Hire J-1 Workers from Europe
How To Select the Best Seasonal Foreign Staff?
Many seasonal businesses have been successfully hiring foreign J1 students for many years. The students come to the United States as participants of Work/Travel USA Program that allows them to work in the country during their summer vacations. There are many benefits of hiring J1 workers: the students tend to be hard working, don’t mind spending long hours doing dishes or cleaning hotel rooms. Unlike their local counterparts, they do not ask for time off for the peak hours of your business, such as Friday night. However, selecting the right candidates may be a little challenging since all the selection must be done in advance while the students are still in their local countries.
What are the best practices in selecting good J1 students?
1.Find a reliable agency located in the United States. There are many agencies worldwide. But we recommend that you always deal with a company in the United States. First, foreign agencies often offer students from only one country. So, an agency in Bulgaria is likely to offer your only Bulgarians. There are many employers who think that mixing J1 employees from different countries will not only promote cultural understanding, but will also ensure overall better working environment. Secondly, an agency located in the United States will have more resources for dealing with any complications, shall any misunderstanding with the employees arise. It is simply easier to reach an agent in the United States than spent time first determining the time zone differences and then actually making international phone calls.
2.Do not sign up for any direct placement service. Some companies will actively promote their “worry-free” direct placement service, so instead of selecting your employees one by one, the agency would do all the selection work for you and will simply send you the required number of people. Theoretically, this is a great solution, when you would ask for 10 English-speaking hard-working housekeepers arriving in May and then would simply wait for the workers to show up. However, in practice, your minimal involvement may create a temptation for the company to include a few not-so good workers that were previously rejected by other employers. So instead of approving direct-placement service, always opt in for manually approving every candidate individually.
3.Always ask to see resumes to consider J1 students individually. Looking for someone with professional dishwasher experience may be an overkill. But each resume may contain subtle details about the character of the student. If the resume has a picture of a professionally dressed and groomed student, he is more likely to act more professionally when hired.
4.Conduct a short phone interview with each candidate. Always check the English skills. Note that some positions may require better command of English than others. If you are looking to hire waiters, you may need someone with an advanced level. If a housekeeper is needed, a more basic level of English may be enough. Moreover, students with less English skills often appreciate their positions more, especially if the job as simple as washing dishes or cleaning the rooms.
5.After accepting the students, stay in touch. We will never emphasize enough that it is important to send as much materials as possible, so the students may ask questions and get honest answers about their summer job.
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