How to Screen Out Qualified U.S. Tech Job Applicants: Cohen & Grigsby Show How

Ever wonder about some of those want ads that appear on Monster.com or in the Sunday papers, that appear a bit too generic to be real? Some of them have been intentionally designed that way. In the feedback to its cover story on offshoring, Business Week just publicized a video (now on YouTube) in which the legal immigration firm, Cohen & Grigsby advises employers on how to design and run dummy classified ads with the goal of  screening out qualified U.S. applicants who would, presumably, be too expensive/demanding.  The Programmers' Guild accessed a video of a May Cohen & Grigsby conference in which lawyers offer a primer on classified ad design and HR follow through.  The goal is, allegedly, to disqualify skilled U.S. job seekers in order to hire qualified H-1B workers without violating the law. Watch it here. The Guild claims that Microsoft, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, and thousands of other IT companies are running such ads online, on job sites such as Monster.com, and in Sunday newspapers across the country each week.   The organization notes that some specialty chemical and pharma companies, notably Bayer, are on Cohen & Grigsby's client list.  For more Programmers Guild videos, including a recent Lou Dobbs' spot as part of his series,"War On the Middle Class," click here.  Mr. Dobbs often takes an unfortunate U.S.-centric "us vs. them" approach in his reporting, but this  news is still upsetting. U.S. companies have the right to hire the best person for any position. There have also been many cases in which highly skilled immigrants or non citizen residents of the U.S. have been discriminated against, especially in the post-9/11 environment.However, the discrimination now cuts both ways and may cause untold damage to individuals, families and society.  The trend to outsourcing and offshoring U.S. jobs began in the IT field, so, without becoming unduly paranoid, it pays to monitor this situation for biotech and pharma too. One visitor to Business Week's message boards uses the nom de plume "Engineer-Turned-Nurse."  He or she reports having an engineering degree and working in that field for decades. After being laid off three times during three different corporate restructurings, he/she went back to college in his/her 50's to study nursuing.  Think of the waste of time, talent, practical expertise and education, the expense involved and the psychological toll. Clearly, something is very wrong. -AMS