Bahamas Recruiting & HiringReading Time: 4 minutes
Many people flock to the Bahamas for its gorgeous beaches, temperate climate, and various other positive features. Although there’s a large number of people searching for work, do you know exactly what type of employees you’re looking for? Recruiting and hiring talented and hardworking employees are vital to ensuring your success. Still, it’s often difficult to find the time to hire these individuals while you’re also running two company locations and handling other expansion tasks.
Globalization Partners understands the importance of hiring, especially during a global expansion. We offer Bahamas hiring outsourcing services through our PEO in the country. Instead of recruiting your own job candidates, remember that we can recruit top talent for you or onboard your preferred employees. You also won’t have to worry about Bahamas’ employment compliance because our team will shoulder all compliance for your company.
Recruiting in the Bahamas
While many think of white sandy beaches when picturing the Bahamas, the culture includes so much more. Learning the right work etiquette before you start recruiting in the Bahamas can give you a leg up over the competition, impress future employees, and demonstrate that you’re committed to preserving the country’s legacy.
If you’re working in the country for the first time, here are three things to know.
1. Wait for a Woman to Offer Her Hand
It’s normal to greet everyone with a firm and friendly handshake, but a woman will always extend her hand first. Maintain eye contact throughout the greeting process and always use professional or academic titles with the individual’s surname. If you’re interviewing someone without a title, use their honorific title and surname until you move to a first-name basis.
2. Never Poke Fun at Religion
Religion has enormous value in the country, and many events open with a prayer. Everyday speech also includes verses from the Bible. Sunday is a holy day, and you should never plan a meeting or work event for that day. Most people will wear their best clothes and attend a service on Sundays. You should always be respectful of this part of the culture to avoid alienating your employees.
3. Use Humor to Communicate
Most Bahamians have a lyrical or musical quality to how they speak, which is part of their descent from West Africa. You can expect a direct communication style, although people will often modify their language to come across as friendly instead of insensitive. Humor is an important part of communication here, so it’s OK to make a few jokes during meetings or while talking to candidates.
The Recruitment Process in the Bahamas
Staffing your business in the Bahamas can be more challenging than you think. Exemptions from corporate and income taxes are the main draws for both investors and expats. The government has some measures that support investors, but there are also concerns about competition from overseas companies. Expats may also have a difficult time finding employment, as the government supports hiring locals.
If you decide to hire a nonresident, they will need a work permit — this document allows them to work for one year and can be renewed. However, it’s difficult to get a renewal after working in the country for five or more years.
Since the country prioritizes resident employees, you’re required to advertise all vacancies locally first. If you can’t find anyone within the country, you can apply to the Immigration Board for permission to recruit outside of the Bahamas. You must obtain a certificate from the Ministry of Justice and Immigration showing that you could not find a local person for the job.
Recruiting in the country also means following the right laws so you can stay compliant. For instance, the law does not allow you to discriminate against an employee or job applicant based on race, sex, marital status, creed, political views, age, or HIV/AIDS status. This means you cannot do the following based on the aforementioned qualities:
- Refuse to offer employment
- Refuse access to a promotion
- Refuse training or other benefits
- Dismiss someone
- Pay someone less than the rate of another employee for the same kind of work
The same rule applies to individuals with disabilities unless you can show that the job requirements warrant hiring a person with a disability at a lesser rate of pay or that you cannot accommodate the person without undue hardship.
Following these requirements while staffing and recruiting in the Bahamas will ensure you don’t face any fines, and also show your commitment to creating a diverse workforce.
How to Hire Bahamas Employees
Hiring employees in the Bahamas means understanding common customs and actions. Although people are relaxed and informal, business is extremely formal, with individuals using academic titles and surnames when addressing each other. People frequently exchange business cards, and it’s important to treat the card with care — don’t bend it, put it in your pocket, or write on it.
Usually, Bahamians use a straightforward communication style but are also friendly and funny. They use a hierarchical negotiation style, and people often use meetings to discuss decisions they’ve already made instead of negotiating a yes or no. Personal relationships are important, so meetings often include conversations on personal topics unrelated to business.
Bahamas Employment Compliance Laws
Learning how to hire Bahamas employees means also learning how to write a strong employment contract. Although the Bahamas allows you to use an oral or written employment contract, we recommend using a written contract to hire employees. All contracts need to include compensation, benefits, termination requirements, working hours, and similar elements. Salary and compensation amounts need to be in Bahamian dollars to create a clear agreement between you and the employee and follow the Bahamas’ employment compliance laws.
Best Ways to Onboard Employees
At Globalization Partners, we’ll onboard your employees to our Bahamas PEO. If you expand on your own, you’ll need to find the best ways to onboard individuals after hiring Bahamas employees. We recommend having employees sign the employment contract on their first day with your company. It can also help to create a robust training program, especially if you have highly technical positions. You can either run the program through your company or enroll your employees in a third-party training program through another industry source.
Benefits of Bahamas Hiring Outsourcing
Instead of spending months learning how to hire Bahamas employees and waiting until you have a subsidiary, you can choose Bahamas hiring outsourcing with Globalization Partners. We offer many benefits, including a quick start time, no worries about compliance, and a positive hiring experience for your employees.
Learn About Our Suite of Global Expansion Services
Help your employees be productive for your company from day one. Contact us today to learn more about Bahamas hiring outsourcing.