The Cayman Islands Government, via the Premier Alden McLaughlin openly discussed the virtues of the diversity of Cayman’s residents in June 2018,additionally highlighting the Country’s population increase by 70% over the last 20 years. Whilst the government is open about the need for expat workers to support the economy, particularly in the financial services sector, the Cayman Islands infrastructure is straining under this population increase. This strain has had a natural rebound effect on the local Immigration policy, as entry to Cayman has become tighter and more robust.

The Immigration situation in the Cayman Islands is therefore under pressure and for all companies that deal with the work permit process on a regular basis, who have worked through the many changes in Immigration law and practice, it comes as no surprise that a systematic shift to simpler immigration is NOT expected any time soon.

A new trend in response to the increased strain is the outsourcing of immigration management within the workplace. As the process becomes more complicated (or perhaps less clear), the time and effort that can be spent on immigration issues is increasing. Companies like Affinity Recruitment are opening up their services on Immigration as an additional ‘product’ for clients, to reduce complexity, save time and ensure the recruitment process runs smoothly.

According to a global survey conducted by Deloitte, outsourcing has been on the increase globally, hitting a new high in 2016. As a result, the natural move by local companies such as Affinity Recruitment to increase their outsourcing services, is both on trend and in line with global movement. The Deloitte Team summarized that outsourcing has a range of benefits, in addition to the cost savings of paying for a resource on a contract/need only basis. The key outcomes of outsourcing highlighted included improved strategic flexibility and improved contract delivery, exceeding the scope of the original contract (when relationships are well managed).

Whilst the survey addresses outsourcing methods such as using cloud and systems management tech, when taken into context with the local Cayman Islands immigration, the required knowledge and understanding of the laws, plus the navigating of muddied waters, this can only be done by an actual human team at Affinity Recruitment have found an increasing demand for their seasoned approach to immigration as more and more companies turn to outsourcing as the ideal solution for this crucial business service.

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/nl/Documents/operations/deloitte-nl-s&o-global-outsourcing-survey.pdf

Skype Interviews

Moving to the Cayman Islands generally depends on having a role secured before you pack your bags (unless you are independently wealthy of course!). These days, interviews take place digitally, rather than flying people to and from. Most people are totally au fait with Skype in their personal lives but less so on a professional footing.

In the old days, interview prep used to involve identifying and correcting how you gesticulate with your hand hands, adjusting the natural position of your legs when sitting, making a calculated decision about which socks you wear, no chewing gum and generally being clean, pressed and presentable etc. Now we must consider the small area of your person that is visible to the interviewer from many thousands of miles away. Therefore, if you are getting yourself geared up to applying for roles abroad, make sure your Skype (or visual media) skills are up to scratch. Affinity has put together a few dos and don’ts to get you ready for that big interview.

DO…

Practice – Ask a friend to play the interviewer and see how you respond within the small window of your computer/ipad. Pay attention to how you sit, what you look at, and how you communicate using body language and eye contact, on screen.

Understand your own quirks (and stop doing them) before you start interviewing – whether it’s swishing your hair, putting your hands in front of your mouth, scratching your head (without knowing it), we all have quirks that have the potential to distract the interviewer.

Set up in good time – do not leave it until the last minute to check where you will be during the interview. Set up in a quiet, private space, preferably away from animals and children (and definitely not in the pub garden!) well before time. Punctuality and being prepared are still key work skills and being late to your interview due to technical issues does not look good.

Use a computer or freestanding screen that can be secured – phones have a tendency to fall over, or worse, ring during your interview.

Do Not:

Interrupt – let the interviewer lead the conversation. It’s really easy to stumble over each other when on an interactive call.

Take the call with bad signal/connection – this is frustrating for everyone involved. Make sure you have a fantastic internet connection, so the call is clear and uninterrupted.

Assume the interviewer won’t see you from the waist down – If you have to stand up for some reason, make sure you are appropriately dressed. Whilst it’s tempting to have your top half looking ready for a snazzy work function and the bottom half still wearing pajamas, you certainly don’t want to reveal that you are only half prepared for the interviewer.

