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Human resources professionals often work closely with procurement teams at their organizations to choose new vendors. Many times, HR teams are responsible for putting together a Request for Proposal (RFP) for procurement to use when evaluating vendors. Because immigration services are very different from typical vendors, a successful RFP should look into very specific criteria. Organizing an RFP into specific “buckets” or areas of vendor expertise can help lead a more successful process. 
Evaluate the credentials of the firm, their case volume, familiarity with your company's industry, and the responsiveness of attorneys. One helpful metric to evaluate is a firm's Net Promoter Score, which measures customer satisfaction. In addition, if a company handles non-U.S. (outbound) immigration, an RFP should include questions about whether the provider can support these cases as well.
Compare technology platforms from companies for ease of use and agility. Do only HR users and attorneys have access to the platform, or can hiring managers, employees and their dependents access information through it as well? In today's environment, it's also important to make sure the platform and important documents are accessible from a remote work location.
Security is a vital concern often omitted from immigration and other service RFPs, but it is crucial to protect personal employee data and privacy and should be taken into consideration, especially with regard to their adherence to some of the newer regulations like GDPR and CCPA. Immigration RFPs should ask about encryption strength, compliance tools, and other security measures in place.
Get clarity about how specific providers will work with an organization's immigration budget by asking whether the vendor bills customers for services on an hourly basis or flat rate, as well as what services are included under current costs and what might cost extra. An RFP may also ask whether billing is consolidated or if the organization will receive separate invoices from different providers (global partners, translation services, education evaluations, etc.).
This area is becoming increasingly important as companies put a premium on their employees' experience. Ask for proposals to specify how the provider communicates with employees, their family and HR, and where employees have insight and access to attorney and staff communication, as well as any technology platforms or mobile applications.
The above “buckets” are just five of the many important capabilities organizations should evaluate when considering a new immigration service provider. For a comprehensive look at immigration RFPs, download our latest resource, A Guide to The Modern-Day Immigration RFP.
Originally Published by Envoy, November 2020
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
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