Recruiters from Taiwan target laid-off workers

November 13, 2009 6:11:24 PM PST
Recruiters from Taiwan have launched an aggressive campaign to hire laid-off workers in Silicon Valley. They're luring them with tax breaks, bonuses and life-long careers.

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The recession has created a whole new kind of job fair. Thirty-one companies from Taiwan are looking to hire laid-off workers. The companies are leading Taiwan's wave to become a global player in green, tech and biotech.

"We recruit the right talent from Silicon Valley for more efficient [sic] to make the commercialization come true," said C.Y. Ling with the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Recruiters are trying to fill over 1,500 job openings. But the search for top quality candidates is open-ended.

"We need good people, so I should say there's no ceiling in the number we try to recruit," said Taiwan delegation leader Jin-Fu Chang, PH.D.

Taiwan is looking for a wide range of people, whether they speak Chinese or not.

Frederick Sevor was laid off six months ago. He's hoping his 15 years of experience will land him a job in Taiwan.

"I just want to try out some new cultures and see what I can learn and develop outside the United States," he said.

These are not limited-term contract jobs. Delta Electronics is one of Taiwan's largest tech companies.

"We are expecting they can be a member of Delta Electronics forever," said Eli Yang with Delta Electronics.

The prospect of finding a job in Silicon Valley is dimming. One sign of that is the 20,000 unused H1B visas for foreign workers, a major reversal from a year or two ago.

"There would be 65,000 visas made available, and you'd get 125,000 applications every year, and they would have to go through a random lottery and half of the applicants would lose out," said immigration attorney Gabriel Jack.

So, for U.S. workers, the grass may be greener overseas.

"We've had it so good here in the Silicon Valley and the Bay Area for so long, it could be time to look elsewhere," said job seeker Matt Bedell.

The recruitment drive doesn't end in Silicon Valley. In the days ahead, the Taiwan delegation will also be hitting Chicago, Dallas and Boston.

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