Publication Details

Almeida, S. & Bertone, S. (2013). The influence of regional community characteristics on employer recruitment decision making. Fifth International Community, Work and Family Conference (pp. 1-1). Sydney, Australia: University of Sydney.

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International Community, Work and Family Conference


The Question/Problem: A significant proportion of permanent skilled immigrants in Australia remain underemployed in the labour market relative to their skill sets. Scholarly work attempting to identify the causes of this underemployment of immigrant professionals has tended to focus on immigrants' human capital deficits such as overseas qualifications (Hawthorne, 1994; Productivity Commission Research Report, 2006), overseas based work experiences (Aydemir & Skuterud, 2004; Bauder & Cameron, 2002), and lack of proficiency in English language (Birrell, Hawthorne, & Richardson, 2006; Shields & Wheatley-Price, 2002). Yet other literature suggests that skill utilisation of immigrant professionals can depend on employers - on their values, social conventions, information exchange and awareness in relation to new immigrant skills and on the operation of social networks that may facilitate and impede immigrant access to employment (McAllister & Moore, 1989; Evans & Kelley, 1991; Bauder & Cameron, 2002; Tubergen, Maas & Flap, 2004; Productivity Commission Research Report, 2006; Markus, 2009). Surprisingly, little is known of the role of employers in this process and the social context in which employers operate. We report the findings from a study examining how regional community characteristics and the issue of trust influence employer screening of immigrant professionals.

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