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Sierra Leone Recruiting & Hiring

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Recruiting and hiring the right employees in Sierra Leone is the key to helping your business succeed. You need talented candidates to fill your open positions and the time to recruit those candidates in a country with a low population. That’s where Globalization Partners can step in. As a global PEO, we’re uniquely positioned to help you expand without the hassle of setting up a subsidiary. When you work with us, we’ll handle your payroll, hiring, compensation, benefits, and compliance, so you’ll only need to worry about growing your company.

Recruiting in Sierra Leone

You can make the staffing and recruiting processes easier by understanding Sierra Leone’s culture and work etiquette. Doing so will give you a firm foundation to interact with potential candidates and business partners. Plus, it can encourage people to choose your business over the competition and work for your company long term.

Below are three things to understand before recruiting in Sierra Leone.

1. Hierarchy

Sierra Leoneans care about their age and post, as it informs many interactions. For example, the distance you should keep from someone when talking depends on the situation and their status. During formal situations and conversations with elders, you should refrain from touching. Gestures and facial expressions are acceptable among individuals of the same social status and in any informal meeting.

Expect an individual’s voice and directness to change with different people, including during an interview. That said, persistent eye contact is a sign of disrespect, no matter the situation, especially when speaking with elders. This mentality even extends to private life — children do not look their elders in the eye.

2. Dress Code

While there aren’t specific laws related to dress, the clothes you wear will impact the respect you get at public functions. It’s best to wear something formal and not too revealing in business settings.

When you’re meeting someone for the first time, you should use their title, such as Mrs., Miss, or Madam. Younger people will call elders by their first names as a sign of respect. Keep in mind that Sierra Leoneans do not value time as much as westerners, so they may be late to meetings. Build some extra time into the interview process in case candidates do not arrive on time.

3. Languages

While the official language in the country is English, most individuals use it only in government dealings or when speaking to the media. A total of 23 languages are spoken in the country, and Kiro, Temme, Mede, and Limba are the most common. Kiro is the most widely spoken, so you may need an interpreter when you interview potential candidates. If you need an employee who can speak multiple languages, you may want to note this preference in the job description.

The Recruitment Process in Sierra Leone

With a small population of working-age individuals, Sierra Leone is a country where staffing a business can be a challenge. However, some best practices can help you find top talent. For example, in rural areas, word of mouth and referrals are the most common recruitment channels. Building a relationship-based work culture can help you look to your existing staff for referrals.

Other common channels include the following:

  • Local newspaper advertisements
  • Local employment office postings
  • Temporary employment agencies or third parties
  • Street advertisements
  • Job boards
  • Your website
  • Social media
  • Job fairs

Loosely Enforced Discrimination Laws

While Sierra Leone’s laws allow for the same status and rights for both men and women, discriminatory practices against women still exist. Women’s rights often stem from the customary law and their ethnic group’s regulations. You must ensure that you’re providing equal pay for men and women and not choosing their type of work based on gender.

The country’s laws also prohibit discrimination against individuals with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities. However, the government has not effectively implemented these laws, and people often lack access to buildings, information, and communications. Currently, work opportunities for individuals with disabilities are limited, so you may be able to bridge the gap and help with unemployment in this area.

Different ethnic groups in the country have led to strong loyalties, biases, and stereotypes. The government, armed forces, and businesses frequently factor in ethnic loyalty, leading to discrimination complaints. Make sure you follow a blind employment application process or remove these biases from the hiring process to stay compliant.

How to Hire Sierra Leone Employees

Recruitment is often a difficult task for employers in Sierra Leone since the country’s population is less than 10 million people and many are already employed in the agricultural sector. Some of the best ways to hire employees in Sierra Leone include:

  • Relying on word of mouth or referrals
  • Advertising in a local newspaper
  • Posting at the local employment office
  • Using temporary employment agencies
  • Employing street advertising
  • Using employment websites or job boards
  • Advertising on social media
  • Attending a job fair
  • Using a recruitment agency

Sierra Leone Employment Compliance Laws

Although Sierra Leone’s employment compliance laws do not mandate a written employment contract, we recommend putting one in place. The country allows fixed-term contracts for up to 12 months with the option to renew. Whether you hire an employee under a fixed-term contract or an indefinite contract, you should include everything from compensation to benefits to termination requirements. All salary and compensation amounts should be in Sierra Leonean leone instead of a foreign currency.

Once you hire employees, it’s important to note that they should work about 40 hours a week. Any work over 40 hours should get paid at an additional 50%, and work on rest days is an additional 100%.

The Best Ways to Onboard Employees

Sierra Leone employment compliance laws do not include any specific information about onboarding employees. However, you should take steps to make the onboarding experience comfortable and fast for everyone involved. Plan your new employee’s schedule out for their first week, and make sure you include any training that could help them on the job. You should also review the employment contract with your new employee on their first day to make sure all the terms and conditions are acceptable to both parties.

Benefits of Choosing Sierra Leone Hiring Outsourcing

If you’re not sure how to hire employees in Sierra Leone and want to outsource, you have two options. You can work with either a local recruitment agency or a global PEO. While a recruitment agency can help you find the right employees, they cannot handle compliance, and you’ll still be responsible for Sierra Leone employment compliance laws.

As a global PEO, Globalization Partners can recruit top talent and also take on compliance. We’ll hire employees and assign them to work on your behalf through Sierra Leone hiring outsourcing. Then, we can handle all compliance on behalf of your company to take the stress out of your expansion.

Contact Globalization Partners

Globalization Partners can help make your expansion successful. Contact us today to learn more about our Sierra Leone hiring outsourcing services.


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