Employment prospects for skilled migrants: a relational perspective

Jawad Syed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Citations (Scopus)


Proponents of human capital theory suggest that skill has a key role in employment prospects for international migrants – workers engaged in a remunerated activity in a State of which they are not a national – because the more skilled the worker, the greater her or his productivity, and that a productive worker enjoys better job and mobility in the labor market. Critics argue that a policy emphasis on migrants' skill level tends to simplify the employment and broader socio-cultural challenges migrants face. This paper takes a relational perspective on employment prospects for migrant workers addressing issues related to diversity and diversity management at macro-national, meso-organizational, and micro-individual levels. The paper argues that the customary human capital narrative of skilled migrants' success story, which is based on their comparison with unskilled migrants, must be expanded to take into account the interrelated and interdependent multilevel challenges skilled migrants face in the host labor market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-45
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Resource Management Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • skilled migrants
  • relational perspective
  • diversity management
  • equal employment opportunity
  • human capital theory


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