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Australia is an increasingly popular country for hiring overseas employees in the APAC region. With it’s strong economy, highly skilled workforce, and business-friendly legal environment, many international companies seek to hire there.
Read more to find out everything you need to know about hiring in Australia.
21.89M (Labor Force 9.46 million)
Australian Dollar (AUD)
GDP per capita
Ease of Doing Business
4th in the world
$812.60 per week before tax working 38 hours
$1769.80 per week
Minimum of 4 weeks annually
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia’s strict international border closures saw the Australian economy dip twice in terms of GDP across both 2020 and 2021. For the financial year ending June 2022, the Australian economy managed an upward trend increasing its GDP by 3.6.%, up from last 12 months. However, this trendline has slowed, with forecasts of a slight economic reversal leading up to the end of Q4 of 2022 driven by evolving instability in economic markets worldwide.
The border closures imposed by the Australian Government meant that Australia was slower in joining other developed countries toward increases in GDP from lifted border restrictions and lower pandemic measures from early 2021.
Australia has some of the worlds strictest labour laws covering all types of employment, with a strong emphasis on protecting the rights of employees. Australian labour laws are stipulated across several federal legislative instruments including the Fair Trading Act 2009, the Superannuation Guarantee Act and the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011.
These Acts protect certain basic employment rights including the right to national minimum wage, paid leave and holiday entitlements, a safe workplace free of bullying, discrimination or harassment and mandatory payments to superannuation (Australia’s version of a pension fund). If you are looking to hire talent in Australia, it is important to understand all of your obligations as an employer or you could be faced with hefty penalties.
The business culture in Australia resembles other western countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom. However, Australians can be a little more laid back across many business settings, where other countries might follow strict business etiquette rules. Overall the Australian business culture leans more towards an egalitarian model, where hierarchy is less accepted and everyone is seen as equals, despite the position they hold.
Australians like to keep a social and friendly business communication style. Sometimes their tone can come across a little too causal, but even so, they still mean business. Australians like to build relationships, and a lot of the time consider their colleagues as friends. This leads to many social work outings, including after work drinks and annual work social events including Christmas parties to celebrate the end of the work year.
Punctuality is another area that is very important to Australians when it comes to doing business as those who are late for anything business related are considered to be wasting the others time. This also extends to scheduling meetings, and keeping to set time limits.
Nonetheless, although Australians may come across to not take life or work too seriously, this only surface deep. Australians have a world renowned reputation to be very hard workers.
As many countries are using these days, online recruitment platforms are quickly becoming the preferred way to search for jobs in Australia. When looking to hire employees in Australia, positing your job ad on any of the major social media platforms will catch traction. Posting the ad on any number of the local online job marketplaces such as SEEK, Indeed, or Jora is also a way to find a range of talent. For those in the trade industry, word of mouth referrals still happen quite frequently and are a popular method to recruit employee levels from apprentices to FT contractors.
Whether an employer or employee, one thing to know about Australian when it comes to the interview process is that both take them very seriously. Depending on the level, capacity and company will determine what sort of interview is most common and the structure. For larger companies, there will be added steps prior to a formal interview such as the use of psychometric or behavioural tests. For smaller local companies, interviews may take on a more informal tone with little structure. The pandemic has also opened companies up to offering the choice to have an online interview, as an initial interview up to the final stage. A standard time an interview should go for is 30-60 minutes.
In Australia, it is permitted to ask a candidates details of their current salary, their salary expectation or previous salary as part of the recruitment process. However, if a candidate responds to any one of these questions and the information provided is used to discriminate or treat a candidate less favourably, it is unlawful under Australian anti-discrimination legislation.
For in demand skilled employees, they can attract anywhere from 15% to 20% salary increase when changing jobs. For other roles or less in demand skills, employees can still request closer to 8%-10% increase when moving into a new role.
Onboarding new employees in Australia will vary by organisation. However, everything needs to be as clear as possible in terms of employment terms and conditions. All details pertaining to employment should be included in a written employment contract. It is common in Australia for employment contracts to be presented to the prospective employee upon an official offer of employment, even if the candidate has not yet accepted the job. It is also common for new employees to be given a few days to decide whether they are willing to accept the conditions presented, as Australians employees are able to enter into a negotiation to add or change any of the initial offers conditions.
The steps to onboard a new employee in Australia follow a similar pattern to those found in other developed nations. The first stage is organising the employees first day, which many of the times is when the important forms outside of the employment contract are signed. These subsequent documents will include details about the company, the company working culture, expectations for the role, company policies, and tax and superannuation forms. Australia has strict workplace, health and safety (WHS) laws, so it is pertinent that new employees are run through the equivalent standards organised by the hiring company.
Australian companies have embraced like other countries many of the major remote working tools such as Microsoft Suite, Google Suite, Jira, Slack, Cisco Webex, Asana to name a few. However, start-up culture and the development of new remote working tools and software is growing in Australia, so it is not uncommon that companies will be using some of the latest technology designed by local developers.
There are 9 national public holidays in Australia. Here are 8 that share the same date every year.
|1 Jan., 2023||New Year’s Day|
|26 Jan., 2023||Australia Day|
|15 Apr., 2023||Good Friday|
|18 Apr., 2023||Easter Monday|
|25 Apr., 2023||Anzac Day|
|25 Dec., 2023||Christmas Day|
|26 Dec., 2023||Boxing Day|
|27 Dec., 2023||Christmas Floater|
There is 1 national holiday that it’s date of celebration varies by the state.
If any of these dates fall on a weekend, then the following working day (Usually the following Monday, however this could be any day during the week) will be considered the public holiday. There are also state-specific public holidays and city-specific public holidays that like Labor day, vary between the Australian states and territories. You can find more out when these additional public holidays are here.
Typical salary increases sit on average at around 4% in Australia. This varies though between industries, by company, employer and by baseline employee expectations. If hiring in Australia in the near future, this trend should be kept in mind if you want attract the best talent Australia has to offer.
Although you can work as a freelancer in Australia, there are specific legal requirements that companies must meet in order to hire either freelancers or employees in Australia. One of the issues that commonly arise hiring freelances in many countries is the risk of employee misclassification. This is where someone is hired to provide freelancing services, but when it comes down to role description, task expectations and how they are actually integrated within the company, by law they fit the requirements of being an employee.
Hiring employees in Australia on a permanent or ongoing contract may be the most straightforward option. However, we recommended chatting to an international and Australian tax expert when it comes to hiring in different capacities.
Unless the foreign individual holds a valid Australian working visa, with the open working conditions and rights, then it is not possible hire a foreigner in Australia.
It is difficult to open a foreign branch office in Australia, however it is not impossible. The company will require considerable documentation to be submitted to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). On behalf of the foreign branch in Australia, the company must adhere to the applicable laws including submit an annual balance sheet, Profit and Loss statement and some other documents supporting the presence in Australia.
To open an Australia subsidiary will mean that a company will have to set up an Australian company and have at least one Australian resident as a director of the Australian subsidiary company. It is also possible to purchase shares in a local Australian company to gain company tax resident status and be able to operate as a legal entity on Australians shores.
You can easily hire employees in Australia if you have a subsidiary or foreign branch set up. You can also use the support of a EOR such as Horizons to hire local Australian employees.
Your business can easily hire employees in Australia without opening a local entity. We handle local employment law, complex tax regulations, and international payroll in 180+ countries worldwide. All you need to do is focus on your business.