Kreyolicious.com - The Haitian-American Lifestyle, Culture and Arts Magazine

Written by Kat

How to Get a Job in Haiti: 8 Tips to Get You Started

Working in Haiti-Rose
Above: Rose Jeudy President of Haiti Staffing and Business Resources (HSBR) in her office in Haiti.

Looking for a job? Willing to travel and go away from home? Overseas, perhaps? Have you considered Haiti?

No?

Well, maybe you should. Many tend to underestimate it, but the fact is, Haiti offers considerable employment opportunities and these opportunities are expected to expand and grow in years to come.

In 2012, the Caracol Industrial Park launched in Haiti, housing—among other international businesses—Korean clothing manufacturing giant Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd. According to a fact sheet furnished by the U.S. State Department, 65,000 direct jobs are expected to stem from the northern part of Haiti alone from this much-discussed partnership between the U.S government, the Haitian government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

And then there is Haiti’s tourism and hospitality industry. Best Western Premier, managed by Texas-based Aimsbridge Hospitality completed construction in late 2012, while Royal Oasis a five-star hotel conceptualized by Haitian-American entrepreneurs, recently underwent extensive renovations and an expansion.

Besides this business park and aforementioned ventures, there’s always Haiti’s private sector, which according to staffing executive Cedric Brandt, is where most of the job orders—he receives—originate from. Brandt, the CEO and founder of the Port-au-Prince-based staffing firm Job 509 has 45,000 registered job seekers in its database from all over the world, some of Haitian origin and some from elsewhere.

Ireland-based Digicel does the most hiring, contends Brandt, followed by coffee company Rebo S.A, soft drink firm Brasserie La Couronne. Haiti’s national brewery Brana—which is responsible for Haiti’s national beer Prestige—runs third, while Vorbe et Fils, and various companies in the advertising sector complete the list of companies with the most job openings.

Are you excited already? Yes? Yeah!

But where to start? There are various paths. Care for some advice to get your career in Haiti off the ground? Here are some:

1. Be prepared education-wise and be well-qualified.
Have never gone further than high school or the equivalent of secondary school and want to work in Haiti? Well, that may prove difficult. Specializations and credentials count for a lot; actually, they’re a big deal. In some cases, an advanced degree—such as a Master’s—is the minimum for a position. According to Brandt, the job categories where there is the most demand tend to be administration, industrial engineering, graphic design and hotel maintenance. Accountant professionals are also in demand, says Brandt, especially those with Quickbooks know-how and CPA certification.

Rose L. Jeudy, the president of the Haiti-based HR firm Haiti Staffing and Business Resources says: “The fields of business, agriculture and construction engineers are very high in demand.”

2. Apply, apply, apply, tande!
It’s been said, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Well, se pa tout fwa. That surely isn’t always the case. For every case that this maxim rings true, there are others when that is not the case. Says Maureen, a professional who has worked in Haiti: “All the jobs I’ve gotten in Haiti have been over the internet. There are these jobs sites for Haiti online that I use and that’s how I have gotten my jobs. Or the newspaper. Except some translation jobs, I have yet to use a contact to get a job here.”

Fendy Mesy, who worked in Haiti for 11 months, agrees that job seekers should turn to Haiti-specific resources. “I’d definitely recommend anyone looking for work in Haiti to utilize the resources of Haiti staffing firms, particularly, Job509 which I’ve personally used and got success from and Haiti Staffing and Business Resources.”

One of the biggest aggregators of jobs in Haiti is the site Haiti1Stop, which lists announcements for the non-profit and non-governmental sectors. The website for the U.S. Embassy in Haiti is another major source for job announcements as well as contract opportunities. The United Nations is also a major employer and regularly lists positions it has available in Haiti.

The Pan-American Development Foundation has job postings on its website as does the International Organization for Migration. The DC-based company Chemonics, one of three awardees of post-earthquake rebuilding contracts, occasionally advertises its Haiti vacancies on the international opportunities section of it website.

Development Alternative, Inc (more commonly known as DAI), also offers job opportunities in Haiti. Job seekers should regularly check the website for any listed jobs based in Haiti. The World Bank’s career section and international development staffing company Devex should also be consulted.

For those interested in working in the educational field in Haiti, institutions like Union School regularly accepts applications. Ecole de Choix, a trilingual school that is based in the Plateau Central area of Haiti in Mirebalais, is accepting applications from qualified potential staff. “We are always willing to review resumes at levels from kindergarten through fourth grade, since we also need individuals for our learning center and elsewhere,” states the school’s Chair Dr. Laura Pincus Hartman. In addition to teachers, the school is also looking for a principal.

