re: H-1B Workers Not Best Or Brightest, Study Says
Wow, this article really brought the folks out. :)
One of the themes running through a lot of these posts and the article itself is the lack of interest in STEM education in the US. Why is that, exactly? I think it's a lack of a challenge/dream/vision and the lack of stability.
So, what do I mean by lack of a challenge? Well, in the 60s (not that I was there), we had the space race and the challenge of sending a man to the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. Where is the 2010s space race? Where is our challenge of getting to the moon? There isn't one... that's a problem since there's no cause to rally around behind.
As far as the lack of stability goes, my personal career over the last decade can attest to that. I'm currently working on my 5th merger/acquisition in 5 years. What happens during mergers and acquisitions? Companies unite and they divide... People lose jobs because they suddenly become redundant to the new organization - sad fact of life, but it's absolutely true.
When it comes to hiring non-US nationals for positions - while I haven't participated in hiring anyone here in the US, I have managed or participated in the hiring of personnel for overseas sites. Something that I've noticed is that a good number of overseas candidates tend to pad their resume in order to get their foot in the door, but when asked about such things in the interview process, they're absolutely clueless. Example - if I need someone that has 5 years of experience with SAN and other storage technologies, and a candidate puts on their resume that they have such, I fully expect them to be able to tell me (in detail) the differences between RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 5. Just because you fill your resume with enough words to convince the local HR folks into thinking that you're a good candidate for a position doesn't mean that you actually have the skills or would be a good fit for the organization.
As to the issue of on-the-job training, the hiring organization in the article sounds clueless. To expect an employee to hit the ground running without the slightest bit of organizational orientation or training is absurd. Personally, I've always held to the notion that if I bring someone in, I'm going to spend some time showing them my processes and learning how they work while they learn how I work.
All that said, I've worked with some non-US nationals that were quite good at what they do - and worked with some that I wonder how they ever found their way to the airport to board a plane to come to the US. Flipside is that I've worked with some US nationals that were absolutely top of the industry and some that really should have stuck with underwater basket weaving.