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To help current and aspiring professionals seeking HR positions better understand the job market and how to ascend in their careers, Software Advice set out to learn what the ideal candidate looks like straight from the source: the job posting.
Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certifications are by far the most desired.
Annual compensation for HR jobs is $60,000—well above the national average for all occupations.
In order to research how candidates can climb the HR ladder, we combed through 300 job listings returned when searching for “HR manager.” Unsurprisingly, this title was the most common in our data set (although our search also returned jobs for various levels of HR professional). Much has been written recently regarding how the role of HR is changing to become more business-focused, and it seems that companies are beginning to reflect this trend in their job titles. In comparison, an HR manager is defined as someone who is “responsible for hiring new employees, supervising employee evaluations, mediation between employees and bosses as necessary and general overseeing of the personnel department.” The HRBP, as compared to the more traditional HR Manager title, is therefore much more focused on business strategy.
An awareness of how HR fits into the larger business processes of organizations is becoming increasingly requested from employers—and this trend is reflected in other areas of this report, as well, such as preferred areas of study and requested certifications.
As is the case for most white-collar jobs, a bachelor’s degree was needed in order to be considered for the majority of the HR jobs analyzed in this study (85 percent). However, it should be noted that 11 percent of job listings did not specify that any minimum education was required to apply.
Although 11 percent of the job listings analyzed in this study did not specify that any degree was required, some job titles were more likely to require a four-year college degree than others. Of the job listings that did require an undergraduate degree, many specified a preferred area of study.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, HR certifications were an additional credential required or preferred by many employers.
However, while 58 percent of job listings did not require a certification, certain job titles were more likely to request or prefer some type of certification. Of the job listings that either preferred or required some form of HR certification, Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certifications were the most frequently mentioned.
Six Sigma professionals are trained to employ techniques—such as quality management and statistical analysis—to improve business processes.
Meanwhile, approximately one-fourth of employers specified that they would prefer applicants with knowledge of some form of Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) software knowledge. As you can see, when employers specified a certain type of HRIS system, they most often requested that applicants have a working knowledge of Peoplesoft, ADP, SAP or Oracle.
Although only one-fourth of employers requested that applicants have HR software-related knowledge, for potential applicants to human resources jobs, an awareness of the most popular HRIS software programs would be a plus for many employers.
However, when we analyzed the salaries in postings that did provide compensation information, we found that $60,000-69,999 was the median projected income of potential applicants to these jobs. These are the kind of flawed assumptions that have led to the creation and rapid growth of the H-2B visa program, which has resulted in more half a million jobs being filled by foreign guestworkers over the last five years, rather than Americans and immigrants already in the United States. Despite the significant impact that the H-2B visa program has on American workers, the program receives scant media coverage compared to other guestworker categories. The popularity of the H-2B program for temporary, seasonal, non-agricultural guestworkers has soared from just 15,706 visas issued in 1997 to an all-time high of 129,547 in 2007. Despite credible allegations and even convictions for fraud and abuse of both H-2B workers and the program in general, neither the Department of Labor (DOL) nor the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has ever barred a U.S.
While many H-2B jobs offer low wages of less than $10 per hour, a substantial number of H-2B visas go to more skilled workers who earn up to $40 per hour. Employers value H-2B workers because their legal status in the United States is tied to their employment and because they often have extended families in their home countries depending on their wages, making them loyal and motivated workers. H-2B employers are required to advertise job vacancies prior to opening them up to H-2B guestworkers, but the ads more frequently resemble legal notices than real enticements and are often specifically designed to attract as little attention as possible. Once the employer has obtained an approved temporary labor certification, the employer may file a Form I-129, “Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker,” with USCIS to classify the individual as an H-2B worker. Employers are required to pay employees the prevailing wage (as set by the various state workforce agencies for each occupation and locality) and provide housing — though they are allowed to charge workers for it.
As we go to press, it is not yet clear whether President Obama will repeal Bush’s changes to the H-2B program, but the issue certainly presents him with an opportunity to side with the interests of American workers over the interests of big business.
