1. About BrazilBrazil
  2. Working conditions
  3. Sectors and companies that are recruiting
  4. Applying for a job
  5. Major recruitment pointers
  6. Recruitment Resources and networks

1. About Brazil

Characterized by large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil’s economy outweighs that of all other South American countries, and Brazil is expanding its presence in world markets. Since 2003, Brazil has steadily improved its macroeconomic stability, building up foreign reserves, and reducing its debt profile by shifting its debt burden toward real denominated and domestically held instruments. In 2008, Brazil became a net external creditor and two ratings agencies awarded investment grade status to its debt. After record growth in 2007 and 2008, the onset of the global financial crisis hit Brazil in September 2008. Brazil experienced two quarters of recession, as global demand for Brazil’s commodity-based exports dwindled and external credit dried up. However, Brazil was one of the first emerging markets to begin a recovery. Consumer and investor confidence revived and GDP growth returned to positive in 2010, boosted by an export recovery.

Brazil’s strong growth and high interest rates make it an attractive destination for foreign investors. Large capital inflows over the past year have contributed to the rapid appreciation of its currency and led the government to raise taxes on some foreign investments. President Dilma ROUSSEFF has pledged to retain the previous administration’s commitment to inflation targeting by the Central Bank, a floating exchange rate, and fiscal restraint.

Population: 203.4 million

GDP per inhabitant (2010): USD 10.800,-

Unemployment rate (09/10): 6.7%

2. Working conditions

Expatriates wishing to work in Brazil should find a job prior to their departure as the job market and regulations for foreign employees offer only limited job opportunities for expatriates in Brazil. Brazil has one of the largest labour forces in the world. In recent years, the number of well-trained and qualified native employees has constantly increased and the employment of foreigners has declined.

Job restrictions for foreigners in Brazil

One of the very basic conditions in order to find a job in Brazil is knowledge of the Portuguese language. English is not yet as common as in many other countries. This applies to the job market as well. Most of the information you will need in order to make a living in Brazil is only available in Portuguese. Knowing other languages will not make you stick out in the job market as many of the well trained native employees, especially in the bigger cities, are multilingual. A further limitation for foreign job seekers is that the Brazilian government seeks to protect its local labour force from foreign competition. Hence a foreigner wishing to work in Brazil has to demonstrate that his skills are unique and that the vacancy cannot be filled by a native worker. The Ministry of Labour will then analyze the applicants advantages very carefully before accepting the application. All companies in Brazil have to follow “the principle of proportionality”. This means that at least 2/3 of all employees must be Brazilians and they have to gain at least 2/3 of all paid salaries. This further limits the job perspectives for foreigners. Exceptions to this rule are only made in the agricultural sector. If you have lived in Brazil for ten years, are married to a Brazilian citizen and/or have a Brazilian born child, you are considered a Brazilian citizen and are exempt from these restrictions. Foreign certificates and academic titles are not recognized in Brazil. The respective examinations have to be repeated in Brazil – which again requires good knowledge of the Portuguese language.

Working in Brazil

As it is extremely difficult for foreign nationals to find a job in Brazil one of the few possibilities is to be transferred there by a foreign company. Get information on job perspectives in companies with branches in Brazil or multinational corporations well before leaving your home country. Also be aware that salaries can be quite low in Brazil, at least in the lower or middle level sectors. It can be very hard for expats to make a living there so the best option is to look for a job paid in a foreign currency.

Read more: Information about Working conditions in Brazil from

Legal working hours : 40.0 to 44.0 hours per week.

Length of trial / notice period: 3 months for length of trial and 30 days to 3 months for notice period.

Employment formalities: It is common that companies bring only specialized professionals, usually executives. Apart of master Portuguese, the conditions for getting a visa includes the company proving your graduation is compatible to the position you will take and that you have at least 1 year of experience in your field. The temporary V general/permanent work visa must be obtained by the Brazilian employer on behalf of a prospective employee. This is done by registering an employee/employer contract with the Ministry of Labour and Employment in Brazil . If approval is given, the application is forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brazil who will issue a visa. It takes two months to process the permit and it is valid for two years.

3. Sectors that are recruiting

Oil and Gas industries, Infrastructure, Energy, FMCG, Metal-mechanics, Information, Communication technology and Education.

Companies that are recruiting: HSBC, Carrefour, Danone, Nestlé, Robert Bosch, Aker Solutions, Bühler, Brascan, Bunge, Eli Lilly, Hochtief, Johnson & Johnson, Huhtamaki, Kraft Foods, Maflow, WEG, Wipro, Woodgrain, Metso, Positivo Informatics.

4. Applying for a job

Application documents: Motivation letter: short and clear. Do not mention your wage claim on the application form. CV in Portuguese is mandatory and, if demanded, in English as well. Internet Mail is most welcome.

Advice regarding the CV: The CV should be organized and also interesting for the selector. Maximum of 2 pages and, in rare exceptions, 3 pages. Preferably do not exceed 3 lines for each phrase. It is advisable to add educational background and information that is more relevant to your career, and on reverse chronological order, besides your competitive differentials. Ad the results you have achieved on your last jobs, as well as the companies’ sizes and structures. Put your professional goals and personal info (civil state, date of birth and number of children). You should only attach a personal picture if demanded.

5. Major recruitment pointers

Business Etiquette/knowing how to behave during interviews: You should dress formally for interviews. Shake hands if given by the recruiter, look into the eyes (not staring) and smile. Do not be surprised with some questions about family structure, leisure, personal characteristics or wage claim. Try to be clear, sincere, objective, and most of all, interested about the job.

Languages you must be able to speak: English is increasingly being used as the language of business and is also taught in most schools and universities. Portuguese is the only language of daily life. There are differences in vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese..

Flagship training: Engineer studies at technical institutes such as ITA, IME and UTFPR. For Business, HR and Finance, FGV, Dom Cabral, IBMEC and FAE are references. A good reference for Law school is USP .

Compensation&Benefits / Taxes: Fixed salary linked to educational background + experience. 4 weeks of vacation. FGTS – Severance Indemnity Fund – individual fund that, by law, each employee must possess at a bank, receiving monthly deposits of 8% of the total earnings (not deduced of the wage). Bonuses are usually linked to the position and the company’s structure. Transport and the 13th salary are mandatory benefits. Other benefits for strategic positions are car, gas, laptop, mobile, healthcare plan, life insurance, retirement funds programs, meals and share allocation plan. Tax policy: taxes are paid monthly apart from salary. There is a fix tax of 28% over the wage. Besides that, rates are linked to remuneration level between 0 to 27, 5% of the direct income, discounted on the employee’s payroll.

6. Recruitment resources and networks

Important business networking sites: (for technology related vacancies)

Where to network:
ABRH, IBEF, ADVB, Alumni and also international Chambers of Commerce.