How does the UK market really compare to Australia?

Neil Middlemass

By news

Over the last couple of weeks we had a special guest working with us in the office. Our recruitment partner Neil from Neil’s Recruitment was sharing our desks, accompanying us to our client meetings and inviting us to others.

Towards the end of his visit we sat down in the O bar (a cool restaurant with a 360 view of Sydney) and talked about how much you could really find out the industry and Australian culture within two weeks. Here are the key findings:

1. The market isn’t behind at all

We’re often asked whether the Australian market is behind and as digital recruiters we try to deal with these misinformed perceptions by educating on the real state of the market. The misconceptions relate to overseas candidates “deserving” better pay or more senior jobs and are difficult to deal with. It was interesting to see Neil’s journey from thinking that the demand for UK candidates is high to realising the market isn’t that different.

2. The market is developing and growing

It was great to hear how exciting and progressive the market is. It was inspiring to hear the stories about unlimited opportunities and progressive accounts.

We all know that the Australian population is significantly smaller than America and the UK and therefore it’s a little harder to justify in-house digital specialists, but this creates opportunities.

Population, landmass and established buying habits all contribute to mean that ecommerce is a little behind at the moment, but it probably won’t be for too much longer – change is already occurring on this front with foreign retailers piling in to invest in the Australian market and upping their game.

3. The market is hungry, but not completely ridiculous

The Australian market is starting to mature a little, which means that employers will only really invest in certain types of candidates. In terms of sponsorship, getting a visa is not such a complex process if you are meeting the requirements. If you want to be taken seriously and compete with local candidates show the commitment and do your homework.

4. Life is great in Australia

Although some may complain about Sydney being ridiculously expensive, while they wake up on the beach and live in the most expensive locations in the world, we’ve already mentioned it was not as crazy as people thought. At the end of the day you live in the best place in the world!

5. Promising future

We know the market is changing, more investment is coming our way and ecommerce is growing. The majority of the expats, including myself, are now calling Australia home. So this land is our future.


And what did Neil learn personally?

  • Working hours seem to be a little more under control, work life balance seems important
  • The Sydney city centre feels small and easy to navigate
  • Everyone here seem active, goes to gym daily, eats healthily (it was great to join a bootcamp session and do an outdoor workout with 70 other people)
  • The English accent is pretty common and you feel like you are one of them
  • There is so much to see and do around Sydney, not just as a tourist
  • Australia feels a little like America, but different (I reckon he meant better ;-))
  • Got an idea of what it would be like to live here and liked it

“People come here for lifestyle”, Neil mentioned while looking over Sydney Harbour Bridge “and then realise it’s a great market, fantastic career opportunity. I’m not surprised they want to stay here”.


I certainly hope Neil has fallen in love with the place. I’ve gained a new friend and hope he’ll be back.


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