IT employers praise Global Talent Scheme to address Australia’s IT skills shortage

The government’s new ‘Global Talent Scheme’ is being praised by IT and technology employers struggling to fill roles. Read more here.

  • 58% of Australian CIOs believe the new Global Talent Scheme will increase demand for international IT professionals; 56% say it will reduce the IT skills shortage in Australia. 
  • Top three incentives Australian IT employers are using to attract international talent are financial relocation packages (64%), family benefits (61%) and lifestyle benefits (58%).
  • 78% agree the short-term solution to address Australia’s technology skills shortage is to hire temporary/contract workers. 

With Australia’s IT sector experiencing a major skills shortage, the government’s new ‘Global Talent Scheme’ (a pilot visa scheme launched on 1 July 2018 designed to attract more highly-skilled international talent to Australia) [1], is being praised by IT and technology employers struggling to fill roles. An independent survey commissioned by specialised recruitment company Robert Half reveals the vast majority (93%) of CIOs believe the new visa scheme will have a positive impact on Australia’s IT employment market. 

How will the Global Talent Scheme impact the IT employment market?
As the visa scheme is designed to attract more highly-skilled international talent with a view to transferring valuable skills to existing Australian workers, the majority of IT leaders expect the Global Talent Scheme to offer a viable solution to the IT skills deficit. Over half (58%) say the new scheme will increase the demand for international IT professionals, while 56% believe it will succeed in reducing the IT skills shortage in Australia. Other expected benefits of the scheme include increased productivity (56%) and an increase in average salaries for skilled IT talent (38%). Only 7% of IT employers believe it will not impact the IT employment market. 

As business growth and innovation are constrained due to skills shortages, the war for talent is putting increasing pressure on Australian companies to consider recruiting overseas talent. Compared to five years ago, a majority (86%) of CIOs say it’s now more challenging to source qualified IT professionals, while 87% report it be more challenging to attract them to work for their organisation. 

Australian IT employers would consider turning to international talent for a range of technology roles with the top five functional areas being IT security (51%), IT management (48%), business analysis (45%), networking (44%) and database management (43%). 

David Jones, Senior Managing Director of Robert Half Asia Pacific said: “As the technology sector continues to evolve at a rapid pace, demand for the necessary skills continues to outpace supply in the local market. Unless we can access more talent - whether local or international - more easily, Australia’s business sector is at risk of being left behind in the global technology race.”

“The Global Talent Scheme is a welcome initiative for IT employers, enabling them easier access to top international talent, allowing them to become better equipped to innovate with new technologies and compete on a global stage. And that, undoubtedly, will be a catalyst for faster business growth.”    

How to attract overseas IT workers 
While the government’s new visa scheme is aiming to make it easier for employers to hire overseas talent, local companies also recognise the importance of incentivising career transfers to Australian shores. The top five incentives Australian IT employers are using to attract international talent are financial relocation packages (64%), family benefits (61%), lifestyle benefits (58%), increased salary (51%) and housing subsidies (50%). 

“In a competitive market, it can be equally challenging to attract the right talent once they’ve been identified – wherever they are in the world. As more companies compete for the best international talent, companies need to offer tailored incentives. Focusing on salary is important, but it’s equally crucial for companies to ensure their incentives are up-to-date and in line with competitor offerings and industry standards.” 

“However, attracting overseas talent is just one part of an all-encompassing approach needed to help ease Australia’s IT skills shortage. The business community, together with education providers and the government need to further grow the influx of local talent and develop the skills of existing IT staff to confront new technologies, systems and processes head on. This will not only boost internal company innovation and growth, but also the quality of the local talent pool,” added David Jones. 

Temporary/contract workers a short-term solution 
In the interim, a short-term solution recognised by Australian IT employers is to hire contract and temporary IT professionals. In fact, almost eight in 10 (78%) CIOs agree contract workers provide a viable solution to Australia’s IT skills shortage. 

“A flexible mix of temporary and permanent workers gives companies access to a much larger talent pool, especially for IT workers. Contract and temporary workers have the advantage of guaranteeing business continuity, upskill existing staff and optimising staffing cost-efficiencies,” concluded David Jones.  

[1] https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/alantudge/Pages/-new-visa-pilot-to-attract-the-best-of-global-talent-to-australia.aspx

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About the research
The annual study was developed by Robert Half Australia and was conducted in June 2018 by an independent research company. The study is based on 160 interviews with CIOs/CTOs from companies across Australia, with the results segmented by company size, sector and geographic location. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.

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Gabrielle Nagy 
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
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