As the COVID-19 disruption and current skills shortage have shown us, relying on circumstances to ensure your workforce is risky business.
A lack of crucial skills here in Australia can not only impede the growth of your business but harm its daily operations. Given market changes, employers can no longer afford to use traditional approaches to fill their vacancies. Read on for our guide on how to plan ahead and think globally to ensure your business continues to thrive.
Simple strategic questions
If you’re starting to plan your workforce requirements, you might ask: where do I begin?
The Migration Agency’s Managing Director Sarah Thapa recommends considering the following key questions:
- Is your business strategic or tactical? Do you have a ‘bigger picture’ plan beyond the day-to-day?
- Consider what your recruitment activities look like now – what have you done well in the past? What do you need to do differently?
- Think about trends in the market. What are the current shortages? Where is the talent located, domestically or internationally?
- Consider the roles in your business – which need to be performed locally, and which could be fulfilled by international talent?
From tactics to strategy
“Businesses tend to use immigration services in a transactional way: if an employee requires a visa, they might contact an agent to coordinate the processing,” said Sarah.
“But, if one takes a forward-thinking approach, they might consider what talent needs they have now and might have in the future. They would ask how immigration can be used as a tool to access this talent, meet future demand, and thus grow the business.”
While larger corporates have HR resources to do this type of strategic thinking, smaller to medium-sized businesses often do not. However, this should not be a barrier to securing an adequate and skilled workforce for the future.
This is where a firm, such as The Migration Agency, can act as a strategic partner working with you to fulfil your business objectives.
“Strategic immigration involves looking at the bigger picture rather than the immediate problem in front of us. We look at all the ways a company can leverage talent mobility, and can provide intel on markets: for example, which countries offer qualifications for particular professions that are recognised in Australia for work and visa purposes,” said Sarah.
“We can also advise on all opportunities available to a business to access talent. While a standard employer-sponsored visa may work in one context, a more tailored solution such as a labour agreement could be the better way to go in another.”
Recruit into the future
Having strategic foresight about your workforce needs allows you to get ahead of competitors and tap into a talent market to sustain your work.
By working with The Migration Agency, you can also build a talent pool, especially in areas of critical shortage, such as healthcare and engineering.
“You may need two workers now, but in a year or two you may need 20. Planning ahead for your workforce needs means you can better predict your organisation’s capacity to take on more work and deliver to clients.
“Planning ahead means you are ready for when the right candidate appears. You will have clear timelines for upskilling and obtaining their registration. We work with our clients proactively. We host a planning day at the start of the year and continuing with quarterly check-ins,” said Sarah.