What are the best strategies for new migrants to find Jobs in Australia?
Landing a job in Australia is a lot easier for new migrants if they understand the particular challenges involved.
The first things to know are that more than 80% of job vacancies in Australia are not advertised, and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up almost three-quarters of the Australian economy.
This means many jobs in Australia are beyond the reach of migrants who have not yet built up social and professional networks. It also means competition is stiff for the jobs that get advertised. Many migrants find a job through direct marketing approaching employers directly or through networking which makes researching the state of your industry and occupation very important.
Australians network extensively in both their social and professional lives. From our experience of living and working in seven different countries, it is apparent that networking is more significant in Australian culture than in the comparable economies of the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. Networking involves talking to friends, neighbours, casual acquaintances and any relatives you might have in Australia. New migrants naturally tend to start with people from their own country, and this may include community and business organisations for their specific nationality. But you should make every effort to extend your sphere of contacts to the wider community and get to know as many people as possible. This will help you discover how and where locals look for jobs in Australia.
Migrants from all countries will find there is a range of professional associations to join related to your nationality, and they should know who their community leaders are. Australian society is very multicultural, with powerful people from all nationalities and walks of life. A large number of communities have strong established business and community Groups. People who have taken the journey before you can give you insights and connect you to other people who may know of job vacancies in Australia. Joining professional associations, trade bodies and representative organisations as quickly as possible is another way to tap into the hidden job market. Some companies seeking candidates for jobs in Australia even offer incentives to staff who refer candidates for job interviews.
International experience is not highly regarded, but networking can help potential employers overcome their doubts about hiring an outsider. We have found that skilled migrants are much more successful when they have the opportunity to meet a potential employer face to face. Migrants with international experience at a senior level can become frustrated when their job applications fail because they lack local experience and local referees and cannot get jobs in Australia. Note that Australians who return home after working overseas for long periods commonly face the same problem. One inspiring statistic (from the Department of Immigration in Australia, immi.gov.au) is that 29% of all small businesses in Australia are owned or managed by people who were born in another country. One in five Australian jobs is directly export-related, and 12 of the top 15 export markets are non-English-speaking countries. The scope for marketing yourself to companies with international operations is considerable and offers some of the best opportunities for skilled migrants to get jobs in Australia.