457's - Bad news for boutique recruiters

457's - Bad news for boutique recruiters

Changes had to happen

I don’t know many deer farmers or wood turners but I can see why they were under the 457 axe. I also understand there are changes that need to be made around working visas but like with most major reforms the good will inevitably come with the bad.

Boutique agencies under fire

From where I’m sitting the news that boutique recruitment agencies with revenue under $1,000,000 or 5 people will no longer be able to hire people requiring working visas is a kick in teeth to small business. I don’t know many boutique recruiters exploiting foreign workers or not wanting to employ Australians. Many of these businesses are at risk of folding. I was hiring people on 457 visas when my agency was under this threshold, if we were starting again now I strongly doubt we could have built the successful business we did. This creates a massively unfair playing field for the small guys. Boutique agencies are incredibly important to the recruitment landscape in Australia and I can’t see this caveat for small players as anything but a huge blow for small recruiters that will flow onto bad news for the economy. If there is an upside to this, I’d love to hear it. 

Valuing the free economy

I value the free economy and the ability to hire the best person for the job globally as that means better results for the company and therefore the economy.  Conversely, of course, nobody wants to see workers exploited and it worries me in an attempt to stamp this out as part of this reform many well-meaning businesses will suffer. 

I started ICUR, a media recruitment agency in 2001 and have hired countless great recruiters from the UK on 457s as have thousands of other agencies. I could not have built the company I did without them. Access to this wider resource of talent enabled me to build a strong business and employ more Australians too.  

Big agencies start as small agencies

I’d love to hear your opinions – it’s got me a little hot under the collar as I know from experience there are enough challenges getting a small recruitment business up and running without this one and guess what Mr Turnbull many of these small agencies given half a chance grow into big agencies that employ many Australians who fill your tax coffers. 

We need to oppose this change and lobby to have it wiped. Who’s in? 

Thanks for reading

Belinda Kerr

Co-founder Sterning