The role of human resources is more complex than meets the eye. On the surface, it’s about ensuring that a company is appropriately staffed and the workforce has the support it needs to be effective. But the impact of HR is substantially deeper — it’s a lynchpin for a company’s near-term performance and long-term leadership.
In industries like tech and life sciences, foreign-born workers are particularly crucial to that task. Plain and simple, there are more scientific and technical roles to fill than there are U.S. citizens with the right skills. Foreign-born talent often has the perfect mix of education and leadership ability to make significant contributions to the success of a company.
Consider a study of immigrant corporate leadership by INSEAD (Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires), which found that out of 147,336 U.S. executives for which educational background was available, 3,098 corporate leaders were of Chinese ethnicity, 3,095 Indian, and 1,395 Middle Eastern. The remaining 139,748 were from other ethnicities, including European. As the study authors noted, “If the U.S. hopes to address its leadership shortage as its population ages, it needs to embrace immigration, and acknowledge the significant contribution that immigrant executives already play.”
In fact, in 2019 45% of the Fortune 500 companies (still at 44% in 2020) were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants. Whether educated in the U.S. or abroad, the ranks of high-profile immigrant stars are well known in the corporate world. Moderna’s Stephane Bancel, Pfizer’s Albert Boula, Vertex’s Reshma Kewalramani, Tesla’s Elon Musk – some of the most prominent leaders in corporate America came here from other countries.
With foreign-born talent as a driving force in our economy, it is crucial for HR professionals to be equipped with the tools and guidance they need to attract and retain these workers. They must be prepared to welcome people with different experiences, different cultures, and the different backgrounds that help foster innovative solutions.
Part of that equation is understanding that foreign-born employees have an additional layer of stress to manage: extra anxiety around their visa status, how long they will be in a certain place, whether their families will be uprooted, and whether their work will be disrupted.
We partner with both human resources and their foreign national employees to guide them through the immigration process. We provide transparency, set expectations, and help bring the peace of mind that comes with more information and greater certainty.
Learn more about our high-touch corporate immigration services.