The United States of America has the largest economy in the world. Known for its business friendly laws, the US is home to major tech companies like Apple, Google, and Meta, as well as Fortune 500 companies, major banks, Hollywood, and some of the world’s best universities. The country is a leader in a number of industries, including media, sports, tech, and finance.
Hiring and recruiting in the US is fairly simple, both for foreigners and US citizens. The United States job market has sectors in almost every area available. The biggest challenge for non-US citizens is navigating the immigration process.
In this article, potential employees can find out how the hiring and recruiting process works in the United States, while employers can learn how to build a solid team.
In the United States, the job market and workforce is relatively stable. Unemployment usually hovers around 4-5% (except during COVID-19). So, there are plenty of jobs available.
Because the United States job market is mostly at-will, most foreign employees might find it difficult to navigate the hiring and recruiting process. Unlike in many European and Latin American countries, US-based employers are not obligated to provide their employees with employment contracts. Both employer and employee have the right to terminate jobs with no notice or compensation, which surprises many foreigners.
One of the best ways to find jobs in the United States is to use job boards. Most employers use these sites when they want to post a job. Two of the most popular job boards in the US are Indeed and GlassDoor.
For salaried and more competitive positions, it is a good practice to have your resume and CV uploaded to sites like LinkedIn during your job search, where you can find available positions and employers can recruit you based on your skills. You should explore on these sites what content you to include on your resume in order to stand out.
You can also choose to go directly onto company websites to apply for jobs. Many employers have started to use social media to post job ads. Although networking for some positions is still practiced in the United States when trying to find a job, many major companies hire recruiters (in-house or external) to find the best candidates for the role.
Although there are many jobs available in the United States, finding a job as a foreigner can prove to be challenging. Whether you want to find something part-time or work from home, there are a lot of different visa types that foreigners can apply for, so finding the correct one for your immigration reason is important. Most visas require that you not only have a pending job offer, but that you have a sponsorship for your work visa, which can cost employers somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,000-$4,000 USD.
If you’re applying as a foreigner, you will also need to hone in on your skills and make sure that you have either 1) a degree that is recognized as accredited or 2) other professional qualifications that are required for the particular job on your visa application.
Because the visa process in the US can be challenging, many companies have started offering remote work to foreigners. This gives job candidates the opportunity to work for a US company without having to obtain a visa, as well as gives the employer the flexibility to hire talented employees in another country. An EOR service like Via can help onboard employees based in foreign countries.
Only about 20.8% of the United States population speaks another language besides English. Unless a job position explicitly states the need for bilingual employees, expect that you will need to be fluent in English.
Most importantly, consider where you want to work and what field your professional skills fit into. The United States is a vast country with many different industries. Popular jobs in the midwest and in rural areas are agriculture and education. In New York City, media, banking, and publishing are popular. In Los Angeles, entertainment and biotech are some of the most booming industries. In San Francisco, you will find the most opportunities in IT, digital marketing, and venture capital jobs.
Employers should also try to use job boards and post available positions online. This is the most popular forum for US employees to find jobs.
Some businesses choose to hire consulting and recruiting firms. However, you will need to research and ensure that the firm is following employment laws. If the firm does not recruit based on statutory requirements, your company could be held liable for breaking the law.
The United States allows background checks for both credit and criminal history. However, there are still laws that protect employees' sensitive information, so you will need to make sure you are adhering to these guidelines closely. Most importantly, background checks can lead to discriminatory practices, so be careful if you choose to go this route when hiring.
US laws prohibit discrimination based on:
During the hiring and interview process try to avoid asking questions about:
Family or family history
If an employee or potential employee finds that they were unfairly discriminated against, the United States has an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission set up that investigates these claims.
Unlike many other countries that have statutory requirements for employment contracts, the United States has at-will employment. Employees have the right to leave their job at any time without notice, while employers can terminate employees without notice, reason, or pay.
Still, many employers opt to give their employees notice and severance before termination, even though it’s not legally required by the US government. The only state in the US that isn’t at-will is Montana. According to the state legislation in Montana, employers must demonstrate a cause for termination.
Although employment contracts aren’t necessary in the US, giving your employees a general breakdown of their salary, benefits, termination, and job description is a good practice and helps attract top talent.
Many growing companies want to hire talented employees in the US, but aren’t sure where to start with the hiring and recruiting process. Using a global EOR service like Via expedites the process and ensures that companies follow all hiring and employment laws correctly.
At Via, we help you hire, onboard, and pay remote employees across the world. As your employer-of-record abroad, we take care of the local human resources (HR) logistics, such as salary, payroll, benefits, paid leave, and tax deductions. Maintaining compliance is our responsibility. You simply focus on building your team and running your business.