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1 in 2 Aussie businesses may be forced to look overseas for talent

New research has revealed that a large proportion of Australian businesses are struggling with a very tight labour market and higher wages – an 11% in superannuation rate and a $23.23 per hour minimum wage. Nearly half (48%) would look to hire overseas labour to help their businesses either survive financially with lower-cost labour, or to fill roles. 

These findings were revealed in a new survey of an independent panel of 159 directors and decision-makers commissioned by comparison service The full survey results, including breakdowns across the States, can be found here:
Why are more than half of Aussie businesses looking for staff offshore?

As of May 2023, there were a reported 431,600 job vacancies,[1] and in July 2023, wages increased by 5.75%[2]. In a snapshot, Aussie business owners could be feeling the pinch and this may soon motivate them to look for labour elsewhere. 
Money Transfer Comparison’s research found a quarter (25%) of businesses would source labour from overseas to cut costs, 21 per cent would source workers as they are struggling to find talent here in Australia, and 14 per cent would source labour overseas to gain employees with the skillset their business needs. While less than half (32%) would not outsource work overseas, a small percentage (8%) would consider it if they faced more significant financial pressures. 

Russell Gous, spokesperson for Money Transfer Comparison, believes that while wages need to align with inflation in the current cost-of-living crisis, businesses have not been thrown a lifeline to keep up with the costs associated with recruiting, paying and retaining staff: “It has been evident, after the pandemic, that staffing is one of the biggest challenges for Australian businesses. While higher wages can attract new employees, the additional costs may not be maintainable for many small businesses and demand for specific skills might also be outpacing supply. Sourcing overseas labour and understanding how to pay them as a cost-saving and gap-filling measure might help the longevity of businesses during these uncertain times.”
Who is feeling the pinch most? South Australia and Victoria most likely to look for labour overseas.

Three-quarters (75%) of South Australian businesses would look to overseas labour markets to cut costs, followed by almost one-third (30%) of businesses in New South Wales and just over a quarter (28%) in Victoria. Businesses will also turn to overseas markets to fill skill shortages, with one in three (33%) business owners in Victoria not able to find the talent they need here in Australia.
In contrast to these States, nearly half (44%) of Queensland businesses are not experiencing staff shortages or financial pressures in relation to keeping up with rising wages. 
What skills will be outsourced? 

The study revealed that 21 per cent of business owners would seek employees with technical skills. This finding highlights the current skills shortages associated with a ‘suitability gap’, where individuals may possess the necessary qualifications for technical positions but are not necessarily the best fit for the job they are applying for[3]
A proportion of businesses would also consider sourcing consultants (18%), contractors (17%), admin or virtual assistants (14%), bookkeepers (13%), customer service (12%), marketing (11%), human resources (10%), and sales (9%). The research revealed that just over a third (35%) of business owners are not looking to outsource workers from overseas.  
3 in 4 businesses in New South Wales would outsource work overseas, compared with 1 in 2 in Queensland 

Money Transfer Comparison’s study revealed that, across the States, the highest proportion of businesses that would outsource work overseas are in New South Wales, at 71 per cent. This compares with just 49 per cent in Queensland that would do the same. 
Victoria has the highest proportion (29%) of businesses that would source people overseas with technical skills. This compares with just 5 per cent in Queensland. 
“The findings suggest that a sizable proportion of businesses Australia-wide are feeling the pinch when it comes to rising wages and the competitive labour market. Strategically outsourcing certain work functions overseas can assist with costs and fill gaps. This approach can be a win-win for all parties involved and could help ease the financial burden for Aussie business owners during these difficult times,” reveals Russell. 
The full survey results, including breakdowns across the States, can be found here:          
About Money Transfer Comparison  

Money Transfer Comparison ( is a global comparison website helping Australian businesses and individuals find the best rate in international money transfers to and from Australia. Money Transfer Comparison provides access to wholesale exchange rates across 14 money transfer companies, in a safe and secure way. Since 2014, tens of thousands of consumers and businesses worldwide have used Money Transfer Comparison to source international money transfers across more than 200 currencies. For more information, visit   
About Russell Gous 
Russell Gous is a spokesperson for Money Transfer Comparison with vast experience in relationship management for brands such as WorldFirst and Barclays. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the payments industry, he aims to educate readers on the latest trends and payment solutions in the market. Leveraging his strong background in corporate banking, Russell plays a pivotal role in driving brand awareness and improving customer engagement.
Advice Disclaimer  
This article is intended to provide general information only, and not financial advice. Before acting on any information in this article, you should consider your individual and business circumstances, and seek independent and professional legal, financial, taxation or other advice to help you determine whether these actions are appropriate for your needs. 

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