American Companies Troll Canada for High-Tech Recruits

Competition for computer programmers is so intense that Silicon Valley companies and others are beating the bushes abroad - including Canada.

Recruiters for Digital Equipment Corp., Microsoft, and other US companies are trolling for young programmers at high-tech haunts like Ontario's University of Waterloo, which sends vast numbers of computer graduates south. Other Canadian colleges report a similar influx of companies on the hunt for programmers.

"We do have a number of American companies recruiting computer-science majors," says Mary Giamos, manager of employment services at the University of Toronto's career center. "We started noticing a trend three or four years ago and it's steadily increasing."

That's no surprise to Martin Miseradino, an executive recruiter at New Dimensions in Technology Inc., in Marblehead, Mass.

"Foreign nationals are filling the gap," he says. "You have Canadians and graduates from the best universities in China coming here," he says. "Many are brilliant ... they're going to work for any price they name."

Some Canadian colleges report they are hiring more Americans since the Canadian government recently waived restrictions barring non-Canadians from staff positions in computer science.

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