With a population of around 9 million, Austria has a highly developed social market economy and is one of the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP. It also boasts a highly-skilled and well-educated workforce, which is why many a savvy business owner might consider hiring employees remotely from Austria. With remote technology now enabling businesses to hire from any geographical location, there’s nothing stopping you from tapping into this pool of talent.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to successfully hire remote employees from Austria. We’ll look at the legal and cultural considerations you need to bear in mind, as well as the practicalities of finding and engaging with the right candidates. With this guide in hand, you’ll have the confidence to make the best hire for your business.
The benefits of hiring remote employees from Austria
There are many benefits to hiring remote employees, and several to hiring in Austria specifically. For one thing, hiring remote employees can help you diversify your recruitment, while it can also expand your hiring potential because location is no longer a determining factor. Additionally, hiring remote employees can help you cut down on your hiring and employee turnover costs.
Some of the most significant advantages to hiring remote employees from Austria include:
- Insight into new markets. A significant benefit of remote working is that it enables businesses to gain a greater understanding of overseas markets. If your business has customers based in Austria, or if you’re looking to discover new opportunities there, having an employee based in the country can be a great help.
- Increased productivity. A recent study by Flexjobs discovered that two-thirds of employees feel their productivity has been improved by remote working. Austria has a culture built on hard work and efficient timekeeping, so hiring remotely from Austria is likely to have a positive effect on productivity.
- Greater diversity. Hiring internationally is a great way to enhance the diversity within your organization. Taking on new employees from Austria may enable you to tap into new ideas, perspectives, and ways of working you may not have previously considered, which can increase innovation within your organization.
Legal considerations when recruiting in Austria
Before you begin hiring remote employees from Austria, it’s important to understand the legal considerations you need to be aware of. Many countries in the EU have laws governing remote working, but the rules vary widely. In Austria, businesses can hire remote employees without a specific contract, but there are certain legal obligations they must adhere to. These include the white-collar worker statute (Angestelltengesetz) and the labor protection act (Arbeitnehmerschutzgesetz). Here are a few important factors to consider:
- Under Austrian employment law, employees are entitled to 25 days’ paid annual leave per year, in addition to 13 paid public holidays.
- Employees in Austria have a statutory entitlement to sick pay. Sick pay typically covers 6 to 12 weeks of full pay, plus 4 weeks of half pay.
- There is no national statutory minimum wage in Austria, with the minimum salary for employees typically set out in a collective agreement. The average salary in Austria is around €3,790 per month.
- Expectant mothers are entitled to a total of 16 weeks’ maternity leave (8 weeks before the due date and 8 weeks following the birth). Fathers are entitled to paternity leave, but the two parents cannot use their parental leave simultaneously.
A probationary period of 1 month is generally included in the employment agreement, while the statutory notice period depends on the length of service (6 weeks is typically the minimum).
For more information on legal considerations when hiring remote employees from Austria, refer to this guide on hiring in Austria with Remote.
Cultural considerations when recruiting in Austria
Of course, working with Austrian employees or colleagues also means taking into consideration cultural differences that may exist between different countries and cultures. While these cultural nuances may be less obvious when working remotely, they’re no less important in a remote work environment. Understanding and respecting these variances is essential to recruiting and retaining Austrian employees. Here are a few examples of Austrian working culture:
- Work/life balance is considered to be very important in Austria, so you’ll rarely find Austrian workers toiling away late into the evenings: rather, this is seen as an indicator of poor time management.
- As with neighboring countries like Germany and Switzerland, timekeeping and punctuality are considered paramount in Austria. Austrian employees will expect meetings to start and finish on time.
- The official language of Austria is German — which is spoken by 98% of the population — but there are many varying regional dialects. English is the second-most spoken language, with around 4 in 10 Austrians fluent in English.
How to hire remotely from Austria
Before you begin the process of sourcing, interviewing, and recruiting a remote employee from Austria, you’ll need to determine exactly what type of candidate you’re looking for: maybe you need some temporary support with a specific project (in which case a freelancer might be your best option), or perhaps you’re looking for a specialist to help improve business practices (a consultant may be able to help here). Alternatively, you might have an ongoing role for which you’d like to take on a permanent employee.
Either way, we can split the process of recruitment remotely from Austria or any other country into 3 steps: the job advertisement, the interview, and the onboarding process.
