The definitive guide to living and working in the Cayman Islands
Sep 18, 2014
Finding Jobs in Cayman
Last updated: 14th August 2013
In this section we provide detailed information about the different types of jobs in Grand Cayman. We list the contact details for recruitment companies operating in the Cayman Islands and also give details of other companies that are often looking to recruit, including email contacts for human resources managers.
Finding a Job
As previously mentioned, there are an endless number of employment opportunities available in the Cayman Islands and if you are residing overseas it can be very difficult to submit employment applications directly to local companies that are then taken seriously. Most companies on the Island receive a continuous and endless barrage of employment applications from overseas but very few are deemed to be genuine. The minefield of applying for employment on the Island is further complicated by the requirement to advertise any position prior to a work permit application or annual renewal. A flick through the local classifieds may give a misleading picture of the job market. Employers are discouraged from giving any indication that the position may be a work permit renewal, as this can discourage local applicants. With around 19,000 work permits in issue at any one time, many apparent vacancies will actually be in support of a prospective work permit application or renewal.
This makes trying to find a position by reading employment classifieds something of a needle-in-a-haystack endeavour. For most job-seekers, responding to such ads should only be a part of a more proactive, direct strategy. The most effective approach to finding good employment depends on what type of role you are suited for and how soon you wish to relocate.
Financial Services Professionals
Many positions exist for professionally qualified accountants, particularly those with investment or insurance industry experience (but this is by no means essential). The Cayman Islands recognises most Commonwealth and international accounting designations.
Due to the proliferation of choice for qualified accountants, it may be wise to consider registering with a Cayman Islands-based recruitment agency that has an in-depth understanding of the local market place. They will be able to advise you on the prospects and appropriate salary for someone with your experience and qualifications. Many of the largest financial services employers on the Island find most of their professional staff through recruitment agencies. Note that most agencies prefer to represent you exclusively and it is inadvisable (for various practical reasons) to sign up with multiple agencies.
Another advantage of using a recruitment agency is that they may be able to offer you a temporary contract (normally six months), whereas most firms expect a minimum two-year commitment for a permanent contract. Accepting a temporary contract is often the fastest way to come to the Islands and gain the kind of experience that makes you a marketable candidate.
Lawyers must generally have at least three years post-qualification experience in a British Commonwealth jurisdiction as well as previous financial services experience, preferably in mutual/hedge funds, insurance, insolvency, structured finance or commercial litigation. Again, contacting a reputable agency is a good way to assess the prospects and find out about current vacancies.
Other Skills & Professions
For those with qualifications, skills or ambitions not related to financial services, finding good employment may require a little more research and legwork. Most reputable recruitment agencies will be able to point you in the right direction and some may have vacancies within your field, so it will be a matter of researching those agencies that may or may not be able to help you.
In addition, a good approach can be to use the internet or Yellow Pages, make a list of potential employers and simply write to them enclosing your resume. For your cover letter, remember to include such important details as when you will be available, why you would like to relocate to the Cayman Islands, your marital status and your partner's occupation (if applicable). Although these last two points might be considered personal and irrelevant details in most countries, many employers will be interested as this can be an indirect indication of the level of your commitment and stability as an expatriate worker. Note that most employers will not reply unless they have a suitable vacancy. It is good practice to follow up your resume with a call to the Human Resources department to confirm receipt and enquire as to any current vacancies. This approach applies equally well whether you are seeking a position as a surgeon or cocktail waitress!
If you have a bachelor's degree and a few years of office experience, you may want to consider office temping. This is a good way to make friends and contacts when you first arrive, which can prove to be invaluable in the search for good, permanent employment. Because you will be tied to the temping agency for the duration of your contract and work permit, you should do as much research as possible on prospective employers before signing up. A good agency will be able to provide references from current and past staff-members, together with contact details, which will allow you to confirm their authenticity yourself. For other specific industries the situation is as follows:
Teaching jobs usually come with a two year contract and incentives to stay. The renewal of two year contracts are based on annual performance reports. Most teachers are recruited from the Caribbean and in particular from Jamaica, as well as from England, Canada and the US. Teaching positions in Cayman's private schools also often come available. See our Education chapter and apply directly to specific schools.
