How US tech firms place job ads no-one will apply for

US AMERICANS ARE EXPENSIVE. They eat more food, use more petrol and create more greenhouse gas than the rest of us. So when they go to work they need a hefty salary.

Not so Indians or Chinese, or Filipinos. Or Cubans or Iraqis come to that. You can get three or four of most of these for what you might have to pay an American. This is why tech firms are keen to ship workers into the States to get them to work for them, rather than some equally-qualified but expensive hamburger-muncher from down the road.

But immigration laws pertaining to the hiring of foreign workers in the States are tight. And firms have to prove that they can’t find anyone in their back yard to do the jobs they need to fill, before casting their gaze abroad.

This is why U.S. firms hire consultants to publish classified job ads in local U.S. papers, with goal of not finding any applicants.



  1. SN says:

    I remember years ago former HP CEO Carly Fiorina was asked about the problems of insourcing and outsourcing. She was asked how we could best educate young Americans to compete in a global economy.

    Her answer was that education had nothing to do with the problem. The problem to her was that American college graduates simply refuse to work for less than the minimum wage. If they did, they could get jobs.

    Our country is being sold out guys. Er, I mean our country has been sold out. We’re a reverse facist country, completely controlled by multinational corporations with the sole goal of greater profit at any cost.

    We pretend that we vote for anyone we want… that our elections are free… but no matter who we vote for, that elected official’s campaign is paid for by multinational corporations. Is that really a choice when all politicians have the same true employer?

  2. bobbo says:

    1–You’ve nailed it exactly correct.

    You know, corporations are purely legal creations–nothing natural about them meaning they live and die by the laws that create them.

    Right now, the law says the only duty of a corporation is to maximize shareholder profit. By and large, all the ills of transnational corporations flow from this birth defect.

    It might not be too late to do some genetic recoding. My favorite–require that Senior Managment Total Compensation be only some multiple of average employee pay==same with shareholder return. Thats one simple easy thing to do with multiple beneficial effects. Wont happen though under misguided notions of “free market” and other ingrained propagandistic beliefs.

    On second thought, maybe stopping corporate welfare programs, special tax avoidance programs, and incentives to outsource also come rapidly to mind. If pushed, I would consider doing away with the corporate form of doing business. How much harm needs to be suffered before change is made?

  3. SN says:

    2. “It might not be too late to do some genetic recoding.”

    I hate to be a wet blanket, but there is nothing we could do. The corporations control the people who create the laws. Whether we vote right, left, or independant, corporations pay for the campaigns and the politicians are under their control.

    And, as the video shows, even when laws are enacted to our benefit, they’re so filled with loopholes they still make no difference.

  4. bobbo says:

    4–Nonesense, course, not with THAT attitude. Just to begin with, there is nothing about the H-1b visa program that was meant to benefit the American worker/society. Finding needed skills is a fraud as no skill cannot be found/developed in the GOUSA!

    All the same issues, attitudes, beliefs were around early last century when Teddy Roosevelt broke up the trusts. Course, by and large they have reformed ((great routine on Daily show re the reformation of ATT==priceless!!)) but it shows, it can be done. Someone like Barrack. Someone not yet born but who has the force with them.

    Even if we fail to correct this evil, don’t be so blinded as to think nothing can be done. Start voting now. Best platform===vote every single encumbent out of office until some hero of the masses is found.

  5. SN says:

    4. “Start voting now.

    As I’ve said, voting will have no effect whatsoever.

    Electing a truly independent senator or congressman would have no effect as their votes would be buried. Even electing a president who wanted to enact positive change wouldn’t do any good when Congress is controlled by multinational corporations.

    And how could those guys even get elected when the media is controlled by the very same multinational corporations?!

    The only way this country will change is when our country is so economically deep in the toilet that international corporations will leave us alone. It will simply not matter who we elect as the country will lack any power to do anything contrary to their interests anyway.

  6. bobbo says:

    5—If any group of people acted consistently in one way, change would be rapid. So I agree, it wont happen.

    Take another look===voting for encumbents will only keep us getting what we get. Voting encumbents out, regardless of party, promises, etc atleast is a change to the status quo. Might work, after 4-5 election cycles. Lets start now.

    I’m starting the “Vote the Bums Out” PAC. Vote NO. Vote often.

  7. SN says:

    6. “Voting encumbents out, regardless of party, promises, etc atleast is a change to the status quo.”