Advocates of raising the cap on H-2B visas frequently invoke the notion that the primary beneficiaries of the H-2B visa program are small, mom & pop-type businesses. For example, the Associated Press reported in March 2009, that the Edison Junior High School in Massilon, Ohio, received 700 applications for a janitorial job that offered a $15 per hour salary, plus benefits.21 DOL approved hundreds of H-2B labor certification requests for FY 2008 jobs in the Canton-Massilon area, which has an 12 percent unemployment rate. Given that the minimum wage in Mexico is about $4 per day, its easy to see how Mexican H-2B workers would value a $7 per hour, no-benefits job more than an American worker who might view the same opportunity as a dead-end job to be endured rather than valued. Carol Swain, professor of law at Vanderbilt University and the editor of the book Debating Immigration, told me “African American workers can be perceived as being too demanding, employers like the idea of being able to import more docile workers and some black leaders have expressed a reluctance to criticize another downtrodden group.” Swain, an expert on immigration and its impact on black Americans, cited a Northwestern University study authored by Devah Pager23 that reported that whites with felony convictions were significantly more likely to get job callbacks than similarly qualified blacks with no criminal records.
Few, if any, of the major users of the H-2B program make any concerted effort to recruit in high unemployment, inner-city neighborhoods, or to advertise vacancies in publications and media outlets that reach the black demographic.
One of the many bureaucratic requirements of the H-2B program is that would-be H-2B employers need to demonstrate that they have made efforts to fill the jobs locally. Typically compliance ads require respondents to travel to a state workforce agency to “register there for a referral” rather than directly to an employer. Additionally, compliance ads often end up in publications whose readership is a poor match for the kinds of jobs on offer. All of these petitions had been certified by the Department of Labor, which requires that the jobs have been advertised in local newspapers. I do not know the final outcome of the consular investigation, but the initial investigation found evidence, supported by my own research, that Refractory Services misrepresented the duration and seasonality of NAS’s needs for extra janitors, and that, notwithstanding the Department of Labor certification, there may be plenty of Americans in Carroll County looking for the jobs being filled by foreign H-2B workers.
Sadly, it is easier to find examples of abuse in the H-2B program than examples of government vigor in rooting out abuse.
In 2008, some 2.6 million American jobs disappeared, in the most precipitous annual decline since World War II. An examination of the first quarter 2009 unemployment rates for subsets of the American population most often in competition for common H-2B jobs (teenagers, students, immigrants, minorities, and those with less than a high school diploma) reveals that these segments of our society are already in dire straits when it comes to finding work.
Resorting to a guestworker program to address alleged “shortages” of workers in specific occupations and regions eliminates the possibility that the market will correct the “shortage.” For example, if there aren’t enough workers willing to take $8 per hour, no-benefit, slaughterhouse jobs in North Dakota, then the slaughterhouses need to self-correct the problem by offering higher wages and some benefits in order to attract workers from stagnant or contracting industries.
Aside from the negative effects the H-2B program may have on wages, unemployment, and benefit packages for American workers, we also need to consider the intangible consequences of the program on our social fabric. Perhaps you acknowledge that the in-sourcing of H-2B labor is detrimental to American workers, but you believe that we all benefit from the lower prices that the employers pass onto consumers.
The common stereotype about H-2B jobs is that they are the kind of backbreaking, low-paying, unskilled jobs that no red-blooded American would ever want.
A perusal of the Department of Labor’s Foreign Labor Certification Data Center reveals that many of the businesses filing H-2B petitions for foreign workers are body shops that have no actual “seasonal or temporary” need for labor. Find out where, how and how long it takes to get your medical coding and billing certification, also known as a CBCS certification.
A (CBCS) certified coding certification is a certification for becoming a medical billing specialist. The (CMRS) exam or Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist exam, The American Medical Billers Association (AMBA) offers this certification for an enhanced certification portfolio. The (RHIA) exam or Registered Health Information Administrator exam is a certification for the ability to manage patient medical records and patient health information and data.

The first step in process towards your certification is to enroll in a medical billing and coding program. Medical billing certification programs are commonly available through local and state community colleges, four year universities and colleges plus vocational education centers.
There are chance for medical coding specialists that have opportunities to be trained on the job.
With most coding rules being extremely complex and at times extremely ambiguous, the work requires a strong analytical mind.
As a working coder or biller you will be using your training, experience and knowledge to get the job done everyday. Coding specialists in the medical field will spend a lot of their working time analyzing and then coding those patient’s charts.
The chart below shows what the median wages and salaries are for each employer type per bls.gov. HR specialists—the most entry-level position included in the analysis—were the least likely to require a four-year degree, with one-third of HR specialist job postings requiring only a high school diploma.
In fact, 42 percent of companies noted that an HR certification was either preferred or required. For instance, HR professionals seeking a job as an HR business partner are much more likely to need an HR certification in order to obtain work.
While only 1 percent of the job listings requested this credential, it is further indication that HR professionals are increasingly being expected to have a thorough knowledge of business processes outside of traditional areas of HR expertise, such as compensation and benefits management.