- Construction: Management positions are usually hired from overseas simply because there are not enough qualified Caymanians to fill these posts. We recommend that you find a list of local construction companies in the Yellow Pages (www.caymanyp.com) and contact them directly. When a position becomes available, these companies tend to go through the resumes on file to see if someone is qualified for the position, so sending your information is a good way to ensure that you're considered. Please note that the construction industry has slowed significantly since the recession, and, although there are a few private homes being built on Island, it is commonly acknowledged that the industry has been quiet recently.
- CI Government: As with all civil service jobs, the Cayman Islands' Government prefers for people to apply directly with the submission of an official application form, a resume and a cover letter. See www.gov.ky/recruitment for jobs.
- Electricians and Plumbers: Legally, all electrical and plumbing workers need a local licence to work in the Cayman Islands. Plumbers are licensed by the Plumber's Examination and should contact the Water Authority about specifics of the process (www.waterauthority.ky). Electricians must satisfy the CI Electrical Board of Examiners that their qualifications meet the requirements of the Electricity Regulations. In all cases, a certified copy of your licence, trade references and a recommendation from your Cayman employer must be submitted along with your application. You will not receive a work permit until you have completed this process. Qualified MEP workers should contact local MEP companies directly to see if there are any vacancies. A list of these companies can be found in the local Yellow Pages.
- Grocery: The local grocery stores are often looking for staff, and they welcome direct contact. Foster's Food Fair has several locations, and you can reach the right contact either through mail or email: PO Box 10400, Grand Cayman KY1-1004, HR department email: email@example.com. For Kirk Supermarket, you can either send inquiries via mail at PO Box 10132, Grand Cayman KY1-1002 or through the HR department email: HR@ksl.ky. For those seeking employment at Hurley's, you can view job vacancies on their website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Hospitality Industry: Hotels and restaurants usually hire in September and October to fill positions in time for high season, which starts in December. Visit the Good Taste website at www.caymangoodtaste.com to contact the restaurants of your choice. It is most recommend that you mail your resume directly to specific restaurants (you can also find a list in the Yellow Pages), and those that are interested will call to interview you over the phone. Frequently available positions include guest service agents, food and beverage servers and bartenders. Seasonal permits for six or eight months are easily obtainable for employers
- IT: There is not much demand for expats in IT positions since Caymanians are very well qualified in this field. Positions are available in the software development and network administration fields, however, the roles are generally for a limited time (possibly five years maximum). It should be noted that these positions are often filled through employment agencies. For these reasons, expats might also have more luck finding a job in a software consultancy firm than one in-house at a large company. IT positions are often advertised in the local papers and quickly snapped up by qualified Caymanians.
