Monday, November 28, 2011

Visas : Vista for Talent Attraction & Engagement?

Would you believe it? US visas could perhaps also be used for talent attraction & talent engagement for employment in India as well:)!?

Well, most of are aware H1-B is essentially a non immigrant visa in the US used to employ temporary foreign workers in specialty occupations.

Over the years, and more so in the past couple of decades, it has been regulated as a measure of increasing /decreasing the supply of talent of foreigners in the US-and has probably contributed a lot of the fortunes of the off shoring/outsourcing industry in India.

In fact till the mid nineties one wasn't even aware that there was a cap on the number of visas granted -which then was 60,000 annually -and was periodically increased -and at one time peaking at 200,000 when the scare of Y2k was its highest-after which the old level has been restored.

In the recent past, there is a definite increasing trend for the demand of work visas in US- as we regularly see that the quota is used up in hardly a couple of months. The H1B is usually for 3yrs -and extendable for another 3yrs-as a routine. Some employers, in the better days, would even sponsor the green card application-which meant that the 'alien ' would become a citizen over a period of 6-10yrs in US!

-Considering the global slowdown, and the high unemployment rates prevalent in the US -we haven't seen many companies willing to hire non-citizens, and as a consequence, there is a large number of H1-B professionals-who stay has to come to an end-within 6yrs of their stay in the US. And this segment- is an attractive bunch of well qualified and appropriately experienced- talent that the Indian/MNCs in India-especially the R&D centres -have been eyeing. 

(Psst : Should you know of any MS with 5-6yrs exp in the US-be it Scientists, R&D engineers, or analysts, and planning to relocate back to India within the next 2-12months, please let me know. We have multiple openings with MNC clients in Pharma/ Automotive/  Healthcare/ CROs/ KPOs -who wouldd be keen to explore hiring such talent!!)

- Smaller ITES companies in India have been using it as a carrot to attract/retain potential employees in India- with a possible long term on site assignment in the US. And considering that the time taken ( the applications are accepted by the authorities in April every year-while they are processed only from October onwards!)  for  visa processing could hold back the potential employee from 6months to -say 12months-it means an opportunity to engage an exciting prospect for longer tenure & thus battling and even postponing attrition!!

Interesting? Please feel free to correct my impressions....

1 comment:

Pantula said...

As usual your analysis or observations are always correct Achyut. This has been a good way to retain talent in India. Indian work force was always willing to travel to US predominantly prior 2008-09 recession. While the overseas deployment still seem to be a carrot, but they are willing to explore geographies other than US post recession.