How Immigration Uncertainty Impacts the IT Talent Shortage

Just look at the way Wall Street stocks drop in the wake of unanticipated global events and you get a good sense of how toxic uncertainty is in business. Healthy economic growth needs predictability, and the professional staffing industry is no different. While the long-term fate of high-skilled immigration sits in limbo, staffing and solutions firms are naturally going to struggle as the future of a key candidate source is unclear. Here’s what we anticipate happening to the IT talent shortage in the future and what some of our firms are doing in response to the uncertainty.

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Collateral Damage: Your Firm’s Access to Talent

As a kid, your experience was probably similar to mine where you were at some point in the vicinity of bad behavior.  Not your bad behavior (of course), but you were in the same zone as those who broke the rules or norms of acceptable conduct.   Perhaps it was on the playground or in class, or perhaps it was at home with a brother or sister, but someone else did something that violated what the authority figure, be it teacher or parent, felt crossed the line.  In response, you were called out or perhaps punished despite not having done anything wrong.  You no doubt protested loudly, declaring your innocence.  You tried to argue the facts to establish you were not to blame.  It wasn’t right, but there you were facing the same punishment as the transgressor.

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The Election of Donald Trump: The Implications and Key Lessons for the Professional Staffing Industry

Ok, first thing, I am not going to share my personal opinion on the election of Donald Trump. That is reserved for family and friends or those with whom I am sharing a good bottle of red Zin or a Brunello (especially if you are buying). Besides, as we have seen, this is essentially a 50/50 country and alienating half of your audience/constituency is not a good way to start. I am also not going to do a post-mortem on why he won. That is being addressed ad nauseam by your choice of website, publication or TV network. What I do want to tackle is what I think it means for the professional staffing industry.

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Adaptation: The Darwinian Imperative

The late Leon Megginson, a prolific author and authority on business management research, takes a twist on Darwin’s theory of evolution by famously concluding that it is not the strongest of the species that survive, but those who most accurately assess their environment and successfully adapt.

Over the last few months, I have been on the road taking this message to TechServe Alliance chapters around the country and via our “Survival Lessons” webinars. This theme will also be showcased at our annual conference in Palm Springs.

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Beyond Gridlock: Agency Policymaking and the Coming Disruption to the H-1B Ecosystem

To read the headlines and listen to the pundits, one can be forgiven for thinking that Congressional gridlock will leave the immigration landscape unchanged for the foreseeable future.  Even President Obama’s recent executive actions face serious roadblocks in the court system.

But, recent activity in Washington suggests we may be looking at some significant changes in business immigration policy within the foreseeable future.  While Congress may be bogged down and unlikely to move any immigration reform – whether comprehensive or incremental – the Administration and federal agencies are moving on several fronts.  Some of the actions by the Administration could prove disruptive to the H-1B ecosystem and likely to produce some winners and some losers.

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For the Greater Good: Giving Back

As we come to the end of 2014, it seems like a great opportunity to pause and reflect on our collective efforts and accomplishments in supporting and promoting the IT and engineering staffing and solutions industry.

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A Study in Contrasts: Musings on Boca Raton and Washington, D.C.

As the IT and Engineering staffing & solutions industry recently came together in Boca Raton, Florida for the TechServe Alliance Annual Conference to network and learn, our nation also headed to the polls for mid-term elections. While these events shared the same timing, the key takeaways could not have been more different in both style and substance.

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The Future of IT & Engineering Staffing and Solutions: Expect the Unexpected

So what’s next? As we prepare for the TechServe Alliance annual conference in just a few weeks, that’s a question that’s been on my mind. Every year, our community comes together to exchange ideas and learn from one another. While a major part of the formal and informal discussions at conference inevitably focus on achieving excellence in execution through proven tactics, I feel it's incumbent upon us as the industry’s trade association to concurrently drive the conversation toward strategic transformation as well. In other words, what we really need to be thinking about is the future of our industry.

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