1. About Portugal
  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 Portugal

Portugal has become a diversified and increasingly service-based economy since joining the European Community – the EU’s predecessor – in 1986. Over the past two decades, successive governments have privatized many state-controlled firms and liberalized key areas of the economy, including the financial and telecommunications sectors. The country qualified for the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in 1998 and began circulating the euro on 1 January 2002 along with 11 other EU members. The economy had grown by more than the EU average for much of the 1990s, but fell back in 2001-08, and contracted 2.6% in 2009, before growing 1% in 2010. GDP per capita stands at roughly two-thirds of the EU-27 average. A poor educational system and a rigid labor market have been obstacles to greater productivity and growth. Portugal also has been increasingly overshadowed by lower-cost producers in Central Europe and Asia as a destination for foreign direct investment. Portugal’s low competitiveness, low growth prospects, and high levels of public debt have made it vulnerable to bond market turbulence. The government is implementing austerity measures, including a 5% public salary cut which went into effect on January 1, 2011 and a 2% increase in the value-added tax, to reduce the budget deficit from 9.3% of GDP in 2009 to 4.6% in 2011, but some investors have expressed concern about the government’s ability to achieve these targets and cover its sovereign debt. Without the option for stimulus measures, the government is focusing instead on boosting exports and implementing labor market reforms to try to raise GDP growth and increase Portugal’s competitiveness – which, over time, may help mitigate investor concerns.

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

Population: 10.8 million

GDP per inhabitant (2010): USD 23,000,-

Unemployment rate (09/10): 10.8%

2. Working conditions

40 hours is the usual number of working hours in a week and it is also the legal maximum. The working day may be quite long, as it is common to include an extended lunch break or siesta.

Holidays: Annual leave entitlement is 22 days, plus 13 national public or bank holidays and one council public holiday. Public holidays falling on a Saturday or a Sunday are not observed on the following Monday. Holidays are mainly taken during August, which leads to some factory shut downs.

Salaries: The statutory minimum wage (retribuição mínima mensal garantida, RMMG) increased from €450 per month in 2009 to €475 per month in 2010. The overall average wage is €804.22.

Tax rates: General rate tax and national insurance amounts to total deductions of around 25%.

Working practices and customs: all employees receive a bonus of one month’s salary in June and at Christmas, so in effect they are paid 14 times their monthly salary each year.

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

Legal working hours : 40.0 hours per week.

Length of trial / notice period: The laws provides for a trial period during which the parties may, failing agreement in writing to the contrary, freely rescind the employment contract, without notice or any entitlement to compensation. The length of the trial period must be stipulated in writing, failing which the contract will be invalid. The length of the trial period varies according to the type of contract. In contracts for an indefinite period, the trial period can vary between 90 and 180 days, depending on the complexity of the task and, in the case of management positions and senior staff, can be as long as 240 days. In the case of fixed term contracts with a term of less than 6 months, or contracts for an uncertain term with a duration that does not exceed 6 months, the trial period is 15 days. The trial period is 30 days if the said term or duration is six months or more. The trial period is included in the calculation of the employee’s length of service. / For a contract of indefinite duration, a minimum notice period of 30 days is required if the contract has existed for less than two years, and 60 days if longer, but may be increased to up to six months by collective agreement for employees who occupy managerial posts, posts of a highly technical or responsible nature and posts in which they represent the employer. For a fixed-term contract, the notice period is 15 days if it has existed for less than six months, and 30 days if longer.

Employment formalities: No special sheet for Euro citizens. Medical check upon recruitment to be set by the employer. Certain regulated professions require prior recognition of the diploma (lawyer, engineer, physician,etc.).

3. Sectors that are recruiting

High Tech and Telecommunications, Civil/ Construction Sector, Retail Industry, Services (health, banking, insurance, consulting).

Companies that are recruiting:
High Tech & Telecommunication:
Portugal Telecom, Vodafone, TMN, Novabase…
Civil/Construction Sector: Teixeira Duarte, Somague, Mota-Engil… …
Retail Industry: IKEA Portugal, Leroy Merlin, Modelo Continente, Auchan, Jerónimo Martins, Fnac…
Oil & Gas Industry: Galp Energia…

4. Applying for a job

Application documents: Covering Letter: includes reasons why the person is applying to the company, and why their skills / degree / experience is relevant to the business. Letters should be short – no more than onepage – and clear. Attach Cv in Portuguese or English. Submit these documents via e-mail.

Advice regarding the CV: One to two sheets (except special applications). On the top, name, address and phone number (photo is not an obligation). List your previous experiences chronologically, beginning with your most recent position. Focus on achievements at your present and previous jobs, especially those involving management skills and critical thinking. Leisures or interests, could be the last part. If necessary, references can be provided during an interview.

5. Major recruitment pointers

Business Etiquette/knowing how to behave during interviews:Arrive early and dress properly. Women can wear skirts and blouses or suit, while a suit and tie is appropriate for men. It is important to demonstrate good appearance as well as good manners. Research the company ahead of time, so you’ll be able to speak effectively and you will be prepared. Prepare for questions about your personal and professional goals. Listen carefully to the questions and answer them directly, show interest and enthusiasm.

Languages you must be able to speak: Portuguese and English; preferably a third european language (French, Spanish).

Flagship training: The master degrees of the portuguese well known Universities are the first ones: Business schools like UCP, UNL, ISCTE, ISEG, Engineer schools like IST, UNL – FCT, UMinho. Famous universities for law ( FD UC, FD UL, FD UCP), Medecine (FMUC, FML). Famous masters during professional life like MBA Católica / Nova, Executive MBA (EMBA) da ISCTE Business School.

Compensation&Benefits / Taxes: Fixed salary related to experience and educational background. Bonus linked to the position. Company car, laptop, mobile. Health and Life Insurance.

6. Recruitment resources and networks

Important business networking sites:

Where to network:
For young graduates, a training period in a Portuguese firm is a good channel. University placement offices offer several opportunities. For others: recruitment agencies, ads in newspapers, internet networks.