Understanding job markets – in some of the world’s most dangerous countries

The global labor market is a strange and complex beast.

The standards and procedures ubiquitous in the majority of the developed world – online applications, reference checking, probationary periods – are by no means universal. Across large swathes of the globe, in fact, the process of matching capable candidates to suitable job roles is accomplished in a much more ‘informal’ fashion.

In countries from Mozambique to Nepal, face-to-face contact still rules. To find gainful employment here, you’ll have to hit the streets and knock on doors – a process which can be as frustrating as it is time-consuming. In political hotspots like Afghanistan and Iraq, meanwhile, the difficulties are more obvious. Continuing violence and instability mean assessing legitimate employment opportunities is a business fraught with risks.

And that’s where Tangiers International comes in.

The company’s Labor Market Survey (LMS) relies on the local-knowledge and hard-won experience of some 120 field agents around the world who conduct rigorous on-the-ground research into some of the most daunting job markets on earth. It’s no surprise that Damir Junicic, case manager and brains behind the LMS, calls his network of local agents his “eyes and ears on the ground”.

“It’s easy to do in Europe or the US but when you have a claimant in Iraq or Afghanistan is when it gets really tricky,” he explained.

“Our agents will walk around and meet employers and talk to them. I do not know anyone else besides Tangiers who can do this.”

This unique access means the LMS is an invaluable service for the global insurance companies which utilise it. With a comprehensive overview of the employment opportunities for injured or disabled claimants in their home countries, these companies are able to calculate an equitable final settlement amount for the injured worker.

And Tangiers’ experience with medical case management means it understands the particular sensitivities and difficulties inherent in dealing with people who have been through traumatic events.

LMS rehabilitation consultant Melissa Spino said: “I always ask the injured worker how they are doing emotionally and a lot of them thank me for asking that question.

“I find that focusing on them holistically – physical, emotional, and a little personal or socioeconomic information – makes them feel more comfortable to open up to me.

“Granted, I need to cover all these areas for my report but it still helps them tell me things that they are not always comfortable telling their doctor etc.”

Once Melissa has assessed the range of limitations the claimant faces due to their injury and the field agents have conducted a comprehensive survey of the local job market, the final report is presented to the client.

Each report contains a wealth of information relating to the local labor market (the range of positions available, the number of vacancies, the salary or wages offered) and is vital for evaluating case exposure, payment of future wage loss benefits or settlement of indemnity benefits. Unsurprisingly, the information gleaned by the LMS about available positions is often extremely useful to the injured workers themselves.

Damir added: “We always do everything in our power to help the claimants. If the claimant wants, we will actually forward the details to them so they can actually apply for those jobs.”