Get distracted – turn everything off and put yourself on ‘do not disturb’. When your eyes wander during the call, so does the interviewer’s respect for you.

If you want more tips on how to prepare for an interview, register with Affinity and the team will put you through your paces as part of their preparation process.

Updating your cv resume

When we left University or the equivalent training scheme that set us on the path to professionalism, there was a clear CV writing formula. The formula was, no more than two pages, use as many jargon or buzz words as possible to show how up to date you are, include as much work experience as you can, use a bland font in a basic word document, make sure you include Microsoft Office as a skill… and definitely do not stray from the formula!

Times have changed quite dramatically over the life of the CV, the trick for senior managers, especially for those who haven’t spent as much time revising their CV throughout their career, is to move with the times and get cut-through in the recruitment sphere.

Getting to the point on your CV, in the coveted 2 pages, is still very much in vogue. The task for people with more experience is they have more experience, so deciding what to cover and what to delete can be quite the challenge. The balance is to know when to expand and when to keep it brief. What you need to imagine, is that the recruiter is looking at 20 CVs, all from people who have the basic qualifications and experience for the job, so why should they pick you?

Firstly, include a personal statement and be sure to include some poignant messaging that will pique interest and become a great interview topic for discussion. Give the recruiter and potential employer a genuine insight into what you are good at and who you are as a person.

Use a simple yet professional looking template, a clear, genuine (this isn’t Tinder) photo, ensuring your personal email conveys the right tone – We have all seen those hilarious Hotmail/gmail addresses, just make sure this is not what your employer sees, you wouldn’t want them to draw the wrong conclusion! Additionally, do make sure you pack your CV with appropriate key words, this will help the skim-reading of your CV gain real impact, heightening the opportunity to get short-listed for more scrutiny.

Most importantly, remember the real meat of the CV still remains the experience and the skills. Keep it relevant, don’t be afraid to summarise or delete experience that isn’t relevant or interesting. Also, don’t assume that either the recruiter or employer understands your previous role in its entirety – if you did something unique, ground breaking or out of the norm, and it’s relevant to the potential new role, include it and expand!

Technology is always an area of development for companies, make sure you include any relevant skills that show you are savvy, embrace change, and like to keep your training (even if out of work) up to date. No, having ‘Microsoft Office’ as a skill does not count as being ‘savvy’ these days.

For potential employees looking to expatriate, especially to jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands, it is important you highlight how and why you would fit into the Cayman Financial Services sector, both in terms of a professional and cultural context. In a nutshell, make sure you emphasize why you would be the right person for the job.

The old adage ‘it’s not what you know, it’ who you know’ is especially relevant when finding a job in the Cayman Islands. Cayman has a close-knit, often transient and buoyant professional community. The financial services industry is the biggest employer and new recruits are continually being sought by world-leading companies.

So surely it’s easy to find the perfect job in Cayman?

Well, yes, it is, as long as you know the right people. And if you don’t, you need someone who does, to represent you. But first, have a good look at what you are bringing to the workforce. Whether you are an expat or local Caymanian looking to make the next move up the career ladder, the most important aspect of finding the perfect job is making sure you are qualified… or maybe now is the time to see how you can improve your qualifications to enhance your work experience. This sounds simple but take a look at what you want, how much you want to earn, where you want to be in the future and then double check you have the right credentials. Especially if you are an expat looking to move to Cayman (or move roles), experience is simply not enough… you need the proven skills to back you up.

Next, make sure your CV accurately depicts who you are and what you have achieved. For middle to senior managers, getting this aspect of your CV is so important – you may have just tweaked your CV over many years, adding a few lines here and there… so now is probably time for a complete overhaul.Make it look beautiful for a start, make a good impression from the get-go and if you can’t get someone who can!

