Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Best places to work in Greece 2011


© Great Place to Work Institute Hellas

The Great Place to Work Institute Hellas®, in collaboration with ALBA Graduate Business School, published its annual list of Best Workplaces in Greece for 2011 in Sunday’s To Vima.

In May, five subsidiary companies in Greece ranked amongst the Top 100 in Europe. They are: Amgen Pharmaceuticals, 3M, Tasty Foods, Accenture and Medtronic.

Great Place to Work® Institute in America, which produces “Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in the USA,” cooperates with 38 countries to identify the best work environments amongst companies that willingly volunteer to participate. This year, a group of 7,171 employees at 42 companies were surveyed.

It is not a ‘Best of’ list of all companies in Greece.

This article explains:

  • Who can work in Greece
  • What employers typically want
  • Where to look for job opportunities at the “Best Places to Work”

*Article last updated August 8, 2013

Who can work in Greece?

In order to work in Greece, you must be an EU citizen from one of 28 member states or a citizen of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.

Everyone else must have a work permit for Greece, as explained in How Americans/non-EU citizens can get a permit to live and work in Greece, or a bebaiosi (blue certificate with photo) that certifies you applied for a residence/work permit. Non-EU students who apply for a permit may take part-time work. The only legal way around this is to have dual citizenship with an EU country. See, “Acquiring EU citizenship through an ancestor, marriage or naturalization.”

Working in Greece on a tourist visa or anything less than a Greek permit or bebaiosi is illegal.

If you do not have authorization to work in Greece, chances are slim, though not impossible, that a company will sponsor your work visa and permit because the process is long and costly and requires approval by the ministry. With unemployment in Greece at a record-high 27.8 percent and still rising after six years of recession, the country has plenty of workers and little reason to import new ones.

In fact, an unprecedented number of Greeks and foreigners are shutting down businesses, retiring or leaving Greece for jobs elsewhere because Greece, Italy and Spain have the worst hiring outlooks in the world. See major news articles on the subject of emigration under Pros and Cons in, “Should I move to Greece?

Speaking Greek and other requirements

Nearly all vacancies ask that candidates:

a) Speak fluent Greek, described in “Importance of speaking Greek in Greece“;
b) Be aged 35 or under if male, and 30 or under if female;
c) Have proof of completed military obligations (if of Greek origin, male and aged 19-45).

Brand-name companies and multinationals, such as Procter & Gamble*, often prefer Greek applicants with master’s degrees from the UK. Age, gender and ethnic discrimination is against the law but unfortunately common, even if the advertisement does not explicitly state the above. Complaints can be filed with the Greek Ombudsman.

It is not necessarily an advantage to have experience from abroad, since workers are expected to have knowledge of local business culture, trends and laws, as explained in “Myth vs. reality about working in Greece.” Nor is it an advantage to speak English, since most Greek and EU citizens speak English as a second language.

*Businesses below that appear to be American or UK/EU companies operating in Greece are locally and privately owned, often having no direct affiliation because each country has different laws governing labor and business.

Highest salaries in Greece?

Searching for a job with the highest salary is subjective because negotiating a salary in Greece or any country is dependent your skills and experience, education, gender, age and marital status, plus the current job market, a company’s budget and competition against other qualified candidates. In Greece, connections often help.

Several companies cut their work force by 20 percent and salaries by 10-35 percent, and many unemployed persons are willing to accept any salary for a chance to have steady work. Today’s market favors the employer, and low salaries prevail.

Using this list

Company names are CAPPED and linked to the home page, and English translations of contact info, careers and relevant links are provided if websites only had a Greek version. Companies in Greece seldom have a company directory or HR contact.

Please note that I do not offer personal consultation in finding you a job. You must build contacts through networking, apply to vacancies and communicate directly with the company of interest if you have questions or concerns.

The Top 20

Large Companies: More than 250 Employees

1. ATHENIAN BREWERY
Size: 1076 employees
Industry: Manufacturing & Production – Beverages
Ownership: Private
Career Section: athenianbrewery.gr
Note: In Greek only

Leof. Kifisou 107
122 41 Aigaleo
Tel: +30 (210) 53 84 911
Fax: +30 (210) 53 84 412
Email: hr_grathenian@heineken.com

2. ELAIS/UNLEVER HELLAS
Size: 669 employees
Industry: Manufacturing & Production – Food products
Ownership: Private
Career Section: unilever.gr
Note: In Greek only; only accepts CVs for listed vacancies.

