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(National Review)   Tech sector companies: There's a shortage of qualified American workers. Reality: Um, no there isn't. Tech sector: Oh. Can we have the cheaper foreign workers anyway?   (nationalreview.com ) divider line 102
    More: Obvious, Americans, RAND Corporation, Center for Immigration Studies, Princeton University Press, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation  
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1589 clicks; posted to Business » on 21 May 2014 at 1:28 PM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-21 11:42:29 AM  
This is why we can't don't have nice things.
 
2014-05-21 11:50:29 AM  
Key word is qualified.  The last time my company hiring, we had no shortage of applicants.
 
2014-05-21 11:54:34 AM  
I should add though, you're pretty likely to get an unqualified person from overseas as well.  If they'll settle for a lower salary than an unqualified American though, they're going to win.
 
2014-05-21 11:54:56 AM  

serial_crusher: Key word is qualified.  The last time my company hiring, we had no shortage of applicants.


What makes the American grads less qualified than the foreign ones?
 
2014-05-21 11:58:31 AM  

serial_crusher: I should add though, you're pretty likely to get an unqualified person from overseas as well.  If they'll settle for a lower salary than an unqualified American though, they're going to win.


I think that is exactly the point the author is trying to make. Tech companies don't necessarily need those foreign workers because there is a shortage of native workers, they just want to use foreign workers to drive down labor costs, which is really not what the foreign worker program is intended to do.
 
2014-05-21 12:00:35 PM  

serial_crusher: I should add though, you're pretty likely to get an unqualified person from overseas as well.  If they'll settle for a lower salary than an unqualified American though, they're going to win.


Got to agree here.  Especially since my company is doing that right now.  And it speaks a bit to mod3072's question, too.

The individuals may be technically proficient.  They're not the problem in most cases.  From my own experience with my oversees peers it's that:

They know their technical specialty.  But they are not accustomed to customer service and quality standards.  My company is especially bad with this since we do not hold them to the same standards as the US workers.  We let them get away with murder sometimes because WE DON'T REALLY CARE.  The bottom line is cheap labor.  Quality is not required nor expected.  Instead of doing the hard work of TQM, we put window dressing up to make customers believe they are getting quality.

Tech savvy does not equal business savvy.
 
2014-05-21 12:03:16 PM  

mod3072: serial_crusher: Key word is qualified.  The last time my company hiring, we had no shortage of applicants.

What makes the American grads less qualified than the foreign ones?


I didn't really want to insinuate that (see my second post).
There is a shortage of qualified people both nationally and internationally.  We'll take the first smart person we can get.

Consider a case where you have 1 qualified local, 9 qualified foreigners, 45 local morans and 45 foreign morans.  Who're you going to pick if the 1 qualified local takes a job somewhere else?  One of the 9 qualified foreigners, that's who.
 
2014-05-21 12:06:03 PM  
My tech company is mostly Indians over here on H-1B Visas.
 
2014-05-21 12:50:39 PM  

serial_crusher: mod3072: serial_crusher: Key word is qualified.  The last time my company hiring, we had no shortage of applicants.

What makes the American grads less qualified than the foreign ones?

I didn't really want to insinuate that (see my second post).
There is a shortage of qualified people both nationally and internationally.  We'll take the first smart person we can get.

Consider a case where you have 1 qualified local, 9 qualified foreigners, 45 local morans and 45 foreign morans.  Who're you going to pick if the 1 qualified local takes a job somewhere else?  One of the 9 qualified foreigners, that's who.


I didn't see your second comment until after I had posted. I'm not trying to say that companies should be forced to hire Americans who can't do the job, but I think that there are a lot of companies out there that take advantage of the visa programs to hire foreign workers on the cheap, which drives down wages for everyone, and that's not what the program should be used for. Maybe that's not actually happening, but it's suspicious that we have a glut of people with science and engineering degrees who can't find work in their field while, at the same time, companies are arguing that there is a shortage of workers in those fields.
 
2014-05-21 01:21:57 PM  
There's a fair amount of BS in this article. I have not(will not) taken the time to look at the actual study.

