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Hiring In Spain – Country Guide

Spain Recruitment Guide

Hiring in a new country can be a complex and challenging process, with unique laws, regulations, and cultural differences to consider. This guide is designed to help you navigate the employment system in Spain, providing an in-depth overview of the job market and recruitment landscape – from contractual nuances, up to financial implications and immigration considerations. Our resource outlines the components you will need to create a comprehensive recruitment plan for your local hiring needs.



Spain’s labour market has gone through notable transformations in recent years as the country rebounded from the 2008 economic crisis. While the unemployment rate has dropped to roughly 12.87% as of Q4 2022, down from a high of more than 27% in 2013, Spain continues to struggle with one of the highest ones in the European Union. Young people are particularly affected, with a youth unemployment rate hovering around 29.6%.

Fortunately, Spain has built a strong framework to safeguard the rights of employees. The Workers’ Statute, updated in 2019, lays out the fundamental rights and obligations of both workers and employers, including working hours, vacation time, and the termination of employment. The government has also enacted various measures to promote gender equality in the workplace and tackle the gender pay gap.

Like many other countries, The COVID-19 pandemic has also dealt a severe blow to the labour market, with many companies forced to shutter or reduce operations. Despite this, the Spanish government has taken a number of steps to help workers and businesses, including subsidies for temporary layoffs and financial support for self-employed individuals.

Employment-wise, although fixed-term and indefinite employment contracts are most common, temporary work is more prevalent in certain industries such as tourism and agriculture. Nevertheless, new policies have been introduced to restrict the use of temporary contracts and encourage more stable employment. Collective bargaining agreements, negotiated between trade unions and employers, also play a critical role in determining working conditions and salaries.

Compared to other EU nations, labour costs in Spain are relatively high, owing in part to high social security contributions and taxes. Even so, the country remains a desirable destination for foreign workers, since the cost of living is generally lower.

Foreigners who want to work in Spain must meet specific requirements to obtain necessary permits. EU citizens are exempt from a work permit but need a certificate of residence if they plan to stay for over three months, while Non-EU citizens need both a work and residency permit with a job offer being mandatory. Highly skilled foreign workers can apply for a Blue Card or a Highly Qualified Visa – options which allow them to work and live locally for up to four years if they meet specific requirements, including a higher education degree, job offer, and other eligibility criteria.

Spain is well-positioned for growth and progress across various industries, including technology, renewable energy, and healthcare, paving the way for innovative developments that will shape the future. The country’s robust economic growth, particularly in the service and tourism sectors, has created a surge in job opportunities for both local and international workers. This has been further bolstered by ongoing labour market reforms and entrepreneurship initiatives, contributing to the market’s dynamism.  As the demand for skilled workers increases, there is a continued commitment to improving labour laws, setting Spain to continue its upward trajectory in the labour market.


Recruitment in Spain

Job Market Overview

The employment field in Spain is diverse and dynamic, with a wide range of skilled professionals. In 2022, more than 2 million vacancies were created, and more than 1.9 million vacancies were filled throughout the year.

Job Benefits: Mandatory & Common Optional Benefits

Spain offers a comprehensive set of mandatory and optional benefits to employees, ensuring their overall well-being and job security, such as:

  • Paid vacation time: a minimum of 22 days annual leave + 14 bank holidays
    • 12 national and autonomic level holidays
    • 2 local festivities
  • Paid sick leave: up to 20 days per year
    • Prolonged illness or hospitalization: employees are entitled to receive up to 100% of their salary for a specific period of time.
  • Parental leave:
    • Maternity leave: a minimum of 16 weeks after the baby is born at full pay
    • Paternity leave: a minimum of 16 weeks at full pay
  • Annual bonus, known as “extra pay”: minimum of one month’s salary

Additional benefits may include work-from-home allowances, overtime pay, health insurance coverage, pension contributions, and travel reimbursements for commuting to the office.

According to a study by Randstad Research, the top 10 additional benefits that are most important to Spanish employees in order of priority are (the percentages indicate how many respondents rated a benefit as “very important”):

  • Paid sick leave (75%)
  • Paid vacation time (73%)
  • Flexible work schedule (68%)
  • Extra pay (65%)
  • Training and development opportunities (60%)
  • Transportation benefits (56%)
  • Private health insurance (55%)
  • Retirement plan (53%)
  • Childcare assistance (48%)

Remote Work

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, remote work has soared in popularity in Spain. While a mere 4.3% of employed individuals worked remotely as of January 2020, a study by Adecco Group revealed that by the end of the year, more than 20% of employed individuals were primarily working from home, with about 34% occasionally doing so. This significant shift in working patterns has brought many benefits to both employees and employers.

Although Eurostat data for 2019 showed that only 7.9% of employed individuals aged 15-74 regularly worked from home, which was below the European Union average, the Spanish government has taken proactive steps to regulate remote work and ensure employee well-being.

In 2023, new laws were passed, allowing foreign nationals to work remotely for non-Spanish companies while residing in Spain for six to twelve months. Spain also introduced a Digital Nomad Visa under the Startup Act, allowing non-EU/EEA remote workers and freelancers to work in the country for up to 12 months.

