Qatar is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world. Its natural gas and petroleum reserves contribute to the flourishing economy, accounting for almost 70% of the country’s GDP. Being the world’s largest exporter of liquified natural gas, Qatar has one of the freest economies in the Middle Eastern countries. And a strong economy demands a trained and skilled workforce. Qatar has a growing number of foreign nationals. If your company is looking at how to hire people in Qatar, you must first understand Qatar's recruitment and selection process.
Expanding a workforce is not as easy as conducting job interviews and selecting candidates. In Qatar, businesses must operate according to the country’s regulations. There are strict laws about work visas, so employers must get the right work permits and visas for their employees.
Things to Know Before Hiring in Qatar
To hire employees in Qatar, employers must consider the following factors:
- Official language: Although English is widely spoken and understood in the country, Arabic is the official language of Qatar. So, you might need a translator to help with Qatar's recruitment and selection process.
- Business culture: Every country has a unique business culture. Hence, employers must ensure that their foreign employees learn about Qatar’s business culture to fit in well within the company.
- Discrimination laws: As a company, you must comply with Qatar's employment laws. The country has specific laws against discrimination at work. These laws protect every person in Qatar from discrimination based on race, sex, language, and religion. While hiring, your team shouldn’t ask any direct questions on these grounds.
- Labor laws and rights: Qatar has several labor laws that protect the rights of employees. While hiring in Qatar, employers must remember that:
- ~The maximum work hours is 48 hours a week and eight hours a day, six days a week. Employers must compensate employees by providing overtime pay for extended hours.
- ~Termination of an employee without cause makes you liable to pay an End of Service Benefit.
- ~Companies must provide health insurance for foreign employees.
- Annual leave policies: Qatar Labor Act provides a three-week (or 21 days) paid leave for employees under five years of employment. There is a four-week (or 28 days) paid leave for employees with more than five years of continuous employment.
- Employment laws: The employment law in Qatar lays heavy emphasis on employment contracts.
- ~Employers must hire all employees under an employment contract drafted in the local language.
- ~It should state all details about the nature of work, contract duration with the start date, and compensation details.
- ~It is better to include additional details about employee benefits, termination, and entitlement terms.
- ~All compensation and salary amounts on the offer letter have to be written in Qatari riyal.
- ~The employment documents should be attested by a notary (not mandatory).
Workweek: A standard work week in Qatar is 40 hours and is reduced to 36 hours during the holy month of Ramadan. Friday is the rest day. Overtime is permitted to two hours but must be compensated with 125% of standard pay.
The Cost of Hiring an Employee in Qatar
The recruitment fees in Qatar is a crucial factor for all companies. The hiring process involves multiple steps, and all of them have to bear certain costs and time, which is an investment.
Here are some essential costs involved in the hiring process in Qatar companies:
- ~Visa and permit costs: Every foreign employee in Qatar must have a valid work visa and permit. It is the employer’s responsibility to bear these costs while hiring employees in Qatar. New visa issuance can cost up to QR 300.
- ~Onboarding and training: The expenses don’t end at hiring a foreign employee. Employers must bear other costs, like training and upskilling employees. Enrolling your employees in training comes with additional training costs.
- ~Wages: One of the most considerable costs is the employee’s salary as per industry standards of their sectors. The below table gives an overview of annual salaries in different sectors:
What Does a Company Need to Hire Employees in Qatar?
Recruitment and selection in Qatar are a little complex. A company must fulfill the following requirements to hire employees in Qatar:
- ~Register the company with the Immigration Department.
- ~Provide trade license documentation.
- ~Obtain the Immigration Card and Representative Card
- ~Apply to the Ministry of Labor for work permits and work visas for hiring foreign employees.
Various Options for Hiring Employees in Qatar
Recruiting in Qatar can be time-consuming, given the several documentation in order. Employers can choose the following options to employ foreign employees in Qatar:
- ~Job Portals: One of the most common parts of every recruitment process is scouting for candidates via job boards. The top job boards in Qatar are gulftalent.com, Naukrigulf.com, Dohacareers.com. You can register on these websites with an updated company profile and put out listings for the vacant positions.
- ~Independent contractor: If you are new to the international market, hiring staff in Qatar as independent employees is flexible. Like other employee contracts, you may have to consider the legalities associated with contractual agreements here.
- ~Foreign subsidiary: Companies wanting to expand into the foreign market can establish a foreign subsidiary and hire employees. But the cost of operations is steep, and it can take months until you finally get it started. So, it is not a very feasible option.
- ~Work with a global employment solution: It can be challenging to hire foreigners given the several documentation processes. You can alternatively rely on a global employment solutions company with a legal presence in the market.
The Steps to Hiring in Qatar
Here’s how to hire people in Qatar:
- ~The hiring process in Qatar begins with advertising the vacant position for Qatari citizens.
- ~For hiring foreign employees in Qatar, a business entity must register with the Immigration Department of the General Directorate of Borders, Passports, and Expatriate Affairs.
- ~You need to also apply to the Ministry of Interior to become a sponsor of your foreign employees.
- ~Apply to the Ministry of Labor for approval to get a batch of work permits for the foreign employees.
- ~The application form must be submitted in Arabic, along with the number of ex-pats, their nationalities, and job positions.
- ~Employers must also obtain employment visas for each employee.
- ~Once a Qatar work visa is granted, begin the process of their work permit within seven days of their arrival.
Let Multiplier be Your EOR Platform in Qatar
Recruitment and selection in Qatar is not exactly smooth for foreign employers. You must learn about the country’s culture, business regulations, and employment laws. Also, all foreign employers must get the right documentation to hire employees in Qatar. No wonder things can get complicated!
So, why not take advantage of a global EOR solution like Multiplier? With a strong presence in 150+ countries, our experts are trained to onboard new talent and process work permits. Our highly qualified staff can help you maintain a record of all foreign employees and effectively manage payroll. We’ll take care of the documentation and other related processes so that you can focus on establishing your business in Qatar.
Get in touch with us to know more about our services!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which are the popular job boards in Qatar?
Popular job boards in Qatar include gulftalent.com, Naukrigulf.com, Dohacareers.com. You can post your vacancies here.
What is the minimum wage in Qatar?
As per the recent reforms, the minimum wage in Qatar is QAR 1000 or $275 for all private-sector employees. The high salaries in the country are an incentive for foreigners wanting to work here.
How much time does it take for Qatar visa processing?
Your employees cannot begin working without a work visa and valid permit. On average, visa processing can take about two to four weeks, but checking through all the documentation can take longer. It is advised to begin the hiring process in Qatar in advance.