Boasting some of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes, Spain is one of the most important economies in the European Union. Madrid and Barcelona are home to important multinational companies, including Amazon, McDonald’s, Microsoft, and Oracle. Known for its work-life balance, Spain is a talent hotspot for companies looking to hire top talent internationally.
Finding a job in Spain as a foreigner can prove to be a difficult task. The country has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe, so the government tries to make sure that job positions are being filled by as many Spanish citizens as possible. Many expats want to live in Spain, but aren’t sure if their education and work skills will help them qualify for a position.
For employers, the hiring and recruiting process can also pose a challenge. Spanish laws group jobs into different categories, each with their own regulations. If you’re hiring expats or foreigners, they will need to have a specialized skill or work experience to qualify for a work visa.
This article gives potential employees an overview of the hiring and recruiting process in Spain, as well as highlights steps employers need to take to build a solid team.
Most employers in Spain opt to use their company’s social media accounts to advertise available openings. Some popular job board websites that employers use to post jobs include:
Employees should specifically tailor their CV’s and resumes to the specific job requirements to stand out as a candidate and think about what education they have to qualify for jobs. Spain has some of the highest unemployment rates in the EU, so many candidates will apply for one open position. A strong CV highlighting your unique or niche skills can help your application stand out and score an interview.
Finding jobs in Spain can be extremely difficult as a foreigner, especially for those who do not speak Spanish or (in Barcelona) Catalan. Foreigners should either already be bilingual in Spanish when applying for a job, or have the desire to want to become bilingual before completing the work visa process. Unless you plan to apply for a freelance or digital nomad visa, having a language advantage will make you stand out to Spanish companies.
Before beginning the job search, try to consider what type of jobs are popular in some of the major Spanish cities. As Madrid is the largest city in Spain, it will have the widest job opportunities for expats. Some of the top industries in the job market in Madrid are banking, IT, and technology. A smaller city like Barcelona has more job openings in tourism and hospitality as these are the most popular industries.
Although difficult to find a job in Spain, here are some of the top ways expats can expedite the process before considering a move to Spain:
Networking and word of mouth referrals are a huge part of the search process for the job market in Spain. If you’re traveling to Spain on vacation and want to consider moving there to work, try to make as many connections as possible. Recommendations from other employees at a company will make you stand out amongst the large number of applicants.
Use social media like LinkedIn or visit companies' Facebook and Instagram pages. Many Spanish employers primarily use social media to advertise jobs.
Join Facebook travel groups for specific communities or cities in Spain. This will help you find out which employers are hiring and give you another opportunity for networking. Try to find other expats who are moving to Spain or who already live there that can give you advice about the job market.
Sign up for a recruitment agency. Recruitment agencies like Adecco and Talentoo can help you tailor and share your resume to jobs that meet your qualifications. Make sure to do some research about the recruitment agency you plan to sign up with before paying an upfront fee to avoid being scammed.
For companies that want to find the best Spanish employees, the most popular recruiting tactic is to use social media and job boards like LinkedIn. This will help you garner interest from the best talent around Spain and across the world.
Some businesses choose to hire a consulting firm or agency that handles all of the recruiting for your business. However, if the firm does not follow the correct hiring laws, your company will likely be held liable should any compliance issues arise.
Most employers in Spain choose to conduct two interviews. If you’re hiring someone who is already living and working in Spain, you will need to leave enough time for the employee to give 2 weeks notice, as it is legally required. For businesses who plan to hire a foreigner to fill a position, they will need to initiate the work visa and permit application on behalf of the employee. This process can take up to 8 months.
Spain has strict laws against discrimination, so during the interview process, employers cannot ask discriminating questions.
Spainish laws protects employees against discrimination for:
Ethnic or national origin
Religion or beliefs
Most importantly, criminal records are confidential in Spain and public disclosure of criminal records is prohibited. The Spanish government has a strict policy on protecting this data and the systems that record this data. Only certain state agencies can access the Central Registry of Convicts. Employers can only find out about criminal records if the employee chooses to voluntarily give this information.
Employment contracts in Spain are required by law. Employers must have a strong employment contract drafted before the employee’s start date.
Most employees in Spain prefer indefinite contracts because it makes it difficult to lay them off and provides them with a higher salary.
To avoid any litigation, employers must include the following in the employment contract:
Making sure that a strong employment contract is drafted and gone over between employer and employee will protect both parties.
Many growing companies want to hire talented employees in Spain, but aren’t sure where to start with the hiring and recruiting process. Using a global EOR service like Via expedites the process and ensures that companies follow all hiring and employment laws correctly.
With Via, we help you hire, onboard, and pay remote employees across the world. As your employer-of-record abroad, we take care of the local human resources (HR) logistics, such as salary, payroll, benefits, paid leave, and tax deductions. Maintaining compliance is our responsibility. You simply focus on building your team and running your business.