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Costa Rica Recruiting & Hiring

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Hiring can prove difficult anywhere, but it’s even more of a challenge in a new country. You must learn Costa Rica’s employment compliance laws, find top talent, and hire the right employees who will help grow your business. You’ll need an understanding of Costa Rican workplace culture and business etiquette as well. Globalization Partners offers Costa Rica hiring outsourcing services to make your expansion easier. We will hire employees to work on your behalf and take the burden of compliance off your shoulders.

Recruiting in Costa Rica

As you begin the process of staffing and recruiting in Costa Rica, you’ll want to have an understanding of the country’s business etiquette and cultural nuances. While Costa Rican workplace culture doesn’t vary much from Western standards, you should be aware of a few important distinctions. Keep the following guidelines in mind as you begin meeting with potential hires for your international team.

1. Redefine Your Idea of Personal Space

In Costa Rica, the concept of personal space differs slightly from the norm in North America and much of Europe. Prospective employees may get closer to you than you would expect during meetings and interviews. Touching is also somewhat common during conversations with friends and acquaintances.

2. Stick to Handshakes for Greetings

In Costa Rica, well-acquainted colleagues and business associates often greet each other with a kiss on the cheek. However, you should stick to a handshake during interviews and meetings with candidates. Shake hands during your initial introduction and in subsequent gatherings. Handshakes are also common upon leaving. As your business relationship progresses, a candidate or new hire may pat you on the arm or shoulder during a handshake.

3. Start Meetings With Small Talk

In business settings, Costa Ricans typically ease into the conversation with small talk. Potential hires may see you as rude or rash if you start an interview or meeting right away. Instead, you should take some time to talk a little. Family is very important in Costa Rica, so you might steer the conversation in that direction. You could also talk about your experience traveling to the country.

4. Be Patient

Costa Ricans prefer to do business with people they genuinely like. As a result, the recruitment process will likely take longer than you may be used to. Impatience is seen as a weakness in Costa Rica. Rather than getting right to the point, you should aim for an indirect approach during staffing and recruiting.

A Look at the Recruitment Process in Costa Rica

In addition to learning about the culture in Costa Rica, you’ll need to take some time to focus on the logistics of the recruitment process. You should look into the best recruitment channels as well as the laws surrounding hiring and employment in Costa Rica.

Where to Source Talent in Costa Rica

Sourcing talent is the first step in the recruitment process. You’ll want to make sure you’re posting listings for your company’s open positions in the best places so that you can connect with the best candidates for each job.

In Costa Rica, online job boards and social networks like LinkedIn are growing in popularity as recruitment channels. Traditional networking and personal recommendations are also common. If your company is just entering the market in this country, it might be helpful for you to partner with a global PEO that already has an established presence and some connections your company can work with.

Legal Requirements During the Recruitment Process

As in many other countries, Costa Rica has a set of laws in place to prevent discrimination in the workplace. Under the Costa Rican constitution and employment laws, employers cannot make hiring or other employment decisions based on any protected characteristics, which include:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Color
  • Gender
  • Disability
  • Age
  • National origin
  • HIV-positive status

To make sure your business stays compliant with these laws throughout the process of staffing in Costa Rica, carefully consider the language you use in job postings and conversations with potential hires.

How to Hire Costa Rican Employees

If you opt to hire employees in Costa Rica on your own, you need to understand the country’s culture to communicate with job candidates effectively. Costa Ricans are typically outgoing and enjoy casual chatting. You should wait to start talking business until the associate initiates the conversation.

Prepare to deliberate over the employment contract as Costa Ricans tend not to be big risk takers. They typically avoid direct confrontation and may agree with you only out of politeness. When reviewing an employment contract, you should make sure the Costa Rican employee you’re hiring agrees with the terms.

Employment Compliance Laws in Costa Rica

In 2017, the Labor Procedure Reform (RPL) went into effect and overhauled Costa Rica’s employment compliance laws. It included information about terminating employees, initiating a strike, and litigating employment disputes. However, there are other laws to understand before hiring Costa Rican employees.

For example, you are legally required to hire employees under a strong employment contract in the local language. The contract should include everything from compensation to termination requirements. You should also put compensation amounts in colón instead of foreign currency.

How to Onboard Employees

Once you understand how to hire employees in Costa Rica, you must create a plan to onboard them. Costa Rica employment compliance laws do not include any specific ways to onboard employees, so you’re free to use a process that fits your company’s culture and needs. We recommend going over the employment contract with employees during their first day or week, in addition to any important company documents.

If possible, clear your schedule to be in Costa Rica for at least part of the onboarding process. If you cannot make it, try to find another company executive who can. Onboarding multiple employees at one time is another strategy to help streamline the process, save you time, and promote positive office relationships.

The Benefit of Costa Rica Hiring Outsourcing

Instead of learning all of Costa Rica’s employment compliance laws and hiring employees on your own, you can choose to outsource. While you can work with any outsourcing firm to hire employees, you will still be held responsible for employment compliance. Globalization Partners’ Costa Rica hiring outsourcing services are different. We hire the right employees for your company as well as handle matters of compliance as the Employer of Record.

Contact Globalization Partners Today

If you are planning an expansion to Costa Rica, you need a partner you can trust to make the process easier. Contact Globalization Partners today to learn more about how we can help you.

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