Working in Algeria
Rich in natural resources, Algeria is home to the fourth-largest economy in Africa. The country has enjoyed steady economic growth in recent years, bolstered mainly by its recovering oil and gas sector. The largest industries in Algeria include natural gas and oil production, mining and agriculture.
Job market in Algeria
The oil and gas industry is one of the largest employers of expats in the country. Other opportunities can be found in the finance, education and foreign aid sectors. Tourism is also a growing industry where expats may find work.
Finding a job in Algeria
The majority of expats will secure employment before arriving in the country. Expats could make use of online search engines when looking for a job. Spontaneously sending out resumes to international companies could also help with the job search.
Expats wanting to work in Algeria will require a work visa, and this should be applied for at the Algerian Embassy in their country of residence. The employer usually takes responsibility for arranging the work permit and will need to prove that there are no Algerians capable of doing the job before they hire a foreigner.
Work culture in Algeria
Algerian business structures are hierarchical and formal. Business revolves around personal relationships. Expats need to develop and nurture relationships and trust with their new Algerian colleagues.
Being able to speak French or Arabic will be beneficial for those seeking work in Algeria. The communication style is generally indirect. The need to save face and not offend can make clear answers difficult to attain. The fluidity of time in Algeria can also sometimes lead to a sense of frustration.
Appearances are important in the Algerian corporate world, so expats should dress formally, with business attire more Western in nature. Women should cover their shoulders and legs, but they’re not expected to wear traditional attire such as a hijab or abaya.
A handshake is the usual greeting in business circles. Men tend not to shake hands with women, but some women will offer a hand. It’s best to wait for a woman to extend her hand first when greeting.
The workweek in Algeria is from Sunday to Thursday, with Friday and Saturday being the weekend. The standard working week is 40 hours in Algeria, with a generous leave allowance of around 30 days per year.