In the wake of a new administration, the way that America screens foreign employees is undergoing some structural changes. The permanent labor certification program is the most important step that American employers need to go through in order to hire a foreigner. It is one component of the overall visa process that this foreigner must go through in order to legally get the job. The permanent labor certification program has done an excellent job at protecting American workers by demanding that employees try their best to fill a vacant position with an American citizen before looking elsewhere.
The certification program itself, operated via the Program Electronic Review Management System (or PERM), has come under some scrutiny in the past few years for it’s lack of efficiency. A lot of employers have been unhappy with how complicated and slow the process is. This makes it costly for the HR department and the government. American businesses have also pointed out that a lot of the verification steps have not kept pace with the digital age. These same businesses have pointed out they are losing money and time in not being able to hire skilled employees fast enough. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is currently looking at a thorough review of PERM to help cut costs and increase efficiency for national businesses. Here are a few changes to expect:
- Digital Recruitment Plus Job Fairs: The types of job searching that employers must do should expand. Taking out an ad with a digital job board should be the only major requirement. Employers already have the option to attend job fairs and prove that they have conducted intensive internal recruitment. It is expected that these two types of recruitment will become more popular because of their cost effectiveness.
- Incorporate Experience into the Mix: PERM has a lot of finicky paperwork that complicates files. For example, under current rules, an employer cannot sponsor an individual started out their career with the company. This is a shame for the company, the individual, and the greater socio-economic condition of the nation. New regulation should remove this outdated clause and make workplace experience an integral factor in the adjudication process. That way an integral employee can stay with the company for a long time without any hassle or added expense.
- Get A Larger Team: The administration should bring on more workers to manage the huge influx of applicants it receives each year. There is real economic benefit to bringing more skilled workers into America as fast as possible. The unfortunate reality is that there is such a huge backlog that some have had to wait 2+ years to have their file adjudicated. Hiring more employees will expedite the process, and everyone will be satisfied by creating more jobs.