Portugal Recruiting & HiringReading Time: 4 minutes
Once you decide to expand to Portugal, you’ll next need to build a team. You’ll need to navigate the recruitment process with Portugal’s cultural nuances in mind, and then you’ll have to hire them as official members of your team, staying compliant with employment laws every step of the way. Although hiring Portugal employees may sound simple, following the country’s employment compliance laws from the start of the recruiting process to onboarding can become complicated.
Globalization Partners offers a better alternative through our Portugal hiring outsourcing services. We’ll employ members of your team on your behalf, helping you work in a few days instead of the months it can take to set up a subsidiary. We’ll then take on all the risk as the Employer of Record, allowing you to focus on your new Portugal business.
Staffing and Recruiting in Portugal
As you begin the process of recruiting new employees for your Portuguese business, you’ll definitely want to have an understanding of the country’s business etiquette and culture. Keeping the following guidelines in mind will help you make sure the recruitment process is as smooth as possible for you and your new team members.
1. Stick to Handshakes During Greetings
In social settings, the standard greeting in Portugal is a pat on the back or two kisses on the cheek. It probably goes without saying that these greetings are inappropriate in a professional setting, especially when you’re meeting an associate or potential hire for the first time. Instead, stick to offering a firm handshake when you’re introducing yourself.
2. Take Time to Build Trust
The Portuguese prefer to conduct business with people they genuinely like and feel comfortable working with. They feel that relationships are built with people, not companies. You should plan to spend time getting to know your prospective employees and building a strong connection with them. If you try to force a decision too quickly, there’s a good chance you’ll drive away an excellent candidate.
You should also avoid changing your negotiation team throughout the recruitment process. If you introduce a new person, you’ll have to begin the process again while your potential hires get to know them.
3. Expect a Relaxed Attitude Toward Time Management
In Portugal, it’s not unusual to deviate from deadlines and schedules. Punctuality is appreciated when it comes to business meetings, but running five minutes late is considered on time in many circles.
4. Schedule Face-to-Face Meetings
The Portuguese feel that sitting down to talk to someone face-to-face is a critical part of getting to know them. If you can, you should always schedule an in-person meeting or interview rather than doing business over the phone or through emails.
A Look at the Recruitment Process in Portugal
After you have an understanding of Portuguese culture and business etiquette, you’re nearly ready to begin the recruitment process. You’ll also need to consider the process from a practical standpoint.
Recruitment Strategies for Success
Utilizing the right recruitment channels can make all the difference as you build your international team. Because personal relationships are valued so highly in Portugal, many companies source talent through networking events and personal recommendations. This method of recruiting can be challenging if your business doesn’t have an established presence in Portugal yet. Your company might benefit from partnering with a global PEO that already has some connections in-country.
Online platforms are also growing in popularity as channels for recruitment in Portugal. Your company might have success reaching out to candidates on social media or posting your open positions on job boards.
Legal Compliance Throughout the Staffing Process
Your company will also need to stay compliant with Portuguese employment law as you recruit new employees for your international team. The law expressly prohibits discrimination based on the following categories:
- Gender identity
- Marital status
- Family situation
- Sexual orientation
- Economic situation
- Origin or social conditions
- Political or ideological beliefs
- Genetic heritage
- Reduced work capacity
- Affiliation with a trade union
As you can see, you’ll need to tread carefully during conversations with potential hires. Avoid asking questions about any of these protected characteristics. There’s a good chance that some of these topics will come up as you’re getting to know your prospective employees, but make sure you don’t use the information they volunteer as a part of your considerations for the hiring process.
How to Hire Employees in Portugal
To hire employees in Portugal, start by drafting a written employment contract that discusses everything from the employee’s compensation to benefits and termination requirements. Always put any compensation or benefits amounts in euros rather than a foreign currency in both the employment contract and offer letter.
Employees in Portugal are often covered under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which can outline different compliance terms. Check your specific industry for any CBAs before drafting an employment contract. Your contract must meet or exceed the expectations in the CBA.
Portugal Employment Compliance
Portugal is known for its strong employee protections. For example, the Portuguese Constitution forbids at-will employment and operates under the assumption an employment relationship is long-term. As an employer, you’ll need to understand the regulations in the Labour Code, parenthood protections, work-related accidents and sickness laws, and regulations concerning health and safety at work.
Before you hire Portugal employees, make sure to review the standard workday. Portugal employees usually work eight-hour days for 40 hours a week. Anything beyond that is considered overtime and is subject to Portugal employment compliance laws. Employees typically start at 9 a.m., take a two-hour lunch break at 1 p.m., and finish the work day from 3 to 7 p.m.
How to Onboard Employees
No standard practice is in place for onboarding employees. Instead, you can tailor the process to your business, industry, or the country you’re expanding to.
Although Portugal’s laws do not mandate an employment contract, drafting one during the hiring and recruiting process is best practice. You can go over this contract with the employee during their first day or week as a reminder of the terms you agreed on. Other onboarding tips include:
- Drafting an employee code of conduct
- Putting together any necessary training courses
- Onboarding multiple employees at the same time for a smoother process
- Making sure some representatives from the parent company are at the facility when you onboard key employees
Benefits of Portugal Hiring Outsourcing
Portugal hiring outsourcing takes the guesswork out of how to hire Portugal employees. Globalization Partners will help you recruit top talent, employ them through our established subsidiary, and assign them to work for you. As the Employer of Record, we’ll take the risk of compliance off your shoulders and onto ours.
Choose Globalization Partners
When you decide to expand to Portugal, you don’t have to do it alone. Contact Globalization Partners to learn more about our services.