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Guatemala Recruiting and Hiring

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Recruiting and hiring are important steps for all companies, and that includes yours no matter where you’re located. You need to find talented candidates to fill your open positions, and you have to follow Guatemala’s employment compliance laws throughout the entire process. These requirements are on top of growing your company to a new location and handling compensation, benefits, payroll, and more.

Globalization Partners offers an easier solution through Guatemala hiring outsourcing. We can source the right employees and hire them through our Employer of Record platform to work on your behalf. Our goal is to help you work smarter and faster without worrying about compliance.

Recruiting in Guatemala

As the most populous nation in Central America, Guatemala can offer you a huge candidate pool to choose from throughout your recruitment efforts. However, you’ll make more successful hires if you understand the country’s culture and work etiquette. This comprehension can help you connect and communicate effectively with potential employees. Below are three tips to follow throughout your hiring and recruiting in Guatemala.

1. Set a Business Breakfast or Lunch

While many countries focus on dinner meetings, Guatemalans prefer business breakfasts or lunches. Lunch is also the main meal of the day, usually eaten at noon. It typically includes beans, tortillas or meat along with a type of fruit or vegetable. If you plan to meet with a candidate over a meal, make sure you invite them to lunch. Businesspeople are usually punctual in the country, so make sure you arrive on time.

2. Follow the Right Direct and Indirect Communication Styles

When you first meet a candidate, shake hands and say “mucho gusto.” It’s customary for a handshake to seem limp without a firm grip. If you’re close friends with someone, you can embrace and pat each other on the back. Titles and age matter, so you should address the elderly using their titles only. Typically, people will speak softly and also talk casually before getting down to business. Keep in mind that most male guests will sit to the host’s right, while women generally sit to the left.

3. Know Spanish

In Guatemala, all official transactions are conducted in Spanish. However, more than 20 Mayan languages exist. Some of the largest Maya groups include:

  • Mam: Located in the West
  • K’iche’: Mostly in the North and west of Lake Atitlán
  • Kaqchikel: Populated from the eastern shores of Lake Atitlán to Guatemala City
  • Q’eqchi’: Located in the sierras to the north and west of Lake Izabal

While many Maya know Spanish, more Maya languages are used daily and in literature. Consider having a translator available to help you communicate with potential Maya candidates. You can also translate documents into different languages to make sure everyone in the company can read what you publish.

The Recruitment Process in Guatemala

The first step to staffing and recruiting in Guatemala is knowing where to find the right talent. More recruiters are starting to use information from social networking sites. You can also use websites with classifieds or job search engines to advertise your positions. Some local newspapers and information boards will also present your vacancies.

Some general job boards include:

  • Opcion Empleo
  • Computrabajo
  • Tecoloco
  • LinkedIn
  • Go Abroad

If you’re planning to hire English teachers, you can advertise jobs on ESL 101 and ESL employment. A common interview technique today is to use remote video interviews, which can also help you save money, especially if you’re hiring an English teacher or expat abroad.

Background Checks and Discrimination Laws

Employers do not have any specific restrictions against carrying out background checks on potential employees in this country, but the Guatemalan Constitution says you cannot use police or criminal records to restrict anyone’s right to work. If you’re working with a third party, they can carry out the background check on your behalf. If the background check involves accessing personal information that isn’t voluntarily disclosed by the applicant, however, the potential hire must provide written consent.

The Guatemalan Labor Code also prohibits any type of discrimination that would affect an individual’s access to work. You cannot discriminate against someone based on:

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Language
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Economic situation
  • Illness, including HIV/AIDS
  • Disability

If you practice any kind of discrimination while staffing your Guatemala business, you can be punished with a prison term of one to three years and a fine of 500 to 3,000 GTQ. There are greater penalties if the discrimination is based on language, culture, or ethnicity.

How to Hire Employees in Guatemala

Guatemala’s employment compliance laws require you hire employees with either a fixed- or indefinite-term employment contract. These contracts must be in writing, and you’ll need to produce three copies of each. Your employee will keep a copy, you’ll retain another, and the third will go to the Directorate General of Labor within 15 days of hiring the employee.

We recommend writing the employment contract in your employee’s local language and including important hiring terms such as compensation, benefits, entitlement and termination terms, and related factors. All salary and compensation amounts should be in quetzals instead of another currency.

Guatemala Employment Compliance Laws

Once you hire Guatemalan employees, you need to meet or exceed all employment laws. For example, Guatemala’s employment compliance laws stipulate that employees should work a 44-hour week. As an employer, you need to approve all overtime before an employee works any additional hours.

Every new employee needs to be included in your monthly report sent to social security. Employees who have never reported to social security must apply for identification and social security ID numbers. All individuals making more than $250 a month have to register with the authorities of the Social Security Institute and include their start date, social security number, salary amount, and more.

Onboarding Employees in This Country

Once employees fill out the right paperwork, you can onboard them using a process that makes the most sense for your company. You can onboard multiple employees at one time to streamline the process or work with employees one-on-one. We recommend reviewing the employment contract during the employee’s first day or week. It’s also a good idea to provide any training the employee will need to succeed in their new position.

Benefits of Guatemala Hiring Outsourcing Services

Instead of trying to learn Guatemala’s employment compliance laws and how to hire Guatemalan employees, you can reap the benefits of working with Globalization Partners. Our Guatemala hiring outsourcing services will help you start working faster and provide a better hiring experience for your employees. Plus, you can feel confident that your company will stay compliant with our experts behind you.

Work With Globalization Partners Today

At Globalization Partners, we understand how important expansion is to your company, and we’ll work hard to help you succeed. Contact us today to learn more about Guatemala hiring outsourcing.

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