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After two years of border closures due to the pandemic, Australia has now removed the requirement for fully vaccinated people to have exemptions to travel to or from Australia.

While the size of the influx of overseas visitors into Australia remains to be seen (as the borders only opened two days ago), the restrictions around international departures were lifted in November last year and we’re already seeing the result of this. 

Companies should be aware 

As recruiters, we have begun placing returning candidates who resigned from their jobs late last year to travel to see family when international departures re-commenced.

However, we’re also seeing more and more employees who are resigning because they’re moving overseas permanently. Additionally, there are others who had intended on a holiday to see loved ones internationally and decided they wanted to stay, so they’ve quit their jobs here. Organisations should have a realistic expectation at this time that a small number of workers who are travelling overseas on holiday may not return.

Many employees are aware of candidate shortages within their industry and they know that salaries are on the rise. These facts, along with the soul searching COVID-19 instigated, will create a growing number of employees looking for a fresh start. Many employees who are expats will be feeling the pull to return to their country of origin. There are other employees who are feeling ready to take on big and exciting challenges, such as moving internationally. New York, London and Singapore are three of the biggest drawcard cities for Australians. There is predicted to be fierce competition for qualified and highly skilled talent. 

Tips for organisations wanting to secure quality talent

  • It’s a good idea to have proactive conversations with valued staff about where they see their future.
  • Wherever possible, offer understanding and flexibility for those workers who have been denied access to loved ones for such a long time. For example, if a staff member only has two weeks leave but they wish to visit family for a month, you might need to consider waiving your usual rule around no leave without pay.
  • Remember that in this competitive market, your organisation needs to be a place where people can advance their career. Give staff opportunities to learn new skills and take on challenges.
  • When you have a job available, spend time and effort on the recruitment process to ensure you’re attracting qualified candidates.