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Help Applicants With Visas to Know Which Jobs to Apply

Posted by Eric Putkonen on 03/02/2016 in Recruiting articles |

If you are a recruiter in the IT space, you already know that certain skill-sets are dominated by people that are in the United States working under a work visa.  When the time comes when a hiring manager says he will get the necessary internal approvals and take on the costs of visa transfers (and later green card processing, if you keep them long enough), then you would want to make sure the best candidates with visas will apply.

Thank you to Mike Chaput (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Thank you to Mike Chaput (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

However, most of the time, I know our companies are not considering visa transfers.  And yet there are a lot of people with visas applying to our jobs.  When I post a Java developer position, I know the majority of the applicants at this time will require a visa transfer or occasionally outright sponsorship (because they currently do not have a work visa).

In our very legally cautious/fearful society, where we don’t want to be sued – so I know that the normal policy is to give limited information regarding just about everything regarding the hiring process.  But many of us are trying to improve the experiences our applicants are having.

What kind of experience are we giving people with visas?

I spoke with a few recently in my company’s weekly recruiter chat for IT professionals.  There were a couple of people with H1B visas and they had the simplest of questions – “which of your jobs will consider applicants with visas?”

It got me thinking…why don’t we just specify within the job whether applicants with visas would be considered or not?  No company is required to consider visa applicants (as the general rule is to turn to that pool when you can’t find someone who is a citizen, green card holder, or otherwise authorized to work in the US without restrictions).

But as there is no requirement to consider visa applicants, and if the fact they would not be considered is not listed in the job, then you have many applicants with visas applying to many, many jobs.  After a while, I would think some (perhaps some of the best) would stop applying…simply coming to the conclusion that your company does not consider visa candidates.

Then, if at some point, you would consider visa transfers because you can not find anyone else…how would you get the people who stopped coming and applying to come back?

Over my years as a recruiter, I have heard many stories from people with visas complain that it is very difficult to see which jobs would seriously consider them and so they end up applying to everything and wasting a lot of their time and energy.  It must be maddening.

It is all the worse if your company does consider applicants with visas for some of the jobs and not on others.  When people with visas visit the careers site, there is nothing to distinguish between them…so their only option is to apply to all of them.

protestThis is simple transparency of one fact that would greatly improve the candidate experience of applicants with visas.  Towards the bottom of the job post, you could simply say, “we will not be considering visa transfers or sponsorships for this position at this time” or “this position has been approved to consider applicants with work visas”.  Nothing fancy.

I think the vast majority of people with visas looking at your company for work would be greatly appreciative of this information.  It saves them time and energy of going through the online application process for jobs they would not be considered for anyway.  It helps them focus their time and energy on the jobs in which they really would have a shot of getting interviewed or hired.

This is a plea to get approval from your legal department (which I am sure they will want to be included in this decision).  We need to be more transparent about whether we as a company…or more importantly whether each that is job posted…will consider applicants with a work visa.

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