Microsoft's push to hire overseas workers raises eyebrows

In September, Microsoft proposed a new strategy that it claimed would allow the company to hire more workers in the US. Part of its proposal involved a request to the US government to add a new category for immigration services that would allow for 20,000 citizens from overseas to come to the US to work that have the skills that Microsoft says it needs to fill its job openings.

It's that part of the company's idea that has raised some concerns. The Seattle Times reports that some experts and groups believe that Microsoft wants to fill open positions with overseas workers because they are cheaper than US workers that have the same qualifications.

University of Pennsylvania economist Peter Cappelli states, "What companies like Microsoft seem to want is employees with quite specific skills who don't need any training and ramp-up time." He says Microsoft can find those workers outside the US and offer them lower wages versus training workers here in the US and paying them more.

For its part, Microsoft denies these claims. Karen Jones, the company's deputy general counsel for human resources, said, "We simply cannot find qualified Americans to fill these jobs." She added, "If we can find American workers, that's always going to be our first choice."

Source: The Seattle Times

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