The concept of hiring migrant workers isn’t new. Businesses have been doing it for many years, as it can pose a few significant benefits. However, it’s not something that suits every single company. Some businesses can see more benefits than others. Not to mention all the many issues and questions surrounding this idea.
Multiple organizations have hired migrant workers and seen this decision backfire – for a multitude of reasons. This wastes a lot of business time, and it also wastes a lot of money. Before your company decides to hire workers from overseas, you must understand all the main concerns that present themselves.
What is a foreign employee?
Technically speaking, a foreign employee can be anyone that doesn’t regard themselves as the nationality of the country your business is in. However, for the sake of this article, we’re looking at foreign employees as individuals who are coming from other countries to work for you. They’re also called migrant workers, but we need to clear up this definition before we proceed.
With that in mind, what are the key concerns?
One of the leading worries will be immigration law. Obviously, when you bring people from another country to work for you, then everything has to be above the board. You must ensure that they sort out all of the relevant immigration documents and have everything needed to file their application for a working visa.
Naturally, things can become more complex, depending on a range of factors. With travel bans currently in place for a variety of countries, many US businesses face additional challenges when hiring overseas workers. An immigration lawyer can help you understand any of the hurdles that stand in your way. We cannot stress how important it is that immigration law is followed and respected. Otherwise, your company will end up in deep water with a lot of fines to pay and questions to answer.
Needless to say, avoiding the legalities won’t just damage your finances, it will also damage your business reputation. If it’s revealed that you hire illegal immigrants, then public perception will change faster than you can believe.
Foreign workers are usually depicted in a very specific light. Lots of people hear this term and imagine an illegal immigrant that’s working for pennies. Sadly, this is a reality for many migrant workers. They come over to the US to try and find work, and they get taken advantage of by employers. They’re given a terrible wage, just because it saves the company money, and they know the worker will work no matter what.
Clearly, this is 100% unethical – and illegal. Even if you hire legal foreign workers, you can’t be cheap with the wages. It’s so easy to take advantage of this situation as some foreign employees don’t understand minimum wages, etc. Plus, their concept of what a good wage is can be vastly different from yours because of where they come from.
Regardless, you should always pay your employees a fair wage. It’s the ethical and responsible thing to do. Don’t take advantage of someone that’s willing to move countries to find a job.
Practically speaking, language barriers are a key concern for your business. If you’re hiring someone to work for you, then you expect them to speak your language. This is where a lot of companies go wrong as they hire employees who maybe don’t have as good a grasp of English as they need. In return, it leads to communication breakdowns and a lack of productivity. The result is that the employee either has to be let go – which causes huge consequences for them – or you have to hire an interpreter.
This can be avoided by hiring employees who can speak the language. A more thorough vetting process can help you do this, so you don’t end up in a tricky situation.
Why hire foreign employees?
Lots of companies choose to hire overseas workers because they can bring new thoughts and skills to the table. It gives you new perspectives, which can be exactly what your company needs. Plus, if you’re venturing into foreign markets, then you need people who understand the local cultures of these other countries. Again, overseas workers can be highly valuable here!
In summary, be wary of the three concerns listed in this article. The final point on foreign workers is that you should only hire them for the right reasons. If you’re hoping to save money by employing migrant workers, then they’re outrageously unethical. If you feel like they can bring something extra to your business – or are the most qualified person for the job – then hire away.