Why America needs its immigrant talent
America is a country of immigrants, and it’s sometimes hard to remember that. Although we all put our pants on one leg at a time,we come from very different backgrounds. The idea of a cultural melting pot might seem antiquated nowadays, but in truth it’s now more relevant than ever. The economy went global a long time ago, and that means the pool of talent companies can draw from has also expanded.
In our parents’ day, immigrants might have to come to America with very little means and worked their way up the ladder over a number of years, by studying and working hard. The same is true today, but now there are also many immigrants already in possession of unique skills and knowledge. This immigrant talent can make a powerful addition to the workforce, filling in gaps of locally-sourced talent or broadening the horizons of a plateaued business. Now is not the time to be cynical about the American Dream. Highly skilled immigrants, working with American teams, have the ability to accomplish great things.
An impressive precedent
The Pew Research Center reported on data collected by venture capitalist Mary Meeker that showed 60 percent of the top 25 tech companies were founded by first- and second-generation Americans. Among these were Apple, Google, IBM and Oracle.
In 2013, Apple had a market capitalization of about $529 billion, a 12-month revenue of $176 billion and employed roughly 80,000 people, according to Meeker’s data. Apple founder Steve Jobs was a second generation American, his father having come from Syria. Even Google, perhaps the best known name in tech, was co-founded by Sergey Brin, a Russian immigrant. As of 2013, the company had a market capitalization of $376 billion, a 12-month revenue of $62 billion and employed over 47,000 people. Just these two examples should be powerful enough to show how different the American technological and economic landscapes would be without immigrant talent.
60% of top US tech companies founded by 1st/2nd gen immigrants
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) March 12, 2016
What can global talent mean for you?
Hiring global talent has a number of positive implications, beginning on a personal level and extending to the overall success of the company. Imagine your company is in need of a highly skilled professional in an area that is extremely specialized. The individual you want must have in-depth knowledge of a subject that few U.S. Universities cater to and even fewer people are interested in. After getting lackluster results from your domestic search, you decide to go international. Using a relocation company, you’re able to pinpoint several promising candidates in countries around the world, interview them over the internet and confirm the validity of their skills. The corporate relocation company assists in handling the necessary paperwork and your new talent is soon on his or her way to America.
Having this kind of access to a global pool of talent not only gives you a leg up on the competition, it can spark a new creativity and drive among your other employees. The introduction of a unique point of view is not only helpful in a globalized economy, it’s necessary. You shouldn’t have to settle for second best simply because the candidate you need is on the other side of the globe – get the talent to come to you!
Where is the talent coming from?
According to data from the World Economic Forum, as reported by Forbes, the countries with the largest share of high-skilled employment are Luxembourg, Singapore and Switzerland, respectively. The U.S. ranks 21st on that list. If your company is to grow to its fullest potential, it may need to hire talent from afar. Remember this as you look to fill highly specialized roles within your organization.
Does your company rely on immigrant talent to succeed? Let us know by tweeting @MSIGTS.