The Important Relation of Human Resource Management and Immigrant Employees

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With the rise of technology, online recruitment and people using HR software, worldwide talent are now available for companies that seek expertise. No matter how it’s done – through corporate websites, social media, or job boards – it provides the opportunity for a business pursuit of happiness.

Human resource professionals can partially rely on talent management programs in order to narrow candidate pools, but they must also be aware of employment and immigration laws.

There are a lot of managers who form their judgment based on common sense and personal leadership style, but HR managers have the responsibility of monitoring employee work status, overseeing the sponsorship of work visas, and employment eligibility verification.

This puts them in front of a number of quite unique challenges. Migration is nothing more than a territorial movement of people which can be both – permanent and temporary, which means it also presents both – the opportunities and the challenges.

Especially if you run a multinational firm and your goal is the diversity of labor power and skills. Multinational enterprises (MNEs) which are posting employees internationally usually seek to recruit immigrants, and they tend to engage multinational work groups from abroad.

In order to manage migrant workers properly,  your HR professionals need to take a look at the bigger picture.

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Since The Dawn of Men

Migration is not the characteristic of a modern world, it has been happening since prehistoric times – people were moving in search of more suitable farmland or better hunting grounds, or simply because of the conflict or competition with other groups.  But in the modern sense, this movement is associated with the existence of the global economy and nation-states.

Of course, there is the other side we’ve all been the witnesses of – people are fleeing persecutions and wars, but they’ve also persecuted weaker groups and fabricated wars in order to make new lands available for their gain.

You can never be sure if this is the case or a simple pursuit of higher wages and new economic opportunities, which increases the important task of HR managers to perform strict eligibility verification of every migrant employee.

The Brain Drain

Then there is the question of skills. There are high-skilled migrants who are in possession of a university degree or at least equivalent training. This type of high-skilled labor migration has achieved expansion in both – developed and developing countries –  becoming an important element of national economic policies. But there are also low-skilled migrants, and the motivation may differ between these two.

Usually, the goal of the high-skilled ones is to search for better employment prospects in terms of higher salaries, but also in terms of opportunities for gaining international experience.

These well-educated professionals are leaving from developing countries to more developed ones, causing the effect known as the brain drain. The most frequent outcome of this process is the wastage because their skills are often undervalued by host societies. Reasons are many – there is no official recognition of foreign certifications, simple discrimination, or the lack of knowledge about the education of the source country of the migrant worker.

This means that highly educated professionals can end up in unskilled jobs, so HR managers need to conduct a precise assessment of migrant employee skills and competencies. This is mandatory because this unrighteous situation is usually accepted by the migrant since the low-skilled jobs in a developed country are much better paid than high-skilled ones back home.

The Target Earners

The reason why low-skilled migrants are pushed from their countries usually lies in unemployment or low wages, without any additional career-opportunity motivation. Because of this they often become ‛target earners’ in host countries.  

This means that they look at their jobs simply as a way to earn quick money. They don’t perceive their work as a source of social status or identity, which means that they have no interest in the career ladder. Their only objective is to save up a certain amount of money they’re gonna invest back home. This all leads to one inevitable fact – they’ll be here only temporary.

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This is why your HR professionals must decide if this type of disposable labor is needed – good companies always invest in education and further development of their employees’ skills, and what’s the point if they’re gonna hit the road? On the other hand, this shouldn’t develop any advanced prejudices – their plans could change and they may decide to settle.

The Labor Market Segmentation

Even if migrants have similar skills, work ethic, and experience, they’re often unable to enter employment on similar terms as native workers. Often low-skilled ones are forced to work under precarious working conditions.

They’re frequently underpaid although working longer hours even than overtime rules allow. This is how they become entitled only to lower segments of the labor market. This phenomenon of labor market segmentation theory proves that there are certain institutional barriers which could waste the potential of high-skilled migrant workers.

That why it’s important that your HR experts are working hand in hand with competent lawyers who can provide your migrant workers with the rights that are equal to their educations and skills.

Keep in mind that there are all kinds of legal counselors – they know the difficult position of migrant workers and some of them may use it to extract the money without providing an adequate solution, blaming the government system. So choose them wisely, and look for some kind of guarantee, such as the Lawyers in Sydney have provided with their ‛no win, no fee’ policy.

You Shall Not Pass

Migration is a dynamic phenomenon and therefore it requires diversified policy intervention that will maximize the benefits and minimize the side effects, for both countries and migrants themselves. This is why the national governments are controlling residence rights and border access of foreigners – they don’t want to allow large groups of people to draw on government social security and services.

The cultural coherence must be preserved, and people who can present certain security threats (spies, criminals, and the likes) must be kept out of the labor market.  Now that you’re aware of the labor market segmentation theory, you know the risks that this kind of thinking produces. So if you intend to do business with foreigners, it is mandatory for your HR managers to be familiar with all the types of visas available for migrant workers.

Diversity And The Common Worker – The Conclusion

As you could see, the challenge that migration puts before your HR managers is mainly based on diversity. Immigration rules and regulations are one thing, but diverse national certification and educational systems are completely another. Managing the relationship between different nationalities (especially in multinational work environments) presents the ultimate diversity management.  

The problem lies in the fact that, when it comes to the international HRM literature, the question of labor mobility is analyzed almost exclusively with the focus on expatriate managers.

That means that everything, from the selection procedures to support and best use of skills, is confined to this category. But expatriate managers are only a small portion of total labor migration, so it’s mandatory to apply this diversity management on the very last common worker.  Deportation of a single man couldn’t break up only his family, but also your workforce.

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