Request a ProposalDownloadShare

Serbia Recruiting & Hiring

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Hiring the right individuals in Serbia can make all the difference in the success of your new location. To do so, you’ll need to understand the workplace culture and business etiquette in Serbia as well as the laws surrounding staffing, recruiting, and employment. However, establishing a subsidiary first presents challenges to the hiring process. It can take weeks or months to incorporate before you can hire, leading talented candidates to look elsewhere for new positions. 

Globalization Partners changes the process through our Serbia hiring outsourcing services. We will hire employees to work on your behalf through our established subsidiary, and get you started in a few days instead of a few weeks.

Recruiting in Serbia

As you start setting up meetings and interviews with prospective employees in Serbia, remember that culture and business etiquette overseas may differ from what you’re used to in your country of residence. If you’re not careful, a slight misunderstanding could cause your company to miss out on a talented employee. The following tips should prove useful as you embark on the process of recruiting and staffing in Serbia.

1. Understand the Protocol for Greetings

Greetings in Serbia do not vary too much from the norm in Western countries. When you meet a potential hire, introduce yourself with a firm handshake, making direct eye contact. You should shake hands again at the end of the meeting or interview.

If you’re meeting with more than one person at a time, it’s important to shake hands with everyone present. Be sure to shake hands with the women in the room before moving on to the men. Plan to exchange business cards during your initial meetings with prospective employees as well.

2. Dress Conservatively

In Serbia, typical business attire is relatively formal and conservative. Both men and women usually wear suits in dark colors. Women sometimes wear skirts or dresses instead of suits, but they tend to stick to a dark color palette and avoid loud patterns.

3. Avoid Scheduling Meetings and Interviews Around Holidays

Serbia celebrates seven national holidays, and you should take care to avoid scheduling meetings or interviews on those days. While many of the holidays observed in Serbia are the same as those you likely celebrate in your country, be mindful of the dates. For example, Serbians begin their Easter celebrations on Good Friday and continue through the Monday following Easter.

In addition to avoiding national holidays, you should try not to schedule meetings or interviews during July and August. Many Serbians go on vacation during these months, and business tends to slow down a bit.

What Is the Recruitment Process in Serbia Like?

Understanding the cultural nuances of Serbia can go a long way toward ensuring a smooth recruitment process for you and your international team members. However, there’s more to recruitment than culture and business etiquette. You should also spend some time familiarizing yourself with the more technical aspects of the recruitment process, including your legal responsibilities as the employer. Non-compliance can result in costly setbacks and fees for your business, so it’s essential for you to understand the relevant laws.

Legal Requirements During the Recruitment Process

Like many other countries, Serbia has a set of laws in place to protect employees from discrimination during the staffing and recruiting process and beyond. Under the Labor Law in Serbia, employers cannot discriminate against workers or potential hires based on the following characteristics:

  • Birth
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Language
  • Skin color
  • Health condition
  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Marital status
  • Social background
  • Religion
  • Invalidity
  • Nationality
  • Sexual orientation
  • Family commitments
  • Political or other beliefs
  • Financial capability
  • Membership in political organizations or labor unions
  • Other personal predispositions

With such a comprehensive list of protected characteristics in place, it’s important for you to be mindful of the language you use when you’re communicating with prospective employees in Serbia. Don’t list any traits in your job postings unless they are true requirements for the position. You should also think carefully about the questions you ask during interviews — even in casual conversation.

How to Hire Serbian Employees

Hiring the right employees begins with cultural understanding. Most business people in Serbia are well-educated and speak English. They value relationships with partners who establish a local presence in the community. Businesses are usually hierarchical, so you need to negotiate with people who have the power to make an agreement.

In 2014, Serbia passed legislation making it easier to conduct business and build the economy. Since then, employers can hire and fire employees faster.

Serbian Employment Compliance Laws

You must follow Serbia’s employment compliance laws from start to finish. The country’s new labor laws allow fixed-term contracts up to 24 months with the option to extend for 36 months, the length of the project, or the entire length of the employee’s remaining service if they are within five years of retirement.

Serbia requires you to draft fixed-term and indefinite term contracts in the local language every time you hire an employee. The contract should spell out the terms of an employee’s compensation, benefits, and termination requirements. Make sure all compensation amounts are in dinar instead of another currency.

How to Onboard Employees in Serbia

Companies in Serbia are free to onboard employees in the way they see fit. Although Serbia’s employment compliance laws do not stipulate one way to onboard employees, you can take a few steps to help employees feel more comfortable. We recommend reading over the employment contract with the employees during their first day or week and reviewing any company policies that would impact their position.

Benefits of Serbia Hiring Outsourcing

Choosing to outsource your Serbia hiring can help you realize more benefits sooner. You could work with a recruitment agency, or you can work with a global PEO such as Globalization Partners. We use our Employer of Record platform to hire Serbian employees on your behalf and handle all payroll compliance. Our goal is to make your expansion as easy as possible and take the stress of compliance off your shoulders.

Choose Globalization Partners

When you work with Globalization Partners, we’ll use our Serbia hiring outsourcing services to streamline your hiring process. Contact us today to learn more about how we can make your expansion to Serbia easier.

Download this content in PDF