Kuwait Recruiting & HiringReading Time: 4 minutes
As soon as you expand to Kuwait, you’ll probably be thinking about recruiting and hiring employees. It’s essential to find talented employees who will help your new company location grow, but it’s also important to stay compliant. If you don’t meet Kuwait’s employment compliance laws, you could face fines or other delays to starting operations.
Instead, Globalization Partners can offer you a better hiring process through Kuwait hiring outsourcing. We’ll use our existing subsidiary to recruit and hire employees we can assign to work for you, giving them a great hiring experience and the opportunity to be productive from the start. Our team can also take responsibility for all Kuwait employment compliance laws, so you can focus on building your company.
Recruiting in Kuwait
When you’re recruiting in an unfamiliar country, navigating cultural differences is often one of the biggest challenges you’ll face. A seemingly minor miscommunication could make the difference between hiring a great employee and missing out on making a connection. Before you begin the recruitment process, it’s important to spend some time learning about Kuwait’s business etiquette and culture. Consider the following guidelines as you start setting up interviews and meetings with potential hires.
1. Understand and Respect Local Religious Customs
Religion shouldn’t be a factor in any of your company’s staffing decisions, but that doesn’t mean you should completely disregard it during the recruitment process. In Kuwait, the majority of people are Muslim and religion plays a significant role in everyday life.
Keep in mind that Muslims typically don’t drink alcohol or use or consume pork products. Avoiding pork dishes during business dinners shouldn’t be a problem, as most restaurants in Kuwait do not have them on the menu. But if you plan to give a gift to a candidate or new hire, avoid any items made with leather.
You should also try not to schedule meetings or interviews around daily prayer times. Religious holidays can affect business hours as well, so it’s best to plan your trip around them if you can.
2. Greet Candidates by Shaking Hands
In Kuwait, a handshake is the most common form of greeting in a professional setting. People typically give handshakes enthusiastically as a way to show that they’re excited to meet one another or see each other again. Keep in mind, though, that when a man and a woman greet each other, the man should wait for the woman to initiate the handshake. If she doesn’t, a smile and a nod are sufficient.
3. Print Business Cards in English and Arabic
English is widely spoken in business settings in Kuwait, so you probably won’t need to hire a translator to get through meetings and interviews. Still, Arabic is the country’s official language. If you can, it’s a good idea to learn a few Arabic phrases and have your business cards printed in both languages.
A Look at the Recruitment Process in Kuwait
In addition to learning about the culture in Kuwait, you should take some time to consider the logistics of the recruitment process. Do you have a plan for sourcing talent in-country? Are you familiar with the laws your company will need to follow when you’re staffing and recruiting? If not, you might run into problems in Kuwait.
The recruitment process can vary depending on whether you choose to handle it in-house or outsource it. Recruiting in a country where your company doesn’t have an established presence may take longer than you’re used to. Instead of relying on personal recommendations, you’ll need to use job boards and advertise in local papers.
Hiring a local recruiting firm can speed up the process, but you’ll need to look out for unexpected fees. A better option for outsourcing may be partnering with a global PEO that includes recruiting and hiring services as part of their platform.
Understanding the Legal Requirements for Staffing in Kuwait
When you’re staffing and recruiting in Kuwait, it’s also important to make sure your company complies with the country’s legal requirements. Kuwait’s constitution states that every citizen has the right and duty to work. The law also states that there should be no differentiation between people based on the following grounds:
Some of these characteristics may be apparent as you get to know your prospective employees, but it’s critical to make sure they don’t factor into your company’s hiring decisions.
How to Hire Employees in Kuwait
It can help to know certain cultural factors that impact how to hire Kuwait employees. For example, people in Kuwait value relationships, but nepotism in business is common. Whenever citizens greet each other, they spend time catching up on friends, family members, and subjects of mutual interest. Kuwaitis are also known as tough negotiators and appreciate dealing with problems outside of a meeting instead of a group setting. People rarely say no, so it’s important to listen for words such as “perhaps” or “possibly.”
Other facts to note follow:
- There’s a long history of traditional Islamic values, and foreigners should respect these faith values.
- There are prison sentences for consuming, importing, brewing, and trafficking in liquor.
- Aggressive driving and using a mobile phone while driving are against the law.
- Hiring non-Kuwait nationals requires a local sponsor who will act as the Employer of Record.
Kuwait Employment Compliance Laws
Since a large portion of the population in Kuwait is made up of expatriates, you’ll have to follow a whole different set of Kuwait employment compliance laws. You’ll need to get a residency permit for one, two, or three years. The steps include determining eligibility to work through the Immigration Department, completing a work permit application and submitting it to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, obtaining a pre-entry medical visa endorsement, and more.
You also need to use an employment contract to hire employees in Kuwait — either fixed or indefinite. You need to lodge a copy of all employment contracts with the competent ministry and follow the set format. All compensation and salary amounts in a contract or offer letter need to be in Kuwaiti dinar instead of another currency.
Recommendations for Onboarding Employees
After hiring your Kuwait employees, you can choose how you want to onboard them. Generally, we recommend reviewing all employment contracts and other important documents during an employee’s first day. Then, you can provide necessary on-the-job training for their specific position. If you’re available to travel to Kuwait to meet with new employees, you should try to host a meeting with multiple new hires at once to welcome them to your company.
Benefits of Choosing Kuwait Hiring Outsourcing
Kuwait hiring outsourcing services with Globalization Partners will help you start working faster. We can use our Kuwait PEO to hire employees and assign them to work for you in as little as a day or two. We’ll also shoulder all Kuwait employment compliance, so we’ll be the ones responsible instead of you.
Why Work With Globalization Partners?
Globalization Partners will make your expansion faster and easier. Contact us today to learn more about Kuwait hiring outsourcing.