By Ivan Galvez, CEO Sintesys Global LLC
The USA, as a leader in technology development, requires more specialty skilled professionals than most countries in the world, especially in the fields known as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). In fact, STEM jobs are expected to grow 17% by 2024 in the US, while non-STEM jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 12% in the same period.
The demand is so great, that the skills required cannot be sourced alone within the USA, in fact many companies such as eBay, Apple, Google and others have created branches in other countries to be able to satisfy this demand.Due to this need, the USA granted H1B Visas intended to bring skilled professionals to work in the country. These were largely used by Asian companies (mainly Indian) to bring talent to the USA for these specialty positions. H1B Visas became very popular. In fact, in 2016 only, 65,000 H1B Visas were issued, and they were all assigned within 5 days.
However, the current political landscape is rapidly changing. Many company executives are anticipating that not only illegal-immigration policies will change, but also legal temporary immigration visas.
According to Bloomberg.com: “Trump’s administration has drafted an executive order aimed at overhauling the work-visa programs technology companies depend on to hire tens of thousands of employees each year.”
Maria Cifuentes, a Florida-based immigration lawyer commented “With unemployment at under 5% there aren’t enough skilled unemployed workers to keep up with the demand.”
This uncertainty, puts many companies at risk of rapidly losing the talent that they need to maintain their operations and innovate in their industries.
From our standpoint at Sintesys Global LLC, and my opinion as the CEO of an IT corporation, I would advise the following steps for companies that want to reduce their risk and continue to be competitive regardless of the changes (which if not this year, are sure to change soon).
1) Prioritize US Citizens and Green Card holders for key positions. Even if you can´t find someone with 100% of the required skills, get your best local candidate and train them to develop the skills.
2) Leverage NearShore. For those positions that require same time-zone or frequent face to face contact but where you can’t find local candidates, source the talent from Nearby countries such as Mexico or Canada, where the people would be able to work remotely but to easily travel and work in the same time-zone.
3) Develop a relationship with a handful of trusted partners that have your back and can build a remote and responsive team for you in countries where the talent is available and there is no need for visas. Pick a destination where you can easily manage your team and have frequent communication with them.
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