by Lydia J. Hou
Employment diversity, including hiring those who are not current citizens of the United States, is a key topic in policy development and organizational dynamics. Much of the popular discourse surrounding employment diversity focuses on hiring of individuals without documentation; however, another consideration is necessary – what is the current state of employment dynamics for individuals on temporary visas? How are potential employees viewed with respect to organizational goals and structure? Coordination, value, and worth in organizational studies are helpful concepts in this consideration – when hiring a potential employee one must ensure that the person will in some way contribute to overall goals of the organization. While a potential employee who is on a temporary visa in the U.S. may have value to an organization, he or she may not necessarily constitute an investment of organizational worth. Those who work on temporary visas often bring innovative approaches and experience to organizations, great value in terms of hiring someone who can bring new knowledge and expertise. The worth of hiring employees on temporary visas, however, is a different phenomenon as there may be a limit to the time such employees would be able to contribute to goals of the organization and added risk comes with the required process of sponsoring those individuals to maintain their employment. Sponsoring an employee for an H-B1 visa poses financial and time commitments for organizations as they must advertise the given position and conduct interviews in efforts to find a replacement within the available U.S. workforce. Therefore, when a company considers hiring an individual on a temporary visa, the potential employee’s value in the given position may not be enough to constitute their worth to the organization to proceed with the sponsoring process in the future. In the context of immigration policy changes it is absolutely necessary to consider what constitutes value and worth for organizations in the hiring process. What can be done to change evaluation of employee worth in organizational settings? How can federal immigration policy impact the worth of potential employees on temporary visas to organizations? Can organizations change the structure of evaluating worth of employees to provide opportunity for more inclusion of these often marginalized individuals? These questions are crucial to increasing organizational diversity initiatives and reducing inequality.