7 tips when recruiting staff in Australia

Australia exhibits a wealth of attractive industries and markets for businesses and investors, and local and international workers. Its competitive economic environment – being the fifth freest economy in the world – partners with high quality of life and varied lifestyle opportunities.

As a result, the South Pacific state-continent possesses a rich, highly educated and diverse workforce. For both fledgling and seasoned companies, there’s a knack to reaching into Australia’s talent pool and picking out the right people for your business needs.

It’s important to be deliberate in your approach and presenting your external image, and understand clearly the responsibilities of your business when it comes to employing people. Consider these tips when recruiting in Australia.

1. Read up on Australian Employment Law

Know what’s required of you by bringing on a new employee. Make sure your contract and employment policies cover the following requirements by law:

  • Full-time contracts must be a maximum of 38 hours per week
  • Certain considerations for flexible working hours are offered to employees who’ve worked in a company for 12 months or more
  • Paid annual leave for full-time employees
  • Other leave requirements and entitlements, such as personal/carer’s leave, long service leave, compassionate (bereavement) leave, paid jury duty and public holiday leave
  • Termination notice of 5 weeks, and redundancy pay of up to 16 weeks

Your company must also deliver the Fair Work Information Statement to all new employees. This outlines minimum rights and entitlements, pay rates, National Employment Standards, flexibility arrangements, protection from discrimination, and other details about business responsibilities.

Failure to comply with these requirements will result in penalties against your company. If you need to, seek professional assistance in making sure you’ve covered all your bases with Australia’s employment law.

2. Take advantage of the Australia’s Global Talent Initiative

In July 2018, the Australia government launched the Global Talent – Employer Sponsored (GTES) program. A novel scheme that allows Australian companies to sponsor overseas workers for positions that are difficult to fill locally.

The initiative sits under the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa program, and enables Australian industries to import highly-skilled workers, bolstering local human capability.

The government is in the process of refining the program, which was originally a 12-month pilot. Businesses looking to hire someone under the GTES initiative must demonstrate they can’t fill their position with Australian workers or through the available TSS visa framework.

The Department of Home Affairs manages this process, and will be the authority to grant permission for you to sponsor an overseas worker through GTES.

3. Don’t wait for Talent to Come to You

63% of Australians have LinkedIn profiles. While this doesn’t indicate how many are actively using them to seek job opportunities, it does mean talent is more reachable than ever before.

Why wait for the perfect candidate to apply for your role? Seek out and propose work opportunities to the talent you want, directly. Save yourself and your human resources time sifting through CVs by engaging in selective shoulder-tapping.

4. Consider your Employment Branding

How does your company look to the outside world? Are you a company with an online and/or community presence? How else – other than job vacancy sites – are you spreading the word about the value of your roles?

Your reputation is how prospective team members will gauge the environment they’ll be walking into, should they choose to apply and accept a job. Perceptions of support, training opportunity, flexibility, and overall worker experience can be just as influential in the decision to take up a job offer (if not more so, for some), than remuneration.

Employee engagement, opportunity, training and appreciation is what will increase your retention rates and send good vibes out about your company through word of mouth.

Don’t underestimate the power of workplace culture and management style in attracting candidates; with a workforce now dominated by values-driven millennials, companies need to demonstrate what they can offer their employees.

5. Anticipate the Recruitment and Training Costs

Online figures on average cost per hire in Australia sit around AU$5000. This is just to bring the new person on board; once hired, they’ll likely need some degree of training or support to reach 100% competency and productivity for their role.

Based on research completed by Harvard Business School, mid-level managers can take around 6 months to reach a ‘break-even’ point, where an employee’s productivity starts to generate returns on the company’s investment in them.

Training extends beyond the initial hiring process – remember, providing opportunities for development and upskilling is what keeps your employees engaged and fulfilled. If a new hire don’t get the training or support they need to get up to speed, 47% will resign within 6 months.

6. Keep in mind recruitment trends and statistics

Keep in mind that it can take around 68 days to fill your job vacancy in Australia, on average. Be sure to budget time and resources accordingly. In particular, if you’re looking to fill a role in an area with skills shortages, you’ll be competing with many others to secure talent.

Check your vacancy against the skills shortages list managed by the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business to gauge your likely hiring experience. The list identifies shortages in the following areas:

  • Accountants
  • Automotive trade specialists
  • Child care occupations
  • Construction specialists
  • Engineering professions
  • Food trade specialists
  • Health professions

On the upside, reports from recruiters suggest that on average, and depending on the industry, you could be receiving up to 60 applications for each vacancy you post.

7. Stretched for Time ? Seek assistance

If your business is growing and your human resources limited, reach out to those who can help. Find a recruitment expert you can trust, and work alongside them to communicate your values and requirements. With outsourced expertise and guidance, the burden is lifted from your shoulders, allowing you to focus on core business operations.
If you need any help, Australiance offers expert services to hire and onboard the right people for your company.  Feel free to contact our Talent Acquisition via email: [email protected]

If you’re hiring from abroad, our local immigration expert can even assist with your new staff member’s visa and immigration strategy. Get more information here.

Special thanks to our partner Biz Latin Hub for their great content. Visit their website for more informations.


Ask your questions to our team, we will be happy to help you.


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