As far as the medical and health sector, Haiti always has a need of professionals in those fields. A new hospital was built in the city of Mirebalais, and opportunities at that facility are advertised on the Partners in Health website.

3. Don’t be shy when it comes to social networking.
It helps, too, to get active on social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. LinkedIn makes it possible for users to make connections with decision-makers and other key people in and outside of Haiti who may contribute to job search success. LinkedIn has a great many groups such as the Jobs Haiti and Dominican Republic Group and the Haitian Diaspora Working in Haiti Group where human resources executives and current employees frequently post job updates and job leads. Many organizations and companies hiring in Haiti regularly tweet job announcements on that social network. Some have found that following professionals and companies on Facebook can help their job searches along.

4. Supplement your job search with some volunteerism.
If your job search seems to be stalling, develop a service-minded mentality. Volunteering can get one further than doing an actual job search at times. Like the volunteer path that Fendy Mesy took. Mesy had applied for a job with global public relations firm Burson-Masteller, which at the time was doing pro-bono work for the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC). The position in question was based in the firm’s DC office, and was eventually filled by someone else. But the hiring executives at Burson-Masteller were impressed enough with Mesy’s fluency in Haitian-Creole, toppled with her accomplishments in communications to call her back to interview for a paid communications position. While working alongside the pro-bono team was helpful, Mesy had to prove herself too, going through seven rounds of interviews before being told she had earned the position.

If you wish to volunteer in Haiti, there are countless organizations that you can choose to collaborate with. If you are business, micro-finance or administratively-inclined, check out Zafen, an organization that helps entrepreneurs and others become self-sufficient in Haiti. Interested in the medical field? Project Medishares welcomes medical volunteers. Wishing to work with youths? Goals Haiti, a sports-driven non-profit based in Leogane, Haiti is always on the lookout for volunteers. Fleur de Vie, a non-profit started by fashion designer Dayane Danier welcomes the opportunity to work with volunteers. Danier’s organizations offers craft workshops for youths in Haiti as well as sewing classes for adults.

To seek out other opportunities, visit the volunteer website Idealist that regularly lists general volunteer opportunities based in Haiti or that are Haiti-related.

5. Be flexible in terms of salary.
Brandt has advice for newcomers to Haiti’s workforce, whether of non-Haitian origin or not. “If they have experience outside of Haiti, they need to understand that most of the Haitian companies are also looking for someone with some local experience,” he says. “Even if you have five years of experience in the States, you will have to make some concessions on your salary expectations because companies here in Haiti will consider that as 2-3 years of experience. They still think that it’s a challenge for them also to hire a Haitian from the outside who has no knowledge of the Haitian market. It will be a one-year learning process and [the said employee] will definitely [receive a raise] after if they prove their real value.”

6. Brush up on your language skills.
“If you aren’t fluent in Haitian Creole and French, you may want to start practicing or learning,” advises Mesy. Some job announcements tend to even ask for for some conversational to intermediate skills in Spanish or Portuguese. Jeudy, who has worked as a human resources executive in Haiti since 2008 and has been studying the job market there non-stop, notes: “The market has become extremely competitive. Being an English speaker is no longer a pass to a high level position and package in Haiti.”

7. Take non-traditional routes.
As with other job markets, a job seeker might constantly be applying for jobs in Haiti and may be getting nowhere. In which case, being an employee may not necessarily be the way go. “My advice would be to think about starting your own business or about being self-employed,” says Maureen. “But if someone wants to come work in Haiti, having a college degree and some work experience helps a whole lot. If the person is interested in a specific place or sector, they should try to get in contact with some people—family friends, friends of friends—of that sector.”

Visit Haiti. Survey the terrain and see if you can offer a service that others aren’t currently offering. Or if they are indeed already offering it, think of ways that you can take it to the next level. That’s just what Carine Jocelyn, Geraldine Superville, and Edna Desulme did. They founded Sankofa Salads, an organic food and salad bar in Petionville that, in addition to providing fresh healthy meals, offers deliveries to customers. The salad bar has gotten a reputation since its start in 2012 for providing excellent customer service.

