To Fill Those Tough Jobs, HR Needs to Think Globally

Between efforts to build a wall and limiting work visas, immigration is a political hot potato in the U.S. But that’s no reason HR can avoid it. In fact, to fill the skills gap that almost 8 out of 10 CEOs says worries them the most, vy nearly the same percentages those CEOs say they’ll hire from everywhere and move talent to where they need it.

“Sounds really easy and it makes sense,” said Jamie Gilpin to laughter from her Chicago DisruptHR audience.  “77% of employers say, ‘Hey, hiring international talent actually is very to extremely important in filling my skills gap’.” But who’s responsible for making it happen. “HR,” she said drolly. “This must be a total strategic priority for you, right?”

Not! quipped Gilpin, who is Chief Marketing Officer at Envoy, an immigration services consultancy. She pointed out that a SHRM survey found global mobility and immigration dead last among 14 HR functions. And why? Because it is time consuming, difficult and not something most organizations have automated. Yet, she said, for many, if not most employers, immigrant workers are what they need to fill the jobs that go vacant because the U.S. doesn’t have enough workers with the skills they need.

Offering up a few data points illustrating the situation, Gilpin made her point that HR needs to advocate both internally and externally on behalf of “hiring great people” regardless of where they may be. “To improve our local,” she said, “We have to think global.”

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