Build an Employee Experience that Works for Foreign Nationals

Last Updated on February 23, 2023


Nearly 70 percent of employers say sourcing foreign nationals is very or extremely important to their talent acquisition strategy. If recent trends continue, that number is expected to climb again in 2019. Despite the critical role foreign nationals play in the success of a company, many organizations don’t have a strong employee experience strategy in place to help those employees acclimate to a new workplace.

As more companies compete for international talent, they’re realizing that enticing and retaining foreign nationals involves more than just sponsoring an employee and a paycheck. Here are some ways companies can build an employee experience strategy:

1. Boost Employee Experience with More Perks

In 2018, approximately 88 percent of employers address the competitive nature of talent acquisition with immigration-related perks. 

By offering a wide variety of perks, employers accomplish a few things. First, employers indicate they actually care about the success and well-being of new hires with perks. For example, 30 percent of employers say they include free airfare for a foreign national to visit their home country. 

Moving to a new country for work is life changing, and perks help boost the employee experience because they feel like a welcome addition to the company. 

Further ideas for perks may include: 

  • Housing costs
  • Transportation services (such as car rental)
  • Cultural assimilation training
  • Immediate green card sponsorship

2. Utilize Technology for Immigration Programs

Traditionally, most human resources departments work with law firms for immigration-related matters. But in a constantly-shifting world, solely relying on lawyers can be a cumbersome process. 

Over the past year, 42 percent of employers said the biggest change they’ve seen in the past year is an increase in employee anxiety and questions. Furthermore, companies are receiving more questions from employees for more technology solutions to access their immigration data. Luckily, both HR and employees have direct access to attorneys through Envoy’s in-app communication center. The comm center enables employees to ask legal questions, removing HR as the middle man while still giving HR insight into what questions their employees are asking.

As such, utilizing technology for immigration programs can provide a much needed boost to the employee experience. Technology can even help employees when they’re traveling, and they need to show documents. It’s no surprise that 56 percent of employers said the employee experience is a deciding factor in evaluating their immigration program.

3. Simplify the Onboarding Process

Foreign nationals already face a lot of barriers when seeking to work in the U.S. From long wait times to uncertainty amidst changing immigration policies, these individuals have a lot on their minds. 

That’s why it’s important for companies to examine and modify their onboarding process (if needed). Onboarding doesn’t start when an employee first walks in the office—it starts the moment an interview is scheduled with a potential hire. If onboarding is too long, a company may risk losing talent to competitors. 

Simplifying and being as transparent as possible contribute to a robust employee experience strategy. The onboarding process can be out of a lot of HR’s hands given the visa application process. But a lot of the fear and anxiety that employees have can be mitigated if they know their applications are being handled well. Furthermore, employees will likely appreciate the ability to ask questions to their attorneys whenever, wherever. 

Refining an employee experience strategy involves perks and technology, and companies will place themselves one step ahead of the competition by improving the employee experience.

Learn about the latest trends in immigration in Envoy’s Immigration Trends Report 2018.