San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Business pulse

Nearly half of Costa Rican employers say it's hard to find adequate staff

A study by consulting firm Manpower found that local employers are having trouble hiring suitable workers, particularly for technical level jobs, and management and executive positions.

According to the study, 46 percent of employers reported problems filling vacancies in their companies mainly because applicants do not comply 100 percent with the required profile or they lack experience.

“Most of the country’s recent graduates are ineligible to be hired. They lack technical skills and work experience. Another situation affecting local businesses is that many candidates are looking for higher wages than those being offered,” Manpower Manager in Costa Rica Ana Gabriela Chaverri said.

The list of the hardest-to-hire workers also includes sales representatives, production operators, engineers, secretaries and personal assistants, factory workers, accounting and finance professionals, and drivers.

A majority of employers —37 percent— said the lack of suitable candidates primarily affects businesses’ ability to provide its services properly, while 28 percent said it reduces their productivity and competitiveness.

For 21 percent of those surveyed, the situation causes high turnover rates that affect motivation and reduce innovation and creativity, the study concludes.

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Ken Morris

When you look at the list of hard-to-fill jobs, its frankly at some odds with the reasons the report gives for difficulty hiring.

Probably engineers and finance folks need some technical skills in order to be hired, and drivers need a license while secretaries need to know how to type (some technical skills), but do sales representatives, production operators, personal assistants, and factory workers really need a bunch of technical skills? Do they also need professional skills (whatever the hell they are) and experience too?

I’m just suspecting some doubletalk from employers in this report.

Plus, there’s always the question: If employers want their employees to have certain skills, why don’t the employers train their employees in the skills? Heck, aptitude tests can be given to insure that the employees to be trained have what it takes, but after that employers can easily train employees.

The rule seems to be that employers want to slough off job training to the taxpayers and prospective employees themselves–the taxpayers to fund public schools to teach whatever nonsense employers want (personal assistant) and then the prospective employees to pay tuition to learn a skill that might or might not be appealing to a future employer.

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Troy WR

So a study by consulting firm “Manpower” has supplied this information?

Well let me tell you something. How can anybody trust this Manpower group when they have their own problems. There is noway to contact them. Their phone number don’t work. The fax number is wrong and there is no email address to contact them. Seems to me Manpower needs help. They can start by hiring a good person to fix their webpage. It does not take too much skill to edit the website.

Trouble with employers in Costa Rica is simply this. They make everything complicated and the requirements are extensive. They base worth on University diplomas over any work experience and paperwork they require is insane. To get hired for a low level basic anybody can do it job for 4 bucks an hour they require a high school diploma, University degrees, copy’s of criminal record, copies of caja and seguro, copy of passport etc and they all want the documents a specific way. If anything is wrong you have to go get more copies made the way they want and return again. That only gets you through phase one of five of the hiring process. After many trips back and forth getting documents the way the want them, then you go to testing and other tasks. a few weeks later after spending all the time and energy you find out you don’t get the job. When they do hire somebody it is always a person who is totally and severely over-qualified for the job. Costa Rica is inundated with educated people because of inexpensive education in this country who cannot find the work that they studied for and are seeking. They get hired and work a low wage job but they do not stay long. They continue to look for a job in which they studied for. Meanwhile there are plenty of people who could do the job and would stay in the job but they never get hired.. Its the opposite that is in the US and Canada. In US nobody even asks for a high school diploma because who gives a rip about that. A degree gets you the job and also work experience. If you are over qualified you will not get the job because the employers are smart enough to know if they hired you that you would not be there long..In the US work experience trumps any degree because Americans are smart enough to know just because somebody has a degree does not mean they are good at doing the job….In the US there is generally only one Human resource manager who hires people but here in Costa Rica there is a huge staff of Human resource people who put people through the process of perpetual hiring and turnover of employees. The real problem is not that Costa Rica does not have a large workforce of good qualified workers. Its that Costa Rica does not have good smart Employers that retain their employees with a good wage and fair and good treatment….Bottom line is that Employers are stupid here and also a firm like Manpower obviously …

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