Hiring International Staff: How to Avoid Mistakes

10-May-2023 | relocation Hiring International Staff: How to Avoid Mistakes

As an Austrian company hiring from abroad, you need to understand that it takes much longer than for locals and contains some.

Are you looking for employees from abroad to create a diverse team of specialists? Hiring internationals has nowadays become the norm. Work is not bound to a particular place anymore. Some like it, some not, but if you have started reading this article, you are, at least, thinking of hiring from abroad. Further, you will find four points that address the most common topics related to relocation.

Employees are as interested in working abroad as the companies are in hiring them. And for a good reason: specialists want to gain valuable experience they might not get in their home country, and the second party will profit from hiring qualified workers. IT specialists are, for example, highly needed in Austria.

If you go for a relocation process, be aware that it takes much longer for internationals than for Austrian or European citizens. The preparation and the application might take from weeks to months. It would be great if you could share this information with the responsible departments in advance and avoid false assumptions.

Austrian law is quite strict about foreign staff employment. There is a minimum salary for each type of residence permit, and special requirements apply. If you want to learn more, check out our article on work and residence permits. Get yourself informed and pay attention to details. The Public Employment Service of Austria (AMS) checks the submitted application in detail and, only after their approval, does the relocation go on.

Further challenging topics might be:

  • Culture and integration
  • Everyday problems
  • German vs. English
  • Flat search

Let’s have a quick look at them.

Is integration easy for an employee?

It might seem so, but cultural differences often play a big role in how newcomers feel themselves in Austria. Your new team member might not be aware of implied rules like punctuality or greeting forms, common lifestyle, or, especially important in corporate life, hierarchy.

It all depends on how far the cultures are from each other. Such add-ons as intercultural training help to increase the chances of a successful assignment. 
At the end of the day, Austria can become their new home, but only if we help them understand it here.

How to organize life in Austria

This point extends the previous one. As the employee arrives, the settling-in process begins. Flat and bills (such normal things for us in Austria) are one big unknown. Despite good public transport in Vienna, it is a hassle if you do not know which app to use. Getting support in such basic questions would help a lot, and it is just a self-explanatory matter for a local. Booking a service that help newcomers to get an idea of the surroundings is even better. Of course, it is up to you, but there is nothing more important than feeling welcomed.

Languages and culture

An international team often means that English is a corporate language. On the one hand, such a diverse team makes it easier to get started, but it can also be an impediment. In such cases, employees typically lack practice and are not interested in the improvement of their German.

This does not mean your company has to instantly switch to German, but keeping it in mind sometimes helps to predict or understand possible challenges. Some might feel out of contact with the Austrian culture, which usually influences their willingness to continue working here. Austria offers integration courses for expats and obliges them to pass a B1 German exam plus an integration test about Austrian culture and values if they want to get a long-term permit.

What is the right flat for me?

A flat that feels like Home is such a relief. Leaving your cosy space behind makes the transition difficult. Scam, questionable offers, unknown areas – those might happen to newcomers if they do not know the rules of the rental market yet. You can read more about particular aspects in our article on flats in Vienna.

Home search is a solid basis for one’s joyful stay in Austria. Accommodation, whether temporary or long-term, is often tricky to find and requires some language skills, for example. Move-in services are the solution that takes the responsibility from the employer (you) and lets professionals take care of that. There are many options for each budget and need.

All in all, we do not want to scare you or create a false negative image. An international team has more advantages than disadvantages, foreign colleagues often bring so much to the table!

For more information and advice, contact us via email or book a call.

Author: Anna Volodina