The new White House Administration has signaled this week that new executive orders are coming for visa policy for employment of foreign workers.

This will disproportionately affect technology companies, since they employ legions of engineers and there are not nearly enough 'American-born' software engineers and coders to meet immediate demand.

Although this will most dramatically impact large tech employers such as Facebook, startups, particularly those at Series A and above who are employing 10+ engineers, will also have to deal with the repercussions.

My suggestion for CEOs in this position is to consider focusing on hiring several top-notch lead engineers to be in-office and paying a significant premium for them - since you most likely will need to poach that talent from somewhere else - and shift most of your mid and entry-level engineering needs to one of the better outsourcers in the business.

Over the last few years, outsourcing engineering firms have grown increasingly sophisticated. In particular, their teams can now seamlessly work with a US-based lead engineer or CTO, almost as if they were in-office, and there are also platforms that enable companies to hire their own engineers more or less 'full-time' but keep them as contract workers abroad.

Although years ago such methods were often derided in Silicon Valley as 'corporate' and for 'second-class, enterprise startups' they are now actually one of the best ways to secure the best talent. And with these new rules changes, the risk is no-longer just overpaying for local talent, which was always a present problem, it is now being unable to deal with normal attrition and even find good in-office replacements.

I would also suggest growth startups with Series A funding and above look outside the typical university and other startup feeding grounds and go and poach the corporate and government henhouses. There is really amazing talent in the engineering departments of places like Comcast and various Federal agencies, and startups can offer mixed cash-equity incentive pools to give upside to those folks looking for recognition and bigger opportunities.

Published on: Feb 8, 2017