Why Companies Are Nervous to Hire International Students
This is taken from my response to a Quora question: Is it true that companies are reluctant to hire international students after an MBA from USA?
First, remember that employers are always looking at the business case for hiring you. It isn’t personal (though it feels like it). The decision to sponsor an international student (i.e. offer work authorization) is a business decision. It involves a lot of commitment and money on the employer’s part.
- They fear you won’t stay – Most international students plan to stay a couple of years before they return home. That’s normal and understandable. But employers know this. They know your family, friends, and life are back home and worry you won’t be committed.
- They have enough American applicants – If they already have lots of Americans who are applying for their positions, they don’t need to consider the additional cost of hiring an international student.
- They don’t know enough about the sponsorship process – I’ve spoken to recruiters who don’t know anything about hiring international students or they have the wrong information. Regardless, they choose not to sponsor international students.
- They worry you won’t be selected in the H1B lottery – The reality is that even if an employer sponsors you, there is no gaurantee you will get the H1B visa because it is a government lottery system. Only 35% of employers who applied for the H1B received one in 2015. That means 2/3 of international students who were at the companies who sponsored (and employed them) had to leave the country when their OPT was up. Companies invest in you. It takes over 10K to a company to train and sponsor you. Some companies can’t afford the loss.
It is not impossible for an international student to get a job in the U.S. But it is difficult. All international students must be exceptional and adapt to a competitive American recruiting process. It involves learning how to adapt your behavior and overcome cultural barriers in the process.