Finally, get in touch with someone at Affinity to talk to you about roles that suit you and what you really want to achieve. Yes, jobs are advertised in the paper or online but beware the immigration process in the Cayman Islands which means all work permit grants and renewals need to be advertised… unless you are a Caymanian, a lot of these roles are already filled and only being advertised as part of the legally required immigration process. The recruitment teams also work closely with employers to fill upcoming roles, long before the descriptions appear in the traditional advertising streams. If you are looking to move laterally or into a different market with relevant transferable skills, this is where the recruitment process really can help you find the perfect job – before you are presented to an employer, you will have been interviewed and all your background checks complete, so potential employers are likely to listen to a trusted recruitment partner who thinks their candidate has what it takes to fill the job, in a situation when a CV just might not get cut-through.

The best bit about modern technology is remote interviews are so easy – so finding the right job when you aren’t currently in the Cayman Islands is facilitated by being able to talk (often multiple times) to your potential new employer. This is so important – it’s as crucial for you as it is for the employer to get the right fit…

Contact the Affinity Recruitment team today to get your interview set up or check out the most recent jobs.

Little Cayman Point of Sand Expat Life Photo

You can picture yourself on the beach at weekends, enjoying a sundowner after work or a jog along the beach. So what is stopping you from packing your bags and moving to the Cayman Islands?

Quite a few things possibly – let’s face it, only a handful of people really do move abroad. It often seems a farfetched dream rather than something that is easily achievable.

So why should you consider a life surrounded by crystal blue waters and white sandy beaches?

Because these days, with improved communications and ease of travel, it’s not as big a step as you think it might be. The financials services industry in the Cayman Islands is flourishing. Cayman is the number 1 offshore domicile for hedge funds, has a significant international banking presence and is the 2nd biggest captive insurance centre in the world. Moving here can be incorporated into your career progression, thanks to good regulation and positive moves by the Cayman Islands Government and Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA), further establishing Cayman as a major global player.

So you can move here and improve your experience at the same time… perhaps it’s the thought of the unknown, or the barrier of the actual move that’s stopping you from taking the leap of faith?

Expat life in the Cayman Islands is absolutely unbelievable. Grand Cayman, which is where the majority of expats find themselves, has an action-packed, outdoor and sport focused lifestyle, peppered with fantastic restaurants, beach bars and of course, THAT ocean. The health care is good, the super markets are fantastic and you can find nearly everything you need (or miss from home) locally and the social scene, whether you are single, married and/or have a family, is welcoming, warm and very accepting of new people. Caymanians and expats understand that you are a newbie expat and you will find you can settle in very quickly due to this shared sense of being somewhere incredible.

Living in The Cayman Islands means you will meet, work with and become friends with a huge mix of people, Caymanian, British, American, South American, South African, Caribbean, Canadian…it makes for a varied and interesting lifestyle. You can talk to your family and loved ones via Skype or Facetime easily, making the distance automatically shrink. You will also find that by moving to the Caribbean, you have a steady stream of visitors, making it feel more like home and somewhere you want to share!

Moving here is also simple – you just need to know the right people or companies to smooth your way. Securing a job here is the first move and getting involved with a recruitment agency is the most efficient way to get employed – and they can manage the immigration process on your behalf.

Once you have your perfect job, or you take a temp job to get you here, moving really involves booking your flight, packing your bags (including sunscreen and a lot of outdoor clothing) and finding a place to live. The Cayman Resident gives a comprehensive list of who to contact when you get here (and before, where relevant), mapping out the journey and simplifying what you need to know.

If you are reading this, thinking that most of these things are not a barrier for you, you perhaps you are more ready for an expat lifestyle than you realized.

It’s as easy as: find job, book flights, pack, arrive to your new life…

Relocating to the Cayman Islands

If you’ve been offered a job in the Cayman Islands, or you’re starting to consider applying, you are likely to have quite a few questions about the process of obtaining a work permit and relocating to Cayman.

We speak with lots of job seekers, so we’ve gathered together some advice and information which we think will be useful for anyone relocating to Cayman.
It’s an exciting time so don’t stress 🙂

Which documents do I need to supply for a Cayman work permit application?
You should receive directions from whoever is processing your work permit, but as a rule you will need to supply a police clearance from your home country (or your place of residence for the past 6 months), a full medical assessment including a chest x-ray and blood lab report and a passport sized photo with a white background. You will also need to complete an application form, an accommodation form and a health & pension form.

