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The Future of Work: Leveraging International Talent for America’s Fastest-Growing Jobs of 2024

Jan 19, 2024

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In 2024, the American job landscape is experiencing a significant transformation, as outlined in LinkedIn’s report on the 25 fastest-growing jobs. This shift towards a dynamic and technologically driven economy creates a unique opportunity for HR leaders to fill emerging roles by tapping into a global talent pool. This article explores these evolving job roles through the lens of immigration, providing insights and strategies for HR professionals on effectively harnessing international hiring to secure top talent globally.

The Evolving Job Market: A Diverse Landscape

The LinkedIn report unveils a spectrum of roles, many of which have emerged in the last two decades and go beyond traditional STEM sectors. It spotlights a variety of positions from Chief Growth Officer to Artificial Intelligence Engineer, each demanding unique skills and expertise. The foundation of these roles lies in their technological aspects, characterized by advancements in AI, digital strategies, and sustainability. This evolution presents both challenges, particularly in bridging skill gaps, and opportunities for growth and innovation.

While a study by the National Association of Manufacturing and Deloitte forecasts a shortage of up to 3.5 million STEM workers in the U.S. by 2025, underscoring the enduring importance of STEM skills, there is also a burgeoning and critical demand in the healthcare sector. This highlights a dual focus in the job market: maintaining robust STEM capabilities and responding to the increasing needs of the healthcare industry, which is becoming increasingly vital.

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Beyond Tech: Addressing Healthcare Shortages Through Immigration

The United States has been grappling with a healthcare worker shortage for years, a situation exacerbated in rural areas where providers predominantly cluster in major metropolitan regions. Several factors contribute to this shortage: the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened stress and fear among healthcare professionals, leading to an exodus from the workforce. In 2021 alone, about 22,000 physical therapists left the healthcare sector, with many citing burnout, overwhelming workloads, and the pressure to meet productivity standards as key reasons for their departure.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics underscores the urgency of this shortage, indicating that up to 49,100 physical therapy positions need filling to meet the burgeoning demand. Despite this, the physical therapist workforce is expected to witness a substantial growth of 21% between 2020 and 2030. This growth is pivotal in industries supporting rehabilitation and inpatient care, especially considering the aging U.S. population. 

With a projected job growth of 15% from 2022 to 2032, physical therapists are increasingly essential in addressing the healthcare needs of an aging demographic, where the number of individuals aged 65 and over is forecasted to reach 95 million by 2060.

Roughly 6.7% of physical therapists in the U.S. are foreign-born, although this percentage varies by state. This statistic highlights the significant role that international talent plays in filling these critical healthcare positions, providing a potential avenue to alleviate the ongoing shortage in the physical therapy field.Advanced Practice Providers, also highlighted in the LinkedIn report, are also crucial in mitigating the healthcare crisis, characterized by a projected shortage of 195,400 nurses by 2031 and a significant deficit of up to 124,000 physicians within the next 12 years. Immigrant APPs, including Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, can address critical vacancies, especially in primary care in underserved areas, enhancing diversity and introducing global medical expertise.

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Legislative Efforts and Future Directions

Legislative initiatives like the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2023 and the Conrad State 30 and Physician Access Reauthorization Act are pivotal in expanding medical residency positions and facilitating international doctors to practice in underserved areas. Addressing medical school debt is also critical in incentivizing doctors, including immigrants, to work in these regions.

Harnessing Global Talent: A Strategic Imperative

Attracting foreign workers to the U.S. is a necessity, but also a strategic advantage for HR leaders. Without proactive efforts to tap into this international talent pool, our aging population and growing chronic disease burden risk facing a crippling shortage of essential care. Navigating the complexities of various work visa categories is essential for successful recruitment in specialized industries. This includes understanding immigration options and how they apply to specific industries.

“The H-1B visa for specialized roles may apply for Physical Therapists but not be the answer for Nurses; the TN might prove to be the answer to professionals from Canada or Mexico who don’t make the H-1B lottery; the O-1 visa for individuals with extraordinary abilities may be more in reach than many people think and also provide an option for folks who cannot obtain the H-1B; and the Schedule A Green Card process provides a streamlined pathway to permanent residency and work authorization for specific roles that can bypass the arduous test of the U.S. labor market.”

– Hendrik Pretorius, Immigration Attorney and  Director of Account Management at Boundless

The Bottom Line

HR professionals should develop inclusive recruitment policies, understand how to leverage offered immigration benefits to attract and retain top talent, invest in global talent development and training, and ensure adherence to company immigration policies and guidelines for compliance. This approach is essential in shaping a diverse, skilled, and adaptable workforce.

 Additionally, implementing an effective talent screening process that considers potential immigration sponsorship needs is vital. Focusing on standardizing roles to streamline and enhance the efficiency of immigration case processing. Equally important is ensuring adherence to U.S. labor and immigration laws and ensuring smooth immigration procedures for international talent. 

The future of work is unequivocally global. For HR leaders, embracing international recruitment is about shaping the future of their organizations in an interconnected world. By partnering with organizations like Boundless, HR professionals can confidently navigate this new landscape, building teams that drive innovation and growth while streamlining all aspects of the process to reduce any unnecessary hurdles.

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If you’re an HR professional or company leader looking to hire international talent, get access to our business immigration solutions and in-house legal team here.