First, the statement that there are more STEM qualified people than jobs is just stupid. Of course this is the case. At least half the Engineers I've worked with have ambitions to not do engineering work. They are employed in STEM jobs for now but will probably spend the bulk of their career doing other things. The ratio says nothing about demand.

From my experience (Electrical Engineer who does embedded HW/SW, optics, and power electronics for both Aero and Industrial) there is almost no talent out there. The unemployment rate for EEs is usually 4% or less and I get constant calls from head hunters. When I have an opening it will take months to fill. There just aren't many people out there.

The author seems to think STEM careers are interchangeable. The reality is that it is significantly more difficult to get a ChemE degree than a CSci degree(assuming you have a degree since there are plenty of insanely skilled self tought talent). This will cause shortages in several fields because the graduation rates aren't driven by demand (in other words, the degrees are so hard to get that if one is only interested in money there are significantly easy ways to get it).

Since most(all) of the H1Bs are in the IT industry it is very difficult to say what effect they have.
 
hej
2014-05-21 01:30:31 PM  
There's nothing to stop companies from hiring "cheaper foreign workers" as it is.  The outsourcing thing has been tried once or twice and most places have figured out that you get what you pay for.
 
hej
2014-05-21 01:33:30 PM  

serial_crusher: I should add though, you're pretty likely to get an unqualified person from overseas as well.  If they'll settle for a lower salary than an unqualified American though, they're going to win.


There's already plenty of unqualified local candidates to choose from, if that's what companies are looking for.
 
2014-05-21 01:33:36 PM  
Can't find enough Americans with 6 years experience admining Windows 8. Plenty of H1B applicants with that on their resumes.

I might be sorta jokey on that today, but I remember circa 2000 there were job requirements that basically said "you have to lie about having enough experience because the software hasn't been around as long as we're asking experience".
 
2014-05-21 01:55:44 PM  

mod3072: serial_crusher: Key word is qualified.  The last time my company hiring, we had no shortage of applicants.

What makes the American grads less qualified than the foreign ones?


They want to be paid what they're worth.
 
2014-05-21 01:57:45 PM  

serial_crusher: Key word is qualified.  The last time my company hiring, we had no shortage of applicants.


Once upon a time there was a thing called on-the-job training. Companies didn't like that because it turned out that employees would take the training and leave after being treated like crap. So the companies got it into their heads that the right way to deal with this was to go some place where training costs were cheaper because the cost of living was cheaper--like a 3rd world country. This actually would have made sense except for the fact that it ignored all the other realities that go along with an employee, like the ability to enunciate words such that they can be audibly deciphered by a normal human being. So the next step in the process was to create a system where the labor would be cheap (yes) and the quality would be there (yes) which meant cherry picking the talented people from other countries to America and then acculturating them here. This is where we are today. Needless to say this has caused resentment. Because at least with off-shoring the people who were undercutting your job was "over there" and one didn't have to share a cubicle with the funny looking guy with strange hygiene habits and now one does.

Of course, all this could have been easily prevented if companies had just treated their employees well and paid them a decent wage to begin with. Sadly, however, that is not the way greed works.
 
2014-05-21 01:57:51 PM  

mod3072: What makes the American grads less qualified than the foreign ones?


Foreign workers have a work ethic.
 
2014-05-21 01:59:41 PM  
Since the listed "qualifications" for a technical job opening usually appears to be written for what may be two individuals on the continent, this may be a true thing.
 
2014-05-21 02:02:21 PM  

gingerjet: mod3072: What makes the American grads less qualified than the foreign ones?

Foreign workers have a work ethic. are tolerant of slavery

 
2014-05-21 02:02:38 PM  

worlddan: Once upon a time there was a thing called on-the-job training.


I have no problem training someone.  I have several employees on staff who came from different industries that we are training into new duties.  I do have a problem with some entitled prick who can't be bothered.  Which appears the vast majority of our American tech applicants.

/i may just be especially bitter at the moment - just had three incredibly bad applicants that got through the screening process
 
2014-05-21 02:03:58 PM  

Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Foreign workers have a work ethic. are tolerant of slavery


Our H1B workers make more than their American counterparts.  So keep chocking that chicken if it makes you feel better.
 
