2017 Spring Newsletter
Implications of the New H1B Directive
On March 3rd, the administration announced they are suspending the use of premium processing for H1B transfers effective April 3rd.
Premium processing of an H1B visa costs about $1200 and ensures the government will make a go/no go decision within 15 days regarding the transfer. Without premium processing, that decision can take 2 to 6 months, there’s no way of knowing what the time frame will be.
This means that as an employer, if you are looking to hire someone on an H1B visa, you essentially have no solid idea of when they will start work. For the vast majority of employers, that’s unacceptable, roles need to fill openings fairly immediately.
By essentially removing technology workers on an H1B, the administration tightened an already very tight job market. As an example, Facebook has indicated that more than 15% of its workforce is on H1B visas. The New York Times has pegged the percentage of tech workers on an H1B at 13%, or about 1 million people.
This decision will mean that H1Bs will be staying put, not moving to another opportunity. That hurts high growth startups the most.
The tech sector has always searched for the most qualified candidates. The bar has been rising on technical prowess as market dynamics speed up, as pressure and difficulty of innovation increase.
Speed is critically important in high tech. There’s been an inherent inclination to cut out even the 3 weeks time it takes to process expedited visas, essentially translating into a preference for green card holders and citizens.
For years now, tech companies have shown great restraint and patience as they wait for top tier candidates to fill their roles. It’s our view that this will not change–companies will not compromise on talent. They see their ‘time to hire’ metrics move up, there will be no compromise to hire less qualified people.
We’re hopeful that the big tech titans, Facebook, Apple, Google and others bring the case forward for a more progressive visa structure, so that we can continue to compete effectively on the world stage.
Bill Firing's Tips Article
Optimizing Your Recruitment Process
The fight for talent continues to be relentless.  And that’s especially true for highly skilled engineering roles.   The race to build a product and evaluate talent all too often can translate to a candidate recruitment process void of one critical component:  convincing the talent we want to want us?
Here are five tips and helpful reminders to make sure the recruitment process is most effective:
Establish a Plan: If your recruitment process is disorganized, candidates will see you as disorganized.  Map out who will be involved in the interview process.  Share that plan with the recruiter or whomever is communicating with the candidate.   Remember that interviews are like going on a first date.  Everyone knows that no fast-moving tech company is without hectic or even chaotic days, but no one wants to experience that as a first impression.
Differentiate. Candidates have choices.  Lots of them.  Everyone that a candidate meets throughout the process should be consistent in how they communicate how you are different from other opportunities:  the product, the approach, the culture.  Above all, be prepared to talk about the role’s opportunity for growth and development.
Listen & Respond. This bit is critical and most easily overlooked when we are so razor focused on assessing a candidate’s technical credentials.  As a recruiter, it’s not uncommon for us to hear:  “They were thorough in going over my background but never gave me a chance to ask questions.”  Interviewers need to be keen listeners.  Understand what’s important to the candidate in their next role and respond accordingly.
Keep a Rhythm. Delays or gaps in the interview and recruitment process can often send negative signals to candidates.  Above all, communicate when delays happen.
Pre-Close. This is a critical part of listening throughout the process.  A recruiter can be particularly helpful here.  At the end of the day, there shouldn’t be any surprises in the following areas:
  • Interest level
  • Compensation
  • Commute issues
  • How the job maps to career aspirations
  • Timing
  • Desired start date
All of these should be probed, discussed, and any discrepancies encountered and addressed as you move through the process.
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