The Pole position

My time in Australia was drawing to a close. I’d learned a lot, but I needed some practical tips which would help my friends in UK to come over to the Australian digital market.

It was time to grab the biggest smoothie in town and sit down to talk with nuclei’s Managing Director Dorota Dopieriala.


Polish-born Dorota started nuclei recruitment a little over 3 years ago, responding to the growing demand in the digital media and marketing sector. Since then, she and her company have helped hundreds of people into new roles across the breadth of the Australian digital market. Dorota is also a sponsoring employer as well, having employed people from the UK. Definitely someone in the know.

So what were her top tips for people looking to come over from the UK?

Dorota’s top tips

1. “Do it sooner rather than later”

“It’s getting more difficult for companies to sponsor people” she begins. “One of the people I hired 2 1/2 years ago wouldn’t qualify for sponsorship if I were to apply to sponsor them now.”

So why is this?

Unemployment is at a ten year high in Australia, so the government is focussed on encouraging employers to hire local candidates across the market. The rules are just getting tighter. You’ll need a relevant degree and a few years relevant experience now and this could become tighter. Demand is still high in digital but Dorota’s advice is to do it while you can.

2. “Make yourself available”

Linked to the above, companies need to forecast the ratio of native hires they’ll make alongside sponsored employees, and this is being watched. If a sponsored employee doesn’t work out, they don’t get the license back, so they lose it. “You need to show them you’re serious about moving here” remarks Dorota, “You need to win their confidence.”

This comes down to little things – making yourself available, for a start. Accept the fact that you might need to interview reasonably late in the evening and make sure you can take the call – the process can drag on for a while if calls are missed and you may well be interviewing against people in Australia already.

3. “Brace yourself for the reality”

According to Dorota, this is a pretty important one – “It sounds so obvious, but many candidates don’t do this before they start to interview, and then it hits them.” Moving to Australia is a big move and it’s worth thinking things through properly.

What will you do with your stuff? How will you stay in touch with friends and family? What will Christmas be like away from everyone you know? If you have a partner, talk things through properly and make sure you’re both in the same boat.

4. “Set your expectations right”

“People from the UK will be interviewing against Australian candidates at the same level” says Dorota – the difference is that there’s just not as many Australian candidates in the market. It’s not that the demand is specifically for UK candidates, it’s more to cover shortfall. “We get a lot of candidates expecting a huge premiums for moving from the UK” adds Dorota, “But it rarely happens.”

5. “Be selective on the recruitment front”

The market’s not huge over here.

Much like the UK, it’s also saturated with recruitment companies and much like the UK, these include the good, the bad and the very bad. Some recruiters will send your CV out to every company in the market and in a market this size, that’s not going to be great.

Dorota’s advice is to talk to people in the market and get a measure for which recruiters are good and which recruiters are not. You can cover the market with one good recruiter and more importantly, get genuinely solid advice on things like salary level. More is not merrier.

[A little note from yours truly at this point – nuclei is actually the third recruitment partner we’ve had in the Australian market and at the time of writing, we’ve partnered them for about 2 years. They genuinely are head and shoulders above the rest (and I’m not just saying that because I’m sitting in their office)]

6. “Get ready for an adventure”

“It really is an exciting market” reflects Dorota, as she sips from her gigantic smoothie. “I think a lot of people move over here for the lifestyle and are surprised by how good the market is here. I came to visit for a year, and here I still am. It’s a great place to call home.”