Few industries were impacted by the H-1B visa changes like the tech sector. The skill gap in the US has meant many companies have had to rely on global talent to achieve their recruiting goals. Now, the government is cracking down on companies and tech recruiting firms who could be skirting the rules to connect employers with short-term, contract talent.
Playing by the New H-1B Visa Rules
If you hire H-1B holders, it is important to know you are doing nothing illegal by using a tech recruiting company to connect with that project-based talent. However, you must know what it takes to be compliant with the new rules that are focused on the Trump administration’s “Buy American, Hire American” platform.
The administration says it wants to crack down on waste, fraud and abuse in the American visa system. With regards to H-1B visas, employers, including staffing firms, will now be subject to new scrutiny. The program has helped keep talent here in the U.S., but according to some officials, has been taken advantage of by employers and staffing firms.
To verify a relationship exists between employer and employee, staffing firms and recruiters are now expected to provide specific work assignments for all H-1B holders that include dates and locations.
There has been talk of limiting the length of the H-1B visa program in the near future. Currently, H-1B visas are valid for three years and can be renewed for another three-year term. Officials are toying with the idea of shortening the term based on information provided by employers. If a company cannot prove that the H-1B holder is needed for the full term, the government may pull the visa sooner.
How to Stay Compliant With H-1B Standards
This means that now, more than ever, it is critical for organizations that want to hire H-1B holders to verify they and any staffing firm they work with is compliant with the new standards. There are fears that administration officials may be looking for companies to specifically hold up as an example of such abuse, in order to strengthen their case that abuse runs rampant in the system.
Talk to any recruiting firm you work with about their processes and ask for documentation. You don’t want to be on the hook for a staffing firms’ lax policies or procedures. You can also avoid the issue entirely by working with a firm that can connect you to the domestic talent you need, despite industry skill gaps. There are talented professionals out there, you just need to know where to find them and how to recruit them.
If your firm is seeking high-level tech talent, it’s time to talk to the award-winning recruiting team at Talon. Contact us today to learn about our proven track record of success and to discover the ways we can help you achieve your tech recruiting goals.