What do those who currently work in Haiti think about working there? Brandt says he has received some great feedback from professionals about working in Haiti. “They love it,” he summarizes. “It’s hard at the beginning to find a place, a car and all, but they love the work and the life here. But they always come here thinking that living in Haiti is cheap. They are always shocked to see how expensive it is to live here in Haiti—housing, car, restaurant and so on.”

Yes, that’s another thing. And this brings us to yet another tip:

8. Prepare mentally and materially.
Coming to work in Haiti? Bring as much as you can with you! That’s the advice that David Ritter, an expatriate who has more than six years of experience in Haiti, would like to give out to incoming workers. Not that Haiti is lacking when it comes to stores, but items tend to be, well, rather expensive. Rather expensive as in three to five times the price as one may be accustomed to buying them elsewhere. Vendors tend to mark-up their prices to compensate for shipping and airplane fare. “Everything I own I can fit into a couple of duffel bags,” says Ritter. “It all depends on what you need. I would focus on electronics and items for entertainment.”

He adds: “All I know is all I need are my clothes, some books, hygiene products, portable DVD player, DVDs, CDs, and that’s about it. Just think like this, the basic cost of living in Haiti is cheap, but luxury items can be double—even triple—for what they cost in other places. But always remember shipping items in, can be challenging and may be taxed.”

Jeudy says that employees should be ready to make some lifestyle adjustments as well. “Be ready to spend days without electricity or running water,” she says. “Prepare what is deemed as a normal survival kit elsewhere, especially for when when a natural disaster occurs.”

Wesley Laine, who worked for an NGO for two years in Haiti gives this counsel to potential workers: “Prepare yourself to have the expertise necessary to help and look for the opportunities that fit you. It is very important to have the expertise. Goodwill and a good conscience are not good enough.”

Ah, now those were some great pieces of advice, no? So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your working in Haiti journey!

This is Part One of two of a Working in Haiti series. Watch out for the next article.
[Kat is the editor and founder of Kreyolicious.com. You can contact her here.]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


14 Comments to “How to Get a Job in Haiti: 8 Tips to Get You Started”

  1. Interesting read. Hopefully one day soon the need to hire workers outside of Haiti will be no more.

  2. MellowMel says:

    It’s always been my dream to go back to Haiti but reading this article made me realize that I need to work harder and get more education. I want to be in the best position possible to help my people.

  3. Francoise Carrie says:

    Great article! Very exhaustive in terms of references thank you; I will definitely use some of them!

  4. […] Part 1 of this two-part series, we discussed getting a job in Haiti. But what does one do when one actually gets there once one […]

  5. olguine mode says:

    Very helpful…

  6. Lynn Gedeon says:

    Great article, I worked in Haiti for almost 2 years and the job market is not easy. The easiest way to find a job is through networking with the right people.

  7. charles rebecca edith says:

    i would to have this type of job. can you please contact me me please
    thank you

  8. Jessica T says:

    This is a great article! I love how you give detailed steps on how individuals can pursue working in the beautiful country of Haiti. I felt stumped, not knowing which steps to take first, but now I feel more ready than ever. Thank you once again!

  9. Adler Roseme says:

    What kind of job I can get in Haiti with bachelor in Business administration and minor criminal justice … Looking forward to move there…. Of need too

  10. fritz paul says:

    hey, I’m an asst Teacher with the Dept of Education. During the month of Feb, I was scheduled for an intellectual test at the Embassy but two days prior of the.appt date. Suddently, there.was an emergency snow storm in NY which I forwarded a notice to the Human Resources for the fact that my absence in the time of the test. Still no answer from the Human Resources.

    r the appt date there was a major snow storm in NY. The American Airline was grounded because of the emergency situation

  11. Alix Joseph says:

    Hi, I’ve been living in the US for 32yrs and I’ve been in Haiti now for almost 3yrs come November 11,2014. I am seeking employment in the medical and or other fields as an English translator but i have no way of going about to find a job. i travel back and forth seeking work from Cap-Haitian to port-au-prince frequenty seek help. “No luck” my numbers are 509-4-738-5961 Digicel and 509-4-252-6562 Natcom

  12. I am interested to get an international coordinator / consultant job in helping international organization / companies in Haiti .My cV is attached below for your perusal