Cheimarras 8
151 25 Marousi
Tel: +30 (210) 6304 500
Fax: +30 (210) 6304 501
Email: info@unileverfoodsolutions.gr

3. TASTY FOODS (Owned by PepsiCo)
Size: 814 employees
Industry: Manufacturing & Production – Food products
Ownership: Private
Job search: tastycareers.gr
Note: Website has job listings in Greek only and CVs are only accepted via online form for posted vacancies.

4. YGEIA HOSPITAL
Size: 1215 employees
Industry: Health Care – Hospital
Ownership: Private
Human Resources: www.hygeia.gr

5. MEDIA STROM
Size: 294 employees
Industry: Production – Furniture
Ownership: Private
Careers: Has a section, but you must navigate Flash website in Greek. No direct link.
Note: In Greek only

An. Legaki 5/Ag. I. Rentis
182 33 Piraeus
Τel: (210) 34 82 800
Fax: (210) 34 82 899
Email: personnel@mediastrom.gr

6. PHARMATHEN
Size: 634 employees
Industry: Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals
Ownership: Private
Career opportunities: www.pharmathen.gr

7. LEROY MERLIN
Size: 555 employees
Industry: Retail – Home & Garden
Ownership: Private
Vacancies: Leroy Merlin listings on Kariera.gr
Note: In Greek only. Only accepts applications for listed vacancies through system.

Central Office
Irakleiou 453 & Κyprou 17
141 22 Neo Irakleio
Tel: (210) 625 6200
Fax: (210) 620 3303
Email: Contact form

8. WURTH HELLAS
Size: 260 employees
Industry: Manufacturing & Production – Metal
Ownership: Private
Job opportunities: www.wurth.gr
Note: In Greek only. Only accepts applications for listed vacancies through system.

Athens
23th km. Ethnikis Odou Athinon-Lamias
145 68 Kryoneri
Tel: (210) 62 90 800
Fax : (210) 81 34 756
Email: personnel@wurth.gr

9. VIVECHROM
Size: 265 employees
Industry: Manufacturing & Production – Chemicals
Ownership: Private
Human Resources: www.vivechrom.gr

10. ACCENTURE
Size: 257 employees
Industry: Information Technology – Consulting
Ownership: Private
Careers: careers.accenture.com

Small Companies: 50-250 Employees

1. XEROX HELLAS
Size: 144 employees
Industry: Information Technology – Hardware
Ownership: Private
Ergasia: www.xerox.gr
Note: In Greek only

Leof. Syngrou 127
117 45 Athens
Fax: (210) 9311 075
Send CV: Contact form

2. KRI KRI
Size: 244 employees
Industry: Manufacturing & Production – Milk industry
Ownership: Private
Job offers: www.krikri.gr

3. IMPERIAL TOBACCO HELLAS
Size: 99 employees
Industry: Manufacturing & Production – Tobacco
Ownership: Private
Job Search: www.imperial-tobacco.gr

4. MEDTRONIC
Size: 72 employees
Industry: Biotechnology
Ownership: Private
Career opportunies: www.medtronic.com/careers
Note: Greece website is only in Greek. Use link I provided, navigate in English and click ‘International’ on left menu, then choose ‘Greece’ on search page.

Athens – Central Office
Ag. Varvaras 5
152 31 Athens
Tel: (210) 6754 397

Thessaloniki
Andrianoupoleos 6
55133
Tel: (2310) 402100

5. GENESIS PHARMA
Size: 201 employees
Industry: Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals
Ownership: Private
Career opportunities: www.genesispharma.gr

6. DATA COMMUNICATIONS
Size: 78 employees
Industry: Information Technology – Software
Ownership: Private
Careers: www.datacomm.gr
Note: Has partial website and contact info in English, but job vacancies are only offered on Greek version of website. Some jobs are in English, some in Greek.

Athens
P. Tsaldari & Zaimi 2
15127 Melissia
Fax: (210) 8040408
Email: jobs@datacomm.gr

7. 3M
Size: 95 employees
Industry: Manufacturing & Production
Ownership: Private
Careers: solutions.3m.com
Note: Greece website only in Greek. Use the link provided to navigate in English, then choose ‘Europe’ and ‘Greece’ as the location.

