Colombia Recruiting & HiringReading Time: 4 minutes
You need to put together a strong team in Colombia to establish your business. However, recruiting and employing Colombian workers also means meeting all employment laws to stay compliant. Here is everything you need to know about the employee hiring process and choosing to outsource.
Recruiting in Colombia
A strong Colombia recruiting process means you need to know the local customs and culture. The country’s business culture varies depending on where you are. For example, Bogotá and Medellín tend to emphasize more formal business similar to countries in Europe, while smaller cities such as Cali have more informal business practices. However, one commonality between all cities is that personal relationships are essential to establishing a successful business relationship.
1. Meeting and Greeting
When you first meet a candidate, start with a long, firm handshake with strong eye contact. Smile, and ask candidates how they are or how things are going. Colombians care that visitors have a positive impression of their country, so if you are visiting, they will likely ask you if it’s what you imagined.
If you’re meeting a woman, you can either shake hands or kiss her on the right cheek. If you’ve already met and built a relationship, a kiss on the right cheek is considered the proper greeting. You should repeat the handshake or kiss when you leave.
It’s common to start arranging meetings about two weeks before the set date. However, don’t be surprised if an interview or meeting remains unconfirmed until closer to the visit. Meetings can frequently change, so we recommend confirming a day before the scheduled start.
While it’s customary to negotiate employment over a meal in some cultures, Colombians would rather do detailed business negotiations in an office. Locals are also flexible and adaptable, and they will want to know you personally before agreeing to business. However, there are times Colombians will take a direct approach to negotiations, especially with prices.
Nearly all Colombians speak Spanish, with a few indigenous groups speaking regional dialects. If you don’t speak Spanish, it’s best to bring a translator with you. While you can manage with limited Spanish in some tourist-friendly areas, idioms and regional dialects can prove to be challenging, especially when entering into an employment relationship.
The Recruitment Process in Colombia
Staffing and recruiting in Colombia are complicated tasks that often rely on who you know rather than what you know. Recruiting in the country leans heavily on recommendations, which can also help you save on recruiting costs. If you end up hiring a candidate you like, encourage them to have their friends apply. Recommendations are a great way to fill your open positions, especially in sectors such as services, sales, and production.
If you decide to use job boards when recruiting employees in Colombia, you will usually need to include the salary. Job boards highlight pay and may allow searchers to filter jobs by wage. Showcasing a competitive salary will help you attract more jobseekers and move your position to the top of the search.
One great place to find talent is at Colombian universities. As these are some of the best educational institutions in Latin America, you can find talented candidates roaming the campus. Some schools, such as Los Andes University and the University of Antioquia are known for engineering, business, medicine, and agriculture.
Laws Related to Recruiting
While staffing your Colombia business, you must follow the correct recruiting laws. For example, you cannot perform any kind of background check that could be considered discriminatory unless you have objective justification. This policy bars HIV tests, pregnancy tests, and evaluations of diseases or disabilities.
You also cannot ask any discriminatory questions. For example, do not ask a candidate about their age, sexual orientation, civil status, or political opinions. It’s important that you don’t request any background tests as a condition for their application unless the employee’s circumstances make them incompatible with the position they applied for.
How to Hire Employees in Colombia
Hiring in Colombia starts with creating a written employment contract and offer letter. Make sure you include an outline of an employee’s probationary period and put the salary and compensation amounts in Colombian pesos.
Probationary periods in Columbia are two months maximum for undefined term contracts and fixed-term contracts between one and three years. For fixed-term contracts outlining less than one year of work, the probationary period cannot be more than one-fifth of the agreed term.
Colombia Employment Compliance
The three regulations that handle Colombia employment compliance are the Constitution, the Substantive Labour Code, and the Social Security Regime. The maximum amount of hours an employee can work per week is 48, either Monday through Friday or Monday through Saturday. Your employees cannot work more than two extra hours each day or 12 extra hours each week. For each extra hour an employee works, they receive an additional 25% of their salary on top of their base pay or 75% more if they work on Sundays or holidays.
Employers in Colombia typically pay their employees monthly. More casual employees are paid weekly. Colombia employment compliance also mandates that you give employees a payslip and that they get a minimum wage of 828,116 Pesos each month.
How to Onboard Employees
Once you set up your subsidiary and hire Colombian employees, you’ll need a streamlined process through which to onboard them. While there is no right or wrong way to onboard employees, it is best to start by going over the terms of the employment contract. You can also mention areas such as dress code, working hours, and code of conduct expectations.
Although it might require extensive travel time, try to fly back and forth to Colombia throughout the hiring process to create a bond with your new hires. You can also send another person from management to Colombia for a new hire’s first day.
Benefits of Colombia Hiring Outsourcing
Choosing Globalization Partners for your Colombia hiring outsourcing offers multiple benefits. First, we’ll help you find the top talent that will grow your subsidiary. Finding the best workers is especially crucial to get a new business in a new country off the ground.
You’ll also need extensive knowledge of Colombian employment compliance to pay employees on time and make sure you are within every law. If you do not have the time or money to learn these ins and outs, Globalization Partners can help. We act as the Employer of Record, hiring employees on your behalf and assuming the risk. Our wealth of knowledge ensures your subsidiary will always be compliant.
Partner With Globalization Partners
If you are ready to hire employees in Colombia, contact Globalization Partners today. We’ll help you get the top talent you need and make sure your subsidiary succeeds.