The employee experience has become one of the rallying cries for employers around the world, and the area of immigration and global mobility isn’t immune to this trend. In the Envoy 2018 Immigration Trends Report, employers said that employee experience is the number one way they evaluate their immigration service provider.
On a practical level, we know this is important, yet it hasn’t been a focus for employers historically. Often, HR technologies and services are focused on the administrative experience. In the case of immigration, businesses focus on the workload and process used by HR professionals tasked with managing the global mobility needs of the firm.
However, in a labor market defined by record lows in unemployment rates and greater competition for talent than ever before, the employee experience can’t be an optional topic for consideration. It must be a key focal point for employers hoping to maintain competitive hiring practices.
Prioritizing employee experience in uncertain times
More than eight out of ten employers in the study said that the current U.S. immigration system has affected their ability to hire and retain critical global talent. Specific impacts include everything from increased staff to meet demands, to delays and relocating work overseas. This is the ideal time to focus on the employee experience as a differentiator.
This is echoed in the data from another angle. When employers look for alternative solutions to their current immigration systems, approximately one-fourth of employers said this is due to employees being dissatisfied with the current program. The right technology gives employers options to create better outcomes that connect to the employee experience. Two critical components offered by technology:
1. Transparency and reduced stress
In the past when I hired workers that required visas, one of the challenges was ensuring that everyone had visibility into status at various stages of the process. By creating that transparency with the right technology, workers are able to keep track of the progress from beginning to end. This transparency can mitigate the stress employees feel and help them to focus on more important things.
2. Better insight helps workers discover their purpose
I’ve written in the past about focusing on communication as a component of the employee experience. One recent interview with an operations executive at a transportation and logistics firm unveiled this insightful comment:
“If companies would stop and think about what they want to accomplish the next five years into the future, it comes down to giving employees what they need and want. By sharing information with them and making them feel like part of something bigger, we can really improve their pride and engagement in the work they do.”
Bottom line: If we can give workers more insight into what is going on, they are more likely to give extra effort on their part. Doing this across the organization can lead to better performance as a business – a worthy goal for any employer.
The hard question you must answer is this: Are you focusing on the employee experience within your immigration and global mobility processes? If not, what insights can you take from this piece to help improve your results?
Read more insights on how employers see and manage immigration today in Envoy’s 2018 Immigration Trends Report.
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Ben Eubanks is the Principal Analyst at Lighthouse Research & Advisory and the author of Artificial Intelligence for HR: Use AI to Build a Successful Workforce (Kogan Page, December 2018). He has authored dozens of reports, eBooks, and other resources, maintains a blog that has touched the lives of more than one million business leaders since its inception, and hosts “We’re Only Human,” a podcast that examines the intersection of talent and technology in the workplace.
Previously an HR executive for an Inc. 500-ranked global technology startup, he currently operates Lighthouse Research & Advisory, a human capital research and advisory services firm. He works with HR, talent, and learning leaders across the globe to solve their most pressing business challenges with a research-based perspective tempered by practical, hands-on experience.
Most importantly, he has four children, a wonderful wife of ten years, and a preference for running in a variety of outlandish races for fun.