In 2023, Australia experienced its lowest unemployment rate in nearly 50 years. And with unemployment so low and the jobs market so competitive, business owners are finding it increasingly challenging to attract new staff.
To address this need and find viable talent, many are turning to the global market to find answers. Leveraging the global workforce can enable employers to tap into a diverse pool of international professionals that can complement their existing staff and bring a new perspective to their team.
Brisbane Business Hub invited Rachael Bosnjak, experienced immigration lawyer and the CEO of global talent agency PassageCo, to share her knowledge and help Brisbane business owners understand the complexities, processes and hurdles of integrating international talent.
Here are her key takeaways.
Understanding the visa process
There are many different routes and pathways you can take to get visas for overseas workers, depending on your industry, business and the requirements of the job.
“It’s not like just going to Seek,” Rachael said. “It is committing to something completely new. To effectively tap into global talent, understanding the nuances between the different visa types and eligibility is crucial.”
She said there were three pathways employers could go down:
- Standard business sponsorship, which allows employers to sponsor foreign hires whose expertise is included on Australia’s skilled occupations list.
- Labour agreements, which allow for a broader range of occupations, but require a special agreement with the government and are more challenging to acquire.
- Employment of visa holders without sponsorship, such as those with student and working holiday visas.
Once you’ve established which pathway to take, you then need to understand the visa type that is required.
“There are a huge range of visas that can be applied for based on your specific business conditions,” Rachael said. “You can use the platform VEVO to check visa conditions online, and to ensure your staff remain legal workers while under their term of employment with your business.”
Aligning with local standards and culture
“Meticulous evaluation of a candidate’s skills, health condition, and qualifications is crucial for ensuring they meet our local standards,” Rachael said.
“Before you invest money and resources into bringing an overseas worker here, you want to ensure they are fit for work and/or that their qualifications are transferable in Australia.
“You can avoid any issues through stringent pre-arrival checklists, including any health and skill tests they need to be able to hit the ground running from day one, and by drafting clear and comprehensive employment contracts to safeguard both the employer and the employee.”
As with hiring locally, businesses need to consider not just the professional fit, but also the cultural fit of a new hire.
“Coming into Australia itself is a culture shock, and on top of that you need to think about the culture in your office that they are coming into,” Rachael says.
“Like with any interview process, getting to know the overseas employee before they officially join your team is important for the best chances of a smooth onboarding process and ongoing company loyalty.”
Ultimately, Rachael said the benefits of embracing global talent far outweighs the effort required to hire from overseas.
“Integrating international professionals not only diversifies your workforce, but also brings fresh perspectives essential for innovation and global competitiveness,” she said.
“If you are willing to invest time and effort and money into someone, then they are more likely to stay on board with you and more likely to be a great asset to your team.”