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Saudi Arabia Recruiting & Hiring

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One of the most difficult parts of any expansion is finding the right people to work for your company. As you begin the process of recruiting talent in Saudi Arabia, you’ll need to understand the country’s culture and business etiquette. Even if you’re ready to hire employees in Saudi Arabia, you have to wait until you’ve established a subsidiary in the country. If this process takes several months, you could lose valuable talent to other open positions.

Globalization Partners helps take the stress out of the hiring process with an Employer of Record platform. We can hire employees on your behalf and get you set up in Saudi Arabia in a matter of days. As a result, instead of worrying about Saudi Arabia employment compliance, you can focus on growing your company.

Recruiting in Saudi Arabia

Bridging the gap between cultures is one of the most challenging aspects of doing business internationally. As you begin recruiting in Saudi Arabia, you’ll find that an understanding of the country’s business etiquette can go a long way toward ensuring that the process is as smooth as possible for you and your new employees. Keep the following guidelines in mind as you begin the process of staffing in Saudi Arabia.

1. Plan for Lengthy Business Meetings

While you should always plan to arrive at business meetings on time, you should know that Saudi Arabian meetings sometimes start late and often run over their scheduled time. Saudi Arabians like to take their time when they’re getting to know their business partners. You should plan accordingly and avoid scheduling back-to-back meetings or interviews.

2. Exchange Business Cards

Saudi Arabians typically exchange business cards at the start of a meeting or interview. When a candidate gives you their business card, take a few moments to study it and then place it on the table in front of you. Putting the card into a pocket or briefcase without looking at it will come across as inconsiderate, which can be off-putting to prospective employees.

You should also plan to give your business card to any candidates you meet in Saudi Arabia. Printing your card in English on one side and Arabic on the other is a nice gesture as well.

3. Be Mindful of Body Language

Many of the gestures you make without thinking might be considered rude in Saudi Arabia. For example, you should avoid crossing your legs during meetings. The sole of the foot is deemed unclean in the country, so it’s impolite to show it directly to another person. The left hand is also seen as unclean, so you should always accept things and make gestures with your right hand instead.

4. Understand the Etiquette for Greetings

In Saudi Arabia, men shake hands when they greet each other. If you’re in a meeting with multiple people, you should take the time to give each one a handshake before sitting down.

Traditionally, men and women do not shake hands or greet each other publicly in Saudi Arabia. However, as more women have joined the workforce, the custom has changed in some cases. Men should wait to see how women greet them and respond appropriately.

If you can, you should also try to learn a few Arabic greetings for meetings and interviews with potential hires.

What Is the Recruitment Process in Saudi Arabia Like?

Understanding Saudi Arabian culture is important as you start the process of staffing overseas, but you should also take care to understand some of the more practical aspects of recruiting. You’ll want to make sure you’re advertising your open positions through the best channels to reach talented employees. You’ll also need to make sure your business complies with anti-discrimination laws during the recruitment process in the country.

In Saudi Arabia, many companies do the majority of their recruiting through referrals and word of mouth. This method will be a challenge if your company doesn’t have an established presence in Saudi Arabia yet, but you might choose to partner with a global PEO that already has some established contacts. Online job listings and social media can also be useful tools during the recruitment process.

Under Saudi Arabian law, citizens are protected from discrimination based on sex, age, or disability. The law specifically forbids discrimination during the performance of work as well as in job advertisements and the hiring process. To stay compliant, you should make sure you avoid mentioning traits in job postings unless they are legitimate requirements for the position. For example, you should avoid phrases like “recent graduate,” “young and dynamic team,” and “seasoned and highly qualified.”

How to Hire Saudi Arabia Employees

Saudi Arabia has certain laws and regulations that dictate how to hire employees. The country requires every worker to have an employment contract that outlines local labor law standards in both Arabic and English. Globalization Partners recommends a written employment contract that includes compensation, benefits, and termination terms.

Saudi Arabia Employment Compliance Laws

One Saudi Arabia employment compliance regulation to be aware of is a policy called “Saudization.” This national policy encourages companies to hire Saudi nationals or expatriate workers, making it difficult to get new work permits for employees from other countries. It’s easier to recruit Saudi employees with an Iqama or resident work permit than to try to sponsor visas.

As of 2021, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development in Saudi Arabia has announced that it will set aside 20% of private sector engineering positions for Saudi nationals as part of Saudization. This policy applies to all private sector employers with five or more employees in engineering professions.

Globalization Partners can take care of hiring Saudi Arabia employees by recruiting local employees and assigning them to your company. From handling local compliance laws to drafting an employment contract, we’ll make sure you’re always meeting Saudi Arabia labor laws while growing your company.

How to Onboard Employees

While there is not a mandated process for onboarding employees, some common business practices in Saudi Arabia can help new employees feel comfortable working for your company. Saudis value personal interaction and believe in establishing a good relationship before negotiating any agreements. You can expect small talk during meetings, as well as frequent interruptions that seem off-topic. This time offers a great chance to start an employer-employee relationship off on the right foot by getting to know employees well before negotiating an employment contract.

Benefits of Saudi Arabia Hiring Outsourcing

There are several benefits of Saudi Arabia hiring outsourcing, especially when working with Globalization Partners. First, you can save time by letting us hire your Saudi Arabia employees so that you don’t have to travel back and forth as frequently. You can also get to work faster. Globalization Partners will act as the Employer of Record, so you won’t have to establish a subsidiary before hiring employees. We can help you meet all Saudi Arabia employment compliance laws and start working in a few days instead of a few months.

Let Globalization Partners Help You Hire Saudi Arabia Employees

Globalization Partners will take the burden of compliance off your shoulders. We’ll hire talented Saudi Arabia employees, make sure you’re compliant, and help your company grow. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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