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Thursday, 10 August 2017 09:30

Silicon Valley firms cut down on hiring foreigners: report Featured


Companies in Silicon Valley have ceased hiring employees from outside the US, with fears growing that moves to restrict immigration could make the hiring of outsiders tougher.

Data collected from more than 10,000 companies which use the recruitment agency Hired found that requests to interview foreign candidates fell by 46% year-on-year and 37% in the second quarter, London's Financial Times reported.

US President Donald Trump recently announced that legal immigration to the US would be cut by half, with criteria like English-speaking ability being used to vet potential migrants.

The US has made changes in the H-1B visa rules after Trump's inauguration, resulting in a fall in the number of applications for these visas this year. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services received 199,000 applications for H-1B visas for the next fiscal year, compared to 236,000 received in 2016.

On 18 April, Trump issued an executive order on "buy American, hire American" intended to promote the hiring of Americans for jobs in preferences to foreigners, provided there was local talent that could fill a vacancy.

The FT report said that foreigners were not inclined to apply to US technology companies. There was a 4% fall in the rate of acceptance of interview requests from the third quarter to the fourth quarter last year when Trump won the election.

The chief executive of Hired, Mehu Patel, told the newspaper that prospective employers were in a state of "limbo".

A similar effect had been seen when the UK voted to leave the EU last year. At that time, there was a fall of about 30% in the number of technology companies in the UK making job offers to foreign candidates.

Patel said that big technology companies, which were doing well financially, and start-ups that had received increased venture capital were all hiring. However, there was a shortfall of candidates.

Hired found of more than 300 tech industry workers surveyed in the UK, about 40% had thought of relocating to another country after the US election, with a third preferring Canada, followed by Germany, Asian countries and Australia. 

Forty-three percent of those who were surveyed said the UK had become a less desirable place to live in after Brexit.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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