Posted on October 2023 By Speller International
Sponsorship has many benefits for employers. Over the years, Speller has been fortunate enough to sponsor several high calibre candidates who have been extremely successful employees.
Throughout this blog we will look at both the benefits of sponsoring and the process we have recently been through with Recruitment Consultant Catherine Challes. You can read about Catherine's tips and suggestions for candidates going through the process here.
Some of the benefits we’ve noticed over the years have been;
Real skin in the game: for specific sales roles, we have found candidates who make the move to Australia via sponsorship make it work more often than not. We have found overseas candidates are already ambitious and ready to work, they’ve felt a stronger sense of loyalty and commitment to Speller. This has led to higher employee retention rates, reducing recruitment and training costs.
Filling Skill Gaps: We looked for over 12 months for a local candidate for our Recruitment Consultant position. Interviewing several candidates who had varying levels of experience and knowledge, but none were the right fit. When the borders opened back up after COVID, we expanded our search overseas. As we had previously sponsored impressive candidates from the UK, we knew that sponsorship was a strong option to bridge the skills gap, especially when there was a high demand for skilled recruitment consultants in Australia.
Access to a Global Talent Pool: Sponsoring candidates from overseas has allowed Speller to tap into a broader and more diverse talent pool. This has been especially beneficial when seeking candidates with specialised recruitment and sales skills, experience, or qualifications that are not readily available locally.
Diverse Perspectives: International hires have brought diverse, professional perspectives to the workplace. This diversity has led to increased creativity, innovation, and problem-solving within Speller. We have found candidates from overseas have a little bit more life experience, have been traveling and have brought that broader understanding to Speller’s processes, methodologies and specific recruitment/SAP market.
For Speller it’s not about Cost Saving: However, in some cases, sponsoring overseas candidates can be cost-effective, especially if candidates are willing to work for competitive salaries or if they possess skills that are in high demand but not readily available locally. This can help control labour costs while still acquiring top talent. It is important to note that it generally is not a cost saving measure as salaries do need to be proven to be inline with market salaries for the sponsorship to be accepted.
For Speller, the benefits have been numerous, and the sponsorship process relatively straightforward.
When determining whether or not to look at sponsorship, our number one piece of advice is to speak to an immigration lawyer. They are able to guide, advise and assist with every step and the team we dealt with were invaluable throughout the entire process outlined below.
Before you can sponsor a foreign worker, ensure that your business is eligible to do so. You may need to meet specific criteria, such as being a legally registered business in Australia. Our Sponsorship approval had lapsed during COVID, so we had to go through the approval process again. The process included submitting our financials, application forms and paying the fee. You can do this at the same time as nominating an individual, however the Government will assess your company sponsorship first. This approval is valid for 5 years, meaning you can sponsor several people during that time without applying for approval again.
Nominate a Position:
Identify the position you want to fill with a foreign worker and determine the appropriate occupation code from the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO). In our case, we were looking for a Recruitment Consultant with some recruitment experience.
Market Testing (Temporary Skill Shortage [TSS] Visa Only):
For TSS visas, you may need to demonstrate that you have conducted labour market testing to show that there are no suitable Australian citizens or permanent residents available for the position. This typically involves advertising the position via Government websites for 28 days. We had been looking for a suitable Australian candidate for over 12 months before opting to sponsor, however the 12 months' worth of advertising and labour market testing did not count towards the 28 days because the ad needed to be on the specific Government website.
Nominate the Employee:
Submit a nomination application for the specific employee you wish to sponsor. This includes details about the position and the employee's qualifications. It’s very important that the wording on the position description, job title and contract information all match.
Employee Applies for the Visa:
After your nomination is approved, the employee can apply for the relevant visa. In our case Catherine applied for a TSS visa. You can read about the process Catherine went through in our last blog here.
The Department of Home Affairs will process the visa application and make a decision. If approved, the employee will receive their visa. We were incredibly lucky the decision came back after a few weeks; however, we were told it could take anywhere between 8-70 days for a decision.
As the sponsoring employer, Speller is responsible for complying with all sponsorship obligations, including ensuring the employee works in the nominated position and receives the same terms and conditions as Australian workers. Candidates should remember their tax declaration information may change, affecting payroll.
In conclusion, we have found the process of sponsoring straightforward and has paid off with all hires being exceptional, long-term, valued members of our team.
It is important to invest in a good immigration lawyer, have as much of the information you’ll need at hand and understand the time parameters from the outset. Additionally, employers should be mindful of cultural differences and provide support and integration programs to help overseas employees adapt to their new work environment and community.