Hire employees in Australia
After you have decided to expand and begin hiring in Australia, you need to work out how you are going to engage a workforce in that country. Here we set out the key things you need to know about compliant and efficient hiring in Australia.
Australia hiring guide
Hire employees in Australia
After you have decided to expand into Australia, you need to work out how you are going to engage a workforce in that country. Here we set out the key things you need to know about compliant and efficient hiring in Australia.
Interviewing job candidates
- Punctuality. As with all English-speaking countries, all parties being on time to an interview is very important. Note that it is not usual to turn up to interviews significantly early (e.g., more than ten minutes prior);
- Introductions. It is likely that all individuals will introduce themselves using their first names (and perhaps even nicknames), and this is how all participants in the interview should be addressed;
- Questions. It is common for early questions in an interview to relate to the individual’s curriculum vitae (usually a longer document than the U.S.-style ‘resume’), as well as the applicant’s personal motivations and goals. Later questions will likely relate to the role in question and past experiences of the applicant which bear on that role;
- The “pitch”. Applicants are expected to honestly (but positively) describe themselves and their experiences. The ‘puffery’ or ‘showing off’ that may be common in some other cultures is generally frowned upon in Australia.
Workplace Culture in Australia
How does workplace culture in Australia generally differ from other countries? Some cultural differences worth being aware of include:
- Hierarchy: Australian workplaces can be a lot less hierarchical than in some other countries. Employees and employers work together as a team and it is not acceptable for more senior staff to ‘stand on’ their titles;
- Language: Along with a reduced reliance on hierarchy and a generally informal work culture, it is also relatively common for staff (including bosses) to use slang terms, jokes, and even swear in the workplace. However, this usually occurs in a context of relaxed humour and offensive language directed at another worker will not be tolerated;
- Long working hours: Australian workers work relatively long hours compared to many other countries. However, at the same time, Australians value their work/life balance and often have considerable flexibility in how they structure their workday;
How does Australia-based recruitment work?
When recruiting staff and hiring in Australia it is important to use job websites, traditional media, and social media (e.g., LinkedIn) as part of the recruitment strategy. Using an Australia-based talent acquisition partner which is well-connected to the local employment market should also be a crucial plank in your recruitment strategy.
Acquiring the best staff
- Compensation. Salaries and wages are relatively high, which is important to consider when hiring in Australia. This partly reflects the fact that major Australian cities (such as Sydney and Melbourne) are some of the most expensive cities in the world;
- Benefits.Pay particular attention to workers’ compensation and Superannuation contributions (i.e. pension contributions);
- Vacations. Vacation time (‘holidays’ in Australia) is highly valued. Businesses could consider offering more than the statutory minimum of 20 days in order to be an attractive workplace.
- Remote work has to be part of your company culture. As employers, you should be promoting a flexible working environment for all team members.
- Establish clear expectations and SMART goals with your remote employees. This will alleviate much of the need to constantly monitor and track performance in remote teams.
- To encourage high-performance in your remote teams, set transparent KPIs, establish the OKR methodology (objectives and key results), prioritize goal setting, and provide regular one-on-one feedback.
- You can track performance in remote teams with time management tools, monitoring tools, and performance-enhancing tools.
Workplace compliance in Australia
All hiring must be compliant with a range of federal and state/territory-based Australian employment laws and regulations. Key elements include:
- Payroll and income taxes. Employers submit employee income tax contributions (‘Pay as you go’ or ‘PAYG’) to the Australian Tax Office. If employees receive fringe benefits (such as company cars), they must also ensure that ‘fringe benefit tax’ is paid;
- Superannuation and workers’ compensation. Employers are required to make contributions for Superannuation (9 percent of salary), as well as having worker’s compensation in place;
- National Employment Standards. These minimum standards apply to all employees in Australia and set maximum work hours, parental leave requirements, annual leave, notices of termination and redundancy pay. This includes compliance with minimum entitlements for leave, pay, benefits and working hours;
Modern Awards. Note that some industries are covered by the ‘modern awards’ system. This system applies minimum standards to a range of specified industries. Specific entitlements are set in relation to matters such as pay, work hours, breaks, allowances, and penalty rates. These factors all play a role in the process of hiring in Australia.