their global business.
Unfortunately, employers are experiencing significant global immigration challenges, according to the data. The U.S. immigration system is the greatest challenge to effective hiring and retention strategies for 83 percent of survey respondents. The survey highlights several barriers:
- 31 percent of employers say their biggest U.S. immigration challenge is the inefficient process of gathering foreign national information and documents
- 44 percent of employers claim their biggest challenge surrounding compliance is differing regulations in each destination country
- 55 percent of employers say their Requests for Evidence have increased in the past five years, up from 45 percent in our 2016 report
- 84 percent of employers say having quicker processing time is very or extremely important for the U.S. government to change within the immigration system
- 75 percent of employers say increasing the cap for H-1Bs is very or extremely important for the U.S. to change within the immigration system.
“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,” says Dick Burke, president and chief executive officer of Envoy, in a written statement. “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.”
For a deeper dive into the data, download the full report.