How long will my work permit take to process?
A temporary work permit will usually take up to 10 business days to process. A full (permanent) work permit can take around 4 to 6 weeks to process.

Can I bring dependents on my work permit?
This will depend on your position and your agreement with your employer. As a rule, you will need to earn over CI$36,000/annum to bring one family member as a dependent on your work permit.

Can I relocate with my pet?
This needs a bit of forward planning – Your dog/cat will need to be at least ten months old to be allowed entry into the Cayman Islands. You will need to complete an Import Permit application and submit with an official health certificate, a rabies laboratory report and the processing fee for the import permit. There is also a list of dogs, which are not allowed to enter Cayman! Check out the CI Customs website for more details on this.

How does health insurance work in the Cayman Islands?
Your employer in Cayman will be responsible for providing health insurance for you and this coverage should be taken out immediately. If you have dependents on your work permit, your employer will also have responsibility for covering their insurance. The Health Insurance Law states that an employer is liable to pay the total cost of your health insurance but is entitled to recover up to 50% of the cost of the premium from your salary.

How do pension schemes work in Cayman?
If you are employed in Cayman, both you and your employer must contribute towards your pension. The contributions that both of you make are related to your total earnings. As an expat in Cayman, you are allowed nine months before legally having to begin paying into a pension scheme.

Hopefully some of the above info was helpful for you. If you have any other questions or would like to discuss your move with us, please feel free to leave a comment or email us on [email protected].

There is no doubt that moving abroad is an emotional and life-changing process…. and you’d have to be super calm and level-headed to relocate overseas without any wobbly moments. I was in a strange nervous state for most of the last month before we relocated to Cayman! I had some sleepless nights and I think my husband got a little worried about my tearful moments…

When you get a call from a recruiter in that exotic location overseas asking if you’ve ever considered relocating for your dream job, you will most likely be a little overwhelmed! Excitement will come first – what could be better than living on a sunny island sipping cocktails and lounging on the beach with beautiful new friends? But then the nerves and ‘reality’ will set in. What about my partner getting a job, what about my house, and my dog, cat, elderly relatives, existing employer?

As someone who made this move with my husband (and without a job of my own!!!), I must say that I don’t regret the decision. Island life has a different pace, the commutes are so much shorter, it feels like we have a lot of extra time to spend doing nice things and the constant sunshine helps me through any down days. I’ve picked my violin up again and have time to read! And I don’t miss out on my aerobics classes due to traffic delays anymore. Grand Cayman is BIG on the running and triathlon side of things – You’d think it’d be too hot to exercise here, but with the amount of food and drink consumed in those first few months on island, most people take up jogging to make up for the ‘Cayman 10 pounds’ they put on without realising it, just be enjoying island life!

I’ve been living in Cayman for just under 3 years now, and my husband Paul and I have had loads of visitors from back home. It’s always great fun showing friends our little slice of paradise and doing all the ‘touristy’ things again. When they’re about to fly back home, visitors invariably tell us that they wish they could live here and that we’re “so lucky”.

Well, we are lucky because things have fallen into place for us, and we have good jobs in paradise, which are not always easy to come across. But, we also took the leap and made it happen. We packed up the home we’d only recently bought, said emotional farewells to our families and quit our jobs… When I handed my resignation in to my lovely previous employer back in Bristol, it was with a heavy heart and a hell of lot of doubt.

Sometimes a Skype interview and promise of a job across the globe from someone you have never met in person just seems unreal and like some sort of elaborate joke!

Living overseas isn’t something everyone wants to do and I’m not saying your life is incomplete without doing it. But, if you’ve got a bit of wanderlust and you wish you could live abroad, it won’t come to you unless you make it happen. Apply for that job, speak to that recruiter, say yes to those interviews.

Most employers will initially offer an overseas employee a contract of 6 months to 2 years, so it can be a temporary experience. If you don’t like it, it doesn’t have to be forever. But in my experience, most people love it and want to extend beyond the 2 years!

