- IT in the US has become dominated by Indian workers, Indian recruiters, and Indian consulting firms.
- We discuss the issues that must be managed for domestic workers.
The H1-B program was introduced in 1990 as a way to bring in highly skilled workers from anyplace in the world.
The Reality of the H1-B Program
Lobbyists and companies and consulting firms have corrupted the program such that now roughly 74% of all H1-Bs are from one region in India, 1/2 of the recipients of H1-Bs are on the lowest end (called Level 1) of the government’s skill classification How the Pay Level of H1-B Visa Workers Contradicts Industry’s High Skills Argument, the program has become a way to displace US workers and to lower wages, working conditions and overall standards within the IT sector.
A Program That Increases its Harm of US Workers Every Year
The H1-B program is only one of several foreign worker programs that are continually being increased with most of this hidden by the media. The total numbers of foreign, and mostly Indian, workers entering the US every year is enormously higher than any media entity covers and is deliberately understated by the publication of “cap” numbers, that have all manner of exceptions and loopholes, as we cover in the article How the H1-B Program Understates The True Number of Yearly H1-B Visas.
Control Over the Placement of Domestic Workers
As we cover in the article The Frightening Rise of the Indian Recruiters in IT, people who grew up in a culture where labor is not respected, where wages can go unpaid, where there is no 40 hour work week, a country where bonded labor is common and where many H1-Bs come to the US bonded, where it is acceptable to have enormous margins on labor (as we cover in the article How Infosys Violated B-1 Visa Law and Charged Clients a 98.6% Margin) are now by in large in control of the US market for IT placement.
All of this means that not only do domestic IT workers face a constant increase in H1-B and other foreign visa workers, but the apparatus for placement is now largely in Indian hands –and Indians have demonstrated a clear discriminatory behavior in favor of Indians over domestic workers as we cover in the article How Indian IT Workers Discriminate Against Non-Indian Workers. And that this discrimination is enforced at the corporate level in Indian companies. As an example, the makeup of the Indian outsourcing firms (see the article The Amazing Fact That 99.7% of Tata Consulting is Indian) shows clearly that they hire only the bare minimum number of domestic workers to function in the US.
A Firehose..Constantly Pushing the Employment of Indian Workers Over Domestic Workers
This is explained in the following quotation.
What is necessary is to understand the mechanism of how H-1B, and other visa people, get hired. Most of us grew up looking on company web sites and job boards for full-time jobs with companies we wanted to work for. Over the past few decades, these jobs have decreased in number and increased in the level of specific qualifications required. In other words, such jobs have become fewer and harder to get.
The other main way people get hired is via the contingent labor market – contract workers. In many cases, jobs are contract-to-hire, but also often they are blatantly temporary. These jobs may be posted on a job board, but are not found on company web sites. In all cases, to get these jobs you have to find a recruiter – a staffing agency – to agree to present you to the hiring manager for consideration. It is this branch of the job market that the foreigners hijacked away from Americans first over the last two decades.
If you are an American IT worker, you will likely be inundated by foreign recruiters working for either foreign staffing agencies or what used to be American staffing agencies. They will want your resume and a “right to represent” (RtR) which ties your candidacy to them exclusively for that particular opening. In most cases that will be the last you hear about that job opening – no interview, no job. You may well wonder how well they presented you to the employer. You may get a few initial phone screens that go nowhere. The entire purpose of recruiting you was to tie you up with an RtR so that you could not compete with the candidate they really wanted to place.
Often the foreign staffing companies are subcontracting to larger staffing companies, some of which are either foreign or have been largely taken over by foreign leadership. Hold out for a domestic recruiter working for a domestic staffing company. If a foreign recruiter contacts you for a job you want, get as much information as you can (company, description, and ideally req number) and contact domestic recruiters to ask if they can present you for it. Only if they are on the company’s staffing vendor list will they be able to, but you can try. Don’t give a foreign recruiter your RtR unless you have no other choice, and don’t expect anything to come of it.
Large numbers of temporary workers are often sought for service contracting firms. These are the companies that contact wherever you might be working as an FTE worker (IBM, Disney, any American company) and offer them deals for taking over entire IT departments, claiming that they can do it better and cheaper. These are the scenarios where American workers are ordered to train their (often foreign) replacements before receiving pink slips. I’m not aware of any accurate count of these replacement scenarios, but I’m willing to bet there are hundreds, maybe even over a thousand. And there have been suicides caused by these actions, specifically Kevin Flanagan’s but I’ve heard of others through the grapevine.
From foreign staffing agencies you can expect, in addition to having your application vanish into a black hole, lower pay rates, poorer working terms, and being just a place-holder until they can find one of their countrymen to put in your place. Then you will hear that you are doing a poor job (out of the blue) and/or your contract has been ended by the customer.
For some reason, our government decided to allow staffing companies to place H-1bs and other visa types in these jobs. So, these staffing companies file for H-1b and other types of visa people so that they can place them (and not you).
Now you know what happened to the American IT job market for Americans. – Anonymous
Questions Domestic IT Workers Need to Answer
- How Do I Interact with IT Recruiters?: In many cases, Indian recruiters, who are now the vast majority of recruiters in the US market, are “fishing” for US resumes.
- How Do I Deal With Indian Companies?: Increasingly IT opportunities are coming through direct and contract employment through an Indian company. However, Indian companies function differently than US-based companies. How does the domestic IT worker deal with these companies, that look only set to grow in the future?
- What If My Job Gets Outsourced?: Companies will engage in an outsourced contract with Infosys or Tata and fire hundreds of US employees, replacing them with H1-B workers or other foreign visa workers. When this happens companies will offer a nondisparagement letter, which is gags the US worker as we cover in the article How H1-B Displaced US Workers are Silenced by Non-Disparagement Clauses.
- How Do I Answer Questions at Lunch with Indian Co-Workers: Indians target US domestic workers for replacement by one of their Indian associates. When Indians ask questions in a social setting, this can often be a pretext for finding out more about the domestic worker — and then trying to undermine that worker so that an Indian (it will be Indian in 100% of cases) can be recommended for your job.
The Indian-ification of IT in the US is the biggest challenge that most US IT workers will face in their professional lives. And first, there is a resistance to even pointing out that this is occurring, much less discussing strategies around how domestic workers can respond to this challenge and recover or safeguard their careers.
We have made Indian IT in the US a primary research focus.