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PERM Recruitment – Does the Left Hand Know What the Right Hand is Doing?

Murali Bashyam

If you have gone through the recruitment process for a PERM labor certification application, you know how extensive and exhaustive that process can be. Companies going through the labor certification process for professional positions must advertise in six different venues. Three mandatory types of recruitment are: the state job bank, two Sunday print ads, the internal posting. The three alternate types are chosen from a list of ten additional recruitment methods.
One of the most frequently used options on this alternate list is an internet job search website, and one of the most popular of those is American’s Job Exchange (AJE) (formerly American’s Job Bank). The issue that sometimes arises is that a few state workforce agencies actually use AJE for their own state job bank postings. Good practitioners are very careful to make sure they are not duplicating advertising efforts by using AJE as an alternative advertising option when the state in which the position is located uses AJE themselves.
Unfortunately, it appears that the Atlanta office of the Department of Labor (DOL) must be unaware of which states post to AJE. One example is the State of Florida. Although the Florida State Workforce Agency has confirmed that they do not post their job openings on AJE, the Atlanta DOL has denied PERM certifications for just that reason – stating that AJE as an alternate form of recruitment was invalid because Florida had already posted the job there.
What could be more frustrating than waiting months for an important application to be processed only to have it denied by officer error? Trying to CORRECT that error! There is no email communication, and calls are rarely – if ever – returned. Filing an appeal seems to be the only method of getting through to the office, but appeals are languishing at the Atlanta office for many months, with no end in sight. Unfortunately for these foreign national workers, it seems that the best option is starting over and re-filing the application. As difficult as the PERM process is anyway, incorrect and inconsistent decisions by the DOL is making navigating this process even more difficult.