A Kforce Inc. consultant left us 20 years ago to work at a Fortune 500 telecommunications company, where he enjoyed a successful career. Eventually, he opted for early retirement, but after a few months, decided he wanted to go back to work. Having had a great relationship with Kforce, he turned to us again, and we were able to place him again at another great job.

This is just a recent example of the strength of the relationships we build with our consultants. And it’s relationships like these that fuel my focus as I lead Kforce’s International Talent Solutions business, which caters to foreign professionals from all over the world. This division, established in 2008, took advantage of a tremendous opportunity to supplement the supply of US workers, becoming one of the first staffing firms to create a value proposition for the underserved demographic of foreign talent and, in turn, earning their trust early on.

With this opportunity came additional responsibilities that went beyond the standard consultant care practices: thorough onboarding, being present on the consultant’s first day, checking in after their first week and touching base on a regular basis to ensure their satisfaction all the way through redeployment. When working with international consultants, we also have to help them through the process of acquiring a visa and coming to work in a new country, which can be very stressful for them.

We take an open and transparent approach to the visa application and approval process, a major differentiator that provides our consultants with peace of mind throughout the process. This entails sharing with them everything that we submit to the US government; they also are able to check on their visa status at any time through our online portal.

Because Kforce follows a very thorough and compliant application process — dotting every i and crossing every t — we have a near-perfect visa approval rate. This data point is even more significant in an industry where 30% of visa denials are the norm! While other firms are guarded, Kforce believes in transparency as it pertains to our immigration practices. We want to be above board with our interactions, which is why, once approved, we provide the candidates a copy of their visa. It’s all about respect and trust.

When we find our consultants a job away from where they live, especially international consultants, Kforce typically has a local office in the area where an associate will pick them up from the airport, take them to the interview and give them a ride back. Once they get the job, one of the first questions we hear from consultants is what area they should live in for good neighborhoods and the best school districts. Our associates around the country are trained to answer those questions and even show the consultants around different areas. They go above and beyond to make sure the consultant is comfortable and can make it to work until they are settled and self-sufficient.

One thing that our foreign consultants value most is the career and professional development advice that Kforce offers. Since they’re new to our customs, wages, behaviors and attitudes, they rely on our expertise to guide them. Frequently, even after they have moved on, they seek our guidance on how to ask for a raise or a promotion. Our teams are highly trained to offer advice in these areas, and in turn we form valuable relationships that last a lifetime.

Our vision says it best: “To have a meaningful impact on all the lives we serve.” I believe that effective consultant care plays a critical role toward achieving that vision. It’s an underutilized dimension of differentiation in the 21st century!