This article is designed to provide a broad overview and checklist of requirements that must be fulfilled in order to complete the PERM advertising and recruitment process that a sponsoring employer must follow in order to recruit a foreign employee.
When attempting to obtain a Permanent Labor Certification, ad campaign requirements must be met in order to ensure that the Department of Labour (DOL), and in turn, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S.C.I.S.) that there are not enough American workers who are qualified, willing, available or able to accept the position that has been advertised.
This means that the employer attempting to sponsor a foreign national employee must first perform a series of “tests” on the US labor market where they must attempt to recruit American workers to fill the position in question. This step is required in order to be able to submit their application and is generally quite a complex and time-consuming process.
Making things more challenging, there is a strict time frame for completing the permanent labor certification and phase. Recruitment must be fully conducted within a tight window of nothing more than 180 days before the application is filed, but must also be fully completed at least 30 days before it is sent out.
Not only are employers working within a tightly delineated time period, but they must also be sure to fully realize each and every requirement since an application cannot be altered or modified once it is submitted. Needless to say, that is a lot of pressure, especially for business owners and recruiters who already have enough on their plates, and this is why it is always advisable for employers to enlist the qualified help of an agency specializing in immigration ads who can help them streamline the process and ensure that everything is done right.
So what exactly are the essential steps of the PERM advertising process that employers can expect to have to fulfill in order to greenlight the latter stages of the application process? Read on to find out.
1. General Recruitment Activities
Theses general recruitment activities are essential components of all professional and non-professional employment applications excluding those filed for Special Handling or Schedule A positions.
This requirement can be broken down into three broad components:
- Place a job order with the local State Workforce Agency. The job order must be posted for a minimum of 30 days. It is a good idea for employers to keep print-outs of the posting as back-up documentation.
- Post advertisements in newspapers/and or relevant professional journal. Basic positions must be advertised in a general circulation newspaper serving the area in two different Sunday additions; however, any position requiring an advanced degree or a certain level of experience must advertise in one general circulation Sunday addition and one relevant professional journal. Suburban locations may advertise in a newspaper with city-wide circulation if no local option is available, and rural headquarters lacking a Sunday edition newspaper may advertise in the newspaper of widest circulation in the area.
- Notice of filing must be posted. A notice of filing is an internal job posting that contains the same information as the external newspaper postings listed above in addition to requiring wage information. It must be posted for at least 10 consecutive business days to meet the requirements. For union positions, the employer must also provide proper notice to the bargaining representative. The posting must include a statement outlining that the advertisement is being posted according to permanent labor certification ad requirements and include a disclaimer that documentary evidence relevant to the application may be submitted to the appropriate DOL certifying officer, as well as the contact information of that officer.
2. Extra Recruitment Activities
Extra recruitment activities are required for any profession occupation application. The employer must complete a minimum of three of the following activities, although one may be completed within the 30-day time frame before filing the application.
It is best to enlist the services of an agency specializing in PERM advertising in order to ensure that these steps are properly fulfilled.
- Posting radio and television advertisements
- Posting on an external job search website
- Recruiting at a job fair
- Posting to the employer’s website
- Filing a notice of a job opening at a campus placement office if the position requires a degree but no prior experience
- Advertisements posted through private employment firms
- Postings in local and ethnic newspapers relevant to the job opportunity. These may be the same newspaper used for the required Sunday addition advertisements
- Recruiting through an employee referral program that includes identifiable incentives
- Using on-campus recruiting techniques
- Advertisements through trade or professional organizations
3. Content Requirements
These are the general content guidelines that the advertisements must follow:
- The name of the employer and the relevant contact information
- The physical address of the job site as well as an address to send resumes which can be physical or electronic
- A sufficiently detailed job description that cannot contain requirements not normally listed for the position unless the business need is demonstrated and must include conditions of labor less favorable than what is being offered to international prospects
- If the wage is listed, it cannot be listed lower than the prevailing wage determination or what is being offered to any foreign employees
4. Interviewing Process
All US applicants who respond to the advertised position and meet the minimum requirements outlined must be interviewed by the employer.
Legally admissible job-related reasons must be submitted for every American applicant that is subsequently rejected for the posting.
5. Required Documentation
Supporting documentation is not submitted online with the application itself, but is still crucial for the employer to obtain should the DOL request an audit. The documentation must be fully collected from the date the application is submitted until five years after this date, during which an audit may take place at any time during this period.
The documentation requirements are often updated and employers should be sure to carefully review DOL specifications in order to ensure that all of their documents are fully up to date at the time of the application process.