Top recruiters believe the 457 visa repeal is contributing to a bigger talent gap in the advertising industry, but is it time the industry stopped complaining and focused on training local execs?
Speaking at the AdNews Lessons in Leadership event, the panel shared their frustrations with recruiting from overseas following the overhaul of the 457 visa that moved a number of advertising specific roles to the list of occupations only eligible for the short term visa, which does not offer a route to permanent residency.
Iknowho consultant Sheryn Small agencies are shying away from sponsoring people as it's become more expensive and a more difficult process, which in turn has made it harder for recruiters to find talent.
"Fortunately or unfortunately, a lot of the talent pool, particularly in the advertising industry, comes from abroad," Small said.
"It's having an impact on our ability to find people in the market and to also employ people with international experience, which used to be really attractive for a lot of agencies. It's a lot tougher to do."
Small was speaking on the panel alongside Publicis Communications talent acquisition director Courtney Robinson, Scout managing director Patrick Flaherty, Hourigan International leadership consultant Simon Hadfield and Commtract CEO Luke Achterstraat.
Robinson said research from Publicis found that Australia loses 15% of its talent to overseas opportunities and there are no international candidates to plug those holes following the 457 changes.
"We're losing a lot of people and not able to get them back," she said.
Flaherty argued that the talent shortage and skills gap is nothing new, particularly for media agencies struggling to fill complex data and technology roles, so it's time the industry accepted the 457 changes as a reality and focused now on training.
"There's a lot of negativity around the changes but we need to embrace it. We're constantly trying to educate our company's leaders and look at upskilling and development of their staff. That's crucial right now because talent pools are rapidly shrinking," he said.
"The pools are shrinking by the second, which is an alarming rate, but we have to do something about that and the clear way of doing that is through training, upskilling and trying to promote people back into the industry."
More from the recruiter panel next week.
AdNews Live: Lessons in Leadership, was presented by MediaCom with supporting sponsors Commtract and TVSquared.
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