2014-05-21 02:06:45 PM  

gingerjet: Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Foreign workers have a work ethic. are tolerant of slavery

Our H1B workers make more than their American counterparts.  So keep chocking that chicken if it makes you feel better.


One company is, of course, representative of the industry as a whole.
 
2014-05-21 02:08:11 PM  

worlddan: on-the-job training


Is it as simple as that for high level "STEM" jobs like the article says?

There are a lot of cases where it legitimately takes a 4 year degree to do a job.  You can't really "on-the-job train" somebody to one of those positions.  Need certifications for a lot of engineering jobs to make sure the bridge you build doesn't collapse and kill a bunch of people too.

As a software engineer for a company that makes comment widgets for web sites, I don't really care about degrees and certifications when hiring.  Show me some work you've done.  Could be a previous job, could be course work, could be some shiat you did in your free time.  If you can't come up with one of those three, there's a high chance that you're a dud who won't or can't learn.  Otherwise you already would have.
 
2014-05-21 02:08:23 PM  

gingerjet: Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Foreign workers have a work ethic. are tolerant of slavery

Our H1B workers make more than their American counterparts.  So keep chocking that chicken if it makes you feel better.


Is that apples to apples? What are their job titles?
 
2014-05-21 02:10:50 PM  

gingerjet: Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Foreign workers have a work ethic. are tolerant of slavery

Our H1B workers make more than their American counterparts.  So keep chocking that chicken if it makes you feel better.


That's why all the big tech companies are so desperate to change the laws, they want to pay their workers more.
 
2014-05-21 02:11:15 PM  
how about giving so much time off, that a new hire has oodles of Vacation time, but cannot use it because he doesn't have any seniority to actually use it.
 
2014-05-21 02:13:38 PM  
There really isn't a shortage in STEM degrees:
http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411562_Salzman_Science.pdf
 
2014-05-21 02:17:49 PM  

worlddan: serial_crusher: Key word is qualified.  The last time my company hiring, we had no shortage of applicants.

Once upon a time there was a thing called on-the-job training. Companies didn't like that because it turned out that employees would take the training and leave after being treated like crap. So the companies got it into their heads that the right way to deal with this was to go some place where training costs were cheaper because the cost of living was cheaper--like a 3rd world country. This actually would have made sense except for the fact that it ignored all the other realities that go along with an employee, like the ability to enunciate words such that they can be audibly deciphered by a normal human being. So the next step in the process was to create a system where the labor would be cheap (yes) and the quality would be there (yes) which meant cherry picking the talented people from other countries to America and then acculturating them here. This is where we are today. Needless to say this has caused resentment. Because at least with off-shoring the people who were undercutting your job was "over there" and one didn't have to share a cubicle with the funny looking guy with strange hygiene habits and now one does.

Of course, all this could have been easily prevented if companies had just treated their employees well and paid them a decent wage to begin with. Sadly, however, that is not the way greed works.


Not sure if troll or if you dont get what STEM is....
 
2014-05-21 02:17:50 PM  
jst3p: gingerjet: Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Foreign workers have a work ethic. are tolerant of slavery

Our H1B workers make more than their American counterparts.  So keep chocking that chicken if it makes you feel better.

Is that apples to apples? What are their job titlesdescriptions?


ftfy
/Titles are meaningless. The work you're expected to perform is a better comparison.
//So says our sub grand emperor of software engineering
 
2014-05-21 02:18:30 PM  

serial_crusher: Key word is qualified.  The last time my company hiring, we had no shortage of applicants.


This. Having an engineering degree from some for profit college that manufacturers graduates doesn't make you qualified.

Also, lots of STEM grads who are qualified moved into the business world anyway, because people who are good at understanding things are sometimes good at explaining things too. I made the switch after meeting a C level HR manager for Blue Cross Blue Shield who was an electrical engineer.
 
2014-05-21 02:19:12 PM  

serial_crusher: worlddan: on-the-job training

Is it as simple as that for high level "STEM" jobs like the article says?


The problem is that STEM is a broad and vague category. I absolutely agree that there certain highly technical fields (which isn't the same as technology) that are legitimate for visas. Most other countries do it too. And that's what I think is instructive--to compare America's program to visa programs in other countries. The reality is that the H1B visa program and its related programs has largely turned into a means to create a guest worker program without calling it a guest worker program. That's what I personally object too. We are a huge country with well over a hundred million workers. Can I believe that there is an odd duck here and there than should be granted a visa to come here because its something we have overlooked? Yes. But do I think we need a wholesale program of shipping hundreds of thousands of workers around the world? No. I can't think of any legitimate reason to do that besides undercutting wages.
 
2014-05-21 02:20:45 PM  
It feels like there is, but then again, I've seen what we're offering to new hires, and I think that might be why we are having such a hard time finding people.
 
2014-05-21 02:22:08 PM  

mod3072: serial_crusher: I should add though, you're pretty likely to get an unqualified person from overseas as well.  If they'll settle for a lower salary than an unqualified American though, they're going to win.

I think that is exactly the point the author is trying to make. Tech companies don't necessarily need those foreign workers because there is a shortage of native workers, they just want to use foreign workers to drive down labor costs, which is really not what the foreign worker program is intended to do.


But there still is a qualified worker shortage, both here and abroad. If we had more qualified STEM grads, neither the unqualified domestic grads or unqualified foreign grads would get hired.

Or to use an analogy: if you can't find a Ferrari to buy, what is really the difference between a Chevy and a Honda? Neither is a handmade Italian masterpiece, buy whichever is a little cheaper.
 
2014-05-21 02:27:28 PM  
My company has been looking for a Electrical Engineer with PLC programming and controls design skills for about a year and a half now.  Everyone we we bring in either doesn't have the skill set we are looking for, or doesn't want to have to travel to handle issues in the field (which is a consistent requirement in our industry), or has an inflated idea of their value because there are one or two major names in our area that can afford to pay a premium for the skill set.  Yep, i know they can get paid more.  Im also aware that those companyied regularly cycle their people out.

We haven't laid anyone off for over 30 years,  

Plenty of people out there with degrees.  Very few who are qualified.     

/hr & Recruiting
 
2014-05-21 02:28:40 PM  

gingerjet: worlddan: Once upon a time there was a thing called on-the-job training.

I have no problem training someone.  I have several employees on staff who came from different industries that we are training into new duties.  I do have a problem with some entitled prick who can't be bothered.  Which appears the vast majority of our American tech applicants.

/i may just be especially bitter at the moment - just had three incredibly bad applicants that got through the screening process


I don't have problems training people either. What I need are people who learn quickly and don't ask for help with things without Googling it first.

We started hiring people to implement MS Dynamics CRM 2013 before training was even available for it. Got to be able to poke around and figure it out.
 
2014-05-21 02:30:03 PM  

gingerjet: mod3072: What makes the American grads less qualified than the foreign ones?

Foreign workers have a work ethic.


In my experience this is not true.  At least not across the boards.  One country's people in particular seem to be most skilled at getting other people to do their work for them.  Peers and customers from that country, alike.
 
2014-05-21 02:31:39 PM  

SumJackass07: jst3p: gingerjet: Dubya's_Coke_Dealer: Foreign workers have a work ethic. are tolerant of slavery

Our H1B workers make more than their American counterparts.  So keep chocking that chicken if it makes you feel better.

Is that apples to apples? What are their job titlesdescriptions?

ftfy
/Titles are meaningless. The work you're expected to perform is a better comparison.
//So says our sub grand emperor of software engineering


Yes and no. In the Fortune 100 world there is actually a lot of standardization with job titles. For example, my official title is business analyst because that's what the company says it has to be. But I'm actually the lead designer and system architect.

I suspect a lot of other people with the title "business analyst" actually are also designers or architects.
 
2014-05-21 02:33:59 PM  

Diogenes: gingerjet: mod3072: What makes the American grads less qualified than the foreign ones?

Foreign workers have a work ethic.

In my experience this is not true.  At least not across the boards.  One country's people in particular seem to be most skilled at getting other people to do their work for them.  Peers and customers from that country, alike.


We've just be conditions to listen when we're told to unplug the router/modem and plug it back in.

/have you tried turning it off and on?
 
2014-05-21 02:38:10 PM  

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: mod3072: serial_crusher: Key word is qualified.  The last time my company hiring, we had no shortage of applicants.

