There is a lot of talk in the news about the United States’ approach with H1B visa issuance, as well as talk of potential H1B visa holder deportation. We went ahead and read the official proclamation about it, and so far are not able to confirm anything about deportation. The employment and economic efforts are currently being focused on domestic opportunities staying domestic, prioritizing the jobless here in America, especially the recent grads and newly unemployed. That being said, we do have some insight on how to manage the H1B visa freeze.
A challenge with the recent-grad or newly unemployed sector is that it can be hard to get them into good jobs because of the competition. Even with a pause on candidates overseas being considered, as engineering and tech recruiters, we see competition in a lot of forms. One way that companies can create more openings is to diversify their approach.
In our experience, H1B visa holders are often brought on as highly technical specialists that help a company tackle incredible unique projects. For example, we worked with Hewlett Packard recruiting some H1B visa jobs in research and development. These were not well suited for Americans because of the skill level required which is taught and refined in other countries in a more focused way. We found the perfect candidates overseas, who were experienced and well-suited for the project.
With foreign hires not being an option, we think companies can achieve the results they want by breaking jobs up into parts. Specialists can come in and tackle some components of a project, while lower-level talent can take on some aspects of the job. It’s like buying a car to sell the parts – you can create more opportunities at costs that are more manageable. However, some of these roles are incredibly high level, so if you need someone at a level 10 when it comes to skill, then you may need to hire two people that are complementary, each at a level 7 with skillset.
If companies can remain flexible and open-minded they will find that they can piece together projects in an affordable way that also creates more jobs for more people.
Outsourcing still remains an option for companies, which keeps overseas talent engaged and can be sort of a loophole around the H1B visa freeze. However, we caution companies against this for three main reasons. First, it’s risky from a security standpoint – we all know cybercrime is at an all-time high. Second, quality gets sacrificed when jobs are done remotely because of the third issue, which is lag time. Outsourcing often means a loss of hundreds of hours due to miscommunication and back and forth, time zone confusion, etc. It can be done and done well, but it isn’t a quick fix. It takes a lot of time up front for the product to be stellar on the backend.
Create a Legacy
While many H1B visas are for expert level talent, plenty of the visas are for lower-level talent as well. America has the opportunity to expand on a legacy of greatness by giving domestic candidates the chance to get into the job market. We feel that these roles are most likely the exact reason the country is halting foreign visas, since they are jobs that are easily filled by Americans and at many achievable levels.
If you find yourself needing to pivot your hiring approach due to the H1B visa freeze, we highly recommend talking to a headhunter to help you create multiple jobs from one offer as well as create a marketable vision for people at varying levels. The hardest part of hiring often can be finding candidates who fit your culture and meet the job criteria. An engineering and IT recruiter can help you navigate creating a pitch that will resonate for both.