WILL SMES OUTSOURCE WORK OVERSEAS AMID A TIGHT JOB MARKET & RISING WAGES?

August 2023

WILL SMES
OUTSOURCE WORK
OVERSEAS AMID A
TIGHT JOB MARKET
& RISING WAGES?

A Money Transfer Comparison Study

pay

ABOUT THE STUDY

Money Transfer Comparison commissioned a survey of 159 directors and decision-makers of small-to-medium businesses to find out if SMEs would look at hiring overseas workers to mitigate rising wages in Australia.

Respondents were asked to specify whether they would tap into overseas labour and for what reason. Respondents were also asked for which area of their business they would source overseas workers.

WOULD SMES USE OFFSHORE
WORKERS TO RELIEVE THE PRESSURE
OF WAGE INCREASES AND A TIGHT
LABOUR MARKET?

Money Transfer Comparison asked business owners if they would source labour from overseas, including hiring overseas consultancies, freelancers, contractors, full-time employees and casual employees.

The survey found that 60 per cent of businesses would look overseas for talent to combat rising wages and staff shortages. Specifically:

  • 25% would do so to cut labour costs.
  • 21% would do so as they are struggling to find talent in Australia.
  • 14% would do so to tap into new overseas skillsets.

While 40 per cent of businesses are not struggling with high wages or sourcing staff, a small percentage (8%) would consider sourcing overseas workers to relieve financial pressures in general.


Would you outsource work to overseas consultancies, freelancers, contractors and employers due to rising wages and talent shortages locally?

chart

BY STATE.

Across the states, businesses would outsource work overseas at varying degrees. Three-quarters (75%) of South Australian businesses would source overseas labour as a cost-saving measure. This is followed by almost one-third of businesses in NSW (30%) and just over a quarter Victoria (28%).

One in three (33%) business owners in Victoria would source talent overseas due to the difficulty in finding talent here in Australia. This is followed by Western Australia (24%), NSW (18%) and Queensland (13%).

Forty-four (44) per cent of business owners in Queensland are not currently considering outsourcing work overseas, followed by Western Australia (33%), Victoria (31%), NSW (26%) and South Australia (13%).

In summary, 88 per cent of businesses in South Australia would source labour overseas, while only just over one-third (38%) of Queensland businesses would do so as a result of increased wages and the local labour shortage.


Would you outsource work to overseas consultancies, freelancers, contractors and employers due to rising wages and talent shortages locally? (By State.)

chart

WHAT SKILLS ARE AUSTRALIAN SMES SEEKING FROM OVERSEAS WORKERS?

Among the businesses willing to source labour from overseas, 21 per cent are after employees with technical skills, followed by consultants (18%), contractors (17%), admin or virtual assistants (14%), bookkeepers (13%), customer service (12%), marketing (11%), human resources (10%), and sales (9%). Just over a third (35%) of business owners are not looking to outsource workers from outside Australia.


What category of work would you fill with overseas labour?

chart

BY STATE.

Across the states, 29 per cent of Victorian and 23 per cent of NSW businesses would source people with technical skills. Overseas consultants would be engaged by more than a quarter (27%) of Victorian businesses, followed by one fifth (19%) in NSW. Over a third (39%) of South Australian businesses would outsource to contractors. Furthermore, 23 per cent of West Australian businesses would source marketing experts overseas. Other findings include:

  • 19% of NSW SMEs would outsource admin & virtual assistant roles overseas.
  • 18% of WA businesses would outsource bookkeepers overseas.
  • 17% of Victorian SMEs would outsource customer service overseas.
  • 14% of WA businesses would outsource their HR overseas

What category of work would you fill with overseas labour?

chart

Studies you might be interested in:

Why are Australian businesses still relying on their credit cards for overseas spending?

Explore the reasons behind Australian businesses' preference for credit cards in international transactions, including insights from a survey on the challenges and perceptions influencing their choices.

Will Australian businesses source more suppliers or customers from overseas as the cost of doing business increases?

Delve into the shifting trends of Australian businesses as they navigate the rising costs of operations. This study offers insights into the increasing consideration of overseas suppliers and customers in response to domestic financial pressures.

Will Smes Outsource Work Overseas Amid A Tight Job Market & Rising Wages?

Investigate the compelling dynamics that lead SMEs to consider outsourcing internationally in the face of a tight job market and rising wages. This study assesses the economic pressures driving the need for overseas talent, highlighting the strategic decisions made by SMEs to address local talent shortages and financial constraints.

Are Australian businesses failing to check exchange rates when making international payments?

A significant portion of Australian businesses may not be diligently checking exchange rates or shopping around for the best rates before making international payments. This study unveils the oversight that could be costing businesses financially and highlights the importance of being exchange rate aware.

Will SMEs expand their sales or suppliers internationally to get through tough economic times?

This study surveys small-to-medium business leaders to assess their strategy in response to economic challenges, specifically whether they plan to expand sales or outsource suppliers internationally. It reveals a trend towards globalization among SMEs in an effort to navigate financial adversity.