What makes the American grads less qualified than the foreign ones?

They want to be paid what they're worth.


Exactly. One of the required "qualifications" is often a willingness to work for cheap.
 
2014-05-21 02:39:44 PM  

Chigau: My company has been looking for a Electrical Engineer with PLC programming and controls design skills for about a year and a half now.  Everyone we we bring in either doesn't have the skill set we are looking for, or doesn't want to have to travel to handle issues in the field (which is a consistent requirement in our industry), or has an inflated idea of their value because there are one or two major names in our area that can afford to pay a premium for the skill set.  Yep, i know they can get paid more.  Im also aware that those companyied regularly cycle their people out.

We haven't laid anyone off for over 30 years,

Plenty of people out there with degrees.  Very few who are qualified.

/hr & Recruiting


I am curious if you are interested in hiring otherwise qualified engineers and then training them up.

Very close to me is a Fortune 50 aerospace company that has been continuously looking for engineers for the past 3 years. But they require the engineers to have some very narrow industry certifications and experience with some specialized buses and protocols and safety standards.

Whenever I am looking, I literally get 4 - 5 inquiries from headhunters into jobs at this company filling this position. I used to apply regularly, but not apply very infrequently, because they clearly, from evidence won't scan past resumes that don't contain that certification.

And they don't take resumes at their door, I have tried that too.
"Can I speak to a hiring manager on the XXX project?"

"No. And all resumes need to go to HR" Located 2000 miles away where they will be scanned.

For three years they've been avidly seeking engineers for these positions, but apparently they don't have the wherewithal to hire an experienced individual and then teach him up on it.

So when you tell me you are seeking that EE with PLC programming and control skills for a year and a half, I wonder if you have sought an experienced EE with an interest in that area and considered training him up?

In the meantime, the Fortune 50 company near me is constantly seeking H1B visa applicants.

I think any company that seeks an H1B visa applicant must:

+ demonstrate an ability onsite or nearby to take resumes
+ introduce prospective and qualified candidates to hiring managers
+ make available demographics and statistics about the population of local job applicants interviewed and turned down for the position
+ explain why a local candidate could not be hired and trained in a reasonable amount of time
 
2014-05-21 02:40:27 PM  

Bullseyed: mod3072: serial_crusher: I should add though, you're pretty likely to get an unqualified person from overseas as well.  If they'll settle for a lower salary than an unqualified American though, they're going to win.

I think that is exactly the point the author is trying to make. Tech companies don't necessarily need those foreign workers because there is a shortage of native workers, they just want to use foreign workers to drive down labor costs, which is really not what the foreign worker program is intended to do.

But there still is a qualified worker shortage, both here and abroad. If we had more qualified STEM grads, neither the unqualified domestic grads or unqualified foreign grads would get hired.

Or to use an analogy: if you can't find a Ferrari to buy, what is really the difference between a Chevy and a Honda? Neither is a handmade Italian masterpiece, buy whichever is a little cheaper.


Define "qualified"
 
2014-05-21 02:40:52 PM  

Bullseyed: If we had more qualified STEM grads,


We have alot of STEM grads but like any other degree field most of them have average ability.

Beyond the problem of H-1B workers supressing wages, far too many employers want superstars.

"Employers want superstars, with resumes as rich as the high school student who not only played quarterback for the football team, but led the math club to a state tournament, had a leading role in Macbeth and hit a 4.0 GPA."
-Computer World's Patrick Thibodeau
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9229026/IT_job_seekers_face_h ot _yet_finicky_market
 
2014-05-21 02:47:59 PM  

wildcardjack: I might be sorta jokey on that today, but I remember circa 2000 there were job requirements that basically said "you have to lie about having enough experience because the software hasn't been around as long as we're asking experience".


.NET was always good for a larf when it came to that sort of BS about a decade ago. People in 2005 putting up postings saying that "5 years of .NET experience" is a requirement. Only time traveling applicants were accepted, apparently.

Java was always pretty amusing too. I remember when I was still programming in 2000 I saw an ad for an entry level position that wanted candidates with 5 years of experience in Java. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say in most cases you're probably not going to be interested in entry-level work if your experience with the key language used in the job extends back to the day it was released.