Athens
Kifisias 20
151 25 Marousi
Tel: (210) 6885 300

8. MELISSA KIKIZAS
Size: 65 employees
Industry: Manufacturing & Production – Food
Ownership: Private
Careers: www.melissa.gr

9. AMGEN HELLAS
Size: 66 employees
Industry: Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals
Ownership: Private
Careers: Use navigation on front page.

Gravias 4
151 25 Marousi
Tel: (210) 344 7000
Fax: (210) 344 7050
Email: info@amgen.gr

10. BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO HELLAS
Size: 133 employees
Industry: Manufacturing & Production – Tobacco
Ownership: Private
Vacancies: www.bat-careers.com
Note: No dedicated Greek website.

Sources

Ολοκληρώθηκε η έρευνα Best Workplaces 2011” — To Vima
Best workplaces Hellas 2011” — Great Place to Work® Institute GR
Athenian Brewery tops Great Place to Work list” — Kathimerini
Πέντε εταιρείες από την Ελλάδα στις 100 με το καλύτερο εργασιακό περιβάλλον” — To Vima
Unemployment in Greece is double the EU average” — Reuters

— All websites linked above
— First-hand experience securing a work permit for Greece as an American/non-EU citizen

Related posts

Best places to work in Greece 2010
Best places to work in Greece 2009
Best places to work in Greece 2008
Best places to work in Greece 2007

About

Kat is a well-traveled American journalist and author. To learn more, see “About Me.”

  • Livingingreece.gr was created in 2007 to present meticulously researched original articles that fill a gap left by traditional media, government portals and commercial websites/forums run by people without credentials.
  • @LivinginGreece is a Twitter feed curated from recognized Greek and international news agencies to provide breaking news about Greece, plus real-time updates and insider tips mined from 15 years experience.

Please note my copyright policy and be aware that plagiarism and copyright violations will be pursued.

20 Comments »

  danielle wrote @ May 5th, 2011 at 16:16

Hi there!

Thank you so much for the information and for this wonderful site! I moved to Greece a year ago, and your site has been my guide through the obstacles of trying to make a go of it here in Athens. I have checked back constantly for information, esp your dual citizenship, travel and strike updates. Thank you so very much, and keep up the great work!
ps. im also a california native :)

Kat Reply:

Hello, and nice to meet you after a year! Glad that this website and its updates have been helpful as you settled into living in Greece.

P.S. North or south? I’m north.

  stephenj wrote @ July 31st, 2011 at 23:49

You don’t make it easy for your admirers to contact you!

I know this isn’t the right forum but someone should thank you for the truly wonderful work you do in keeping us informed of what is happening in Greece at this difficult time.. I am due to visit Crete, Thira and Naxos in September and keep a very close eye on your informative posts.

Efcharisto poly.

Kat Reply:

In ‘Comments, Questions & Contacting Me,’ I give reasons why I don’t list my email though readers can contact me via Twitter or leave a comment on any post as you did. I love comments for the sake of discussion, but the great majority ask questions I already answered or want more free help than I already offer.

Thank you so much for taking the time to be one of those rare people who just wanted to say hello and a few kind words. Glad to be of service, and see you soon.

  Philip wrote @ September 27th, 2011 at 01:57

Hello Kat,

I am looking to find work with an American company in Thessaloniki. I have an apartment there and wish to leave NY. Any advice? Thanks in advance.

Kat Reply:

There are no purely American companies in Greece because labor and business laws are different in each country. Read “Common jobs in Greece: Myth vs. reality.” It’s the same link I give in the above article.

This entire website is a free vessel of advice, are you saying you didn’t find any? I do not offer personal consultation for reasons given in “Comments, Questions and Contacting Me.”

  maria wrote @ October 13th, 2011 at 10:40

Hi Kat-

Thank you so much for all this information! I’ve been in Greece on and off for almost 32 years (my whole life!). I’m half Greek and I’m still trying to navigate my way around the culture and language. It is so rich and complex and well, just different than America. Although I have many Greek friends whom I can go to with questions, this website has put answers in a context in which I can understand them better-from a perspective that isn’t wholly Greek.

