Located in a Central American rainforest, Costa Rica has a powerful economy, especially relative to its small population. Sectors like tourism, agriculture, and electronics continue to be important, as well as biomedicine and sustainable energy. The country is particularly open to foreign investment and trade opportunities.
Hiring and recruiting in a new country can be a difficult process. However, Costa Rica makes it extra challenging, since the country has strong laws against filling open roles with foreigners.
In addition to having a strong employment contract, employers will need to understand Costa Rican culture before beginning the interview process, as well as how to remain complaint with discrimination laws. Businesses need to have an established entity in the country to hire, or use a global EOR service like Via.
This article will give employees some information about the hiring and recruiting process in Costa Rica, and give employers an insight into finding the best talent in the country.
One of the best ways that potential employees can find a new role in Costa Rica is through job sites.
Online job boards and social networking sites have become a great source of information for locals and foreign employees. Many Costa Rican companies post job openings for both locals and expats on LinkedIn. San José is the capital of Costa Rica, and the center of the Costa Rican job force, making it a great city to look for companies that are hiring.
It is crucial to hone in on your skills to begin your job search, so spend a day or two figuring out what assets you can bring to the table. As a foreigner, you will need to specifically prove how you are the best fit for a job.
Some of the most popular industries in Costa Rica are:
Textiles and clothing
Once job seekers learn where their skills fit into the scope of the Costa Rican job market, then they can begin the process of applying for jobs.
There is a large amount of documentation that is needed to receive a visa in the country, so foreigners looking for a job in Costa Rica need to ensure that they have a solid offer internally before they make the move to live and work here.
After beginning the job search, it is important for foreigners to familiarize themselves with the visa process. The visa process in Costa Rica can take up to 8 months, and if a foreigner is applying for a job, their employer must prove that the job cannot be filled by a Costa Rican citizen.
Make sure that you have all of the required documents completed before you travel to Costa Rica to begin the job, which includes visiting your local consulate. If you do not have them completed before arrival, your visa and permit application will be denied.
As an international company , learning the country’s culture is the best way to familiarize yourself with the hiring process. You should also familiarize yourself with all compliance laws as well as the logistics of recruiting.
Sourcing talent is the first step of hiring . Posting listings on job boards will help you find candidates. However, Costa Rican culture values networking and personal recommendations for job recruitment, so building a strong connection will also help you find talented employees. It would be helpful to go out and try to interact with potential employees a few times per week.
Costa Rica has strict laws against discrimination to prevent discrimination in the workplace.
Under the Costa Rican constitution and other employment laws, employers cannot make any hiring decisions based on:
Avoid using any of the above discriminatory language in job postings and during the interview process.
Once the hiring process begins, employers should have a strong understanding of Costa Rican culture to avoid any confusion during the hiring process. Costa Ricans are known for being outgoing and enjoy small talk, so waiting for potential employees to initiate business talk is crucial.
In addition to communicating effectively, having deliberate conversations and a strong employment contract will help avoid potential miscommunication.
Costa Ricans tend to avoid risks and direct confrontation, and may agree to terms of their contract out of politeness. When going over the employment contract, make sure that both parties clearly agree to the terms and compensation stated before making the decision to hire.
Employment contracts should be written in Spanish, as it is the country’s official language. The contract should include everything from compensation and benefits to termination. Put the salary amounts in colón and not in a foreign currency.
Ensuring that a strong employment contract is drawn up and agreed upon will protect both the employer and employee.
Many growing companies want to hire talented employees in Costa Rica, but aren’t sure about where to start in the hiring and recruiting process. Using a global EOR service like Via expedites the process and ensures that companies follow all hiring and employment laws correctly.
With Via, we help you hire, onboard, and pay remote employees across the world. As your employer-of-record abroad, we take care of the local human resources (HR) logistics, such as salary, payroll, benefits, paid leave, and tax deductions. Maintaining compliance is our responsibility. You simply focus on building your team and running your business.
To hire someone in Costa Rica, you will need to have either an entity or use a global EOR service. In addition to having an entity or using an outsourcing service, you will also need to learn about the culture, make sure foreign employees have work visas and permits, and comply with employment laws.
Yes, you can work in Costa Rica as a US citizen, but it is one of the more difficult countries to live and get hired in as a foreigner. Priority for every open role goes to Costa Rican citizens. If an employer can prove that a foreigner is needed, then you will need to begin the extensive process of obtaining a work visa and permit.
Yes, there are quite a few good job opportunities in Costa Rica. Some of the most popular jobs in Costa Rica as a foreigner are in sectors such as education (usually teaching English), food, tourism, and construction.
To work in Costa Rica, there is a large amount of required documents needed. You will first need to have an employer prove that your job can only be done by a foreigner. Next, they will need to begin the work permit process for you. Finally, you will need to fill out all of the required documentation for a work visa before you enter the country.