Resolving the HR issues of Emigration – with Chris Carman
For decades, Australia has been the migration destination of choice for so many people. If you’re doubtful, you only have to visit to understand why. I’ve often described it as what the UK ought to be like with added space and, of course, sunshine. Nowadays skilled migrants go there from all over the world.
In this podcast I’m talking to Chris Carman, a specialist in helping people emigrate to Australia and aiding companies transfer staff there. In doing that, over the past decade, he and his team, looking beyond Australasia, have developed services and software that helps companies successfully circumnavigate the complex world of employing overseas workers and expanding their business operations in all countries of the world.
Chris says that in his spare time he loves boxing. He says it forces him to think quickly, react appropriately and stay ahead of the game – all critical skills for business. I came out of our conversation unbruised, but much better informed.
Contact details and Links
OLIVER: I’m with Chris Carman who’s a migration specialist Australasia and he is with Global Mobility Hub. So, Chris tell me about migration with Australia or whatever it is you actually do?
CHRIS: Thanks very much. I’ve been working as a registered migration agent now for 13 years. I was the founder of the business back in 2005. As an organisation we’ve grown year on year organically and over time moved into other jurisdictions such as the UK, New Zealand, Singapore and now China. So, we assist businesses to expand into those locations. We provide them support not only from an immigration perspective but, through our group of business entities, payroll support and assistance, H.R, employment support and also contingent workforce and recruitment services.
OLIVER: So, it’s not just about people migrating to Australia and New Zealand?
CHRIS: No, no. We still assist individuals that want to move into those locations independently, or businesses that are suffering from a skill shortage in a geographical location or an industry that need to import skilled foreign workers, but we also have other service lines to support an end to end solution for global businesses to manage their personnel in country. Over the past 12 months we’ve been developing software and technology to really drive the efficiencies within businesses globally not just nationally so that you can have a full scope to be able to visualise and see the major functions of H.R. and payroll for your global workforce, and we’ve created dashboards so that we can bring together technology for all of the service lines. You will find that when you go out to market there’s a lot of software that’s out there for each of the individual service lines such as H.R. and immigration, payroll. There’s not too many platforms that bring everything together and that’s what we’re trying to achieve with the technology that we are developing.
OLIVER: That sounds really interesting but how would businesses use your software? Is it software as a service that’s provided by you, or is it software that people would use for themselves?
CHRIS: Yes it’s software as a service. So, it’s to manage the compliance requirements for global business. When you’re setting up a national business and you’re expanding globally, each jurisdiction has its own requirements, and its own compliance requirements. So we’ve set up in-country experts within each of those locations, and have developed technology with our in-house development team to ensure that when a business is trying to manage its workforce, it’s 100 percent compliant in each of those locations. That’s better than what we have at the moment, with a lot of clients using legacy software that doesn’t really go across all of the service lines, or they’re utilising manual processes such as Excel and using manual spreadsheets, which in this day and age is crazy.
OLIVER: I’ve seen it done on paper.
CHRIS: Absolutely. So that’s where we’re trying to revolutionise the ability to drive the efficiencies and the administrative processes within our clients.
OLIVER: That’s really interesting and clearly something that’s really necessary and it’s called Global Mobility Hub but you’re Australasia, is it global or is it just Australasia?
CHRIS: No, we’ve got the U.K. office, I started up in 2011. So, we’ve been present in the UK for for almost seven years now, and the roadmap is to expand our operations. We want to thoroughly develop the concept the technology and our service lines in the countries that we’re actually within at the moment, and then slowly expand organically into other jurisdictions such as Europe and North America as we refine our technology and take on more global clients.
OLIVER: Okay, that sounds really interesting. So when you’re looking at migration, what are your main customers and your main focus at the moment? British businesses looking at going to Australasia, or Australasian businesses looking at getting people from the UK or from Europe, on the assumption that you don’t have too many Australasian businesses wanting to leave the sunshine and come here?
CHRIS: Yes absolutely. Well we’re looking at both ways really, so UK businesses that are looking to expand into the Australasian and Asian markets, but again we’re also assisting and handholding companies that are going the other way as well, to set up business operations in the UK, to mobilise and move their skilled foreign workforce between international offices from an immigration perspective. There’s normally three times that we’re engaged, it’s either where there is an expansion of the business into a new jurisdiction, where you’ve got an international office that’s looking to move its workforce between international offices, and then where there’s a skill shortage in one of those locations and there is a requirement to import foreign workers.
OLIVER: There’s been incredible skill shortages here because we have clients who work in the area of teaching and health here that have been sort of desperately trying to import people from other countries, especially from Australasia, but I also sense that there’s an increasing number of Brits who are more than anxious to look for opportunities to go there.
CHRIS: Absolutely and I think within the industries of healthcare I think there is a global shortage of skilled and qualified workers. Again, with an ageing population, and I suppose with a population that is probably ailing more than it was in the past and just by pure numbers, there is the requirement to have significant numbers of health practitioners, medical practitioners, nurse practitioners within all of the major Western economies. We are seeing that there is a net importation of workers, especially to Australia. I mean the health care industry is the largest user of the temporary work programmes. We are seeing that there is a huge number of UK medical practitioners and nurses that are coming through. Now obviously that creates then a drain in the reverse with the UK. There is obviously net migration, so Australian medical practitioners and nurses will go the other way, but by the need we are seeing that there’s the importation of foreign workers from India and the Philippines to really support their healthcare sector. The ICT sector is another one, across the world it’s extremely buoyant. They’re the jobs of the future especially with technology being developed to really drive those efficiencies and replace a lot of the repetitive administrative tasks that are undertaken within business, so there is a really big push especially in Australia to develop new technologies. So, at the moment in Australia we’re about 5 percent unemployment which is pretty much full employment.
OLIVER: pretty much!
CHRIS: That 5 percent would really be people between jobs, unable to work or not wanting to work. So, we are very much reliant on that for our workforce. We just don’t produce enough Australians at the moment.
OLIVER: Right, that’s a common situation in most countries.
OLIVER: If there are people who don’t actually, are not actually moving their business to Australasia but they’re looking for employment in Australasia, is that something you can help them with or do they need to go to somewhere else?
CHRIS: Absolutely, depending on the industry, so our recruitment company very much works within the resource sector, the ICT sector and the health sector so we have strong links there to be able to assist with skilled candidates looking for work. Normally, from an immigration perspective, we assist them after they’ve actually secured that job to be able to facilitate the paperwork, visas, the work permits to then mobilise in country to then undertake the work. Recruitment companies globally are doing quite well at the moment, I think, especially with the needs of business. There is that skill shortage, and depending on the jurisdiction that you’re going to be working within, really determine whether you can actually migrate. So, we’re looking for tradespeople in Australia. We’re looking for medical practitioners and skilled professionals, but when you do the reverse in the UK it’s very unlikely that you’re going to be able to get a visa, outside of being an EU national for any trade. So, it’s quite interesting when you look at the different jurisdictions, what countries want from the foreign worker programs.
CHRIS: It’s an interesting space to be in.
OLIVER: So, what’s the next big step for Global Mobility Hub.
CHRIS: Our technology is going to be released to the general public in the first quarter of 2019. We’re working with different associations at the moment to introduce the technology into their membership bases. We’re also going to our extensive client base, some of whom have already been using the technology and really already seeing the benefits that have been driven through it and the cost savings from utilising our technology. So it’s all about technology next year, and trying to get that put through to as many clients as possible and then that will obviously drive our services within those in country areas.
OLIVER: That’s great. Chris thank you so much for taking the time to talk on our Growing through International Expansion podcast.
CHRIS: Thanks very much Oliver.
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