Greece

  1. About GreeceGreece
  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 Greece

Greece has a capitalist economy with the public sector accounting for about 40% of GDP and with per capita GDP about two-thirds that of the leading euro-zone economies. Tourism provides 15% of GDP. Immigrants make up nearly one-fifth of the work force, mainly in agricultural and unskilled jobs. Greece is a major beneficiary of EU aid, equal to about 3.3% of annual GDP. The Greek economy grew by nearly 4.0% per year between 2003 and 2007, due partly to infrastructural spending related to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and in part to an increased availability of credit, which has sustained record levels of consumer spending. But the economy went into recession in 2009 as a result of the world financial crisis, tightening credit conditions, and Athens’ failure to address a growing budget deficit, which was triggered by falling state revenues, and increased government expenditures. The economy contracted by 2% in 2009, and 4.8% in 2010. Greece violated the EU’s Growth and Stability Pact budget deficit criterion of no more than 3% of GDP from 2001 to 2006, but finally met that criterion in 2007-08, before exceeding it again in 2009, with the deficit reaching 15.4% of GDP. Austerity measures reduced the deficit to 10.5% of GDP in 2010. Public debt, inflation, and unemployment are above the euro-zone average while per capita income is below; unemployment rose to 12% in 2010. Eroding public finances, a credibility gap stemming from inaccurate and misreported statistics, and consistent underperformance on following through with reforms prompted major credit rating agencies in late 2009 to downgrade Greece’s international debt rating, and has led the country into a financial crisis. Under intense pressure by the EU and international market participants, the government has adopted a medium-term austerity program that includes cutting government spending, reducing the size of the public sector, decreasing tax evasion, reforming the health care and pension systems, and improving competitiveness through structural reforms to the labor and product markets. Athens, however, faces long-term challenges to push through unpopular reforms in the face of often vocal opposition from the country’s powerful labor unions and the general public. Greek labor unions are striking over new austerity measures, but the strikes so far have had a limited impact on the government’s will to adopt reforms. An uptick in widespread unrest, however, could challenge the government’s ability to implement reforms and meet budget targets, and could also lead to rioting or violence. In April 2010 a leading credit agency assigned Greek debt its lowest possible credit rating; in May, the International Monetary Fund and Eurozone governments provided Greece emergency short- and medium-term loans worth $147 billion so that the country could make debt repayments to creditors. In exchange for the largest bailout ever assembled, the government announced combined spending cuts and tax increases totaling $40 billion over three years, on top of the tough austerity measures already taken. Greece, however, struggled to boost revenues and cut spending to meet 2010 targets set by the EU and the IMF, especially after Eurostat – the EU’s statistical office – revised upward Greece’s deficit and debt numbers for 2009 and 2010. Greece’s lenders are calling on Athens to step up efforts in 2011 to increase tax collection, shore up public enterprises, and rein in health spending, and are planning to give Greece more time to repay its EU-IMF loan. Greece responded by introducing major structural reforms, but investors still question whether Greece can sustain fiscal efforts in the face of a bleak economic outlook and public discontent.

Read more: Information about Greece at www.cia.gov

Population: 10.8 million

GDP per inhabitant (2010): USD 29,600,-

Unemployment rate (09/10): 12.5%

2. Working conditions

Greece was hit hard by the global financial crisis and is still in recession. The erosion of public finances, inaccurate statistics, lack of adherence to reforms and public tax evasion has led to a major financial emergency. The government has adopted austerity measures which include cutting government spending, reducing the size of the public sector, decreasing tax evasion and reforming health care and pensions.

Read more: Information about Working conditions in Greece from prospects.ac.uk.

Legal working hours : 40.0 hours per week.

Length of trial / notice period: Generally there is no trial length – notice period. In cases where there is, this is about 7 to 10 months.

Employment formalities: As a member of the EU, Greece subscribes to the free movement of citizens within the Union. But a prerequisite for foreigners working in Greece is the excellent knowledge of the Greek language, except the case of top executives of multinational companies.

3. Sectors that are recruiting

No statement possible at the moment (2011/11).

Companies that are recruiting: No statement possible at the moment (2011/11).

4. Applying for a job

Application documents: 1. CV / resume in Greek and in English; 2. A letter describing personal professional goals;

Advice regarding the CV: 1. No more than two sheets for a CV (except cases where it is asked to provide details on projects for example).

2. Professional experience should be the first chapter in a cv (after personal details) and the suite of positions presented should be in a chronological reverse order. Also, nowadays in Greece it is also a must to have a very good (in many cases an excellent) knowledge of the English language, and very good PC skills.

5. Major recruitment pointers

Business Etiquette/knowing how to behave during interviews:Shake hands with recruiter, be punctual at the interview (and if for some reason you are going to be late, call them to let them know), pay attention and address to the recruiter with his last name. Also try to give the exact answer to the question asked in a few words, and avoid comprehensive answers. Before attending the interview get information on the company and the position offered if possible. If you have any questions, you can keep notes during the interview and ask them to the recruiter at the end of the interview.

Languages you must be able to speak: Greek, English.

Flagship training: The Master degrees of the Greek Universities and the Polytechnic schools. Business schools like the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB), the Piraeus University etc. Also the masters degrees from the Internationally respected American and European Universities are very much appreciated.

Compensation&Benefits / Taxes: Fixed salary connected to educational background + experience. In higher positions, benefits include car, mobile phone, laptop, pension plan, private insurance program. In higher positions there is also a bonus scheme. Tax rates are deducted monthly from the salary and they are linked to the remuneration level, from 0% to 40% of total income. Four to five weeks vacation period per year depending on how many years someone is registered at the social security service.

6. Recruitment resources and networks

Important business networking sites:
www.linkedIn.com
www.xing.com
www.kariera.gr
Organismos Apascholisis Ergatikou Dynamikou (OAED)
Consular Committee for Employment and Professional Training (C.C.E.F.P.)
www.skywalker.gr

Where to network:
For young graduates, the recruitment offices of the universities, the municipalities, and other public organizations. Also, the “career days” organized by private firms. For the others : professional networks or associations, recruitment agencies and executive search firms, ads in newspapers and jobsites.