In my earlier post today, I mentioned, as I often do, how “recruit Americans first” policies, currently in place in the green card process and for H-1B-dependent employers, are easily circumvented, by tailoring the job ad to the foreign national whom the employer wants to sponsor. From now on, I will often post such ads, to make concrete for you readers how the system works. I’ve done so many times before, but I’ve found that many people need reinforcement. 🙂 Note that there are far more such ads than I have time to post here.
Today’s example is an ad for an opening titled Sr. Modeler Advanced Healthcare Analytics. In case you are a bit behind the times, analytics is one of the currently-favored synonyms for statistics. Other currently popular terms are predictive analytics, data science, data mining, Big Data, machine learning and so on. The first sentence of the ad is likely a good description of the job:
Designing and developing intelligent solutions working with health insurance claims data, preventing fraud, predictive modeling, statistical modeling, data mining, fraud analytics, deriving business insights, solving complex business problems, improving decisions, analyzing medical policies, risk/revenue analysis, cutting out waste and abuse…
Now, look at the laundry list of required skills:
MLR, SQL, SAS, SPSS, R Excel, univariate and multivariate regression analysis, GRM, factor analysis, sampling methods, survey sampling, clustering, classification, CART, Decision Trees, CHAID, Linear Optimization.
This is my field, folks. If you recall, in my earlier post today, I quoted immigration lawyer Joel Stewart, and noted that he has “literally written the book on the green card process” (The PERM Book). Well, I literally wrote the book on the R language (The Art of R Programming). I’ve done research on regression and classification throughout my 3+ decade career, and am currently working on a book on that too. Etc., etc. I even accidentally referred to Durbin/Grassley as “Durbin/Watson” (a statistical time series method) in a recent post to my e-mail list. 🙂
I point out my background because I “know where the bodies are buried.” Unlike the other researchers in H-1B and related issues, I know in detail what is involved in typical jobs for which the “Intels” (i.e. mainstream employers, not rent-a-programmer firms like Infosys) hire foreign students. Forgive the rant, but I have to say it’s frustrating to see analysis and policy being pontificated by people who have no idea what CART is (it’s that thing you push in the supermarket, right?) or what Linux internels are.
(Part 2 of rant.) It’s also highly frustrating to me to continue to see my foreign students get jobs from the same employers who are rejecting older Americans I know who have the same qualifications, yes, including up-to-date skills. Again, this is what the other researchers and policymakers on H-1B don’t see. I don’t begrudge the foreign students’ success in their job search, and sometimes write good letters of reference for them, but this just ain’t right.
With that point being made, let me tell you: It’s ridiculous to demand that the applicant know SPSS and SAS and R; one of the latter two is sufficient. There is similar redundancy in the rest of the laundry list.
Given how specific the skills list is, it might appear odd that the educational list is so broad: “MS in Statistics, Computer Science, or other related Quant discipline.” This is likely because the foreign national they wish to hire actually is in some “other related Quant discipline”; could be business, geography (GIS) or something like that, with a lot of coursework in “analytics.” The listed salary is suspect, likely bait-and-switch, but certainly below what a good candidate would get in an uber-expensive area like NYC.
This is a textbook study of how employers circumvent recruiting requirements, and would continue to do so if the Durbin/Grassley bill were to pass. They tailor the ad so that only the desired foreign worker qualifies. It’s the oldest trick in the book, and standard practice among the big mainstream employers in Silicon Valley and throughout the nation. I mentioned earlier the “TubeGate” videos and Stewart’s “arsenal of weapons to reject all Americans” remark, but those are only the tip of the iceberg.
The Dept. of Labor people are no dummies, and they understand that this is common. But the statutes and regulations are vague to put it mildly, lots of gray area, and in any case the DOL has no expertise in CART or Linux internals or whatever. They really have to take the employers’ word on the “need” for the stated qualifications. And need I point out that Durbin/Grassley does nothing about this? Once again, folks — business as usual for the Intels. (And for the SCEs and Disneys, as I’ve explained.)
It is of course no accident that this ad has phrasing like “Sponsorship: Yes” and “2+ years of U.S. experience.” D/G does try to address this, but really, there is nothing D/G can do about such phrasing; the ad does NOT exclude American applicants.
And last but not least, note that this “Senior” position requires only 2 years of experience. Senior! I’ve shown so many examples over the years of this, which goes directly to the connection of H-1B and age discrimination in the tech fields. Employers use H-1B as a vehicle to hire young H-1Bs in lieu of older (35+) U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
What else can I say? Plain as day.