Why Recruit International Staff
Why Recruit International Staff
Mar 15, 2015
Before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, let's clear the air. Konnecting highly recommends, before considering any international candidate, to firstly consider local Australians. However, after exhausting the local talent pool for your particular role, you may find the solution to your vacancy adequately met (or more so) with an 'International candidate'. I use the term 'international' loosely to include offshore and onshore candidates on various visas. The most familiar visa used for employer sponsorship is the 457 visa. This visa has been widely criticised, however, despite some flaws and minimal reports of abuse of the visa, overall it has been extremely successful in filling skill shortage gaps. Talks about this visa replacing Australian workers is evidenced as pure nonsense. 457 employees represent less than 1% of the Australian workforce (according to Dept of Immigration & Border Protection). Konnecting recommends the 457 is used as complementary with the local workforce.
Tips for Sponsoring on a 457 Visa
- Use, but don't abuse the conditions of the visa. It's more difficult for a 457 employee to move employers as they must move to an approved/eligible 457 Standard Business Sponsor (SBS). Each time a 457 visa holder moves to another employer, tenure is lost and the counting towards permanent residency eligibility, with at least two-year employment required in the same employer-sponsor under the same nominated position, starts anew. While this does not totally binds 457 candidates with their sponsors, it becomes a deterrent to most. Therefore, retention rates are higher.
- Understand the motivations of 457 employees. Is long term Permanent Residence (PR) their goal? Or financial benefits outweigh what they get in their home country? How about the experience of working in Australia? Change of lifestyle and work-life balance are high on the motivations list. Understanding these will assist in the employee honouring their employment arrangements.
- Have a policy in place for temp (457) to permanent visa (ENS/RSMS). Have this conversation with the employee at the job offer stage, so everyone is clear on the expectations. Offering Permanent Residence (PR) is not mandatory for employers. However, the most common practice is to offer PR after 2 years on a 457 with the same employer in the same position. This visa is the Temporary Residency Transitional Streams of the ENS or RSMS visas.
- Recognise the fact that a new migrant will take time to settle in to the new systems, cultures etc. Support them and long term productive gains are imminent.
- Understand the obligations on employers as per Immigration policy. It is not appropriate to recoup any fees for the sponsorship or visa processing, or recruitment fees. Pay market rates. Maintain training benchmarks. Ensure visa holder works within nominated occupation. Update the DIBP of changes as required.
- Again, I reiterate, do not abuse the system. Openly work within the Dept of Immigration & Border Protection (DIBP)'s regulations.
- If using recruiters, use expert international recruiters who are familiar with the intricacies of international recruitment.
- Only use MARA Registered Migration Agents (RMA's). RMA's are bound by strict codes of conduct, and stringent continuous professional development obligations to maintain up to date knowledge of the Migration Regulations.
Benefits of International Candidates
- Specialised expertise not readily available in the local market can be accessed
- International candidates are more mobile than locals, and prepared to work in Regional locations. Australia is so vast and each region has its individual workforce needs, which quite simply cannot be met by locals.
- Transfer of skills: Overseas employees can bring excellent skills and new expertise that can be transferred to the local Australians
- In addition to the skills transfer, clients have reported a 'work ethic' transfer too.
- The retention rate of employees is significantly higher. One recent client of ours commented they had over a quadruple higher retention rate for 457 employees. The loyalty of 457 staff is obvious, but it does work both ways.
- Lower sick leave rates in comparison to local staff.
- Higher productively levels
- 457 Visa holders make significant contribution to the Australian economy. Migration to Australia will add $1.6trillion to GDP. Many Australian businesses would not survive if they could not top up their workforce with international workers.
- Extra diversity and socialisation within your workplace. Furthermore, 457 visa holders who speak other languages may also contribute by enabling international trading businesses to access new markets.
- The required training benchmark requirements to become (and maintain) 457 Sponsorship status is contributing to the up skilling of local Aussies.
Main Visa Types
- Temporary Sponsored 457 Visa
- Permanent Employer Sponsored Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (ENS)
- Permanent Employer Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)
- Occupational Trainee / Training & Research Visas
Find Out More
- Contact a Konnecting Registered Migration Agent, or Specialist International Recruiter