Recruitments of multinational companies in Iran could be a headache sometimes, but what are the best tips in this process?

Iran has been described as the second largest economy in the MENA region, which is considered as the main player in energy industries and petrochemical and soon the torrent of startups. Indeed, Iran has a great potential to impact on regional or maybe global economy.

A big country with low debts, excellent geographical location and healthy demographics. Today, all eyes are on Iran as an emerging market which has been discovered again.

Entering the Iranian market requires considering recruitment as one of the main prospected operations for multinational companies. Indeed, conducting business in Iran requires finding best talents and hiring them.

Sourcing qualified staff is one of the biggest challenges which multinational companies have faced in Iran. A research which surveyed HR challenges in the Iranian market, hiring and retaining qualified staff was ranked as the second challenge of operating in Iran, after regulation bureaucracy.

With all of these, employment laws in Iran require handling many details about employment, SSO and other related local laws. Dealing with regulatory agencies, setting the policies and settling down the problems are very sophisticated.

By sourcing talent in Iran you will find:

  • Mass fresh graduates who are looking for a job that only leads to an immature labor market.
  • Most of the people in labor market don’t have the related working experience.
  • Shortages of bilingual candidates and lack of English proficiency among Iranian job seekers.
  • High immigration rate of qualified professionals
  • High expectations of candidates who are looking for a job with royal conditions.
  • Lack of formal recruitment channels that pushes candidates and companies to rely on their network.

“A good beginning makes a good ending”. So, let’s review my advice as an experienced recruiter and an HR Consultant:

  • Make a long-term perspective in your operations in Iran. Yes! Haste makes waste!
  • Consider transparency and provide all related details about your company and the vacancy.
  • Set up a clear procedure and let your employees and potential candidates know them.
  • Provide a strategic recruitment plan and consider the budget for local employment regulations and training programs to empower local staff.
  • Prepare yourself to screen and interview more than 30 candidates for a key role!
  • Believe it or not, don’t consider offering low wages! Provide working conditions, training, compensations and job development as close to international norms.
  • Weight more to professional experience in comparison to academic background of your candidates.
  • Hire people with the relevant mindset who are in line with your core values.
  • Always remember that retaining talents is more important than hiring.
  • Prepare yourself to deal with informal hierarchies in your working place!
  • Hire local managers to get familiar with the high context communication culture in Iran!
  • Don’t forget local employment regulations.
  • Promote team working and overcome individualism!
  • Define the KPIs and discuss them every week!
  • Hire an HR recruitment advisor to redefine your talent management targets!

Iran can be a big success story for the foreign companies in the country. “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” Francis Bacon said.

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Peter Rafelk
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Great article, thanks

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