Australia's thriving tech industry has been grappling with a significant talent shortage for years. As a result, many companies have turned to international recruitment to fill the gaps. However, recent surges in Visa application costs are forcing tech giants to reconsider this strategy.
In this article, we delve into these Visa price hikes and share some insight into how tech companies can continue to adapt without further affecting their bottom line.
The rising cost of hiring international workers
From 2020 to 2022, active tech investments in Australia ballooned by 77%. Powerhouses such as Canva, Afterpay, Judo Bank and Atlassian lead the pack, putting Australia's tech scene on the global radar. However, this growth spurt hasn't been without its fair share of challenges.
The COVID-19 crisis brought a screeching halt to Australia's ability to lure top global talent. Then, inflation and exorbitant living costs started driving young, skilled workers abroad. Now, the proposed increase in Visa application fees threatens to further strain this talent-scarce market.
Visa Application Charges (VAC) are slated to rise by 6-40%, coinciding with the CIP increase on July 1. The increase will see a 15% jump in fees for visas, including:
- Visitor Visas
- Working Holiday Visas
- Training Visas
- Temporary Activity Visas
- Temporary Work Visas (short stay specialist).
The 40% spike for the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) visa is even more drastic, pushing the cost from $9195 to $12,873. Why the surge in fees?
A recent review condemned Australia's migration system as outdated and reliant on technology from the 80s and 90s. Further, The Federal Budget 2023-24 document said, "[The migration system] lacks direction, is complex, inflexible, and inefficient."
The government argues that the additional $665 million in revenue from the VAC hikes will be funnelled into rectifying these issues.
However, this leaves a pressing question unanswered: How will Australian tech businesses fill their skilled positions during this transition period? Furthermore, how can Australia maintain its competitive edge in the global market with unfilled vacancies?
4 steps keep roles filled and avoid the visa increases
Tech companies that need to reach outside the local talent pool aren't completely out of luck. They just might have to rethink the way they're doing things.
Step one: Embrace remote work
In case you missed it, remote work is here to stay. From increased productivity to lower overhead costs, there are tons of benefits to going remote. Most notably, it allows you to reach outside your local talent pool and hire from anywhere.
Unlike traditional employee arrangements, with remote or hybrid teams, you don't have to bring the talent to your headquarters. Instead, you can avoid costly Visa fees and let the talent stay where they are. It's a win-win situation. You fill your job vacancies and avoid costly fees in the process.
Step two: Partner with an Employer of Record (EOR)
Traditionally, hiring employees from other countries requires setting up a legal entity in the country where you want to hire. Setting up legal entities requires local expertise and can be quite cost prohibitive. That's where an EOR comes in.
EOR organizations have legal entities set up in talent hot spots around the world. As a result, they can legally hire employees from these locations. EORs hire employees on your behalf, serving as the legal employer. They also handle the administrative hassles of hiring employees, including taxes, payroll, compliance, benefits and more.
Unlike outsourcing, with EORs, you maintain control of the employee's day-to-day operations, and the EOR assumes the liability for the employee. It's a clever way to leverage the global talent pool without the normal headaches and fees.
Step three: Partner with a global recruitment firm
Once you've partnered with an EOR, it's important to also get in touch with an international recruitment firm. While there are tons of skilled employees in the global workforce, the best of the best workers are often siloed off on elite job boards or working exclusively with recruiters to find the best match.
International recruitment firms are also often local experts, helping to cut through cultural differences and ensure that everyone gets what they need to be successful. (In addition to being a global EOR, we also provide global recruitment services to our customers).
Step four: Get the technology you need to manage your team
Finally, managing remote employees in other countries requires some specialized technology, including:
- Communication software
- Project management suites
- Managed laptops
- Real-time employee monitoring
- Time & attendance tracking software
- VR workplaces
- And more
Generally, the technology you need for your global team members isn't much different than the technology you'll need for your local remote employees. As long as you can connect, organize tasks and protect your IP and productivity – you'll have everything you need to manage your global talent.
Overcome the impending VAC hikes with Outstaffer
Ultimately, Australia's tech sector is thriving – despite the many employment challenges it has had along the way. This newest visa price increases just mean that tech companies must continue to do what they've always done – adjust their strategies and adapt.
The best way to overcome this recent hike and the worsening skill shortage is simpler than it may seem – Partner with a Global EOR like Outstaffer.
As a Global EOR, we make it easy to find, hire, manage and equip top tech talent from around the world in just a couple of clicks. Plus, our #WorkFromAnywhere technology gives you and your remote team everything they need to work.
Want to learn more? Schedule your free demo today.