A lot of American companies are just dumb. Too many HR wonks are handling too much hiring now where it should be done by competent managers that are familiar with the job responsibilities. They don't understand how to hire for the job, so they just compare raw numbers and, of course, the H1B guy wins because making $50,000 here is going to be a huge improvement in quality of life over ANYTHING he could do if he had to stay in India, even if the proper going rate for the job here is $75,000.
/ Lynette in HR gets a bonus for reducing "human capital" costs and Bob in IT gets reprimanded for the high turnover in his department...
 
2014-05-21 02:57:17 PM  

b2theory: From my experience (Electrical Engineer who does embedded HW/SW, optics, and power electronics for both Aero and Industrial) there is almost no talent out there. The unemployment rate for EEs is usually 4% or less and I get constant calls from head hunters. When I have an opening it will take months to fill. There just aren't many people out there.

Former engineer here.  I got constant calls from headhunters as well.  It doesn't mean anything.  They're paid to manufacture turnover.  Their favorite customers are the employers that keep complaining how they can't find "good" workers that are happy to put up with their abusive conditions.

worlddan: Once upon a time there was a thing called on-the-job training.

Except a lot of companies hire to fill an absence of a skill.  It's more common with the smaller ones where if you're an engineer, you're THE engineer.  Who's going to train you, the sales manager??

Bullseyed: Or to use an analogy: if you can't find a Ferrari to buy, what is really the difference between a Chevy and a Honda? Neither is a handmade Italian masterpiece, buy whichever is a little cheaper.

That analogy is so spectacularly bad that it actually explains how HR idiots see STEM applicants.  You don't hire an engineer to show off.
Hiring a qualified STEM applicant is like needing a tank and then getting one.  There is no "you can't find one"; you either pay enough to get one or you don't because anything you need a tank for, the cheap passenger car isn't going to be good enough.  Frankly it's better to compare engineers to athletes than cars.  You may not have a LeBron James, but even an NBA reserve can do things you can't replace by ramming a thousand third-world refugees through a 3-week training program.  High-level skill is either, the guy can do it or not.  You can't replace one good engineer with ten, a hundred or even a million bad ones.  The good engineer designs you a product that sells itself.  Bad engineers will lose you money in the form of redesigns, missed deadlines and recalls.  But don't let this stop anyone from abusing their engineers into pursuing other fields because it's all been said before and everyone's just too farking stupid to understand the most fundamental basics of labor.
 
2014-05-21 03:01:48 PM  

b2theory: There's a fair amount of BS in this article. I have not(will not) taken the time to look at the actual study.

First, the statement that there are more STEM qualified people than jobs is just stupid. Of course this is the case. At least half the Engineers I've worked with have ambitions to not do engineering work. They are employed in STEM jobs for now but will probably spend the bulk of their career doing other things. The ratio says nothing about demand.

From my experience (Electrical Engineer who does embedded HW/SW, optics, and power electronics for both Aero and Industrial) there is almost no talent out there. The unemployment rate for EEs is usually 4% or less and I get constant calls from head hunters. When I have an opening it will take months to fill. There just aren't many people out there.

The author seems to think STEM careers are interchangeable. The reality is that it is significantly more difficult to get a ChemE degree than a CSci degree(assuming you have a degree since there are plenty of insanely skilled self tought talent). This will cause shortages in several fields because the graduation rates aren't driven by demand (in other words, the degrees are so hard to get that if one is only interested in money there are significantly easy ways to get it).

Since most(all) of the H1Bs are in the IT industry it is very difficult to say what effect they have.


I spent a long time in semiconductor R&D. It was swarming with H1B visas. It is absolutely not just an IT thing.
 
2014-05-21 03:03:01 PM  
The first time I tried to read the article, I got a 'Connection was Reset' error, and even when I was able
to load the page, it took forever.

Read into that what you will as to their willingness to pay for competant web hosting skills.
 
2014-05-21 03:03:13 PM  

Bullseyed: Diogenes: gingerjet: mod3072: What makes the American grads less qualified than the foreign ones?

Foreign workers have a work ethic.

