Time for Smarter Employer-based Immigration Policies


We are living through a moment in our nation’s history when there are more jobs available than qualified people to do them. Whether we’re in good economic times or bad, in a period of stability or disruption, it seems clear the skills shortage is here to stay.

Research from SHRM indicates that about 2 out of every 3 HR professionals are facing difficulty hiring for full-time jobs—up from half in 2013. They blame a low number of applicants, lack of candidate experience, competition from other employers, lack of candidate technical skills and not enough qualified candidates in the local market. 

The talent shortage and an increasingly global customer base is giving employers little choice but to expand their traditional recruitment efforts beyond traditional borders. An improved ability to fill empty positions with qualified talent from around the world will ensure that American companies continue to grow and be competitive in a challenging global marketplace.

John Deere is an iconic brand that does business around the world. We are looking for the best and brightest to join our team, wherever in the world they may live. We and other employers are looking for innovative and competitive approaches to immigration that protect American workers and employers. As an example, we believe immigration reform should include a national, entirely electronic and integrated employment-eligibility verification system that provides employers with certainty that new hires are authorized to work.

Immigration is just one of many solutions across the talent landscape. We also should continue to invest in our K-12 pipeline to make sure that American workers are prepared for the challenging jobs of the future. In addition, we should consider non-traditional pools of talent—veterans, older workers, people with disabilities, the formerly incarcerated, and those with non-traditional education backgrounds. And we need public policies that support employer-provided educational assistance, apprenticeships, and other programs that help employers invest in training.

It’s time to modernize employment immigration. That’s why HR professionals must lead in advocating for smart immigration policies and for innovative approaches to talent acquisition. Talent, after all, has no nationality and recognizes no borders.

Marc A. Howze will join SHRM CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. and CHROs from Booz Allen Hamilton and Zappos to continue the conversation on all things work. Join the LIVESTREAM and ask your questions! 11/16, 12:30-1:45 p.m.  www.shrm.org/VLSLivestream  #WeAreWork



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