While there is never a bad time to hire skilled foreign nationals to bolster the employee base, it is important for employers to consider overarching socio-economic forces that might harm the likelihood of a successful PERM application. The American economy is going through grand changes in terms of labor opportunities, as automation and digitization slowly sweep through the job market and negate jobs that used to pay well and hold high social esteem. Employers should keep tabs on some of these grand changes so as to know when the Department of Labor is more open to increasing immigration rates, and when they are not.
Employers should also make sure to account for all the factors that go into a successful PERM application. Here are some common variables that the DOL will consider closely in all applications:
Employer Documentation – The simple fact of collecting and showing all the most pertinent information is step one in the PERM process.
Economic Climate – This is a variable that employers must be aware of because it can play into their favor quite considerably. It’s really a question of supply and demand, but the variables are always shifting. For example, a poor economic climate means that there are likely many American workers available for the position, while in a booming economy, with everyone working, it is much harder to find domestic skilled workers who are unsatisfied with their jobs.
Regional Specifics – Some regions just do not have as many skilled laborers. This will also affect the recruitment process in favor of bringing in a foreign national. Employers who already have a foreign national in mind will usually undertake PERM recruitment ads in regions where there are few qualified domestic candidates.
Job Description – This must abide by all the specifications under PERM, no matter where or how a job is advertised.
The Wage – The wage is affected by the economic climate, but it does not change the fact that the job listing must offer a wage that is competitive enough. A PERM application can be denied if the wage on offer does not meet labor standards.
The Employer’s Workforce Statistics – The DOL asks for the stats on who has been laid off and hired in the past 6 months. This is to ensure that no one was fired to make way for a foreign national that has been poached from overseas. It is also to ensure that there is a real need for a foreign national in the company as they may be in the process of scaling up operations.
The Workforce Ratio – This pertains to the percentage of foreign workers to domestic workers in an employers workforce. Ensuring a majority American workforce is one of the principal motives of PERM, and will be enforced no matter the excellence of an application.