For over half of the job postings analyzed in this report, employers requested at least 3-5 years of experience. Only 24 listings, or 8 percent of the job postings included in this analysis, included salary information. Issues surrounding the issuance of H-1B visas, for example, tend to receive far more media scrutiny because the beneficiaries and the victims are highly educated and often fall within the same social circles as journalists, and the topic of higher-paying skilled jobs is perceived to be more relevant to the kind of readership and viewership that advertisers desire. The SOSSBA was a windfall for H-2B employers, but Congress failed to renew the legislation in 2008. The majority of the program’s current users are neither small nor seasonal employers, but rather mid- to large-sized companies and recruiters that petition for H-2Bs to work for 10 months out of the year, year after year. Industries that are particularly heavy users of the H-2B program include landscaping, forestry, hotels and restaurants, amusement parks and leisure facilities, and seafood processors.
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) more specifically defines temporary as “generally limited to one year or less,” but allows H-2B workers’ visas to be extended for an uninterrupted stay — either for the same or a different employer — of up to three consecutive years. H-2B workers are tied to the employer that files the petition for them; if a worker fails to turn up for work on five consecutive days, the employer is required to report the delinquency to the Department of Homeland Security. Mikulski has long been a champion for the business interests of large H-2B employers; particularly Maryland-based seafood and landscaping concerns. Mikulski’s recent campaign contributions here because she has been the public face and most vocal cheerleader for the H-2B program, but, in fairness, she is far from being the only politician feeding at the H-2B employer trough. Brooks in April 2009 why they did not list any job opportunities on the company website and he said, “I never thought of it, but that’s a good idea, maybe I’ll do it.” Brooks went on to boast that his company had recently held a “job fair” to try to recruit American workers.
Mas Labor represents a variety of big businesses — in 2008, Mas Labor was listed as the agent on 482 different labor certification requests petitioning for a whopping 12,393 jobs (some are listed under Mas Labor, some are listed as Elizabeth Whitley, some as Elizabeth D.
EWIC and SSB are by no means the only groups advocating for an increase in H-2B visas — a basic Google search reveals a whole host of other like-minded advocacy groups including the Federation of Employers and Workers of America, the H-2B Workforce Coalition, and Immigration Works among many others. Many employers are convinced that Americans no longer have the stomach for doing dirty, repetitive, or physically taxing work in difficult conditions. Seasonal destinations that have a high cost of living like Cape Cod or Vail do not have wide pools of labor looking for seasonal hourly wage work, and so employers in these areas obviously need to recruit from outside their immediate area.
Black workers frequently compete for the kinds of hourly wage jobs that H-2B workers occupy.
These are not just staffing agencies providing help to employers that need workers, but rather legal American companies that are actually selling Mexican workers as a commodity to businesses that want to employ them. I asked several different H-2B employers that complained to me of a shortage of workers about their efforts to recruit black workers and was frequently met with incomprehension. The specific advertising requirement demands that prospective H-2B employers place two help wanted ads in the highest circulation daily newspaper in their area.
Most look like legal notices, in that there is no boldface text, no italics, no thick borders around the ads to make them stand out, and they are filled with needlessly long job descriptions that make the jobs sound as unappealing as possible.
For example, in late October, if you get out your magnifying glass and look hard enough in the help wanted section of your local newspaper, you will probably see a maze of compliance ads for landscaping jobs. I asked one recruitment advertising director at a major daily newspaper in the Northeast if H-2B employers cared whether they received a response to their ads. After a lengthy preamble about how difficult it is to find workers, he acknowledged that the last time his company placed a help-wanted ad was simply to meet the compliance requirement in November 2008 in the Easton Star Democrat, for jobs that were to begin Spring 2009. The reality of the complex H-2B process is that most employers need a lawyer or consultant to assist them, and once they’ve committed to trying to in-source H-2Bs, they’ve already gone past the point of trying to recruit local workers to fill the jobs.
Below is a sampling of H-2B employment certification requests that were approved by the DOL in FY 2008 despite very high local unemployment rates. Despite gains in productivity, wages for Americans have fallen relative to inflation since 2002, during a time of rapid growth of the H-2B program. Anyone who’s ever taken a sociology course can tell you that employment is a good thing for a person’s well being.
An examination of the Department of Labor FY 2008 Foreign Labor Certification Data Center29 reveals that many H-2B employers aren’t low-cost competitors, but rather companies that charge very high prices for their products and services, calling into serious doubt the notion that employers pass on their H-2B labor savings to consumers.