What are you waiting for? 🙂

In the spirit of ‘New Year, New You’, you might be considering a career move. With the winter in full swing, you may also have thought about emigrating!?

What if you could live in the beautiful Caribbean at the same time as advancing your CV and career prospects?

Having worked in the Cayman Islands for two and a half years now, I have learnt a lot about the growth benefits from a personal and professional point of view. The personal benefits seem fairly obvious (sun,sea,sand, shorter commutes and more free time, the fun ex-pat lifestyle… :

So, what about the benefits from a professional growth point of view?

The Cayman Islands is a world-class financial services hub! Having spoken with candidates I’ve placed within FS over here in Cayman, and having watched their careers play out, I can honestly say offshore experience can do wonders for your CV! Multi-national companies often expect applicants to have undertaken at least one expatriate assignment.

Here are some of the benefits of gaining offshore experience:

  • Specialist knowledge – The offshore industry is a very specialist sector. As an Audit Senior in the Cayman Islands, for example, you would most likely be responsible for managing a varied portfolio of financial services clients (funds, trusts, SPVs, insurance, banking…) You would gain invaluable exposure to US GAAP and IFRS as well as a strong knowledge of international fund structures. Honing your specialist skillset and knowledge can greatly improve your employability internationally.
  • Scope for progression – In light of the specialist knowledge required when working offshore, full training is invariably offered. Professional training will provide you with the ability to widen your expertise and give you a competitive edge over other applicants who have stayed closer to home. This will allow you to progress more quickly and is a route to ‘fast-tracking’ your career.
  • International contacts – Working offshore means working in a diverse workplace. You will have the opportunity to meet and network with professionals from all over the world. This will broaden your horizons and may get you headhunted to other jurisdictions later down the line!
  • Financial benefits – As a tax-free environment, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda (and other offshore jurisdictions) offer the chance to build on your savings. A lot of companies offer a tax-free bonus on top of your annual salary! Many companies will also offer a generous relocation allowance.

So, even if it’s a temporary option for you, taking the leap offshore could truly enhance and develop your career!

So, when I say ‘sun’ I mean the Cayman Islands… but you might be able to apply some of this to moving elsewhere!

It’s easy to dream about living on a sun-soaked island, with a balcony overlooking the clear turquoise sea, sipping a cocktail after a fulfilling day’s work… But could you really make that dream a reality?

I did. And I assist a lot of job seekers who are looking to do the same.

As a recruiter in the Cayman Islands, I answer a lot of questions daily about how to make this move, so here is a short list of my top tips:

  1. Before you start applying for jobs, chat with your family! Make sure it’s the right time to make this life-changing move.I’ve known several people who have been offered interviews (and even jobs!) here, before they’ve checked that their husband/wife/partner/children/dog wants to move too! Although social media makes Cayman feel close to home, it is a pretty long flight to most places…so a long-distance relationship would be tough I’d imagine.

    Cayman’s rules on bringing a partner/family across with you mean that you can bring your wife/husband (but not girlfriend/boyfriend) and child (usually up to 2 kids) across as a ‘dependent’ on your work permit. The company has to agree to this, as every dependent costs between $250 and $500/year to your employer!

  2. Do a lot of research into the industry here. Are your skills aligned with the vacancies you see advertised? Would this be a good career move for you?The Cayman Islands is one of the top 10 international financial centres in the world. Gaining offshore experience can lead to excellent opportunities for career progression, and can be a spring-board to work in other jurisdictions (Singapore, Hong Kong, Bermuda etc.). Overseas work experience (often with a global company) will also make you stand out from the crowd when (if) you look to return home.
  3. When you’ve decided to start applying for jobs here, make sure you understand the immigration laws.In the Cayman Islands, local candidates have first refusal on all vacancies. This means that you will only be offered employment here as an expat if your career experience and qualifications tick ALL of the boxes for the vacancy you are applying for. Therefore, assistant/junior level vacancies (accounts assistant, administrator, HR admin etc.) will tend to be solely available to Caymanians/Status holders/Permanent Residents. For example, (as a rule) Accountants who are fully qualified with at least 3 years’ PQE and Legal Secretarial who have a commonwealth law background and have worked with magic circle firms,are preferred.