    Personal Data of Daniel Joseph
    First name: Daniel
    Last name : Joseph
    Nationality : Haitian (Haiti)
    Marital Status: Married
    Immigration Status: Visa B2 and C1/D
    Address: Delmas 33 Prolongee Passant Rue Fraternite Rue Ste Claire # 4 C/O Bachelard
    Port- Au-Prince, Haiti Zip HT6110
    Phone Number: (509)4875-6164
    E-mail: gvohtorg@yahoo.com / jdaniel@gvoht.org
    SPECIALITIES : Development Consultant and has the experiences of delivering agency services to organizations and companies ,human resources, retail Shop Sales, Housekeeping and environment cleanliness / food services to the Hospitality Employer as well can assist development organizations to create and launch innovation projects and hire the best talent to provide outstanding services to customers and employees. Self-motivated person, having capabilities to own and solve satisfactorily issues or problems that may be affected clients and employees from business. Study and justification reveal that great employee help the company generate great income and expand products to worldwide.

    CONSULTANT SUMMARY
    Detail-oriented, experienced with 17 years hands- on development consultant
    experience and 8 years of a consistent track record of delivering complex
    programs and managing multi-disciplinary teams of varying sides and
    formulated investment ideas. Committed to professionalism, highly
    Organized, able to see the big picture while paying attention to small
    details, problems solving skills and team player with foresight to understand
    future consequences. Anticipates and negotiates solution for potential
    problems that could impact the management of internal and external
    responsibilities and activities. Proven ability to achieve results in very high
    pressure environment and to keep teams motivated. Experienced founding
    and running startups. Develop customers survey complaint to improve their satisfactions. I have successfully analyzed, planned, set and
    performed well works systems for companies and organizations. I managed tracked, report, launched innovation project and oversees the entire development and improvement. I had carried out strategic vision
    and elevated the organization’ profile throughout the community and also
    assembled and managed multidisciplinary projects teams for product
    development.
    OBJECTIVES : I am interested to work with any employer and help meeting the needs and accomplishing their visions or missions, I would love to be recommended (hired) to any suitable or position that match ( fit) my education, work experience and I also want to learn, develop new skills and increase my knowledge. I am a hardworking person and able to work under pressure or with any circumstances that may occur during duties. If ever I get hired, I would be one of the team who contribute positive services impact and expand company’s products to worldwide

    1) Employment Data 1990 -1995
    Sotraco Society / Hotel Holiday & restaurant
    Consultant Officer, perform well works system and Coordinate the office work, respond to customer needs, employees’ inquiries and comments in person and on phone by providing timely and knowledgeable information and assist the company to set development projects and worker recruitment.
    2) Hospitality Employment Data- Carnival Cruise Lines-18 years’ experience 1996- 2014 –Been worked as a customer services care /Headroom Steward to respond to all the guests needs, solve issues and problems related to the guests and in charge to maintain the highest cleanliness in the Hotel Department and report all the deficiency to the technical Department.

    3) SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT-EMPLOYMENT DATA 2006- 2009
    Founder & President Executive NGO
    Global Vision Over Haiti Today / Website: http://www.gvoht.org
    Been established School and Medical Clinic that support in providing educational and healthcare services to a Haiti Community

    4) Seasonal Employment Data Agreement-2006 -2013
    Project Development Consultant and Recruitment Officer
    Global Vision Over Haiti Today (GVOHT) / Sotraco Society
    PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES
    -Consulting and assisting with the ongoing recruitment projects, including team workers selection and creation of interviewing standards and other policies for the companies and organizations development.Obtain and assess all the certificates and testimonials of the candidates. Control, maintain and update manpower plan and prepare related monthly and weekly reports. Work closely with hiring managers and the Director of Human Resources to define position requirements, tracks requisitions and manage open headcount. Notify applicants of selection outcome, conduct employment references checks and addresses concerns applicants may have about the selection process; develop and maintain job registers by working with department / Division heads

    EDUCATION : Consultant
    FIELD STUDY : Business Development / Human Resources (Organizational Strategic Enterprises – 1989 – 1993
    UNIVERSITY : High Business Institute
    EMPLOYERS AND PROFESSIONAL REFERENCES
    1) Hotel Holiday and Restaurant
    Jean Joel Hotel Director
    Phone 509)3555-1914
    E-mail : holidayhotel2000@gmail.com

    2) Carnival Cruise Lines International Company
    Cruise Lines Manager of Operations
    Phone Number: (305)599-2600 /305-406-4649

    3) Global Vision Over Haiti Today ( GVOHT)/ Sotraco Society
    Jocelyn Charles – Director –Phone Number (509)3528-9734
    E-mail: cjocelyn@gvoht.org

Leave A Comment