Late Friday evening, President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning immigration from the seven following predominantly Muslim nations: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya. Another executive order surfaced on Monday, outlining an overhaul of the H-1B visa program, which many tech companies rely on to recruit top talent globally. As companies decipher the possible effects these actions could have on future business and recruitment efforts, many major tech companies are issuing bold responses in line with their own corporate values and culture.
In perhaps the most audacious rebuttal to the travel ban, Starbucks announced an initiative to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years. They will launch this effort in the U.S., focusing on military support personnel, and then continuing throughout the 75 countries in which Starbucks operates. A move like this coming from CEO Howard Schultz is hardly surprising—Schultz has been historically outspoken on issues surrounding diversity and inclusion, making it a central focus in Starbucks’ culture (both employer- and consumer-facing) and promoting countless initiatives to increase representation within its workforce. Positioning himself and the company as champions for “young people looking for opportunities and a pathway to a new life around the world,” this hiring initiative serves to reinforce the very foundation on which Starbucks is built.
Concerns are mounting for other tech giants over the impending reforms to the work-visa program. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon scout worldwide for top talent to fill high-level STEM positions. For Google, immigrants comprise 8% of its U.S. workforce and represent 80 different countries. Restrictions to potential candidate pools can affect a company’s performance—and possible hinder it. On the other hand, since the majority of H-1B workers are from Eastern Europe, India, or China, the effects of President Trump’s executive order on tech employees may be limited.
As these new policies take shape, the tech world is watching with bated breath. How do you think the President’s orders will affect recruitment trends? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Join the conversation at firstname.lastname@example.org