Preventing attrition goes hand-in-hand with retention. To find out what would prompt sponsored employees to seek employment at a different company, we asked more than 700 visa and green card holders about their professional experiences and preferences when it comes to working for U.S. employers.
The study found that recruiters are most likely to target and sway science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workers from their current posts — a reaction to the STEM talent shortage. Plus, a tenuous political environment makes the future uncertain for many visa holders. Here, we look at the primary causes of attrition in sponsored employees.
1. Recruiters are targeting your STEM employees with much more frequency than they’re targeting non-STEM employees.
Expats in STEM fields are much more likely to be approached by recruiters than their non-STEM counterparts. In STEM fields, 68% of expats are approached more than once a year, compared to 44% of those in non-STEM fields. Yet when it comes to the difference between visa and green card holders, visa holders are approached more often than green card holders (66% more than once a year versus 45% for green card holders).
2. As with U.S. employees, for sponsored employees, the most enticing motivation to leave is higher salary, followed by job growth and better benefits.
But fourth from the top is green card sponsorship, which is an important way employers can differentiate themselves to prevent attrition.
In fact: 14 percent of visa holders would leave their current companies for a company that sponsors green cards.
3. Expats face unique challenges that make living in the United States difficult: Separation from family, a difficult immigration process and discrimination, to name a few.
Visa holders see many more drawbacks of working in the United States than green card holders do, including discrimination and difficulty dealing with the immigration process, from application to assimilation.
4. Sponsored employees feel pessimistic about a potential Donald Trump presidency.
While 56 percent of visa and green card holders feel that Hillary Clinton would have a positive impact on their desire to continue working in the United States, only 21 percent feels the same about Donald Trump (in fact, 56 percent feel negatively about him, compared to 15 percent regarding Hillary Clinton.
So what can you do? Here are four ideas:
- Develop policies like additional time off to allow expats to spend time with family.
- Conduct regular check-ins about sentiment (especially as the election moves closer), and address any concerns as best you can.
- Work towards creating an inclusive workplace to increase expats’ sense of belonging.
- Continue to offer competitive pay and benefits, regularly monitoring shifts in the marketplace.
Download the full study to see more strategies for recruitment, acquisition and retention of global talent.
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