How to find a job in Australia – China HR
Simon Lane, Managing Director China HR Australia – October 2014.
When trying to immigrate to Australia, there are immediate challenges that face you apart from the immigration process itself. At least with the immigration process, the securing of specialist experts will manage most of the legal paperwork. But who helps you with mastering the language, understanding the local customs, business protocols and styles, navigating the recruitment system and overcoming the concerns of employers that you have no local experience.
Many professionals seek out China HR from overseas enquiring as to how to secure a good job in Australia, without local experience. Some applicants think that because they speak English and may have worked in an English speaking company in their homeland that they will be able to secure a job in Australia without any trauma. Unfortunately this is rarely true.
An article written by Karalyn Brown for the Australian newspaper several years ago quoted an immigration consultant who joked that Bill Gates would not get a job in Australia without local experience! That was made on her experiences that Australian employers value local experience much more than their counterparts in Europe and the US. This is often considered the biggest barrier any newcomer will face. Employers appear worried about the communication skills of skilled immigrants. Business English and Australian English are quite a distance apart and many employers will not bother with that gap when Australian employees are available to fill the same job.
Some observers have suggested that our geographic isolation has contributed to our conservatism. This is supported by the number of poorly written resumes from overseas professionals that help employers question the immigrants’ communication skills. Even when resumes have been contracted to be built by others in the immigrant’s homeland, many finer points go missing and the applicant is found wanting in the interview process.
When it comes to hiring immigrants, Australian employers can be risk-averse. Even if everyone spoke English, misunderstandings about meanings can be common. Australian’s easy-going expressions can easily confuse newcomers. One commentator stated “Australians appear casual, but are not casual at all. ‘Come in for a chat’ can mean a formal interview, so you need to be prepared.”
In addition to this, body language is also very important and varies from culture to culture. It is estimated that two thirds of all social interactions are made up of non-verbal interactions like maintaining eye contact or handshakes. This can cause many misunderstandings such as the lack of eye contact from an applicant. In some cultures this is to avoid being seen as rude and staring, whilst in Australia it can be viewed as being untruthful or lacking in confidence.
Caroline Hong, President of China HR Australia stated that new arrivals need to understand Australian law, regulations and codes plus the general rules of Australian business practice. “Employers can be rightfully concerned over communication skills of immigrants and their ability to understand the highly complex Australian legal system which means jobs in finance, accounting, property, law, human resources, and management can be difficult to find”.
Dr Hong also cited the applicant’s attitude when applying for roles in Australia. “Employers understand that how the employee behaves will make a big difference in how quickly they are likely to adapt. A resume rarely shows an applicant as a team player, or a flexible thinker. I think applicants put so much value on skills that they forget how important behaviour is. Australian employers are particularly critical in this area.”
Many applicants also fail to do their homework when it comes to the industry and company they are trying to get into. This can be hampered by the lack of information available on many employers’ online careers pages. Applicants are also reluctant to talk directly to someone within the business who can give them a realistic appraisal of their fit. They leave it to their resume to do the talking.
“I think that the most obvious issue is that Employers will rarely keep a job open for any period of time to accommodate an immigrating applicant,” says Dr Hong. “As it is, the average time it takes to hire a manager or professional in Sydney or Melbourne is approximately 8-12 weeks. No employer is going to add to that timeframe.” Dr Hong also pointed to the hidden jobs market that applicants from Overseas never see. “Good immigration consultancies and HR businesses are aware of many opportunities that are never advertised. This may because of cost, sensitivity, or the employer being opportunistic. You have to know someone to get inside this circle if you want to open up your options.”
“If you really want to find work in Australia you need an immigration consultant with connections to Australian HR to have real success quickly. It won’t guarantee you success but it will put you in front of the pack.” said Dr Hong.
China HR Australia can help you find a job with a professionally written resume, cover letter, and social media profiles. We can organise intensive language programs, interpreter/translator services, and behavioural interview coaching and cultural refinement programs. China HR only partners with the finest Immigration Consultants with proven track records of success. China HR may be contacted on: