Panama Recruiting and HiringReading Time: 4 minutes
Your team is essential to your success in Panama and beyond. When you take the time to hire talented employees and onboard them successfully, you’re investing in the health of your company for years to come. However, some companies don’t have the time to deal with recruiting, hiring, and onboarding when they’re also managing many other complicated aspects of an expansion.
That’s why Globalization Partners offers Panama hiring outsourcing to companies that are ready to open a subsidiary in the country. We will recruit the right candidates for your open positions or onboard people you’ve already chosen. You won’t have to worry about compliance or the stress of hiring, as we’ll act as the Employer of Record.
Recruiting in Panama
Recruiting overseas employees can be a challenge due to a multitude of cultural differences. If your company is looking to expand through Panama staffing and recruiting, it’s important to learn the country’s business etiquette and cultural do’s and don’ts. This framework will help you to make a good impression on prospective new hires, build lasting positive connections, and avoid making any social mistakes along the way.
Ensure a smooth and seamless recruitment process by using the following guidelines when you start communicating with your candidates overseas.
1. Expect a Blend of Cultures
The country’s business etiquette blends cultural norms from both Latin America and North America. This can be confusing for some business executives, who expect one or the other. For example, you will likely be greeted with a handshake and eye contact, instead of a traditional cheek kiss. While English is widely spoken, learning some basic Spanish phrases can demonstrate effort and friendliness.
2. Use Formal Titles
Formal titles are very important in Panamian culture. Address locals directly using their professional title, if relevant. Otherwise, say Don for men and Dona for women, followed by the person’s surname. This is the cultural equivalent of calling someone “Sir” or “Mrs.,” and is a simple way to signify respect.
3. Learn Not to Prioritize Punctuality
While promptness may be a business norm in your country of residence, you should not expect the same from professionals in Panama. It is normal to arrive late for social functions and work events, as time is widely regarded to be fluid. This flexibility around punctuality stems from an emphasis on people and relationships rather than a schedule.
The Recruitment Process in Panama
As important as it is to understand cultural norms, you must consider other aspects when staffing and recruiting. While mapping out your overseas expansion, it’s crucial to think through your options for sourcing the best local talent. This includes considering which recruitment channels will work best for your needs and how to stay compliant with local laws through every stage of the process.
When it comes to staffing in Panama, you can have your in-house team manage the recruitment process from day one. This will entail posting your open positions on job boards and advertising in local newspapers. However, if you need to make hiring decisions quickly and don’t have any resources established in-country, this may not be an advisable route for your business.
Another popular option includes outsourcing the recruitment process. To do this, you can partner with either a traditional hiring agency or a global PEO, also known as an employer of record. Keep in mind that a recruitment agency won’t help you comply with local laws. Instead, you’ll be in charge of ensuring every detail of your recruiting, onboarding, and subsequent employment is legally compliant.
For this reason, many businesses decide to work with a global PEO that can act as the employer of record. This mitigates your risk and ensures you can hire the local talent you need without managing the fine print of unique in-country employment regulations.
Legal Requirements for Staffing and Recruiting in Panama
The country has several labor law specifications designed to protect the rights of local employees. When creating a recruitment and staffing strategy, keep these regulations in mind to ensure you’re advertising your position and job requirements correctly:
- According to the law, daytime employees work between 6 a.m.and 6 p.m., while nighttime workers are employed during the remaining night shift. Daytime employees who work for three or more hours during a night shift are considered nighttime workers and are eligible to earn more.
- The maximum shift for a nighttime worker is seven hours, with a maximum weekly count of 42 hours. Day shift employees can work up to eight hours with a 48-hour workweek cap.
How to Hire Panama Employees
When you’re learning how to hire Panama employees, you’ll have two options — an employment contract or an oral agreement. While Panama doesn’t stipulate a written contract for employment, the country’s labor laws do favor an employee’s version of events when it comes to disputing an oral contract. We recommend drafting a strong written contract that will create a clear agreement between you and the employee.
You must create three different employment contract copies — one for you, one for the employee, and another that will be filed with the Ministry of Labor. You can add any terms to the contract that are relevant to employment, but you should always include compensation, benefits, termination requirements, working hours, and related factors.
Panama Employment Compliance Laws
Panama’s employment compliance laws include two principal items for an employment relationship. The first is legal subordination, which is the employer’s right to control or direct the employee and the employee’s duty to obey the employer. The second is economic dependency, which is when the employee’s only source of income is from you and is financially dependent on you.
As an employer, you need to meet certain laws during and after the hiring process. For example, employers have to register with CSS within the first six days of starting operations. After registering, CSS will grant all employers an employee number. You’re responsible for ensuring that all employees are registered with social security within six days of starting work with your company.
Best Ways to Onboard Employees
Onboarding employees can be as long or short as you need it to be. Start by making sure employees sign their employment contract before they start working. Based on their previous experience, you should enroll them in a training program to help them learn about their new jobs and your company. Finally, help employees meet each other by hosting events and encouraging collaboration.
Benefits of Panama Hiring Outsourcing
Panama hiring outsourcing with Globalization Partners is the best way for you to save time during your expansion to Panama. You won’t need to worry about establishing your own subsidiary when you can instead work through our existing infrastructure. Our team will use that infrastructure to hire employees through our global PEO but assign them to work for you. Every employee will have a positive hiring experience and get to start work for your company immediately.
Why Work With Globalization Partner?
Globalization Partners is truly the partner you need for a worry-free expansion. Contact us today to learn more about Panama hiring outsourcing with our team.