- Teaching Positions: Teaching jobs in the Government schools are advertised on the Ministry of Education's website (www.education.gov.ky), as well as in the Caymanian Compass newspaper, between December and February every year. When you apply for a job, a cover letter, an official application and a resume should be submitted. Any information or inquiries should be addressed to the Recruitment Manager of the Ministry of Education, Training & Employment, and everything you need can be found on the Ministry of Education's website. You can also email them directly on email@example.com with questions or applications and the HR services team will usually respond to your enquiry within two weeks. This department is also responsible for the recruitment of all jobs within the Ministry of Education, so positions other than teaching are available every year
Recruitment & Employment Agencies
- Medical Field: The local hospitals, HSA and CTMH, are always looking for nurses and doctors. However, at the present time, there are no openings for General Practitioners. Presently, doctors with specialist training are preferred. For the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA), you can apply directly by emailing your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailing it to PO Box 915, Grand Cayman KY1-1103 Attn: Human Resources Department. The HSA also have a website (www.hsa.ky) where they post jobs. The Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital is also happy to receive resumes directly. You can email Judy Ebanks at: email@example.com or mail your resume to PO Box 273, Grand Cayman KY1-1104. There are some restrictions: only those who are fully registered and have a current practicing licence from Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom and the USA can practice in Cayman. Also, those with a qualification from the University of the West Indies
- Medical Interns: From July 2013 the Health Services Authority started accepting applications for medical interns at Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town. Eight medical students can undertake internships on a one-year rotation, spending three months working in each of four specialities - general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics and child health. The programme is accredited by the Caribbean Association of Medical Councils. Caymanian medical students are given priority but the programme is open to anyone studying medicine overseas. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (345) 244 2606.Support Staff: There is a high demand for corporate administrators and legal secretaries in support roles, and these positions are generally filled by employment agencies. An employment agency will often hold a six month work permit for you that will then turn into a full-time position with a company you have temped for. There are a few PA positions, but these positions are generally filled by Caymanians. Support staff in accounting firms also tend to be local
- Luxury Retail: The major recruiters in the retail field are Island Companies and Kirk Freeport. Both would be happy for you to contact them directly; you can reach Island Companies at email@example.com and Kirk Freeport via firstname.lastname@example.org. The latter have an official online application form, which you can see on the Kirk Freeport website: www.kirkfreeport.net.
- Sales: Sales jobs in Cayman usually have a commission-based component, and, consequently, Caymanians tend to avoid these jobs. The best way to find a sales position is to make a few phone calls from your home country, introduce yourself and then send your resume. The real estate companies and media houses are often hiring sales people.
- Telecommunications: Staff are most often hired locally and promoted from within. Some jobs do occasionally become available, and, in these cases, recruitment is done through employment agencies. See the Settling In chapter for a list of the telecommunications companies in Cayman.
- Caribbean Utilities: (the local electricity company) hires mostly locally. Of its 187 employees, 93% are Caymanians. They are very pro-Caymanian and will always look to promote from within. They are an excellent example of a company very committed to investing in and developing their employees. If any jobs do become available, it is usually in the very technical field. If you have the appropriate technical skills, you may email your resume to CUC's head of HR, Joy Oremule, on email@example.com.
- Other: Dart is another corporation that may be seeking motivated employees. Dart Enterprises is developing Camana Bay, and to see open positions, visit www.dartenterprises.biz/careers.html.
Affinity Recruitment Ltd
150 Shedden Road, George Town
PO Box 2198, Grand Cayman KY1-1105
Tel: (345) 943 2020 Fax: (345) 943 2022
Specialising in: Permanent and executive recruitment, temporary staff assignments, corporate immigration services, payroll and benefit administration and corporate event planning.
Century Yard, Cricket Square
PO Box 1367, Grand Cayman KY1-1108
Tel: (345) 945 1781 Fax: (345) 945 1782
Specialising in: Permanent and executive recruitment, temporary staffing solutions, immigration outsourcing, HR consultancy, payroll and HR outsourcing.
CML Offshore Recruitment
Grand Pavilion Comm Centre, West Bay Road
PO Box 30237, Grand Cayman KY1-1201
Tel: (345) 949 1345 Fax: (345) 947 1775
Specialising in: Placement of jobs in the legal, IT and financial services industry both for permanent and temporary job opportunities from entry level to senior management. Also available are immigration, relocation and general human resources consulting services as well as social media consulting with an emphasis on online video through their video production arm, CML TV.
Suite 3119, Market Street, Camana Bay
PO Box 30924, Grand Cayman KY1-1204
Tel: (345) 945 8367 Fax: (345) 945 8601
Specialising in: Executive searches, temporary staffing, immigration and business support services, job placements, career assessment, salary analysis and professional resume writing.
SteppingStones Recruitment & Training Ltd.
3rd Floor, Fidelity Financial Centre
PO Box 10091, Grand Cayman KY1-1001
Tel: (345) 946 7837 Fax: (345) 946 7836
Specialising in: Temporary support staff, permanent and executive recruitment, corporate immigration services, payroll and benefit administration, staff training and development.
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