    I’m repeating myself, so this will be my last comment on this topic. I agree that voting for entrenched politicians won’t help. But how will voting for new politicians who are controlled by multinational corporations help? Nearly all of their funding will come from corporations. Anyone with even a slight chance of being against the status quo will be eliminated by the multinational controlled media. And even if one or two made it past all of that, nothing would change. And lastly, even when pro-citizen laws are passed, they’ll be filled with loopholes and will have no effect.

  8. Danijel says:

    What is the unemployment rate of US citizens in America anyways? Is this even a problem?

    But, let’s take the point of view of the immigrants. A guy wants to work in a certain company in the USA, but in order to get a job he has to prove that there is no other US citizen that would want the same job. If there is a single US citizen that wants the same job and has the same qualifications, he can automatically get it. There’s no competition. Immigrants are just ranked as worse kind of people.

    BTW, this is the same in any country of the world. And it’s not completely fair, IMO…

  9. ArianeB says:

    #2 My favorite dream law would be to require any company that takes tax dollars or tax breaks in any form or at any level (city county state or federal) would be required to pay all employees enough that none would be on welfare, and provide full health and retirement benefits so that none would be on medicare and would not need social security. It would force companies to pay all their employees living wages, or not take any corporate welfare at all.

  10. SN says:

    8. “What is the unemployment rate of US citizens in America anyways?”

    it’s impossible to know for certain as the government only considers people who are looking for work. In other words, there are plenty of unemployed people in the US who are not reported in any statistic.

    “If there is a single US citizen that wants the same job and has the same qualifications, he can automatically get it.”

    You didn’t watch the video, did you. You’re talking about how the law is supposed to work. The whole point of the video is teaching corporations to avoid hiring even qualified Americans so that cheap labor can be brought in.

  11. bobbo says:

    9–Thats a good start at a creative list. One of the central weaknesses of our “Healthcare System” is that it is employer based. We need to move away from that–I think Sicko makes the same point.

    Does Haliburton take tax dollars when it sells its services to the Gov? If so, and if most of their employees are not on welfare, then I think your regulation might leave too many corporations free to plunder.

    Something more impactful maybe?

    7–You aren’t repeating yourself when you add something new. Politicians are greedy, lying, bastards who are selling this country out. That is something we can rely on. Once they figure out doing the corporate will will only get them voted out of office ((because ALL encumbents are voted out)) then eventually someone will strive to make real change in order to keep his office. Any other reponse is just part of the problem.

    Vote the Bums Out!!!!!!

  12. bobbo says:

    11–A Highly qualified foreign national seeking maximum fair market value for services rendered=====is no different than a US citizen.

    You will be overlooked for the new guy off the boat happy to work for slave wages. You just assimilated too fast. Atleast you do have Europe. I dont.

  13. Danijel says:

    #10 I have watched the video and I acknowledge the fact that companies are bending the rules the avoid certain laws. I was just question the need for these laws in the first place. The creators of this video (not the original one, but the YouTube one) seem to think that they are more deserving and should get a greater pay for the same job an immigrant wants to do. Is that fair?

    And yes, it is funny that companies make tutorials on how to break the law (or at least bend it). It is also a fact that companies will always strive to achieve the greatest profit at the lowest price. That’s what they do…

  14. bobbo says:

    14–Actually, there is a need NOT to have these laws. Foreigners should not be allowed (with rare exceptions) to have jobs in America. That way, Americans could compete for American Jobs. And by competition, I mean between the workers and with Corporations as well.

    Every other country should do the same.

  15. Simon says:

    Denmark have had a similar problem, not with people in IT, but in construction. Denmark currently have a real labour shortage, and because both Denmark and Poland are in the EU, construction workers from Poland can legally work in Denmark.

    I fear have been that because of their low wages, the Polish construction workers would take jobs from the Danes. To avoid this, the unions required that the Polish workers be get the same rights and salaries as the Danes. Problem more or less solved. The companies can’t work for less than minimum wage, they can join Danish unions and get standard union salaries. Another concern was that they would out-pace the Danes, working faster, because they didn’t need to work under the same safety requirements. Also solved, same job, same rules.

    Mind you, the Polish construction works actually don’t need a green card or anything like that. They are legally allowed to work and live in Denmark, because of the EU.

