Visa programs are not being utilised to fill skills shortages in Australia because employers believe there are too many risks involved.
“Unfortunately, many Australian companies still have a “no sponsorship” policy and will only employ Australian citizens or permanent residents,” The Migration Agency’s Managing Director and immigration thought leader, Sarah Thapa, said.
She said there were also perceived risks for employers hiring internationally, including the costs and whether the candidate would be the right fit.
In this blog, The Migration Agency sheds light on how Australian organisations can fill their skills shortages by confidently utilising global talent if they can’t hire locally, and de-risking the process.
New thinking is the way forward for skills shortages
According to an ARCS survey, only 33 per cent of organisations employ people on work visas.
“My question is what about the other 77 per cent of companies not tapping into skills and engaging an international workforce,” Sarah said.
While this statistic was discovered during the ARCS Workforce and Capacity Summit and relates to the clinical trial sector, it is not an uncommon scenario for other industries and sectors of Australian organisations.
“New thinking is needed around talent and mobility. Where there is a shortage in skilled workers in any industry, skilled migration can be used as a rapid lever to plug holes when the local talent pool is dry,” Sarah said.
“There are many ways to embrace global talent, for example, remote work, hybrid work, hiring offshore and bringing skilled workers to Australia. This is the future of workforce sustainability, so why not supplement the Australian talent pool with international skilled workers as well?
“There are many other industries that are thinking more strategically by designing immigration programs to fill critical shortages with skilled workers. These are the new ways of thinking all industries need to embrace.”
How organisations can de-risk the global talent hiring process
Before hiring international talent, many Australian organisations have hesitations about the hiring process and the risks involved.
How much will it cost? Will there be cultural indifferences? What if the person gets to Australia and they aren’t the right fit? These are all valid reservations and frequently asked questions by employers looking to fill their skills shortages.
But what if there was an end-to-end talent solution that allowed a “try before you fly” option when it came to hiring global talent?
That’s where an experienced immigration law firm can help dispel the myths and de-risk the process to help companies fill their skills gaps with solutions that benefit them and their employees.
“We work with clients to map where the talent is located in the world and which countries have the skills which are transferable to Australia,” Sarah said.
“Pathways to hire international talent are diverse but many organisations don’t know what those pathways are and how to utilise them.
“Employers can bring talent to Australia on skilled work visas, or they can have them work remotely by engaging a person in their location, or they can even have a hybrid solution where they try before they fly them to Australia.
“In this scenario, an employer would engage a worker remotely, train them and have them successfully working in the role in that location, onboard them into the company, and then bring them to Australia when ready.”
Sarah said it’s this hybrid global talent solution that had been successful for The Migration Agency’s clients.
End-to-end talent TMA solution helps fill organisations’ skills gaps
One of our medtech clients needed to hire a Supply Planner and unfortunately was not able to fill this role locally. The right-fit candidate was a supply chain professional with experience in supply planning, production planning, logistics and warehouse operations for medical device companies in South Africa.
Through our partner, Global Talent Agency, we were able to help our client fill the role by sourcing talent internationally.
Global Talent Agency enabled the employee to work offshore through its Employment of Record Service whereby the employment and payroll is managed locally on behalf of the client, and the candidate was able to perform the role successfully offshore from December 2021.
“In this particular case, we are waiting for the visa to be granted for this person to travel to Australia, however, the same principle applies whereby an employer can have someone performing their role offshore in a hybrid capacity before bringing them to Australia,” says Sarah.
The upside is that for the last seven months, the employer has had someone successfully performing that particular role offshore until such time as the immigration application is approved.
The business is thrilled that the role has been filled, and the candidate has shown they can perform the role successfully and has been fully on-boarded into the company via TMA’s end-to-end talent solution with our talent sourcing partners at Global Talent Agency.
If your organisation is in need of a hybrid global talent solution to fill critical skills shortages, please contact our immigration law specialists at The Migration Agency.