‘Immigration Adjacent’ Perks Are Important For Foreign Workers

Every year, we survey U.S. employers about the status of their employment-based immigration programs. This year, the Immigration Trends report revealed that more than half of employers plan to increase their foreign national headcount and that 70% consider international recruitment an important part of their talent acquisition strategy.

In other words, competition is high for foreign national workers. It’s no wonder that 88% of employers are offering immigration-adjacent “perks” to attract workers. If you haven’t yet considered offering such perks (or aren’t sure which ones it makes sense to offer), here’s an overview of what the rest of the country is doing – and what foreign national employees want.

Employees want immigration data

Information isn’t usually the first thing that jumps to mind when we think of benefits we can provide workers, but in this case, it may be an important value-add.

The Trump administration’s stance on immigration has contributed to growing uncertainty surrounding many immigration-related matters. This caused 42% of employers to note that the biggest change they saw among foreign national workers last year was an increase in questions about and anxiety around their immigration status. And almost two-thirds (62%) said that their workers wanted easier access to their immigration data.

You can provide that access by communicating to employees how they can access their records and whom they need to contact to do so. Make sure your HR team is prepared for such requests, too, so that the experience is smooth and stress-free for everyone involved.

Other perks

Of course, more traditional perks are also important. Last year, the most popular included these:

  • Relocation expenses for new hires, offered by 41% of employers.
  • Housing assistance (including temporary housing, mortgage-related benefits, and more), offered by 39% of employers.
  • Support for visas and / or green cards for dependents, offered by 34% of employers.

Other popular perks include money for travel, transportation assistance, and the opportunity to be immediately sponsored for a green card. Some employers even offer cultural assimilation support and the opportunity to receive overseas assignments.

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The main takeaway here, if you’re crafting a package to entice foreign national workers, is that employers are competing with full-experience benefits, offering support for the many ways life can be made more difficult by working in a foreign country.

If you’re looking for ways to stand out from the competition, consider offering perks that follow this trend of helping employees and their families build a community and feel at home in your city.

For example, you might offer…

  • Vouchers for language classes for family members.
  • Company-wide (or department-wide) social events to promote team bonding.
  • Training for your U.S.-native employees about the experience of working in a foreign country, to help build compassion. (This can be especially helpful if you’re planning your first foreign national hire).
  • Company-sponsored small-group lunches for foreign national employees and their teams.

There’s no limit on the specifics here – the idea is to show that you’re willing to not only hire someone but also truly welcome them to the company, the community, and the country.

Jamie Gilpin is the Chief Marketing Officer and Workforce Trends Analyst at Envoy Global, which offers the only immigration management platform that makes it seamless for companies to hire and manage a global workforce. She studied the relationships between job seekers and employers for more than a decade and became passionate about the skills gap and employers’ inability to find qualified talent, especially in the STEM areas.

Prior to joining Envoy, Gilpin was the vice president of marketing and branding at CareerBuilder LLC. She is a frequent speaker and author on the topics of recruiting, workforce issues, the skills gap, employer brand, candidate behavior, marketing and big data. Gilpin also sits on the advisory board of Innovate+Educate, a nonprofit implementing research-based strategies to close the national skills gap and bridge the opportunity divide. Please visit www.envoyglobal.com or email jamie.gilpin@envoyglobal.com for more information.

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