In 2007, it successfully petitioned the DOL for 118 H-2B workers, including clerks, kitchen workers, and housekeepers for the period December 1, 2007, to April 9, 2008; then the following season, they petitioned for an additional 118 workers to do the same jobs for the period May 1, 2008, to October 28, 2008, effectively providing them with year-round “seasonal” coverage encompassing 49 weeks of the year. Certified by the DOL to in-source 70 jobs to H-2Bs in 2008, for four-season work from June 15, 2008, to April 15, 2009. This conglomerate of six small resorts won DOL certification for 298 workers in both 2007 and 2008, for the period March 15 to December 15, paying H-2B workers between $8 and $12 per hour.
This company owns several high-end resorts around the country, and succeeded in earning certification to in-source 424 four-season jobs with overlapping petitions to ensure year-round H-2B labor coverage. True, a majority of H-2B jobs are blue-collar and pay around $10 per hour, and some are tedious, labor-intensive, dangerous, or all of the above. Kembel won DOL labor certification to place 60 “head coaches,” 90 “professional scouts,” and “90 sports instructors” for the United Soccer Academy, based in New Jersey, for four-season work from February 4 to November 19, 2008, at a rate of $21 per hour.
The jobs were for four-season work, from January 20 to November 20, 2008, and paid $24 per hour. The following year, the prevailing wage was reduced for tractor-trailer drivers in Illinois, and Mickey’s accordingly brought in 39 new drivers and paid them the new prevailing wage of $14.31 per hour for four-season jobs from October 1, 2008, to May 31, 2009. Companies like Seasonal Labor Solutions, Seasonal Employee Concepts, and Seasonal Resource Services can petition for large numbers of workers and then essentially sell them off to companies that either could not get their own H-2B workers or did not know how to do so. At 22% growth over the next decade, the time could not be better to become a (CBCS) Certified Medical Billing and Coding Specialist! At any time you can search our directory of schools and programs by entering your zip-code in the top right corner of the page.
The RHIA certification can open your employments opportunities due to the scope of work and necessity of the job. You will have had to of been employed as a medical insurance biller and coder or medical billing and coding specialist for a minimum of two years.

But be aware that employers often prefer their prospective candidates to have at least 6 months to 1 year of study beyond high school. Here, we reveal which titles are most popular, which have the highest barriers to entry and what will be required of potential applicants to land their dream job in this growing field. On the other hand, the HR specialist and employment manager positions in our analysis did not require or request any type of certification. As the global recession continues to take its toll on the American economy, this is an opportune time to re-examine the H-2B program and to evaluate whether these jobs could be filled with people already in the United States.
In 2004, Bush proposed a new guestworker program that, had it been enacted, would have tripled the number of visas issued to seasonal workers. In 2008, The Grand received DOL labor certification to in-source 369 jobs with H-2B labor, including 25 wine stewards, 20 groundskeepers, 70 housekeepers, 20 chefs, 24 bellhops, 94 waiters, 114 kitchen helpers, and two stable attendants.14 Michigan currently has a 15 percent unemployment rate, but if the Grand is in dire need of workers, you wouldn’t know it from their homepage. The Federation of Employers and Workers of America was listed as the petitioner’s agent for 404 different H-2B labor certification requests in 2008, representing 12,559 jobs in-sourced to H-2B guestworkers. I’ve spoken to numerous employers that use H-2B labor in some of the sectors of our economy that rely most heavily on seasonal guestworkers, including landscaping companies, seafood processors, ski resorts, and hotels. Business owners often claim that they’ve tried increasing wages and benefits to attract American workers, but that Americans simply do not want to take difficult jobs.
The Federation of Employers and Workers also helped in-source 37 jobs in nearby Akron for R.B. The problem is that the Department of Labor only requires that employers recruit from within “normal commuting distance” of the actual job the employer seeks to fill.
While there is no way to quantify the precise role that racial discrimination has played in the displacement of black workers in common H-2B occupations, there is strong anecdotal evidence to suggest that some employers would prefer to hire foreign H-2B labor because they harbor prejudices about black workers. It wouldn’t be legal for American companies to only consider job applicants from just one ethnic group, but staffing services can market workers from one country, Mexico in this case, with impunity. Clayton Seafood in Cambridge, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is required to advertise the job vacancies they have each year in a newspaper called the Easton Star Democrat, the largest daily newspaper in the immediate area with a very modest circulation of 16,752.