In my experience this is not true.  At least not across the boards.  One country's people in particular seem to be most skilled at getting other people to do their work for them.  Peers and customers from that country, alike.

We've just be conditions to listen when we're told to unplug the router/modem and plug it back in.

/have you tried turning it off and on?


You get that much help?  I usually just get "do the needful."
 
2014-05-21 03:05:46 PM  
RoyBatty:

Very close to me is a Fortune 50 aerospace company that has been continuously looking for engineers for the past 3 years. But they require the engineers to have some very narrow industry certifications and experience with some specialized buses and protocols and safety standards.

Whenever I am looking, I literally get 4 - 5 inquiries from headhunters into jobs at this company filling this position. I used to apply regularly, but not apply very infrequently, because they clearly, from evidence won't scan past resumes that don't contain that certification.

And they don't take resumes at their door, I have tried that too.
"Can I speak to a hiring manager on the XXX project?"

"No. And all resumes need to go to HR" Located 2000 miles away where they will be scanned.

For three years they've been avidly seeking engineers for these positions, but apparently they don't have the wherewithal to hire an experienced individual and then teach him up on it.


I'd be willing to bet that -if- a person could get past HR and directly speak to the person on that project, the manager would almost certainly hire somebody locally that could be brought up to speed.

Unfortunately, corporate HR departments make it a PITA for both people seeking jobs and those managers that need a new team member.
 
2014-05-21 03:08:13 PM  

skozlaw: A lot of American companies are just dumb. Too many HR wonks are handling too much hiring now where it should be done by competent managers that are familiar with the job responsibilities. They don't understand how to hire for the job


absolutely a problem.  Our last bout of hiring, we were getting a steady stream of dumbshows until we fired the recruiter and got a new one.  All of a sudden good resumes started coming across people's desks.

CSB time, though: A recruiter once told me old boss, "you think I'm just sending you crap resumes, but those really are the best we've got.  Here, look at this"  It was two guys who had submitted a single resume for the both of them.  They listed several web sites they had worked on, but all of them returned 404s.
Their cover sheet was a photo of the two of them posing like wizards casting a spell, with glowing magic orbs photoshopped over their hands.
Ever since seeing that resume, I've trusted recruiters a little bit more.

/ no, the boss refused to give me a copy of it, specifically because he knew I'd post it to fark if he did.
 
2014-05-21 03:10:50 PM  

stewbert: b2theory: There's a fair amount of BS in this article. I have not(will not) taken the time to look at the actual study.

First, the statement that there are more STEM qualified people than jobs is just stupid. Of course this is the case. At least half the Engineers I've worked with have ambitions to not do engineering work. They are employed in STEM jobs for now but will probably spend the bulk of their career doing other things. The ratio says nothing about demand.

From my experience (Electrical Engineer who does embedded HW/SW, optics, and power electronics for both Aero and Industrial) there is almost no talent out there. The unemployment rate for EEs is usually 4% or less and I get constant calls from head hunters. When I have an opening it will take months to fill. There just aren't many people out there.

The author seems to think STEM careers are interchangeable. The reality is that it is significantly more difficult to get a ChemE degree than a CSci degree(assuming you have a degree since there are plenty of insanely skilled self tought talent). This will cause shortages in several fields because the graduation rates aren't driven by demand (in other words, the degrees are so hard to get that if one is only interested in money there are significantly easy ways to get it).

Since most(all) of the H1Bs are in the IT industry it is very difficult to say what effect they have.

I spent a long time in semiconductor R&D. It was swarming with H1B visas. It is absolutely not just an IT thing.


I can't speak to your company but the semiconductor industry makes up ~2% of H1Bs
 
2014-05-21 03:11:58 PM  

Bullseyed: serial_crusher: Key word is qualified.  The last time my company hiring, we had no shortage of applicants.

This. Having an engineering degree from some for profit college that manufacturers graduates doesn't make you qualified.

Also, lots of STEM grads who are qualified moved into the business world anyway, because people who are good at understanding things are sometimes good at explaining things too. I made the switch after meeting a C level HR manager for Blue Cross Blue Shield who was an electrical engineer.


I made the switch when the sales guy told me how much money he made selling the product I built.  I have 0 regrets.
 
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