How HR3 is attracting new I.T recruits during the current skills shortages.
Due to the shortage of local I.T graduates, HR3 recently hired two international post-graduate students to expand their development team. Here’s their stories.
HR3 recently hired two international postgraduates - Monika Vishnoi and Dongyang Chen - into junior business analyst and software development roles in the business. After each successfully completed their Professional Year Program and an 11-week internship with HR3, it was easy to see the value they could add.
For employers facing skills shortages in areas like accounting, computer science and engineering, the Professional Year Program presents an opportunity to source graduates with genuine commercial experience as well as the qualifications, skills and passion for work they are looking for when they recruit.
But what stories do candidates like Monika and Dongyang bring to the workplace, and what are their challenges and opportunities? HR3 sat down with them to get their feedback on working in Australia.
Monika Vishnoi, Junior Business Analyst
Where did you grow up? New Delhi, India
How long have you lived in Australia? My husband and I arrived in Australia in 2015 - almost four years ago now. We lived in Brisbane at first, then moved to Melbourne about one and a half years ago.
What did you study? I enrolled at the University of Queensland in a Masters program majoring in accounting and information systems. It has been my dream to become a business analyst.
Why did you undertake the Professional Year Program?There were two reasons. One was that it was important to me because it contributed points towards Permanent Residency in Australia. The other is that, while it was not 100 per cent sure you would get a job, the chances are higher.
What was your internship with HR3 like? I was trained in the HR3 product and learned many things – how it works, what it is - during my internship. I sat in training sessions in the office, and later interacted with clients by email and phone. It gave me real-time experience working in an Australian work culture.
How did you feel when you were offered a full-time job? I said ‘yes’ immediately. I still remember my interview with Rick [Verloop]. He told me HR3 likes to support people who have a passion for something, and I was passionate about being a business analyst. It’s been an important and life-changing experience for me.
What’s been the most challenging part of working in Australia? When I joined HR3 I had a baby that was just 11 weeks old. I was attending classes for the Professional Year Program from two weeks after giving birth, otherwise I would have had to delay the program. During the internship I worked Monday to Thursday, with a lot of help from my mother-in-law. When I was offered the full-time job, I started the very next week.
That sounds really tough. Why was it so important to you? I always wanted to be a business analyst, but I couldn’t figure out how it was going to happen in a country where I had no official work experience. I had volunteered during my first few years in several organisations doing things like admin, accounting and fundraising, but not all employers recognise volunteer experience.
How have you managed since you got the job? When my son was six and a half months old, we made the difficult decision of sending him back to India with his grandparents. We’ve been apart for over four months now. We knew that because we were working full-time we couldn’t give time to the baby, and we couldn’t send him to childcare because of monetary reasons and because we didn’t have the courage to send him.
This opportunity must be very important to you?That was the primary reason. After getting a job after too many years of struggle and sacrifice this was the time when I couldn’t say no. It was important for both me and my family. We are still not sure when he’ll be back – when the time is right we’d like to call the entire family back. We miss him a lot but we’re not worried about his safety, we’re happy he’s in very safe hands.
What would you say about work at HR3? I feel very fortunate to be working at HR3 because of the experience I have working here and the working environment.The people here are very cooperative and make you feel comfortable and welcome. Since my internship they’ve always made me feel part of the family, they are very encouraging and motivating, and if you have any questions someone is always there to help.
Dongyang Chen - Junior Software Developer.
Where did you grow up? Beijing, China
When and why did you come to Australia? I came in 2015, and the main reason was the pollution in Beijing. Some people don’t worry, but there was a time when I was sick for two or three months, and every winter it’s a big problem. I studied engineering in Chongqing, and the pollution there was also not great either. Australia interested me not only because of the weather but also because Melbourne offered a great lifestyle. As I majored in IT in my last semester, I had an opportunity to come to Australia to learn IT, so that’s what I did.
Where did you study? I studied IT at Monash University as a post-graduate student.
Has Australia been challenging for you? In high school and as an undergraduate I didn’t study English very well - just to pass the exam. I didn’t think I’d be going to Australia in the future. When I arrived, I joined an English bridging class, and it was very hard to understand the lecturer. The other challenge was the lack of public transport on weekends compared to China!
Why did you undertake The Professional Year Program? Because my major was in IT, I had to do the Professional Year Program - it is a requirement of the Australian Computer Society. I also found an opportunity to get a fee discount through my agent, so I decided to go ahead and do it.
How was the internship? I interned as a web developer - andthere was a lot to learn. During my internship I learned a lot about design thanks to my mentor and team leader Bill, and I’m still learning from him now. These were things I couldn’t learn at university – I feel like I’m learning a lot and making good progress.
How is your full-time role going? Great.I’m moving towards becoming a more general developer now. I’m learning a lot of foundational things – like comparing different development languages - and also getting a great opportunity to work on the desktop version of HR3. I think it’s a really great opportunity.
What’s HR3’s culture been like? It’s a really good company. The culture is good - we have table tennis, and I play sometimes. I like that HR3 provides flexible working time, and while I don’t use that at all, our senior developers can choose to start early and get off work early if they need to. It’s also nice we have social events – the next one is our Christmas function – which are great for getting to know co-workers.
What do you hope to do in future? One day I would like to start my own business. But first, I want to have the ability to be a team leader – I think that’s important. Not just be a programmer – I think I need to have the ability to manage a project. The first thing is learning, and I have a good opportunity to progress in HR3.