Employers obviously want to gain DOL labor certification that there aren’t local workers to fill the H-2B jobs, so they actually have a vested interest in ensuring that there is no response to the ads that they place. Ross Eisenbrey of the Economic Policy Institute elaborated on this issue in April 2008 while testifying before Congress on the issue of seasonal work visas: “To jam market signals by resorting to a visa program for special types of workers has the potential to prevent the optimal allocation of labor, leading to market distortions.
In fact, upscale hotels appeared to be heavier users of the H-2B program than budget hotels. Yet there are also a significant number of H-2B jobs that pay well, and others that are actually quite good jobs. Some employers choose to contract out the entire recruitment process to companies like MJC Labor Solutions and Amigos Labor Solutions, which advertise themselves as “one-stop shops” that will handle everything from recruitment to navigating the legal process to actually bringing the workers to the U.S. Mikulski’s advocacy on behalf of H-2B employers in her state has earned her the unwavering support of major H-2B employers and advocacy groups (see Table 5). These notions are contradicted by evidence that when companies offer attractive wages and benefits, they generally have little trouble finding American workers to do jobs in difficult fields like garbage collection, custodial work, and dishwashing. This means that if I own a business on Mackinac Island, Mich., I only need to make efforts to advertise and recruit locally, and not in say Grand Rapids or Detroit, where there would obviously be a much larger pool of unemployed applicants looking for hourly wage jobs.
The connection between employee wages and consumer prices is beyond the scope of this report, but suffice it to say that the low wages = low prices theory has some holes in it.
Once a business has decided to utilize H-2B labor to fill vacancies, and has taken steps to make that happen, any local job applicants that express an interest in the vacancies are essentially just getting in the way. When teenagers cannot find that first job, they miss out on a crucial rite of passage to adulthood. Below are some examples of jobs that received DOL labor certification to be made available to foreign H-2B workers for FY 2008. This certification ensures the knowledge of HCPCS coding manuals, medical terminology, ICD-9, CPT, HCPCS, some pharmacologyand even human anatomy. Registered apprenticeship programs will in most cases, provide fully paid on-the-job training programs. While many of the job openings listed on the site are what one might consider classic unskilled labor, some clearly are not. The move would also replace the need for employers to obtain H-2B labor certification, with an “attestation” that qualified U.S.
Not all welfare recipients can swim.” This “grassroots” coalition to save “small business” appears to be run by medium- and large-sized companies that are major users of the H-2B program. I filled out an online application in April 2009, which essentially just asked for my name, phone number, e-mail, and address, but was never contacted about a job opening. The point here is that this is a part of the country that has plenty of Americans looking for work and willing to do difficult jobs. It requires a leap of faith to understand that if a ski resort in Breckenridge, Colo., for example, cannot fill its seasonal jobs locally, then the next logical step would be to recruit workers from Europe, rather than Denver.
While the formula may seem logical, the reality is that: 1) businesses do not automatically pass on their labor savings to the customer — generally businesses are only going to charge as much as they can for their product or service, and will pass on labor savings to the customer only if they absolutely have to, and 2) employee wages are typically not the biggest factor in the pricing for most products or services. Employers may not file for H-2B workers more than 120 days before the job actually starts, and because of the amount of bureaucracy involved and the numerical shortage of visas, companies need to start the H-2B process as early as they can.
For example, the site lists approved H-2B petitions for professional coaches and athletes with employers like the U.S. Examining SSB’s board members reveals the kind of companies that have a vested interest in the expansion of the H-2B program.
I followed up with a generic e-mail asking about job opportunities (using another name) and was told by someone in HR that there were no jobs available. Census Bureau recorded only 441 inhabitants on Hooper’s Island, so it would seem to be a curious choice for a job fair. H-2B employers invariably claim that they do try to recruit from areas outside their immediate zip code, but that Americans won’t move for seasonal work. So jobs need to be advertised usually about four months before they are actually available. Indeed, during a recession companies are looking to cut costs and may view the H-2B program as a good way to weather tough economic times. Bush Administration to allow H-2B employers to retain “seasonal” workers for longer periods of time.
No member of Congress has been a more vocal champion for H-2B employers than Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski. Americans actually change their place of residence more frequently than almost any country in the world, and workers go where the best paying jobs are.
None of these factors will show up on the Department of Labor’s website, but there are clearly negative social consequences to in-sourcing jobs that would otherwise go to Americans.
Below are examples of major H-2B hotel and resort employers and the prices they charge their guests. Obviously, very few people looking for seasonal, hourly wage jobs have the luxury of waiting four months or more to begin work.

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