Hiring employees in Panama
If your company is planning an expansion to the Central American nation of Panama, it’s likely that part of the expansion process will involve hiring employees locally. Panama recruitment can be difficult to understand, and Panama has a unique set of employment laws and working culture to navigate.
Horizons’ global expansion experts are here to guide you through the Panama recruitment process, supporting you with custom outsourcing and consultancy to advise and manage your recruitment in Panama for you. With Horizons, you can source, hire, and onboard the best talent rapidly and compliantly, whether or not you have a Panamanian subsidiary.
Panama hiring guide
Explore some of the key information about Panama recruitment and how to hire the best talent to help with your Panama expansion.
How to find and hire employees in Panama
Panama is a small country with a modestly sized population, so it can be a challenge to source the right candidates for certain positions and you may need to hire part of your workforce from abroad. For this, foreign workers will need permission to work in the country in the form of Panama work visas.
However, Panama has laws dictating the number of foreign workers in an organization, so part of your workforce will also need to be locally sourced. To find suitable employees in Panama, the internet is a good place to start. Popular online job boards include Indeed and Opcionemploeo, among others. Also, LinkedIn and other social media platforms are popular for researching potential candidates.
To outsource your Panama recruitment, you could also hire a specialized recruitment consultancy such as Horizons to handle the work for you.
Discrimination and harassment laws for Panama recruitment
In Panama, employees are protected from discrimination from employers by law. For example, it is illegal to discriminate against employees based on their disabilities, race, gender, social status, politics, age, or religion. Also, employees are legally protected from unfair treatment and sexual harassment in the workplace and are entitled to terminate their working relationship if they are the victim of either of these things.
Onboarding staff in Panama
Onboarding methods for new employees in Panama vary from employer to employer, so it is up to you to choose what world best for you. We do recommend always having a clear, detailed, and written employment contract for every employee. You should also give new workers an opportunity to go through the contract with you and ask any questions and provide them with adequate orientation/training to ensure they settle in and can perform optimally.
Compliance for recruitment in Panama
All employees in Panama a legally entitled to certain benefits and rights, and this is written into national law. The law covers various things such as a limit on the number of working hours employees can be asked to do, a mandatory minimum amount of annual vacation leave, sick pay, and so on. You should always include these in an employee’s contract of employment to ensure clarity and to avoid disputes. For more details about employee entitlements, visit our Panama PEO page.
Employers also need to register with the Caja de Seguro Social, a government agency, and register each new employee with them in the first week of employment.