Western Australia is experiencing a period of sustained economic growth. Although skills training and encouragement of workforce participation within the local population has increased, the demand for skilled workers in the short to medium term will not be met by local workers alone.
Employing workers from overseas or attracting expatriates back to Western Australia may be the best answer to filling skilled job vacancies in your business.
How do I find workers to fill vacancies in my business?
It is important to do your research. Here are some questions for you to think about:
- Is the job that you want to advertise globally recognised by the same name?
- Are similar qualifications required?
- Which countries have the best qualified people for your industry/job vacancy?
- Does your website (if you have one) have a section for recruitment? If so, do you make it clear that applications are welcome from potential migrants?
- Have you prepared a comprehensive job description?
Advertising your vacancy on a recruitment website is probably the easiest and most efficient way of getting your job requirements to those looking for work. Using an Australian website is fine as it is likely that people already interested in moving to Australia will already be searching these websites. Some of the more popular sites are:
Most of these sites have useful tips and advice for attracting and hiring employees.
Recruiting directly in overseas markets is also a way to attract people who may not have yet thought about moving to Australia. An internet search for ‘recruitment websites’ in your chosen country will show you the most popular sites.
Finding your ideal candidate doesn’t have to be limited to advertising on recruitment sites. The power of social networking has impacted greatly on the business world in the last few years. Once you are ‘out there’ you have the potential to connect directly with your potential workforce.
Here are some of the major players in the social media world.
- Facebook – a social networking site that allows you to connect to other businesses, groups and people of interest to you.
- Twitter – a micro-blogging platform allowing users to communicate using up to 140 characters at a time.
- LinkedIn – an online networking platform for professionals. Network with other people in your industry or find people working in your field.
- YouTube – usually used for entertaining videos, businesses are now using YouTube to grow their business.
There is a huge amount of information, advice and tips for businesses on the internet on how and why you should use social media. Take the time to read through some of this information and get your business and your job requirements noticed worldwide.
Advertising in industry journals and magazines are a great way to get exposure to the most likely candidates to fill your position. This can be a little more costly but is a more targeted way to find the best candidates.
National newspapers usually have a dedicated employment and careers section on a particular day. The advertising section of the newspaper in your targeted country will be able to help you place your advertisement in the right place.
Throughout the year various organisations such as government agencies, recruitment agencies, migration specialists and industry related bodies hold expos in different countries for the purpose of attracting people to Australia. You can get your business and your vacancies promoted at an expo without having to attend yourself. You can find out about future expos by visiting the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website, contacting the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia, or searching for migration expos on the internet.
Do I need to find my worker/s before starting the visa process?
Depending on which visa program is suitable for your requirements, you can start the process before finding your worker. You can find a brief overview of the various employer sponsored visa programs here however, all Australian immigration is managed by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). Full information and advice is provided on their website.
There is also a brochure about employer sponsored migration which can help you through the process and is published by DIAC. You can download it here.
How complicated is it to hire people from overseas?
It can be a little daunting to go through the process of attracting and hiring an overseas worker but there are groups and organisations that can help you along the way. Some organisations can help you with very specific things and others can take the whole process out of your hands leaving you to carry on running your business.
The Small Business Development Corporation is a Western Australian Government funded organisation that can advise you on various aspects of employing overseas workers including:
- finding and recruiting candidates; and
- your obligations as an employer.
Some organisations can take the whole process out of your hands by:
promoting your business and vacancies in appropriate
markets or countries;
- finding and assessing suitable candidates;
- assessing those candidates for migration to Australia;
- handling the immigration process for both you and your worker/s; and
- providing settlement services for your new employee and their family.
Such organisations are usually large migration agencies with recruitment and settlement services attached. If you decide to use a migration agency to assist you in your search you must use a company that is registered with the MARA (Migration Agents Registration Authority). You can search for registered agents on the MARA website.
If you are a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, you may also be able to get migration services assistance. There are Industry Outreach Officers and Regional Outreach Officers who specialise in the skilled migration of people with employers. They are available to help with your queries. You can find out more by visiting their website.
Your local industry training council or other industry group may also be able to advise you with certain aspects of recruiting from overseas.
Regional Development Commissions may also be able to provide some assistance and guidance. The Government of Western Australia website has links to each of the Regional Development Commissions on its website.
The bigger picture
Finding your potential overseas worker and navigating the visa process is not the end of the story. Research shows that the move to Australia is not just about the job but a whole range of factors.
- The rest of the family will need a visa to migrate. Will you be able to help them with this?
- Your company is probably very different from anything they may have experienced before. A proper and well planned induction is a must.
- To help your worker and his/her family settle into a new environment, a mentor or buddy can be really useful to make sure that the transition is a smooth one.
- Can you provide assistance is finding accommodation and schools?
- Find out some personal information about your worker and their family.
- What sports or other social groups are they interested in? Are they interested in theatre, music, comedy, travelling, dining out?
- Provide a ‘Welcome to Western Australia’ pack to your new worker. This could include things like:
- public transport maps and timetables;
information about services and facilities in both the area they will
- live and work (banks, schools, medical centres, cinemas, shopping centres etc);
- a list of public holidays in Western Australia;
- information about setting things up (bank accounts, tax file numbers, Medicare, driving licences etc); and
- a list of links to useful websites (local news, entertainment sites, sporting groups etc).
Are your current employees ‘on-board’ in relation to the employment of overseas workers? Do they know what to expect. Are they ready to provide support and assistance?
Are your human resources processes in order? Do you need to change your processes to accommodate a worker from overseas?
Attracting workers from interstate and expatriates returning to Australia
Recruiting from overseas is not the only way that you might be able to fill your vacancies. Western Australia is a great place to live and work and advertising your vacancies interstate may be a good way to attract Australians to your jobs.
With sustained growth in WA, it has never been a better time for expatriates to return to Western Australia. Using some of the organisations above, you should be able to find where expatriates with the skills you require are located and use a targeted recruitment campaign to attract them here.
Find out more
To find out more about employer sponsored migration options or how to lodge an employer nomination or visa application, you can contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship on 131 881 or via their website at www.immi.gov.au.