With articles like ‘Australia’s brain drain is now in full force, and nobody wants to come here’ and ‘Brain drain stripping Australia of scientific leaders and research positions’ it makes you wonder what is the state of Australia’s innovation sector and how can employers keep talented staff?
Australian companies (particularly start-ups) need qualified tech employees who are willing to learn and contribute ideas to growing companies. Not seeing the opportunities, they are leaving for the greener pastures of America.
The flipside is Australia is still a great place to work and we attract talent from around the world. With our competitive pay, excellent living conditions and burgeoning start-up scene, Australia is attracting more tech-centric staff.
When Australian businesses reach a certain size, they often face a staffing shortage. Where do they find qualified and experienced employees who want to be part of something new?
One business that has faced this challenge is Invoice2Go, an Australian start-up that offers users the ability to instantly invoice clients.
Even after receiving US backing, company founder Chris Strode decided to keep the bulk of tech operations in Australia instead of moving to America. He says that if you have the right momentum in your start-up, you should be able to attract the best people, no matter where you are.
Chris also highlighted that it’s ten times harder to recruit in the US due to the competition and saturation of tech-start-ups who need quality employees. Staff in America are choosier and only want to work for more viable companies.
foundU is always looking for quality tech talent and has employed a range of staff from diverse backgrounds. We believe in variety of work and have given a less-experienced staff a chance by backing their attitude and willingness to learn.
Another component of our employment conditions is flexibility and remote working. We utilise third-part workflow and project management apps to involve all staff even if they are away from the physical office.
foundU has made a conscious decision for our staff developers to be our employees and based in our Brisbane office. We find face-to-face engagement crucial for our software development. Our only exception is for one of our previous Australian-based programmers that liked working for us so much that he now works remotely in German allowing us to offer 24/7 support.
So yes, there may be a brain drain but it doesn’t mean people aren’t coming to Australia and that you can’t attract Australian talent. Being flexible is a huge drawcard to candidates and selling the idea that they can be part of something big here, rather than overseas is a key message.