The current political landscape in the United States is cooling off the country’s hiring of foreign tech talent, according to a survey by San Francisco-based recruitment company Hired.
The report titled Global Tech Hiring in the Trump Era examined the international hiring trends since the election of President Donald Trump and looked at shifts in attitude within the U.S. tech industry.
One notable finding in the data report was which countries U.S. tech workers are considering for relocation. At 32 per cent, Canada was the top choice for those toying with the idea of moving since the 2016 election. America’s northern neighbour more than doubled Germany’s numbers—the second most popular country of choice at 12 per cent.
Lindsey Scott, Hired’s director of communications, said Canada’s innovation-focused efforts are attracting U.S. talent, citing more relaxed immigration policies, special visas for entrepreneurs, and tax incentives for businesses. The Canadian government recently announced that a pilot program helping foreign entrepreneurs will now be a permanent fixture.
The report found the political climate has caused uncertainty among the tech industry, specifically around immigration policies that have hindered hiring activity between U.S.-based companies and foreign workers—down 37 per cent since this time last year.
However, 81 per cent of survey respondents agreed that immigration brings more innovation to the tech industry. Those values contrast with the Trump administration who has suspended immigration from six Muslim countries and proposed a reform to the country’s H-1B visa program for foreign workers.
“The need for tech talent remains at an all-time high, and if companies can’t rely on foreign workers to help cover shortfalls in domestic supply, we’re likely to see an exacerbation of the skills gap,” said Scott.
Based on the report’s finding, Scott also noted the U.S. could face a “severe talent crisis” if hiring trends continue.
“These issues could very well have a negative impact on the U.S.’ ability to stay competitive in the global tech economy,” she said.
According to the American Action Forum, the U.S. could be short 1.1 million STEM workers by 2024.