    To a large extend the Danish labour unions are the reason that these new rules are in place. We can employ people from other EU countries to help us with our labour shortage, but they can underbid the Danish workers. I understand that trade and labour unions is bad words in the US, but they really help in these situations. Perhaps the solution would be to fix the unions, and forcing them more in the direction of the European labour unions. Getting more people to join the unions would also help, I believe that around 80 to 90% of all Danish workers are in a union.

  16. John Paradox says:

    Seeing this reminds me of two things:
    The description of corporate ‘nations’ in Robert Heinlein’s novel FRIDAY (amazingly prescient in so many ways), and how there is no way to ‘attack’ a Corporate Nation, since they are not like regular nations, with a given geographic area.
    I was browsing for jobs (the radio station sale just went through friday) and one of them actually stated they will NOT consider H1-B applicants!

    J/P=?

  17. Milo says:

    Danijel: Of course it’s not fair. If you don’t get benefits from being a citizen why would you become one?

  18. Wayne Bradney says:

    I feel I’m qualified to add a few data points here, since I’ve been through the Green Card process.

    My company (a financial vertical-market Software creator) has sponsored a few Green Card applications over the last ten years or so, mine included. In all the cases I know of the candidate had worked for the firm for a few years already (in some cases for the full length of their H1-b status of six years) and had become very valuable employees (Software Architect-level) earning above-market average salaries (6 figures +). They were paid well because the company wanted/needed to keep them long-term and not have to ship them back to their home countries after their temporary work visa expired. They couldn’t have just replaced them with new US hires (even if such hires were available), without having to break in those new employees over a period of time.

    I think in a lot of cases where companies are ‘creative’ with the GC labor certification laws, they are situations where the company wants to keep the valuable, established talent they already have, rather than as a way to ‘bring cheaper people in’. We’re not talking about laying pipe or picking fruit here — nobody is placing ads in the New York Times for construction workers.

    I for one never intended to stay in the US longer than the 6 years of my H1-b, it was only because the company significantly upped my salary (compared to what I would have been able to earn back in Europe) and offered to pay all of the (quite considerable) GC costs and lawyer fees, that I ended up staying.

  19. Danijel says:

    #18 I like your reasoning. The whole citizenship deal is seriously broken. It can be extremely hard for a compete stranger to get a citizenship and extremely easy if he has some relatives that already have the citizenship. I have a friend who’s never been to France, but his father was born there (and remained there for 2yrs of his infancy) and he got his passport automatically. I’ve been living in a foreign European country for almost 10 yrs now and I’m still being treated the same way as if I came here yesterday.

    If you ask me they should make some more challenging way to get a citizenship. Like, passing some combination of mental and physical tests. Only truly worthy people can join the society!

  20. bobbo says:

    19—So do you think GOUSA should increase the number of H-1b visa’s granted, reduce them, or do away with them? ((Try to think of the best interest of GOUSA rather than yourself or your company.))

    As my H-1b spouse says while maintaining her dual citizenship, “GOUSA ((actually, only I say that)) is the best place to work, but I want to retire to England==where there aren’t so many guns, and the vegetables are better.” I couldn’t agree more.

  21. Wayne Bradney says:

    Well, first of all this particular article is about the labor certification laws governing Green Card applications, not H1-b applications, which are, I believe, covered by slightly different regulations (which are less onerous to the employer).

    To answer your question, however, I see nothing inherently wrong with the H1 visa program. Employers are required by law to provide the prevailing wage and all the same benefits to H1 hires as are provided to US hires. This law is written specifically to avoid a situation that could depress prevailing wage conditions for US workers. H1 employees cost the company more to hire (legal, INS fees etc.), so the employer naturally also tends to ensure that their investment is a good one. The H1 program is geared towards skilled/professional workers with college degress or have an exceptional talent that’s hard to find, especially useful when the number of science degree applications are falling. It’s also possible that H1 employees have more to lose than US hires — if they underperform and get canned they’re deported 10 days later unless they can find another company willing to take on the existing sponsorship and/or apply for new visa. If the H1 were to be abolished, companies would have no recourse for “brain-draining” foreign talent other than by making an offer and sposoring a Green Card directly while the individual is still in their own country, and then waiting for about 2-3 years while the GC is processed (an impractical expectation at best). Would you rather have the best people here or in Japan/China/India? I think that on the whole there would be more resistance to making H1 hires than to making US hires for most hi-tech companies.

