Employers

Employer’s guide to hiring migrants

Visa restrictions

It is important that the employee hired has the correct visa requirements. Before hiring a foreign national, check they have the correct visa for the role.

Business owners can employ or sponsor skilled workers who are already in Australia and have a visa that allows them to work. They may also sponsor skilled workers to come to Australia.

Visa holders who are allowed to work in Australia might have work restrictions on their visas such as:

  • working for a specific employer or in a certain place
  • working for a specific number of hours or length of time

If there are no work restrictions on their visa, you can be confident the person has unlimited rights to work in Australia.

Hire someone only if:

  • their visa has started
  • their visa has not expired or been cancelled
  • the conditions do not say ‘No work’
  • they are allowed to do the kind of work you require

For visa verification, contact the Department of Home Affairs Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) at online.immi.gov.au

Cultural considerations

People coming from a range of different backgrounds have their own cultural identity which deserves respect and consideration. Culture is defined as the learned and shared behavior of a community of interacting human beings. Cultural competency refers to an ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures.

The four elements of cross-cultural communication are:

  1. Awareness of one’s own cultural values
  2. Awareness and acceptance of cultural differences
  3. Development of cultural knowledge
  4. Ability to adapt to cultural context

The best rule of thumb is to treat others as you would wish to be treated.

Addressing skills shortage

Regional employers wishing to sponsor skilled workers into positions that cannot be filled using the local labour market can do so using the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187).

RSMS enables employers in regional areas of Australia to sponsor employees who are foreign nationals with specific skills, to obtain a permanent work visa.

Conditions of employment

Both employers and employees need to be clear about the conditions of employment.

The main conditions include:

  • Employers are responsible for nomination
  • Employees must work for their nominating employer
  • The employee’s occupation must be on the relevant skills list
  • The employee needs certified competent English language ability
  • You also need to ensure your employee has a valid work visa for the whole time they work for you.

Qualifications match workplace

Hiring someone with inadequate qualifications can not only be bad for business, but it can also impact on areas such as revenue, customer satisfaction and workplace health and safety. Before signing on a new employee, make sure that their qualifications match your workplace.

Aspects to be aware of include the following:

  • check that their qualifications are recognised in Australia. If they are not, it could become a legal matter if there are any issues in the workplace involving the satisfaction of employer, employee and your customer base
  • Ensure that their occupation is relevant to your business. There is no point hiring someone whose skills don’t match your needs

Recruiting skilled migrants to fill short-term needs means a business can grow. By boosting the migrant worker’s training skills, they can offer younger Australian workers apprenticeships or traineeships as the business grows.

Training relevance

Training is important in any area or occupation. While RDA Orana supports the concept of training people to fill the current skills gap under the Skilling Australians Fund, the short-term labour market needs labour over skills in this region. The needs of this regional labour market are critical and immediate.

The fund is designed to provide a longer-term pathway when this region needs the kind of short-term fix that both skilled and unskilled migration can provide. Orana region employers cannot wait for a time in the future when the fund will produce more skilled Australian apprentices and trainees and are looking to the government to provide visa incentives to recruit skilled migrants.


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