Australia Recruiting & HiringReading Time: 4 minutes
Australia’s Fair Work Act of 2009 outlines many of the country’s employment laws that guide the relationships between employees and employers. Unionized industries or Enterprise Bargaining Agreements also have workplace rules and protections for employees that can sometimes contradict national law. Therefore, it’s essential to understand how every employment law affects your company and how you can stay compliant during the staffing and recruitment process.
Recruiting in Australia
When you’re staffing and recruiting in an unfamiliar country, understanding the culture is just one of the many hurdles you’ll face. Keeping the following guidelines in mind can help ensure that the staffing and recruiting process is as smooth as possible for your business and your prospective team members.
1. Keep Things Casual
In Australia, it’s not uncommon for employees to spend time socializing and getting to know each other at work. Australians will often go out for coffee breaks in the same way that Americans tend to discuss business over lunch. Setting up a meeting over coffee is an excellent way to connect with potential candidates during the recruitment process in Australia.
2. Make Punctuality a Priority
While Australians tend to be fairly laid back, they don’t like to waste other people’s time. Time management is an important part of workplace culture in Australia. In fact, there’s a good chance that candidates will arrive to meetings with you a few minutes early. If you’re running late, be sure to let the prospective employee know, even if it’s just five minutes. You should also make sure your meeting doesn’t run over the scheduled time.
3. Communicate Directly
In Australia, employees are encouraged to speak their minds in the workplace. You should remember that during the recruitment process. Don’t be surprised if prospective employees seem a bit outspoken early on. Australians value simple, honest communication from the start. Be straightforward with candidates and expect the same in return.
4. Be Flexible and Forgiving With Language
If you’re used to living and working in another country, you may be surprised by the type of language that’s acceptable in the workplace in Australia. Employees tend to joke around, speak cynically and sarcastically, and even swear at work. It’s best to be flexible when it comes to this kind of language. That said, there’s no reason to silently put up with overly offensive comments from job candidates. You can always speak up if someone says something that seems entirely inappropriate.
What Is the Recruitment Process in Australia Like?
If you want to recruit top talent in Australia, the first step is knowing where to look. Most Australian businesses advertise job openings online as well as in local newspapers, letting job-seekers come to them. As you might expect, the internet takes up the majority of job advertising these days. Social media is on the rise, and many large companies simply advertise open positions on their own websites.
Hiring through employment agencies is relatively common in Australia as well. However, traditional recruitment agencies can come with steep fees for your business.
In some industries in Australia, open positions are not advertised formally. Instead, employers rely on word of mouth and other informal methods of recruitment. This process is often used for vacancies requiring lower skill.
In the end, the recruitment method you choose for your business will come down to a personal decision. You should consider the industry you’re in, the type of position you need to fill, and the amount of time and resources you’re willing to invest in order to find the right person to fill out your international team.
Australia’s Laws Against Discrimination
Australian workplaces tend to be easygoing, but don’t expect that attitude to extend to the legal aspects of staffing in Australia. As in any other country, specific regulations are in place when it comes to employment.
Under Australian law, employers cannot discriminate against employees based on age, gender, race, or disability. You should avoid referencing these categories in job postings and communication with potential hires.
How to Hire Australian Employees
Hiring Australian employees can sometimes be a complicated process for employers unfamiliar with local laws. Because the Australian government wants employers to hire indigenous workers from Australia, it’s fairly simple to onboard employees from the country — but bringing in talent from other countries can prove difficult.
The nation’s hiring laws also differ by state. Hiring an employee in one state may end up being easier than employing someone from a neighboring area.
If you choose to hire foreign employees for your Australian subsidiary, you must apply to become a sponsor to recruit candidates. Only the positions on Australia’s list of skill shortage areas can be filled with foreign workers.
Australia Employment Compliance
Australia’s Fair Work Act has national employment standards in place for the following ten areas:
- Working hours
- Annual leave
- Flexible working arrangements
- Personal/caregiver’s leave
- Public holidays
- Compassionate leave
- Community service leave
- Notice of termination and redundancy pay
- Unpaid parental leave
- Fair Work Information Statement
While many of the provisions in the Fair Work Act are similar to US employment laws, it’s vital to understand each unique aspect to attain employment compliance. If you do not follow every standard, you could face costly fines.
Onboarding Australian Employees
Outlining a strong written employment contract is the best way to hire and onboard Australian employees. This contract should include the duration of the job, position, duties, any probationary periods, bonuses, and additional benefits. You should also add information about a notice of termination, how you will protect confidential information, and any post-termination restrictions.
In Australia, employment arrangements do not necessarily have to be written in contract form. You can also cover employees with an agreement or an award per the National Employment Standards and Australia’s state and federal laws. However, awards are becoming less popular, and their standards may vary by state, employer, and industry.
Benefits of Australia Hiring Outsourcing
Australia employment compliance is tricky, which is why it’s helpful to hire a hiring outsourcing company or a global PEO. If you hire employees yourself, you need to stay up-to-date on all recruitment, payroll, and employment laws. You will also need a significant amount of time, money, and travel to put everything in place for your business.
Globalization Partners takes the stress out of hiring employees. As an Australia hiring outsourcing company, we can recruit employees and employ them on your behalf so that you can avoid setting up a subsidiary and possibly losing talent during the process.
As the employer of record, we hold the liability instead of you, so all Australia employment compliance falls on our shoulders. Contact us today to learn more about our services.