    You need to work on your CV before you send it out, and make sure it’s totally relevant to the vacancies you’re applying for. If you’re not sure how to write a great CV or cover letter,get a recruiter to help you.

  4. Which brings me to my fourth tip! Choose a recruitment agency and stick with them. Although there is a fantastic selection of top firms in Grand Cayman, it is still a small island!Practically all companies on the island use agencies to assist with their recruitment. There are five agencies based in Cayman (and more overseas who recruit here), so be selective! Work with one agency, so that you don’t end up with your CV on every HR Manager’s desk more than once. Build a good honest relationship with a (friendly) recruiter and put a plan of action together. Duplication of candidates’ CVs needs to be avoided, and even the greatest applicant is in danger of being black-listed if their application comes through the door 5 times via 5 different avenues.

    Working with one agency can help you to ensure you can keep track of your job search, to ensure a streamlined process and land your dream job at the end of it!

  5. Booking a trip to the island during your job search is an excellent way of scoping the place out, but this also allows you the opportunity to meet a recruiter in person and attend face-to-face interviews (which is always preferable to phone/skype interviewing).

If you’d like to know more about living and working in the Cayman Islands, I’d love to hear from you on (345) 943-2020. If you prefer email, send me a note to [email protected] or PM me on LinkedIn. I’m always happy to help.

Affinity is a boutique recruitment agency located in the heart of the business district of George Town, Grand Cayman. Dedicated to providing quality recruitment solutions to our clients, we seek to offer tailored solutions for job seekers and employers. We offer a personalized and responsive service, making sure our clients are managed with efficiency and professionalism at all times.

Check out our website for our job listings and additional information. We’re also active on social media, so please follow up on LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter where we share details of our services, vacancies, top tips for job seekers and updates on our team’s activities!

The way we interact via the Internet has changed significantly over the past 10 years. For professionals, managing the balance between having a private life, being seen to be media savvy and actively promoting yourself on social media is a tightrope. In order to manage this balancing act, we have put together some top tips and advice to help you to become a professional social media user:

1. Do you need to have a profile?

Depending on your role, the importance of having a public social media profile can vary. Certain roles demand that you have a squeaky clean media profile, such as teacher, police officer, lawyer etc. If you want to be seen as a key player in your industry, then you may need to have a presence on business sites such as LinkedIn. If you have reached a certain professional stage in your career, then showing that you ‘get’ social media is crucial. So be brave, take the first step! However, if you have open images of you having rather too much of a good time, regardless of when, take them down (or ensure your security settings are tight!). You must manage your profile, one way or another. Very few people can hide from it these days, which brings us on to the next rule:

2. Be genuine but behave as though your mother is proof reading your updates and posts.

It doesn’t matter whether you are using Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn as your media network of choice. Whatever you are writing, don’t try to be someone else, be genuine. Keep it as clean as possible and ensure that when you express your views via social media, you think about how these come across to those who don’t know you. Googling is a standard background check for potential employers and what they find can be used for you or against you. Being seen to have fun is OK, as is having a personal life. But coming across as too opinionated, close to the wrong people, unreliable or biased can get you fired before your resume touches the desk.

3. If in doubt, don’t do it.

For professionals, LinkedIn is probably the most useful media. You can just have a professional presence or choose to blog, support causes, companies, networks and trends you think are important. If your company or profession is better represented in images, join Instagram. If you or your company wants to join more detailed discussions, this is when Facebook and/or Twitter come into play. But beware. Understand the difference between personal and professional and draw a very definite line in your own mind, and your actions. Social media grows connections that were never possible 10 years ago. It has made the world a smaller, more connected place. Social media can be an excellent tool for career development and networking. Misuse of social media on the other hand could affect your career in a negative way, so be an honest social media butterfly and always double check what you put out there!