- Employers are sponsoring workers for green cards as a talent retention tool, according to an April 19 report from immigration services provider Envoy.
- Seventy-five percent of respondents to a March survey of HR professionals and hiring managers said their organization had sponsored a foreign national for permanent residency, up from 71% last year. "Green card sponsorship continued to play an important role in foreign talent acquisition and retention in 2020," Envoy concluded.
- Notably, however, the U.S. has a backlog of applicants and survey respondents were divided on whether a proposal to eliminate per-country caps would make it easier to hire and retain foreign talent.
Despite high unemployment in the U.S., employers have said both in the Envoy survey and elsewhere that it’s difficult to find applicants with in-demand skills — an issue they say is exacerbated by U.S. immigration policy. Leaders in the tech industry, which often makes use of visa programs, have been particularly vocal about this reported dearth of talent.
To respond to what some companies consider disruptive policies in the U.S., some organizations expanded outside the U.S. Canada often tops employers’ lists of options, and a 2020 Envoy study found that 51% of employers were eyeing the country, up from only 38% the previous year. The organization’s CEO, however, told HR Dive at the time that many were waiting to see the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
Still, in the survey conducted last month, respondents indicated that Canada remains of interest to many employers. The primary driver was access to the Canadian market, but a fair number "explicitly cited the ability to place foreign talent there as an alternative to the U.S.," according to Envoy’s report.