Becoming an Immigration/GRC Thought Leader


What is a thought leader?

Thought leaders are trusted resources for others in their space. They formulate and promote ‘big ideas’ that respond to ‘big questions’, becoming the hub around which conversations about important issues take place. They take a principled stand, sharing experiences and insights in the hope of influencing and transforming behaviour in their industry. They may court controversy by challenging longstanding beliefs and practices and charting a new path forward.

In general, a thought leader is a good thing to be! It increases the credibility and visibility of your brand and builds trust in your business.

How to become an immigration/GRC thought leader

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing border restrictions are making the importance of immigration to the Australian economy increasingly clear. From Student/Working Holiday visa holders in retail, hospitality, and agriculture, to 482 TSS visa holders in engineering, IT, and healthcare, Australian businesses rely on immigration.

However, recognition of the importance of immigration governance, risk, and compliance among Australian employers has thus far been sadly lacking. There remains substantial room for thought leadership in this space.

‘Thought leader’ isn’t a title you can bestow upon yourself. It’s something to aspire to, a title your peers may attribute to you if you prove yourself worthy. However, there are certain foundational elements that you need to get right before you can work on becoming a GRC thought leader.

  1. Know your business and its environment.

How well do you really know your business?

To become a GRC thought leader, you need a detailed understanding of every aspect of your business and its social and legal environment. Since both your business and its environment are constantly evolving, maintaining this understanding must be an ongoing effort.

Immigration intersects with many elements of your business and its GRC systems, including workplace entitlements, employment law obligations, supply chain management processes, and your overall business strategy. A thought leader considers the implications of any business or environmental change for GRC, including the interaction of all these elements.  

Key actions should include:

  • Attending industry events, training, and information sessions to stay up to date on regulatory changes, industry trends, and best practices.
  • Recording, analysing, and reporting on relevant internal immigration and workforce data.
  • Conducting regular, comprehensive self-audits to assess your immigration risk and compliance position and its trajectory.
  • Make a sincere commitment to GRC.

Thought leaders are authentically committed to societal progress. They’re in it for the long haul, not just to turn a quick profit. To become a GRC thought leader, you need to make a sincere commitment to balancing purpose and profit in your business through ongoing attention to ESG and your general social licence.

This may involve:

  • Implementing immigration policies that recognise and manage risk.
  • Establishing and maintaining transparency and accountability across your business, including internal immigration policy and process ownership.
  • Placing appropriate controls on associated entities, contractors, subcontractors, and other key parties.
  • Resource GRC appropriately.

Making a sincere commitment to GRC means putting your money where your mouth is. To have a genuine impact, the governance, risk, and compliance areas of your business must be properly funded, staffed, trained, and equipped. They must have equal or greater status than your directly profit-generating teams.

Some basic measures could include:

  • Training your HR, legal, executive, and other relevant teams in critical areas of immigration and workplace law.
  • Ensuring employee skills remain up to date with regular compliance certification.
  • Implementing relevant workforce and compliance management technology.
  • Review your business model.

In the immigration space, GRC requires more than simply creating and communicating rules about visa restrictions. To become a thought leader, you must consider whether your business model, strategy, and practices promote strong governance, risk management, and compliance. A GRC regime that appears strong on paper can quickly fail in practice if your business model militates against immigration compliance.

The right compliance software can be indispensable in creating these foundations for thought leadership in the immigration space. For example, a strong end-to-end compliance management platform can:

  • Provide model immigration policies, template letters, and employment contracts.
  • Facilitate immigration data tracking and reporting.
  • Offer access to immigration training resources.
  • Facilitate automated compliance processes.

Complize offers a suite of workforce management, online training, and knowledge base tools to support your path to thought leadership in immigration governance, risk, and compliance.

Contact us today to arrange a free demonstration.

Authors: Kylie Lacey & Jackson Taylor

Kylie Lacey, Regulatory Compliance Consultant.
Kylie is completing her PhD in Political Science at the University of Western Australia, where her doctoral thesis focuses on regulatory compliance, CSR, and business ethics in the Australian banking sector.

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