Article: How companies build sustainable recruitment needs to change: Safeguard Global’s Jonathan Perumal


How companies build sustainable recruitment needs to change: Safeguard Global’s Jonathan Perumal

‘Implementing sustainable recruitment practices means exploring new ways to recruit and updating policies around locations or asynchronous work and how workers are classified. All of it needs to be up for discussion,’ advises Jonathan Perumal, Country Manager, ANZ, Safeguard Global.
How companies build sustainable recruitment needs to change: Safeguard Global’s Jonathan Perumal

Navigating the world of cross-geographic recruitment still comes with many challenges and questions that today’s hiring managers and HR leaders actively seek answers for. Of them, country-specific compliance continues to be a primary concern when functioning with a distributed workforce. In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, Jonathan Perumal, Country Manager, ANZ, Safeguard Global, highlights key recruitment trends in Australia and New Zealand while outlining strategies for more efficient and effortless borderless hiring. 

Here are some excerpts:

When we envision the future of work, what we’re experiencing today is The Great Return. Which sectors do you see shifting to hybrid working in the ANZ region? Or will it be fully in office?

We see globally, which is also playing out in Australia and New Zealand, companies assessing whether to require a return to the office for a minimum number of days within a hybrid work model or foster a fully remote culture. While tech companies are leading the way in having fully distributed workforces, for others, there’s a desire to have employees come into the workplace regularly. Some businesses have been tempted to “overcorrect” after being forced into remote working during the pandemic, but this may not last.  

The past two years have brought so much change that organisations can no longer mandate a strict office-only model. Many firms worldwide have attempted to force a full return to the office and faced backlash. Employees simply don’t want it.  

In the Australian Productivity Commission’s study “Working from home”, 75% of workers surveyed stated they were as productive working from home as from the office.  So remote working seems to benefit both employees and employers. 

Add the ability to hire globally and bring in-house some of the best talent in the world, and the result will be keeping some percentage of the workforce remote, at least some of the time. There isn’t a good reason not to. 

As hiring talent continues to become an area of concern, especially with the ongoing staffing concerns in Australia, how could organisations benefit from hiring globally? 

There’s a skills gap in Australia in areas such as information technology, cybersecurity, accountancy, finance, engineering, HR and marketing. After a couple of years where most of us have been working remotely and have overcome the hurdles of managing teams remotely, businesses can confidently expand their recruitment to a wider number of potential candidates. Your pool of potential candidates grows exponentially by removing location as a requirement – that they live in a particular city or even in Australia. You can speak to more people who fit your criteria and can bring the experience you’re seeking to the company – no matter where they live. 

The Australian Information Industry Association’s (AIIA) annual member survey found that the number of local technology companies recruiting predominantly from Australia was down 20% compared to 2021. More than a third of respondents plan to hire an even mix of workers from Australia and overseas. More and more companies understand the benefits of hiring globally.  

What are some strategies that can enable employers to tackle compliance laws and regulations with greater efficiency? 

One of the more complex things to navigate when expanding into new markets and hiring abroad is ensuring compliance with employment laws and regulations – especially now as these regulations are changing rapidly in response to the shifting global marketplace. 

One way to mitigate that risk is to work with a trusted global employer of record providers. That partner hires your worker in-country and takes on all responsibility for HR and employment regulations and taxes – keeping your worker's employment in compliance with local laws.  Safeguard Global has been providing this service to emerging and established multinationals for more than ten years – and we’re now providing services in more than 170 countries. 

While labour compliance is one part of the recruitment process for hiring international talent, what are some other pain points that hiring managers need to address? 

A couple of additional points that hiring managers and HR teams need to consider when hiring globally are compensation packages and worker classification. 

Countries have different social costs (statutory bonuses, severance) and expected benefits (private health care, retirement contributions, meal or travel stipends).  A hiring manager needs to consider these when building and negotiating compensation packages. 

An employee’s worker classification will be dependent on the local laws. Hiring managers need someone to guide them on how to remain in compliance as it relates to worker classification.  This can help companies get creative in how they structure teams to match their needs better and, in some cases, how a worker wants to be classified for their own personal purposes. 

What are some words of advice you would like to share with our community when it comes to implementing sustainable recruitment practices? 

 Employee expectations of the work experience have changed in the last couple of years – what they want from their experience and how they are willing to work. As a result, how companies build sustainable recruitment needs to change. Companies need to evolve into Work in Any Way organisations – gone are the days of work being dictated solely by the employer. People want a flexible experience that prioritises a life/work integration – where their lives come first, not the other way around. Implementing sustainable recruitment practices means exploring new ways to recruit and update policies around locations or asynchronous work and how workers are classified. All of it needs to be up for discussion. 

The good news is that as a part of this, companies can offer work experiences that appeal to a global talent pool, and they have the opportunity to hire the best person for the job – not just the best person who lives near the office.

As more workers seek to work for a company that provides exciting projects, new experiences, and diversity in their portfolio, they are also looking beyond their borders. They seek flexible work experiences that allow them to work how, when and where they want based on what best fits their lives.  

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Topics: Recruitment, Talent Acquisition, #Hiring, #HybridWorkplace

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