Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, Australian employers often find it hard to acquire skilled workers, then retain them for the long term.
One Australian company has used the Employer Nomination programme to retain skilled workers in its growing technology business.
Business owner ‘Angela’ explains:
‘We first looked into the Employer Nomination Scheme when a staff member approached us about his visa expiry – explaining she wished to continue living in Australia and stay on at our company where she had been a valued member of our team for the past year. She held a 482 visa through her husband, whose company were not willing to extend his stay.
Having known Sarah for many years, I consulted with her for advice about the options available.
Sarah explained the long-term benefits of retaining our worker by obtaining permanent residence for him.
The Direct Entry Stream appeared to be the way to go, our position matched an occupation on the list of eligible skilled occupations.
We held a management meeting and considered factors such as:
- Did our worker have unique skills, that would make them difficult to replace
- Our worker had a positive attitude
- Our worker had the aptitude to do the job at an exceptional level
- She was a good cultural fit for our workplace
We also asked ourselves whether we had the time or resources to go through the nomination process. The alternative would be to recruit again and go through onboarding and training process which would cost us both time and money and may not have found us a suitable candidate.
Our candidate was performing well and people enjoyed working with her. She was definitely someone we wanted to keep in the business. We decided to proceed with the Employer Nomination Direct Entry process.
Applying through the Employer Nomination Scheme is quite a process – for both the Employer and the Employee. When you go down this path, it requires commitment, from all parties. Sarah was the person in our corner, guiding us each step of the way.
‘Sarah understands all the ins and outs of immigration law, which is no small feat. Having Sarah walk us through the process made the complex simple. She outlined everything we needed to do and assisted us at each step. She helped us prepare the bundle of documentation and gave valuable feedback and insights’
We were so happy when the application was lodged. And, were thrilled when we received our nomination approval within a matter of weeks!’
‘The ENS Direct Entry pathway enables us to keep valuable and skilled workers that are not originally from Australia. Our workforce is multicultural, a lot of our team are from all over the world – it wasn’t something that happened intentionally – it’s about the best person for the job. So, if that person happens to be on a visa that will eventually expire, and we want to extend their contract, we take it on a case by case basis and explore our options.’
As an employer going through the ENS process, the most important element is to be organised. If you’re not set up properly in terms of paperwork – finance, HR, operational – it can be really challenging. The government asks a lot of questions – and they’re right to do so! But if your paperwork is in order, it is much more manageable.’
‘Nominating our worker was not something we entered into lightly. Sarah is direct and straightforward. She will tell you exactly what your situation is – and what you need to do. Immigration law is quite strict, there is not much wiggle room. Sarah takes a no-fuss approach, and is always available to clarify things. Most importantly, she helped us understand what our obligations were and what our commitment would be.’
‘We have now nominated several workers through the ENS. If we had lost them, it would have significantly impacted our company. One of the staff members was a team leader and would have left big shoes to fill if we’d lost him. We have built a lot of good relationships in the industry and we rely on genuine relationships to grow business. Despite this, it is quite a challenge to recruit good quality IT staff. We want to retain our staff – where we can.’
Having Sarah and her team on our team helped us achieve our nomination success!’