Chile is one of the most important economies in South America, with crucial sectors such as mining and manufacturing. Known for being prosperous, Chile continues to play an important role in globalization. It has the region’s highest human development index, as well as some of the best universities in the world.
Hiring and recruiting in Chile is pretty similar to other countries across South America and Europe. Today, most employers and companies choose to recruit via the internet by posting open roles on social media sites like LinkedIn, their website, and job boards. While some organizations use recruiting agencies, it’s not nearly as common in Chile as it is in other countries.
Whether you’re a job seeker looking for employment in Chile or an employer hiring Chilean talent for the first time, here’s a quick guide for getting started.
Business in Chile is booming, and recruiting in the country is relatively straightforward. Most employers and companies focus on internet-based recruiting resources and job boards, while some still work with brick-and-mortar recruitment agencies.
If you aren’t from Chile, it can be helpful to build your network in the country, so that you can hear about new job opportunities as soon as they become available.
Finding a job in Chile is comparable to the process of recruiting. Prospective employees can engage an employment agency's services, create profiles, post resumes on job sites, and gather information from employment pages on company websites.
Today, the two most common means of finding a job in Chile are using job boards and personal networks, otherwise known as pitutos in Chile. Many job seekers began their search on job boards, or by updating their profiles on personal networking websites. Many positions are still only advised via worth-of-mouth, so bolstering your personal network will only increase your chances of finding fulfilling work.
Something to keep in mind during your job search is language proficiency. Are you fluent in Spanish, or are you seeking a job as an English-speaking individual? Thankfully, there are many jobs available for all language levels. For example, Chile’s Craigslist site regularly lists jobs that do not require Spanish.
There are many jobs in Chile, but it’s quite the process to get hired–the main caveat is the need to obtain all the proper documentation.
If you are a Chilean citizen or permanent resident, the process is relatively straightforward. However, if you are an expat looking to get hired, you will need to apply for a temporary residence visa and complete other paperwork.
In past years, individuals were required to obtain work and residence permits, but now, all foreigners wishing to live or work in Chile must apply for a Temporary Residence Visa (TRV), which has 16 subcategories. A TRV is good for two years and may be indefinitely renewed in two-year increments. Some of the subcategories include:
Investors, managers, directors, or specialized personnel
Foreign executives or directors
To apply for a TRV, you will need the following documents:
Photocopies of a valid passport
Proof of legal status in country of residence
A color passport-size photo
Flight itinerary and reservation documentation
Hotel reservation or accommodation documentation
Three months’ worth of bank statements to prove financial stability
A Chilean work contract or job offer for a position lasting more than three months
A letter of invitation
A letter detailing reasons for traveling to Chile for work
Foreigners can apply for a TRV through the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Once the application has been processed, you'll visit the nearest Chile Consulate to get your passport stamped and to pay the application fee. Afterwards, you'll receive your visa. And to ease your mind, the Ministry handles your personal information with the utmost privacy.
The hiring process can last anywhere from 3-6 months or longer, depending on the particular field or niche. It is recommended that foreigners travel to Chile as a tourist before seriously applying; otherwise, Chilean employers may be hesitant to proceed with the interview process if you're unable to meet with them in a matter of days after being contacted.
Hiring in Chile is a complicated endeavor, and every business’ needs are unique, so determining which of the three routes to take is essential. Sometimes it is optimal for a business to outsource most or all recruiting and hiring processes.
When recruiting and hiring in Chile, an employer or business has a few options. They can use a recruiting agency to source talent, or recruit employees in-house.
Once they find the right talent, companies need to go through the process of actually hiring and onboarding their new employees. To accomplish this, companies can set up a subsidiary or entity, which can take up to 6 months. Companies that own entities can either build out an in-house HR team or partner with a professional employment organization (PEO) and enter into a co-employment model.
If you’re looking to hire employees quickly, in as little as 48 hours, then you should consider partnering with an employer of record (EOR) service like Via. An EOR handles all HR-related tasks, onboarding, background checks, payroll, benefits, compliance with Chilean Labor Laws, rules, regulations, and employee privacy. An EOR owns its entity, and is responsible for maintaining legal compliance.
Setting up a foreign entity in Chile is not required to hire Chilean employees. However, if your business or company does not possess a subsidiary or local entity in Chile, then you should work with an EOR to help guide you through the process.
If hiring in Chile seems like too much of a commitment, or your business isn’t ready to set up a subsidiary or doesn’t have the budget to hire a PEO or EOR, then hiring independent contractors may be the most financially savvy decision.
Onboarded employees are entitled to benefits, salary, and perks, and add to a business’ overall headcount. In contrast, independent contractors are not your employees; therefore, they do not receive benefits or company perks. There is no working employer-employee relationship.
The employer hires independent contractors to fulfill a short-term job, or the temporary relationship serves as a trial period before potentially bringing an independent contractor on as an employee.
The only risk with hiring contractors is misclassification. Many companies cut corners by hiring workers that should be classified as full-time employees as contractors to avoid paperwork. This approach, however, is not sustainable for long-term growth, and can lead to compliance issues, including lawsuits and fines.
Both large and small companies want to hire employees in Chile, but are unsure of how to navigate the country’s payroll and labor laws. Via makes hiring talent around the world and building your global team seamless. Our easy-to-use platform helps you manage the local HR processes for benefits, payroll, background checks, and more. We have a local team of lawyers and on-the ground experts that understand compliance as you expand abroad. Chileans have a lot of rights, including social security, and we make sure that they are treated fairly.
As your employer-of-record/entity in Chile, Via assumes responsibility for employment liability, so that you can focus on what matters: recruiting and managing your team.
With Via’s transparent pricing, you can pay full-time employees or contractors in Chile with no hidden set-up fees, no foreign exchange or transaction fees, and no minimums–start with 1 employee and scale up at your own pace.