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Two-thirds of Australian businesses to recruit permanent international talent this year

With international borders now open, it seems a majority of Australian businesses are keener than ever to hire international talent on a permanent basis.

A new survey by recruitment agency Robert Half reveals 71 per cent of businesses are looking to recruit global talent permanently in 2022 while 61 per cent are looking to recruit internationals on a contract basis.

Much of this comes from the desire to offset rising skills gaps in the country, especially in the tech space. Over 80 per cent of Australian chief information officers (CIOs) say they plan to recruit permanent IT talent from overseas. Similarly, over 68 per cent are looking overseas for financial talent.

Other skills that are in short supply locally include financial management, internal audit, database management, cybersecurity, and infrastructure and engineering.

How do businesses plan to attract international talent?

As Australia witnesses skill deficits and job vacancies at record highs, making the country a desired career destination has become a top priority.

Almost 40 per cent of Australian employers say they plan to increase the starting salary for overseas recruits while 38 per cent are prepared to offer more paid leave.

According to the survey, 34 per cent of employers are willing to loosen job requirements to attract global talent and 31 per cent look to offer professional development opportunities.

“In order to compete on the global playing field, Australian companies need to match the industry standards of the markets they’re seeking to recruit from, or risk being eclipsed by local competition,” said David Jones, Senior Managing Director, Robert Half Asia Pacific.

“While focusing on competitive salaries is important, companies also need to home in on the motivations behind why professionals choose to relocate and offer tailored incentives to support their move. Candidates are not only evaluating the job against their career path but also whether it is worth disrupting their life for, so a compelling employer brand proposition is a vital component of candidate decision making.”

READ ALSO: A third of Australian SMBs plan to expand internationally by 2024

Two-thirds of Australian businesses to recruit permanent international talent this year
Source: Romain Dancre on Unsplash

What are the visa formalities to bring overseas workers to Australia?

Mr Sam Bricknell, director of specialist immigration consultancy, Techvisa, said the temporary skill shortage (subclass 482) visa remains the go-to option for getting skilled employees onshore.

“For shorter-term or more immediate needs, there is also the subclass 400 temporary work (short stay specialist) visa which is for project-based work and has been utilised heavily during COVID as the market saw a shortage in tech talent,” he explained.

“With this talent shortage, there has been an increase in salaries across most IT related roles and the competitive nature of the market has meant many people have had multiple offers and with significant salary increases. Processing times have not been consistent which has made it harder for companies to properly plan and ensure they have the right talent in place to deliver on milestones or deadlines.”

He notes a significant increase in businesses being open to support permanent residency applications as well, a crucial factor for many overseas workers considering a move down under.

“Another steady increase has been seen in the Global Talent Program,” Mr Bricknell offered. “The GTI is for highly paid, highly skilled individuals who have a global reputation in the field. This is great in terms of getting the right people at a senior level to train others in these fields that are more mature in other markets than they are in Australia.”

After two years of closed borders, it seems Australian businesses are now putting aside cost concerns related to hiring global talent.

“Where most companies would see the costs with sponsoring being prohibitive or put it in the ‘too hard basket’, they are now open to it given the increase in demand but the lack of skilled talent onshore,” Mr Bricknell said.

READ ALSO: Your secret weapon in the talent war

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Rhea Laxmi Nath

Rhea Laxmi Nath

Rhea L Nath is a Sydney-based writer and editor. In 2022, she was named Young Journalist of the Year at the NSW Premier's Multicultural Communications Awards.

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