Recruiting Employees in Puerto Rico
Are you searching for the ideal candidate to join your organization? Here are some tips for recruiting workers in Puerto Rico.
If you benefit under Act 60 Export Services, be aware that businesses that generate an annual revenue of over $3 million must directly hire at least one full-time employee who is a resident of Puerto Rico. There is no employment requirement if annual revenue is $3 million or less.
Don’t fret, though! Recruiting employees in Puerto Rico is relatively simple, especially with its skilled and highly educated workforce. Keep reading below for tips on recruiting employees on the island.
There are various ways to find the right person for the job, such as by referrals from acquaintances, online job offer boards, via ads or signs, posting on social networks, and through employment agencies.
One easy way to recruit workers is via the internet. The internet is full of job banks that make them ideal recruitment platforms in Puerto Rico. Clasificados Online (online classifieds) has a job section where you can post your company’s job openings. Unfortunately, this site has outdated visuals, and most postings are entirely in Spanish, even though the website is in Spanish and can be translated into English. Regardless, it offers a comprehensive inventory of job openings and, therefore, a great way to recruit employees.
You can also use Indeed and GlassDoor for recruitment purposes, as they have a strong presence on the island. Also, consider some social media platforms for employee recruitment, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Social media is and will continue to be a valuable tool for organizations to attract new talent and expand their pool of candidates. These platforms are virtually free (besides paid ads) and provide a broader reach. When your job posting is liked and shared, your followers and their followers see the post. Make sure to add hashtags to extend that reach further. Plus, create content that encourages your followers to interact and show interest in joining your company.
You should also check out the job bank created by the Puerto Rico Department of Labor. It’s a free online tool where you can create an employer account, search through a network of job seekers looking for employment, and go through their resumes online.
There is also a government-run program, Juvempleo, from the Department of Economic Development and Commerce of PR (DDEC, its Spanish abbreviation). This program offers employment to young adults from the ages of 18-29 years old who are in the last year of their technical, vocational, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees. For more information on this program, contact DDEC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another option is using employment agencies, as they help fill a number of positions, from administrative to manufacturing. Typically these agencies charge the employee a percentage of their salary on their first year of referral as compensation for the service they provided.
Recruitment requires strategy and detailed planning to succeed. Therefore, no matter where you recruit your employees, here are some tips on making the recruitment process easier.
You can start by defining the job needs and essential functions of the position to help you recruit the right candidate for the job. Also, make sure you know your target candidate. The more you know about your ideal candidate, the better prepared you will be to write a recruitment ad that your candidate wants to read. Your ad should make your ideal candidate feel that your organization can provide them with the opportunities and the future they want.
Next, jot down some interview questions for the potential employee. These questions should relate to the job position (and legal, duh!), and make sure to take notes during the interview, preferably in a separate paper. If opting for virtual interviews, which to this day and age are the most convenient option for companies and job seekers, be conscious that the island is in Atlantic Standard time and does not follow Daylight Savings Time.
Act No. 41
If hiring employees in Puerto Rico, it is important to keep up to date on the local labor laws. Act No 41-2022, which was signed into law by the Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi, in June 2022, revises many provisions of the 2017 Labor Reform and improves employment protection in the private sector. Some of these provisions include changes related to employee compensation, annual ” Christmas” bonuses, meal breaks, vacation and sick leave accruals, days of rest, hiring terms, and probationary periods. Below are some examples of these provisions.
Vacation and Sick Leave
The provisions of the vacation and sick leave state that an employee covered by Act 180-1998 is entitled to accrue at least 1.25 days of vacation and 1 day of sick leave for every month they have worked at least 115 hours, regardless of hire date. If the company has 12 employees or less, the employee is entitled to accrue a 1/2 day of vacation and 1 day of sick leave per month if the employee works 115 hours or more.
Part-time employees, those who work more than 20 hours/week but less than 115 hours/month, are entitled to accrue 1/2 day of paid vacation leave and 1/2 day of sick leave. If the company has 12 employees or less, a part-time employee accrues 1/4 day of vacation and 1/2 day of sick leave.
Annual "Christmas" Bonus
Another provision states that employees are entitled to an annual “Christmas” bonus, regardless of the hire date, unless the company has insufficient profits and has followed the procedure established in Act No. 148. The annual bonus amount depends on the organization’s size and the hours worked.
For example, an employer must pay each employee who has worked 700 hours or more a bonus of 6% of total wages paid, calculated up to the first $10,000 earned. The period starts from October 1st until September 30th of the following year. Those who work in an organization with 20 or fewer employees and have worked at least 700 hours or more are also entitled to a bonus. This bonus should amount to 3% of total wages earned within the period, up to $300.
Act No. 41 has technically already taken effect for employers, but The Puerto Rico Fiscal Oversight Board, also known as “la junta” in Puerto Rico, has taken legal action to repeal it. The Board, which was established by US Congress to oversee the debt restructuring process, insists that it violates and defeats the purpose of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), which addresses Puerto Rico’s debt.
Naturally, pending legal action on Act No.41 has created uncertainty for employers. Until then, most companies have implemented its provisions until the impasse has been resolved.