Brazil’s Job Market is Booming, Says Going Global’s New Brazil Employment Outlook
As it begins preparations to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, Brazil — South America’s largest country and economy, is one of the first emerging markets to begin an economic recovery, according to a new report from Going Global, the leading provider of employment, career and culture resources. With an unemployment rate of 6.1 percent, Brazil is experiencing job growth and talent shortages in many sectors. “Brazil’s strong recovery from the global financial crisis has spurred increased hiring activity and a buoyant employment market, enabling the job market to become increasingly candidate-driven,” says Mary Anne Thompson, founder, Going Global. “Many workers in the private sector are seeing double-digit pay raises, and last year average salaries in Brazil increased 6.5 percent.”
“One problem Brazil is facing is that their companies and universities have not created sufficiently qualified people to satisfy the new demand,” explains Ms. Thompson. “Multinational organizations looking to hire in Brazil are seeking successful candidates who are flexible, skilled in communications between Brazil and headquarters, adaptable and multilingual. Although many companies invest in homegrown talent, there is also room for skilled foreign-born executives to work in Brazil.”
Will Shortage of Talent Derail the Brazilian Economy?
Brazil is on track for yet another year of above-average GDP performance. Driven by a number of factors — including Chinese demand for raw materials, a fast-growing and highly acquisitive middle class, large inflows of foreign investment, and the ongoing development of its vast pre-salt oil deposits– the country is experiencing a multiyear growth spurt unlike any in its recent past. However, economic growth brings a host of new challenges such as a shortage of qualified labor. In fact, Brazil recently placed third in a global ranking of countries coping with labor shortages and 57% of employers said they are unable to find skilled workers they need to operate their businesses. At its most basic level, Brazil’s shortage of qualified labor is little more than a supply-demand imbalance and Brazil’s historical underinvestment in education is the primary culprit. Most experts agree the solution to Brazil’s labor shortage is a long-term one that involves broadening access to education, building more schools and improving the quality of existing educational institutions.
HR BRIC Report: Work is Evolving in Brazil, Fuelled by a Hunger to Win
In the first of a four-part series for HR, where we will explore the development of people strategy in the four BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) Wayne Clarke heads both to the Brazilian metropolis of São Paulo – and the coffee plantations – where he discovers a hunger for growth. São Paulo, including its metro area, is home to 30 million. Popularly known as Sampa, it is the largest city in Brazil, the largest in the southern hemisphere and Americas, and the world’s seventh largest by population. It is also the world’s largest coffee exporter, with 25% of global coffee production coming from Brazil. Clarke immediately noticed the scale and sophistication of the coffee production facilities. The capital investments in this region are evident, with more tractor shops than you can imagine. Clarke notes that if this important primary sector industry were in an HR-style appraisal conversation, then this would be some serious appreciative enquiry. According to Clarke, enjoying the game and harnessing the hunger for progress feel like essential ingredients of engagement, and Brazil has both in abundance.
Foreign Professionals Wanted in Brazil
The Brazilian government is looking at ways to relax immigration rules to attract up to 10 times more skilled foreign professionals into the country to spur growth. Despite being the world’s sixth largest economy, Brazil is currently facing a talent deficit as companies struggle to find qualified workers to ramp up their operations. In the past, Brazil had waves of immigrants arriving from all over the world. However, the economic woes of the second half of the century led to a drastic slowdown of foreigners. Today, foreigners represent just 0.3% of Brazil’s workforce, much lower than the figure of 7% at the beginning of the 20th century. Business leaders also complain that Brazilian bureaucracy makes it difficult and expensive to hire foreigners. In order to hire professionals from other countries, firms must first prove they were unable to find suitable local workers. They are also required to train Brazilians to eventually replace the foreign employees. Foreigners themselves face countless barriers and red tape – getting a temporary identity card can take more than six months.