- About Argentina
- Working conditions
- Sectors and companies that are recruiting
- Applying for a job
- Major recruitment pointers
- Recruitment Resources and networks
1. About Argentina
Argentina lives with a double Spanish and Italian heritage. As Buenos Aires styles itself as the capital of elegance, clothing should be sober and tasteful. Relationships are most often established warmly, with informality taking over very quickly. It is a good idea to inform yourself of the person you are talking to with university qualifications (doctor, ingeniero or licenciado), which should precede their name.
Argentina benefits from rich natural resources, a highly literate population, an export-oriented agricultural sector, and a diversified industrial base. Inflation increased, however, during the administration of President Nestor KIRCHNER, which responded with price restraints on businesses, as well as export taxes and restraints, and beginning in early 2007, with understating inflation data. Cristina FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER succeeded her husband as President in late 2007, and the rapid economic growth of previous years began to slow sharply the following year as government policies held back exports and the world economy fell into recession. The economy has rebounded strongly from the 2009 recession, but the government’s continued reliance on expansionary fiscal and monetary policies risks exacerbating already high inflation.
Population: 41.8 million
GDP per inhabitant (2010): USD 14.700,-
Unemployment rate (09/10): 7.9%
2. Working conditions
The Argentine workforce numbers approximately 15 million (this includes those working or actively seeking employment). About 60 percent of the workforce is male. In 2002, the unemployment rate was 15.4 percent. The unemployment rate was highest in urban areas, and in Buenos Aires it was close to 18 percent. In addition to the high unemployment level, Argentina has a significant underemployment rate.
The nation’s constitution guarantees workers the right to form unions, although union membership has steadily declined in Argentina. During the 1950s, about 50 percent of the workforce was unionized. However, by 2004, only about 35 percent of the workforce belonged to unions. For much of their modern history, unions were associated with Peron and during the early 1970s, Peronists accounted for 70 percent of union leadership. During the military regime that began in the late 1970s, the unions were purged of Peronists. Unions remain very active and in 2000 2 general, nationwide strikes virtually shut down most government and many private businesses. These strikes were in response to government labor reform laws.
Foreign companies have found Argentina’s labor market to be inflexible and expensive. Companies have to pay employees a month’s salary for each year the employee has worked in cases of lay-offs, and labor agreements often forbid the transfer of employees from location to location or from job to job. Coruption in labor and government has often resulted in foreign firms being forced to pay large bribes in order to do business. One of the most celebrated cases occurred in 1994 when IBM officials were forced to pay millions in bribes in exchange for a US$249 million contract to provide computers for the Banco de la Nacion.
The national minimum wage is US$200 per month, but most workers earn more. All Argentinean workers are entitled to an annual bonus that is equal to 1 month’s pay. This bonus is paid in 2 installments in June and December. The maximum work week is 48 hours and the maximum workday is 8 hours. Work done beyond these limitations must be paid an overtime rate of 1.5 times salary.
All workers receive annual vacation time which ranges between 14 and 35 days per year. Since 1995, average wages for Argentine workers have increased by 5 percent. Employers must contribute payments to workers’ pension and health-care plans that equal 33 percent of the worker’s salary. Individual workers make payments that equal 17 percent of their salary for these social guarantees. The retirement age is 60 for women and 65 for men. Upon retirement, workers receive a social security payment known as the “basic universal benefit.” In order to qualify, employees must have worked a minimum of 30 years. Many workers have chosen to invest in the nation’s private pension plans that pay an average of 20 percent per year more than the basic universal benefit.Women face discrimination in hiring and wages. On average, women earn about 70 percent of what their male counterparts earn in similar occupations. Only 12 percent of the executives of the nation’s largest companies are female.
Legal working hours : 48.0 hrs / week
Length of trial / notice period: When an employee terminates a contract the notice period is 15 days. When an employer terminates an employment contract, the length of notice depends on the employee’s length of service.
- 15 days when the employee has less than three months of service
- one month when the worker’s length of service is between three months and five years
- two months when the length of service is more than five years, except in small enterprises where the notice period is never more than one month.
Employment formalities: Applying for a visa for Argentina can take a lot of time. Argentina is a bureaucratic country and it is wise to start your preparations some time in advance. Applications for, among others, work or study visas have to be initiated by your employer or university in Argentina. These applications can take a long time to be processed. Expect a long delay with the authorities in Argentina. However, personal experiences with Argentinean consulates have been reported as very positive, so ask in your local consulate about possible delays. Due to the complexity of immigration in Argentina, we cannot provide detailed information for every situation. This guide will get you started. The documents that are most often asked for when applying are:
- Passport with a validity of at least 1 year after the visa is issued
- Four standard-size passport photos (4×4; preferably light blue background; ¾ profile right side)
- Certified birth certificate in an international form
- Statement of good conduct. This will normally be a transcript of your criminal record from your national police (obviously, they will be looking for a transcript that does not contain any offences on it).
- Medical statement (this form is issued by the consulate)
- Certified declaration of not having any criminal antecedents (signed in presence of consul)
- Payment of the application fee
Please take into account that regulations are subject to frequent change. Information can be obtained from Argentinean embassies, consulates, immigration offices and the Argentinean Ministry of Interior Affairs. These institutions are often overloaded with immigration requests. If your legal situation is complex consider hiring a lawyer or immigration expert to represent your interests.
3. Sectors that are recruiting
Industry (Food, Agro-business, Chemical, Laboratories, Energy, Construction), High Tech and Telecommunication, Call-Centre.
4. Applying for a job
Application documents: Regular CV and short & clear letter of motivation. To be domiciled in the country, there are legal forms and applications according to the “Employment Formalities” above.
Advice regarding the CV: Should not exceed 2-3 pages. At the top, name of the professional and other personal information, followed by work experience (anti chronological), academic grades, special skills, attended courses and spoken languages. It should continue with details of the personal life, like hobbies, sports, etc. Some indication of references complete the CV.
5. Major recruitment pointers
Business Etiquette/knowing how to behave during interviews: Before interviews, prepare well and gain information about the recruiting company. Be on time, present yourself at the best and take care of the distance to the interviewer. Furthermore, keep eye contact, pay attention to the counterpart and reply clearly and concisely to questions. At the end, ask if there are any doubts, thank the interrogator for the opportunity and offered time.
Languages you must be able to speak: Spanish, English
Flagship training: Excellent Universities for technics and engineering: Universidad Tecnológica Argentina (UTN), Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires (ITBA), Instituto de Tecnología ORT. Business schools: Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE), Universidad Torcuato di Tela, Universidad Siglo XXI (Provincia de Córdoba). Schools for science of health: Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), Universidad Favaloro, Universidad de La Plata. Architecture, social science and right: Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA).
Compensation&Benefits / Taxes: Fixed salary connected to educational background + experience. Only upper management receives annual bonuses, company cars, cell phones, laptops or other incentives depending on the position and company. Vacations are 2 weeks per year and they are increased after 5 years of seniority. Tax policy: Once per month 17% of income have to be remitted to the state. (“jubilación”: 11%; “Obra social”: 3% and “INSSJP”: 3%).
6. Recruitment resources and networks
For young graduates, there are several training forms like internships and professional practices. For professionals there are (online) networks or associations, job databases, recruitment agencies or ads in newspapers.
Where to network: For young graduates, there are several training forms like internships and professional practices. For professionals there are (online) networks or associations, job databases, recruitment agencies or ads in newspapers.