There is no denying that the Baltic countries have seen drastic changes over the past few years. After the fall of the USSR, each one had to learn how to be independent, which meant managing its economy and defining a new political system. Like its neighbouring countries, Lithuania has been faced with a number of challenges concerning these transformations. It continues to adapt and progress, making it an interesting place for a recruitment campaign. So here’s how to recruit in Lithuania.
The size of Lithuania is average compared to other European countries, but it was once the largest state on the continent. Parts of Belarus and the Ukraine used to belong to Lithuania in the 14th century. These aren’t the only ties it has with neighbouring countries: in 1569, Lithuania and Poland formally united into a single dual state, which existed until 1795. Later, it spent 50 years under the USSR control (from 1940 to 1990). The last Russian troops withdrew in 1993. Today, most people associate Lithuania with Latvia and Estonia, because different alliances exist between the three nations.
From its history, it is clear that Lithuania places great importance on having amicable ties with the neighbouring countries. This is confirmed by the strong trade industry. The main trading partners of the country are Russia, Germany, Latvia, Estonia, Netherlands and Belarus. Mineral products, chemicals, textiles, machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, and plastics amount to more than 60% of exports.
After Russia left the territory, Lithuania restructured its economy for integration into Western European institutions. It joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004. Finally, in 2015, Lithuania joined the euro zone (and left the Lithuanian Litas behind). All of these relations have helped Lithuania grow. In fact, the GDP growth is above the EU average.
In addition to good relations with the bordering countries, Lithuanians appreciate the simple things in life. As a country with forests covering about 33% of the land, many lakes and “the purest air”, it’s no wonder they can take a step back and offer a balanced approach to work. They show respect to nature and all things spiritual, despite being one of the last countries to convert to Christianity. The famous Hill of Crosses attracts tourists from all over the world, who come to view the eerie beauty of the location. A great tourist destination and a developing economy, Lithuania is a great place to set up shop, but it’s important to understand the current state of the job market.
CURRENT STATE OF THE JOB MARKET IN LITHUANIA
Lithuania is home to about 2 793 284 population and 55% of the locals are between the ages of 25 and 64. In fact, a little over 62% of the population is considered active (which is quite high). Unemployment dropped from 17.8% in 2010 to 7.07% in 2017. Furthermore, Brazil, the UK and the US have the largest population of Lithuanians outside of the country, followed by Canada, Russia, Australia, Argentina, Spain, Denmark and Finland.
So Lithuanians are more spread out than you might think. The country has one of the highest emigration rates since joining the EU, which is a problem for the local economy. In order to encourage Lithuanians to stay put, recruiters need to offer higher salaries and more benefits. The media hourly earnings are the third lowest, after Romania and Bulgaria, so it shouldn’t be hard for international companies to offer a more interesting revenue. The brain drain, aging, poverty and income inequality are the major issues in the country.
Recruiters especially need to guaranty career development for the employees, who leave the country frustrated by limitations they won’t face overseas. Lithuania has some of the best universities in all of Europe, so it makes sense that the graduates should want working conditions, which reflect their expertise and education.
For recruiters hoping to hire Lithuanians in or outside the country, it’s important to speak the language. Granted, Lithuanian is very difficult to master, but you can get by with Russian, which is spoken by about 40% of the population. Since the language is so complicated, foreigners have a rough time building a career without it. Only 1 % of the working population is foreign.
This could also be due to the somewhat racism or homophobic views some express openly. On that subject, Lithuania is behind the times. The irony is that many choose to leave to find better work elsewhere (the country struggled during the 2008-09 global financial crisis), and yet, those who stay shun newcomers. Despite this, it has one of the fastest growing economies in the EU.
However, as a country very dependent on trade, the economic outlook could quickly turn sour. Much like the trade wars between the US and China, the international climate impacts the local market. When trouble arises between strong European nations, be they on the East or West, Lithuania can quickly be caught in the middle.
Finally, if you’re wondering what to expect from Lithuanian people, you can rest easy knowing that, for the most part, they’re patriotic and health-conscious individuals. Professionalism is important, which is why handshakes, and not kissing, are the accepted form of greeting in the office. As long as you support the right basketball team, you should be alright.
JOBBOARD FINDER’S TOP PICKS FOR LITHUANIA
At the Jobboard Finder, we seek out the best job boards in order to advise recruiters and jobseekers on where to look for employees and where to find work. For Lithuania, we have three top picks:
One last fun fact from the Jobboard Team: Lithuania has the most doctors in Eastern and Central Europe per square meter.
Author: Ali Neill
As the job board tester and blog editor for the Jobboard Finder, Ali works on job boards from all around the world and keeps a close eye on the recruitment trends thanks to a number of sources, including the website’s social media pages.
« What to Expect from the CV of the Future
Here’s How to Spot a Bad Candidate When You Hire »