Anyway, I just wanted to commend you on a great job in putting the site together and for all your useful and insightful knowledge. Bravo!

ps: I know this didn’t have anything to do with working in Greece, which I am and I love what I do, but I couldn’t find another way to contact you. :)

Kat Reply:

Hi Maria,

A lot of people assume this website is only for Americans, but in fact half my readers are Greek. I learned long ago that I cannot go to my Greek friends for information on many subjects because they were born and raised with a certain assumption of knowledge. I’m an outsider looking in, who then became an insider looking out, so my ability to see and explain things is from that perspective. Thank you for recognizing the difference.

I appreciate you saying hello, sharing your story and your kind words. Hope to see you again. :)

  Barbara wrote @ October 22nd, 2011 at 23:39

I also just wanted to say thanks for this. We just spent ten days in Greece and would have had a much harder time without your help. I looked in vain for a PayPal button, you really need to add that to the site!

One comment on travel, and maybe I missed this (if so, sorry): but when the ferries first strike, it is still possible to get from some of the islands to Athens. We were on Naxos, the strike started on Monday, but we were told – accurately – that the first ferry would run, as it had spent the night in Santorini and would make its way back to Athens, stopping at Naxos and Paros along the way, and then strike. I don’t know why they don’t just head straight for Athens, but they don’t, and we were able to get to Athens (and our flight back to USA) as a result. People just need to check with the locals to see if this applies to them. Of course, right now, the ferries have been striking for many days, so this won’t help at this moment.

Thanks again, you are doing invaluable work. Did I mention PayPal?

Kat Reply:

That’s true. But whether a ferry sails back to its slip or sails at all is up to the company, person in charge at the moment and who he/she can get to work, so I don’t want people to get their hopes up, though travelers can certainly inquire at the port or hop on an airplane at any time. Tonight, three ferries sailed from Crete to Athens because farmers were watching produce rot on the port and food shortages are being reported on islands.

I have good reasons for not offering a Paypal donation option and instead encourage people to Sponsor a Turtle by using the button/link provided at the bottom of the second column. They’re endangered and need help.

Thank you for your kind words and coming back to insist. I’m glad I was able to help, one traveler to another. :) All best.

  mohdsumars wrote @ March 4th, 2012 at 14:31

Hi’ iam umar from india but i am living in greece since 1995 i was working in building material and hardware and paint shop

  andrea wrote @ May 15th, 2012 at 05:29

Wow, so many multinational corps. Sad.

Btw, nice job observing Greek culture through your objective lens, and creating this informative site.

I’ve also traveled a bit, and some of my experiences from other countries are similar to yours. The biggest challenge for me, however, is trying to understand why I experienced what I experienced and how my actions affected the outcome.

Anyway, na’se kala :)

Kat Reply:

This website was started to fill a void of practical information to help people navigate everyday life. I keep introspection and observations to myself because of my profession, which is also why I don’t blog on personal experiences.

Thank you for taking the time to comment and share. :)

  Magkafas wrote @ May 21st, 2012 at 11:45

Your question was moved to “Residence/work permits for non-EU citizens in Greece.”

  Guestty wrote @ June 8th, 2012 at 15:29

Your comment and questions were moved to, “Q&A: Strikes and riots in Greece.”

  Stamie wrote @ August 28th, 2012 at 01:26

Your comment was transferred to, “Greek citizenship by claim of Greek origin, descent or ancestry.”

  Chris wrote @ July 21st, 2013 at 15:14

Hi!
I am an American working in Greece. The illegal work patrol came to my job yesterday but I was behind the bar. I lied and said I didn’t work there. will I be ok?

Kat Reply:

OK compared to what?

Your boss is subject to fines if he’s caught, and you can be imprisoned for up to 18 months before deportation for working illegally. Further, you are also giving Americans working legally in Greece (like myself) a bad name. Expect police to visit again and again ’til summer ends. Good luck.

  Xara wrote @ March 9th, 2014 at 00:31

Your comment/question was moved to, “Should I move to Greece?

  Skiathos wrote @ October 15th, 2015 at 21:23

I have always wanted to take the plunge and move my life to greece. One day I keep reeling myself. Thank you for sharing so much useful information

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