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How To Recruit in Brazil (and 10 reasons why you should)

Business in Brazil moves to its own rhythm and beat.   If you’ve been there, you know.

And if you want to do business in Brazil successfully, you need to move to that Brazilian tempo.

After working in Brazil 7 years, I still can’t samba, but I can tell you how to recruit in Brazil with confidence.  And you won’t even have to leave Australian shores or learn Portuguese.

  1. Prepare to $pend.  It’s amusing how some multi-national companies enter the Brazilian market thinking they can pay at or below market rates for superior talent.  But superior talent (and Brazil has some of the best educated, sophisticated, adaptable executives in the world; believe me—I’ve interviewed them) costs as much in Brazil as it does anywhere else.  You won’t have to break the bank to employ talented professionals in Brazil, but you will have to make a significant withdrawal.
  2. Search Don’t Advertise:  There isn’t really an advertised recruitment market in Brazil so executive search is the preferred and most common means of recruiting professionals (ie, middle management and upwards).   Think of it this way, the person you want isn’t looking for you, so you’ll have to search for them.
  3. Don’t get lost in labor laws.  Fifty lawyers in Brazil will give you fifty different interpretations about Brazil’s labor laws of hiring people in Brazil.  To Australian employers, these labor laws are complicated and problematic.  Maybe.  But solutions are always available, even if not always obvious.  So do your homework.  Talk to others who have gone before you; be guided by them.  Remember, every problem you face has already been solved by someone now operating successfully in Brazil.
  4. Walk Your Talk.  Brazilian candidates have heard it all before.  The Big Foreign Company from abroad is establishing itself in Brazil, it will invest, it will grow, it will be there forever, blah, blah, blah.  But then Big Foreign Company flees Brazil at the first hint of business difficulty.  It happens so often that Brazilians are wise to it.  To a Brazilian candidate, an employer’s seriousness of purpose counts for a lot.  If you want to impress and recruit the wary Brazilians that you need for your business success, then you better ‘walk the talk’ and demonstrate that your company is indeed serious about developing a stable, ongoing business in Brazil and is committed to the people who will make it happen.  Remember, your competitors have already done this.  So you need to add the ‘walk’ to your ‘talk’ if you want to do succeed in Brazil.
  5. Borrow Some FluencyYou don’t need to speak Portuguese when recruiting Brazilians but somebody does.  Sure, many Brasileirosin the corporate world speak English, but the only way to really learn about a person is to speak their language.   And if you’re recruiting in Brazil from abroad, you really, really, need to know as much as possible about the candidate because bad hires are as costly in Brazil as elsewhere in the world.  So ensure that you or somebody interviews candidates in both Portuguese and English in order to truly become acquainted with them.  This will lower your risk significantly.
  6. Predict their Performance, then Hire Them.  The simplest, easiest way to recruit in Brazil is to predict a candidate’s performance before you hire them.  That way, you know what you’re getting.  Sound impossible?  It’s not.  We do it all the time.  (Here comes the shameless plug.)

Cornerstone International is an international talent acquisition organisation specialising in cross-border projects requiring expertise in Search, Onboarding and Enhanced Performance Programmes.  We operate seamlessly between Sydney and Sao Paulo (and Rio, Belo, Recife, etc.).

We speak English and Portuguese.

Our method blends local market knowledge with sophisticated psychometrics and actually predict a candidate’s performance pre-employment.  (We have over 231 studies to prove it.)

The commercial benefits to you are enormous. (We have 25 studies to prove that.)

We reduce your risk, eliminate the drudgery and save you time, money, and effort.

We’re so confident that we can help you recruit successfully in Brazil that we offer this:

“No Questions” Guarantee:

If a person recruited by us, leaves your company within one year,we will replace that person at no charge to you.No questions asked.


 So how do you recruit in Brazil with confidence?

You let us do it for you.


Cornerstone International ―  Consultants to Boards and Management


Duff Watkins  |
Director, Australia / Brazil  |

 international mobile ( 61 411 156 472 |

* dw@execsearch.com.au |

website: www.execsearch.com.au  |


Haidée Jacob  |
Director, Brazil / Australia  |

 international mobile ( 55 11 9633 8463 |

* haidee@ideea.com.br |

website: www.ideea.com.br  |

10 Reasons Why You Should Be Recruiting in Brazil Now!


  1. Brazil is the 8th largest consumer market on earth (and largest in Southern hemisphere)
  2. Brazil has 462 new shopping centers
  3. only the BRICs and US have greater usage of mobile phones than Brazil
  4. Brazil produces most of the world’s beer (through InBev)
  5. It’s fast becoming world’s largest meat processor (through JBS Friboi)
  6. It’s the world’s 4th largest democracy (and already export their sophisticated electronic voting technology)
  7. GDP grew at 7.5% (monstrous!) exceeding the forecast by a whopping 2%
  8. Personal credit has grown 24% year on year (meaning, people are buying!)
  9. Brazil’s Central Bank isn’t taking any chances; they’re administering iron-clad lockdown policies to prevent inflation.  Good for business!
  10. President Dilma is determined that her policies ensure that the economic goose remains golden and alive.  Even better for business!

Cornerstone International has 120 offices worldwide.

Clients include

  • 50% of the largest global 1000 companies
  • 70% of the global 500
  • 75% of the global 100
  • 90% of the world’s 10 largest multi-national firms

About Dr. Duff Watkins [www.execsearch.com.au]

international executive search consultant / author-- dispensing career advice about how the job market really works


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