Hiring international students post-graduation – a rough guide

“Hiring international students is an investment in global perspectives and diverse talents”

One of the best things about running a business is that you can hire and work with all kinds of employees from various ethnicities and backgrounds.

Doing so has several advantages, such as improving workplace diversity and benefiting from new cultures and ideas. If you decide to hire international students after their graduation, here are some things to keep in mind.

Understanding Visa and Work Permit Issues

Most countries, like the United States, require international students to have a student or working visa to complete internships or post-graduate studies.

In other words, it’s a vital piece of documentation for international students to achieve their career and professional goals. Understanding visas and their requirements can be challenging if it’s your first time.

OPT available for F1 students who want to work while in the US. In particular, international graduates can participate in post-completion OPT. Graduates must either work part-time or full-time, lasting 12 months.
Graduate Visa: The Graduate Visa in the UK allows graduates to stay for at least two years to work. Only a completed college course and a student visa are necessary to apply.

Staying in the confines of a work visa isn’t just the responsibility of the employee but also the employer. All businesses, from e-commerce to consulting, will need to stay up to date on the status of an international employee’s work visa to make sure they’re federally compliant.

Cultural Integration and Support

How can you provide the necessary support to ensure a smooth transition into the workplace culture? What does that look like?

  • Assigning mentors to guide and support their professional growth within the company
  • Encouraging international graduates to ask questions so they feel supported.
  • Assign a translator if the situation requires it. Thankfully, there are plenty of freelance translation jobs available to help on a budget.
  • Create a student union if you plan on hiring multiple international graduates.
  • Always extend the offer for students to start freelancing for your company once their visa ends.
  • Making these adjustments can make international students more comfortable at your company in the long run.

Recognising and Valuing an International Education

The beauty of international education lies in its diversity. Grading scales, teaching methodologies, and academic traditions differ vastly from one country to another. Instead of viewing these differences as challenges, digest them as a benefit of global perspectives. Adapt and appreciate the wealth of knowledge these methodologies bring to the table.

While academic qualifications might come from afar, the skills and knowledge they represent hold universal relevance.

The challenge? Aligning them with local benchmarks. Take proactive steps to verify international degrees, equating them to local standards.

This extra effort helps guarantee that you’re getting top-tier talent. It also demonstrates respect for the diverse educational journeys of your international hires.

And if your role requires a specific certification or graduate degree, that’s fine, too.

Clearly state your qualifications in your job description. That way, potential candidates understand if they have the proper educational experience for the role before applying.

Compensation and Benefits

Hiring international students post-graduation is an investment in global perspectives and diverse talents. But how you pay them speaks volumes about your company’s ethos. Equal work deserves equal pay, regardless of geographic location.

Perform market research to understand the average pay scale for roles in your industry and location. Then, compare them with the average living expenses.

Finally, let’s not forget health insurance. Different countries have varied health scenarios and medical norms. Pay special attention to the specific health needs of your international hires. If their country doesn’t offer comprehensive health insurance, they’ll rely on you for coverage.

Long-Term Growth and Opportunities

When hiring international students post-graduation, understand that you’re not merely bringing fresh talent on board. You’re embracing a fusion of diverse perspectives, experiences, and cultures.

However, they must see a clear trajectory ahead for them to flourish. Any new hire, local or international, aspires to see a future with the company they join. For international students, this is even more critical -having decided to pursue opportunities away from home, they yearn for assurance of a fruitful career journey.

Be proactive in charting a tangible, clear promotional path within your organisation. Set up regular performance reviews, mentorship programs, and potential leadership tracks.

When they visualise how they can climb the corporate ladder from an internship into a full-time job, their commitment and loyalty to your organisation improve tenfold.

No matter where they come from, graduates have a hunger – an appetite to learn, evolve, and become industry leaders. So, tailor the experience to meet these desires via specialised courses or training.

Offering them unique courses or specialised training on topics like supply chain analytics or marketing automation sharpens their skills – but it also positions your company as a forward-thinking hub for talent development.

The result? A reputation can significantly boost your brand image. A win-win for all parties.



Guillaume Deschamps is a digital marketer focused on handling the outreach strategy at uSERP and content management at Wordable. Outside of work, he enjoys his expat life in sunny Mexico, reading books, wandering around and catching the latest shows on TV.