Considering an international hire? Here’s what you need to know

With Australia’s unemployment rate remaining at a historic low, the war for talent is accelerating. And this has some organisations looking further afield to find the right candidates.

Hiring internationally isn’t necessarily the wrong strategy, but it does require a few additional considerations. Here’s what you need to know: 

It’s your responsibility to make sure the hire is legal

Whether you are hiring a non-citizen who is already on our shores or bringing someone out for the role, the onus is on you to make sure they have the correct working rights. If the candidate has an existing working visa, you can check the validity on the Australian Government’s Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) platform. This platform will also tell you whether it has any specific conditions attached.

You may need to show you can’t find the person in Australia

For many working visa types, the Australian Government requires you to demonstrate that you have performed labour market testing and cannot find a suitable match in the local market.

Labour market testing requirements and possible exemptions vary depending on the visa subclass, but it’s important to understand these requirements. Things can get even more tricky if you have made a person in the role redundant in the four months prior.

The Australian Government’s Skilled Occupations List sets out the occupations that are in enough demand to readily require sponsorship of an overseas hire. If your role isn’t on the list, you may need to apply for a labour agreement, which can add significant time to the hiring process.

Sponsorship can be rewarding, but there are pitfalls

If you choose to sponsor your new hire to work in Australia, you may end up with a great employee and a talent that is untapped in the local market – a big win for your business!

However, it’s important to consider the potential downsides too.

In theory, if you are sponsoring a new hire, they must remain working for you, which sounds like you’ll have a loyal employee. But this can be a double-edged sword. You don’t want employees who are ‘off the bus’ yet have no choice but to stay in the role.

In addition, if they find an alternative employer willing to sponsor them in the first 28 days, they can switch their sponsorship. This means you’ve jumped through the hoops and another company reaps the rewards.

It’s also worth considering what happens if the employee doesn’t live up to expectations. Dismissal may feel like a more difficult decision when the person has uprooted their life to work for you and termination results in them having to leave the country.

There are reporting requirements for employers

Once the sponsorship is approved, there are specific events you must report, depending on the visa class. These can range from changes to the business name or structure to employment-related events, such as cessation of employment or a change in duties.

If the employee is new to the Australian business environment, consider the cultural and diversity aspects

Working in a new culture can create additional challenges for your new hire. Workplace norms, formalities and protocols differ widely around the world, and it’s important to have diversity management and cultural policies in place to ensure the transition is a success for you and the employee.

Specialist advice is advisable

If you are sponsoring a worker in your business for the first time, it’s important to understand your legal obligations. There are many legal specialists out there, and it’s worth considering working with one to ensure you remain compliant.

In addition, you should consider working with an experienced recruitment partner, like Lloyd Connect, in the first instance. We can help you explore all your local options and reach wider talent pools, including both citizens and those with existing working rights.

Our innovative Talent as a Service (TaaS) model is perfect in this candidate-short landscape. It puts recruitment expertise in your corner all year round, planning ahead for your talent needs and quickly identifying the right person when a vacancy arises.

And if you want your search to include international talent, we can support you with that too. Our recruitment consultants are experienced in international searches and can also connect you with Registered Migration Agents to help you navigate the formalities and legalities of the process.

Interested in a better way to recruit? Talk to the Lloyd Connect team today.

About the Author
Picture of Jenny Lloyd

Jenny Lloyd

Founder/Director of Connections
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