Looking for diversity? Here’s a pool of students where you will most certainly find a lot of diversity- international students.
With the increasing numbers of international students in the US, the number of those who are seeking to work in the US is also increasing. However, according to a study done by NACE companies willing to hire foreign nationals recorded a low of 23.4% in 2018. Despite the globalizing world and demand for skills such as intercultural cooperation and fluency in multiple languages, international students still face many barriers in pursuing a career in the US.
This may be due to multiple factors. Firstly, it can be said that there is already a diverse pool of qualified candidates among the American students. The Millennials are said to be the most ethnically diverse generation in US history, and the upcoming Generation Z to be even more diverse. Even without experience abroad, many American students have the capacity to navigate themselves in multicultural environments because they have been exposed to several distinct cultures through their friends and family. Thus employers do not necessarily need to look towards international students in order to strengthen their human resource in the international sector.
Probably the biggest barrier in hiring international students is getting the legal authorization to work in the US. Many international students are more than qualified for the jobs that they are seeking for, the rising number of practical training (OPT and CPT) work authorisation suggests that without the need of complicated legal issues, employers are willing to hire international students. The practical training program allows international students to work in the US usually for one year, or for STEM students up to three years. The process does not require the employer to go through complicated paperwork or pay a sponsor fee, lowering the barrier for students. The hard part is getting authorization after the OPT, usually the H1-B visa. Firstly it is luck based being a lottery system, and employers must be willing to pay a sponsor fee. Because employment after one or three years is not guaranteed, employers tend to prefer American students who they can expect to continue working longer.
As an international student myself, I would like to say, give international students a chance. Hiring students right out of school is not difficult! The process in obtaining practical training work authorization involves hardly any paperwork on the employer side, (they just need to give the job offer) and even in a short time, the student may prove him or herself to be worthy of sponsoring. People tend to change jobs in short cycles even if they do have work authorization anyways. Bringing in a new perspective into the office is bound to give many positive influences to work.