H-1B: Not a Quick Fix for Workforce Needs

By John Hazard  |  Print this article Print

Everyone knows that it's difficult to find qualified talent these days. And political considerations have made it even harder to hire H-1B employees, putting small IT solution providers at a disadvantage.


A process that is measured in months, instead of days, and steeped in uncertainty isn't working, said Salcedo. It is especially inadequate for the technology industry and a disadvantage for small businesses that rely on every role.

"If you are a young, little company, you need to measure your hiring process in days, not weeks. Usually, when you go to hire someone, you needed them in that position yesterday," he said. "The H-1B process isn’t helpful to technology companies. it’s more suitable for lawyers, doctors, engineers and universities, [organizations] that have long hiring windows. For technology, the system is archaic."

The uncertainty is also a factor small businesses can't thrive on, said Thiele. Large businesses, with hundreds, or thousands of employees and hires, can accept an empty position if an H-1B visa is denied; small businesses rely on every role and can't move forward with such uncertainty. That often means declining business and delaying development until the employee is approved, said Salcedo.

"If a larger company invests in this person, and it doesn't work out, they can absorb the blow," said Thiel. "For a smaller business they may have just lost a year they can't make up."

"The H-1B is a shot in the dark," said Salcedo. "If you're growing fast and need to hire people, you can't work that way."

The situation often arises for companies who are trying to hire an employee transferring from an F-1 student visa after they graduate from graduate school, Thiel said. Often they hire the employee, train them and integrate them into their staff under the F-1 visa and hope the H-1B is approved.