    Remember that granting H1 visas is not quite the same as outsourcing jobs abroad — the H1 applicant takes up a position in the US and contributes to the US economy and pays US taxes.

    Finally, bobbo, I agree with you and your spouse about the US being the best place to work. I’ve ‘gone where the work is’ all my life, and lived in quite a few places, but I’ve been in the States longer that anywhere else, and been in my current job longer than any other job I’ve had. Without the H1 program my talents would probably be in use elsewhere. I’m not sure I’d want to retire back to England, however, for reasons that are probably irrelevant to this discussion. Suffice it to say, though, that from my point of view the UK is not the same place I left over 10 years ago.

  22. ran6110 says:

    OK, you want change then get off the comment cycle and do something!

    Yes, write your local and fereral politicians but also ask the local media, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and the network news why they are not covering this!

    Make your own videos for myspace raising the questions and asking for help in spreading the word!

    We’ve got bunches of people wanting to be the next president ask them for their stand on this and tell them now you are not going to support someone who is for this. And let them know by not supporting them you mean you’ll campaign (and donate) against them!

    Don’t sit here with a bunch of like minded people crying in your beer, get out there and do something about it!

    For me, I’ve already sent the link to this article and the myspace video to 17 other (non-techies) people.

    Remember, most people have no idea what’s going on.

    Regards,
    ran6110

  23. ran6110 says:

    We need this article moved back to the top of the page before it’s lost!

  24. ethanol says:

    Wayne Bradney (#22),

    I have personally worked for a consulting firm in a high-level management position (and subsequently left and started my own company due to the lack of ethics, morals, etc. of the owner) where they faked a job search, brought over programmers from Pakistan (family members, etc.) at wages 20% below the same job otherwise. His (the owner) entire purpose was to extensively line his pockets. He was a foreigner from that region of the world, who married a US citizen, and couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the GOUSA.

    I am sure many companies follow the rules about H-1Bs, but I’d wager there is an equal number like the company I worked for…

  25. Mister Mustard says:

    You may get better vegetables in England, but you also have to put up with warm beer, bad food, and having all your teeth fall out. I’d rather retire to Vermont, or Laguna Beach.

  26. Wayne Bradney says:

    ethanol,

    Yes, I’m well aware of such companies. I actually worked for a very short time as a consultant when I first came to the States (where I was paid a higher-than-prevailing wage for my position, but nowhere close to my billing rate), and I’ve dealt with several consultancies when interviewing for positions at my company. We never hired their people, and don’t think that any of those companies I dealt with are still in business (including the one I worked for).

    But again, this particular article and discussion is not about the H1 labor condition application, it’s about the Green Card labor certification laws, and I still contend that the majority of employment-based Green Card applications are for workers that have already been established with the sponsoring employer for a number of years, and now want to adjust their immigration status from temporary worker to resident alien. I can understand why companies see it as unrealistic to expect them to first advertise the position of a person they value and want to keep, and I can see why they would want to use every legal avenue (keep in mind that everything heard in the video is completely legal). They don’t want to hire someone else, they want to keep the person they have already.

    What your former employer was doing, however, would seem to be illegal, if they are paying 20% below prevailing wage.

  27. ethanol says:

    Wayne (#28),
    Agreed.

  28. bobbo says:

    22—Well, the problem as I see it is right here== “To answer your question, however, I see nothing inherently wrong with the H1 visa program. Employers are required by law to provide the prevailing wage and all the same benefits to H1 hires as are provided to US hires.”

    There is general acceptance that prevailing wages are not paid, but even if that is true, allowing for a greater pool of employees naturally inhibits wage increases==ie, its not a free market when employees can only (realistically) apply for local jobs, but employers can recruit world wide.

    I didn’t mean to switch from green cards to H-1b visas==just was on a different thread where that was the issue.

    Well, the international corporations are having their way. Senior Management getting bonuses by keeping wage flat or declining, and the rest of us workers fighting for the scraps===and in this instance, even making the argument for the man.

    Andy Stern (head of big union in GOUSA) was right. We need international unions to prevent the abuse. Much of the attraction of foreign employment would go away if the fraud was removed.

    I like all of the UK. Some folks, maybe you and me, like being somewhere different than where we were before? Wife wants to stay in GOUSA–I wouldn’t mind ==many place in UK. (France Too!)


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