The employment of foreigners in Lithuanian companies is a topic that still reaps ambivalent opinions. There is still a myth that foreign workers take away jobs from Lithuanian citizens, or their workplace costs much cheaper to Lithuanian employers, so this is a real saving and possibly a stimulus to increase emigration. Meanwhile, the managers of the companies employing foreigners repeat, as if they had agreed, that this solution is a real salvation for their businesses. And how is it really? Dovilė, a specialist of the UAB “DARBO TURAS”, says that information about job deprivation is only a myth, and that it is not possible to rely on populistic phrases.
What competition do you see between Lithuanian workers and foreign workers in the current context?
When employing foreigners, Lithuanian employers have not only multiple benefits but also commitments. One of them is to pay foreigners not less than the average salary of the same profession. Consequently, they do not create financial competition for Lithuanians. However, irrespective of the nationality of citizens working in private business enterprises, there is always internal competition from the professional side, which forces Lithuanians to gear up. Thus, without discrimination on the basis of nationality, it is important for both employees and others to work qualitatively and effectively.
Why is it sometimes more beneficial for a company to hire a foreigner?
We have noticed basing on our long-term work experience that a tendency that Lithuanian workers increasingly choose unemployment benefit rather than the minimum wage for work prevails especially in the regions. Since we provide staff of different qualifications from abroad, we have noticed that these people in Lithuania are not seeking for benefits. It is relevant to them to work and earn money, so lower-
skilled workers are a real salvation for regional businesses.
Therefore, again, a high-quality working foreigner promotes competition in a company. And healthy internal competition increases the overall quality of the work of the company.
When comparing foreign workers with Lithuanians: do you see any differences in the qualifications of employees? If you do, what are they?
Indeed, the specificity of each client's work is varied and different. It all depends on the qualification of the foreigner employed and his/her experience in the specifics of namely his/her work. For example, specialists of automation engineers coming to Lithuania to work not only hold their grounds against Lithuanian workers, but often outperform them with their diligence and responsibilities. In summary, foreigners work more efficiently and are more motivated. Motivation gives them the opportunity to work and earn more (whereas in Lithuania the salary for their work is higher than in the country they come from).