Creating the perfect job ad
- Job title: The job title should be specific and descriptive, especially if you’re advertising it to someone who doesn’t share the same native language. Avoid making your job title too vague or verbose (and try not use technical jargon); there’s no need to advertise for a Wizard of Lightbulb Moments when you’re looking for a Marketing Manager.
- Job description: The job description should be detailed and include as much information about the role as possible. Again, you should avoid being overly obscure or abstruse, as this can be off-putting for potential candidates. As a minimum, you should include the following in the job description:
- The key duties and responsibilities of the role
- Skills and experience required (or desired)
- ‘Soft’ skills which are important to the role (e.g. communication, problem-solving)
- Any qualifications required (or preferred)
- The hours they’ll be expected to work
- The salary range
- Work environment and culture: An important part of any job advertisement is giving a candidate a sense of the environment and company culture they’ll be stepping into. Of course, in this case the role will likely be fully remote, but will you expect them to travel to an office on occasion? What is your organization’s culture like? Relaxed? Fast-paced? Highly-pressurized? Remember, cultural differences exist between Austria and other countries, so be mindful of this when creating your job ad.
Optimizing the interview process
When interviewing a candidate from Austria remotely, many of the steps you’d follow during an in-person interview still apply: essentially, your aim is to gain a better understanding of the candidate’s skill set, assess their level of experience, and ultimately determine whether they’re suitable for the role. That said, remote interviews come with their own set of challenges, so there are some specific elements you’ll need to consider:
- Be flexible: As your candidate is likely in a different time zone (Austria is several hours ahead of most US states and generally an hour ahead of the UK, for example) you’ll need to be flexible to accommodate the interview at a time which suits them.
- Set clear expectations: Interview etiquette might differ between countries, so it’s important the candidate knows what to expect from the interview — be clear about the interview format, the technology you’ll be using, how long the interview will last, and so on.
- Communicate clearly: If you’re interviewing an Austrian candidate in anything other than German (in English, for example), you must appreciate that this may not be their first language. Therefore, it’s important you speak clearly, use straightforward language, and are prepared to repeat yourself if asked.
- Sell the benefits: The ability to work remotely means candidates have more opportunities than ever, so it’s never been more important to drive home the benefits you can offer — why should they choose to work for your company over any other? Can you offer flexible hours, development opportunities, and mental health support?
- Test your tech beforehand: Video interview software is more advanced than it’s ever been, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely failsafe. Have a quick practice beforehand to check you’re familiar with the software, and give your candidate instructions on how to join the call.
Onboarding your new hire successfully
When hiring remotely from another country such as Austria, onboarding isn’t quite as straightforward as when doing so locally. That said, you can use something called an employer of record service (which effectively acts as a ‘local’ employer in the country you’re hiring in) to ease any complexity. An EOR will take care of payroll, tax, and compliance in line with Austrian employment laws and regulations.
With the more complex elements of the onboarding process taken care of, you can focus on helping your new Austrian recruit settle into their role. There are number of things to consider during their first few weeks, including:
- Ensuring they have the tech they need: In a remote work environment it’s essential that your new hire has everything they need to work productively and comfortably from home. Do you require a company laptop, for example? Do they have access to the software they’ll need to perform their role?
- Building an induction plan: It’s important to map out your new starter’s first few days or weeks with a clear induction plan. This should include any training they need to complete, meetings they need to attend, and any HR-related admin requirements they need to see to.
- Assigning tasks and projects: As your employee settles into their new role, start assigning some small, non-business-critical tasks to get them used to your processes and working practices. Once you (and they) feel confident in their ability, you can assign some larger, more significant projects.
- Having regular catch-ups: A remote role can feel a little isolating (particularly when you’re in another country and timezone) so it’s important to regularly check in with your new starter. Assess the progress they’re making, and ask them whether they need additional support.
- Building a development plan: When starting a new role, an employee will want to know there’s a path to progression. Therefore it’s essential to create a personalized development plan with clear goals and objectives for them to work towards. This will help keep them engaged and hopefully ensure you retain them for a long period.
Thinking of tapping into the Austrian market for your latest recruit? It’s a prosperous country full of highly-skilled professionals, so you’ll find plenty of impressive talent there — plus, remote technology and employer of record services mean you can take on talent without them having to relocate. Follow the advice we’ve outlined above and see whether recruiting remotely from Austria might benefit your business.