Understanding the Rules of Hiring International Workers

No industry is as affected more by hiring challenges than the field of technology. IT outsourcer Harvey Nash and auditing firm KPMG recently surveyed more than 3,000 technology leaders for their annual CIO Survey and found that a 65% of those surveyed reported that hiring challenges were hurting the industry. That number marks a six-point increase over the previous year’s survey, where 59% expressed the same concern.

The talent gap in the area of technology is far-reaching and not limited to one particular area of specialization. Tech companies struggle with shortages of tech professionals with skills such as:

  • Coding
  • Mobile app development (back end and front end)
  • Cloud-computing platform development
  • Data scientists
  • Cybersecurity
  • IT architecture
  • Technical project managers

One way technology businesses are combatting the talent conundrum is by expanding their talent search outside American borders. Hiring international workers can be an excellent way to increase the size of the talent pool, but it can also bring a few unique HR challenges.

What Your Tech Business Needs To Know Before Hiring International Employees:

  • Show proof that the job could not be filled by a resident of the U.S. If hiring international workers is a strategy you plan to incorporate in your recruiting efforts, the first step is to demonstrate that the role could not be filled by an American worker. Your business must actively attempt to recruit a U.S. worker to fill the position by advertising it in multiple places. It is important to follow the rules in this process and document every step of the way.
  • Ensure the proper work authorization documents are in place. Keeping up with the HR requirements of hiring international employees is imperative in protecting your business from risks associated with non-compliance such as fines, negative publicity for your company and possibly legal problems.
    • I-9 – Everyone you hire needs to complete an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9). You as the employer are responsible for keeping track of expiration dates on the documents presented.
    • I-140 – When hiring a permanent international worker who is currently living outside the U.S., you must file Form I-140 called the Petition for Alien Worker.
    • ETA 750 – Depending on the situation, you may also be required to complete a labor certification request (ETA 750) from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration’s Division of Foreign Labor Certification.
    • I-129 – For seasonal or temporary foreign workers, employers must file an I-129 petition.
  • Stay on top of new developments, if you can keep up. While we’ve covered a few of the basic considerations for hiring international workers, it’s important to take a look at current external factors affecting this strategy that many technology companies utilize to expand the talent pool. In April 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that required an assessment and potential limit to the H-1B Visa program, which grants 65,000 work visas each year to foreigners with advanced degrees. Then, only a few months later in July, the administration reversed course to increase the cap on H-1B Visa to 81,000.
  • Consider enlisting the help of an expert. In today’s tumultuous and politically charged environment, the landscape surrounding hiring international workers is changing at such a rapid pace that it can be hard to keep up. One misstep in this area can leave your business exposed to an array of risks, but there is a viable solution to help you stay on top of the regulations. Partnering with a professional employer organization can allow you to delegate this key area of your tech business to a professional while you focus on what you do best, scaling your business and surpassing your goals.

Oasis, a Paychex® Company, a leading Professional Employer Organization (PEO), understands the nuances of the technology sector and the unique challenges that your operations face. We specialize in helping technology business leaders optimize their Human Resources functions, including growing their team through comprehensive recruiting efforts, mitigating compliance risks and gaining access to a full gamut of HR-related services.

Get started with a free consultation from the professionals at Oasis today.

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