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Tuesday, 22 February 2022 12:10

Overseas hiring to pick up as borders open


Research conducted by recruitment firm Robert Half suggests organisations may need to move quickly if they are planning to fill IT skills gaps by bringing in workers from overseas.

Our borders reopened yesterday, and 82% of the 100 CIOs and CTOs responding to Robert Half's survey said they plan to hire permanent IT staff from overseas, with 75% looking for contract IT workers from overseas.

84% said they are likely to hire candidates from overseas to relocate to Australia, while 77% are also likely to hire residents of other countries to work remotely.

The list of skills being sought from overseas isn't surprising, but it does suggest that Australian employers are failing to do enough in terms of training and career development for their staff and local candidates.

63% said they rely on foreign workers to fill IT security and cybersecurity roles, 46% look overseas for IT managers, 42% for Infrastructure and engineering workers, 41% for technical support and operations staff, and 35% say they can't find enough data and database managers locally.

The measures being planned by CIOs, CTOs and their finance colleagues to attract overseas recruits are also worrying for local candidates.

40% plan to increase the starting salary for new recruits from overseas, 38% will offer with more paid leave, 37% are prepared to upgrade job titles, 34% are willing to loosen job requirements, and 31% will focus on offering professional development opportunities and career pathing – the lack of which has arguably led to the shortage of suitable local candidates.

“With international borders reopen as of February 21st, businesses will need to act quickly to establish and implement a global talent acquisition program. Hiring internationally, however, adds another layer of complexity and exposes employers to stiff global competition – all of whom are facing similar pressures to secure niche skills," said Robert Half Asia Pacific senior managing director David Jones.

He added "There is no doubt the current war for talent is placing pressure on Australian companies to focus on recruiting from overseas, but it is also evident that companies need to strengthen internal talent pipelines and be able to attract and retain local skills to develop a truly agile tech-first workforce. Organisations must be mindful of the fact that while international skilled migration will help mitigate skills shortages, we will also start to see talent leave Australia again as border restrictions ease around the world, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.”


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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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