Employment Hubs in Spain

Below follows a breakdown of the main business centres according to the number of employed persons and the number of businesses as of 2022:

Source: The Spanish National Institute for Statistics

Recruitment Landscape

Spain’s recruitment landscape is diverse and competitive. Job boards, social media platforms, recruitment agencies, and internships are widely used to attract and retain top talent. There is also a growing emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and many companies prioritise eliminating bias and promoting transparency in the recruitment process.

The Spanish Ministry of Labor and Social Economy registers and regulates different types of employment agencies, including “Agencias de Colocación” and “Empresas de Trabajo Temporal”.  As of December 2021, there were 17,896 active “Agencias de Colocación” and 4,227 registered “Empresas de Trabajo Temporal”. These organisations provide a range of services to job seekers and employers, including temporary staffing solutions, with fees typically ranging from 12% to 24% of an employee’s yearly salary.


Spanish Labour Market Overview

The Spanish labour market is quite robust and features a total able working population of 23.580.500 people (INE, Q1 2023), divided as following:

  • 86.7% of the population is employed
  • 13.3% of the population is unemployed

Gender divide across industries

Despite a relatively fair gender distribution across the entire workforce of 46.9% female and 53.1% male, certain industries can be subject to much larger gender gaps than others.

Average Tenure

According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy, the median tenure for employees on definite contracts is 2.3 years, while employees on indefinite contracts have a median tenure of 9.8 years.

What sectors are the most popular?

The largest industry sectors in Spain, according to research by Spanish Institute for Statistics, are:

Talent map

In Spain, the majority of talent across all industries is concentrated in the Madrid and Barcelona regions, which together account for around 30% of the total employed population. According to data from Spain’s National Statistics Institute (INE) for the first quarter of 2023, the distribution of employment across the main regions is as :

Emerging locations that are expected to show the most potential for employment expansion include the Balearic Islands, particularly the island of Mallorca, as well as the cities of Malaga, Seville, and Bilbao.


Overview of the current talent market dynamics

Rank of titles in high demand

LinkedIn data analysis of the most popular skills, measured by hiring demand in parity to numbers of professionals

1y growth – The percentage change in the number of professionals with this skill, compared to the number of professionals one year prior.

Main job boards and channels for sourcing candidates

Listed here are the top 10 job vacancy sites in Spain, according to research by Infoempleo and Adecco:

  • Infojobs
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Monster
  • Jobatus
  • Trabajando
  • Nethunting
  • Hacesfalta
  • Tecnoempleo


How do I hire an employee in Spain?

Spain offers a variety of employment opportunities with different contract types tailored to meet individual needs. The number of employed persons per contract type is distributed as follows:

Each employment type has its own benefits:

Permanent Employment

Permanent employment, also known as “contrato indefinido,” is a prevalent type of employment contract in Spain.

Key benefits:

  • Job security: Permanent employment contracts provide employees with a sense of stability and security in their job. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and reduce staff turnover, as employees are more likely to remain committed to the company.
  • Experienced workforce: Permanent employees are more likely to develop a deep understanding of the company’s operations, culture, and values, making them valuable assets to the business.
  • Employment rights: Permanent employees are entitled to a range of employment rights, such as sick pay, holiday entitlement, and redundancy pay. These benefits can help to improve workplace morale and productivity, as employees feel valued and supported by the company.

Temporary & fixed term employment

Temporary employment, or “contrato temporal,” is a contract that is designed to meet a specific business need or cover a fixed-term project.

Key benefits:

  • Flexibility: Temporary employment contracts provide flexibility for employers, as they can hire staff to meet specific business needs or complete short-term projects, providing an efficient way to manage fluctuating workloads without committing to permanent staff.
  • Reduced administrative burden: Since these contracts are typically shorter in duration than permanent ones, there are fewer administrative tasks and paperwork associated with them, aiding in freeing up time and resources for other important business activities.
  • Work experience and skill development: Employees on temporary contracts can gain valuable work experience and skills that can enhance their employability. This can be particularly beneficial for those who are just starting their careers or looking to transition into a new industry.

Day-rate contractors, LTD contractors, or self-employed persons

Self-employed, or “autónomo,” is a person who works for themselves and takes responsibility for their own business.

Key benefits:

  • Expertise and flexibility: Self-employed contractors can bring unique skills and expertise to the business that may not be available among permanent staff. Additionally, employers can hire contractors for specific projects or tasks without committing to long-term employment contracts, which can be cost-effective.
  • Reduced management needs: Self-employed individuals are typically able to work independently and manage their workload effectively. This can help to reduce the need for supervision and management from the employer, freeing up time and resources.
  • Access to a wider talent pool: There is potential access to a larger pool of talented workers by hiring self-employed contractors who may be based in different locations or have unique skill sets that are not found among local employees.

Training and apprenticeship employment

Training and apprenticeship employment, or “contrato en prácticas,” is a type of contract that is designed to provide work experience and training for young people. It is available to those under 30 years old and allows them to gain experience in a particular industry.

Key benefits:

  • Work experience and skill development: Young people on training and apprenticeship contracts can gain valuable work experience and develop new skills in a particular industry, enhancing their employability and preparing them for future roles.
  • Motivated workforce: These employees are often highly motivated and enthusiastic about learning and developing new skills, creating a positive and dynamic working environment.
  • Potential future employees: An opportunity to identify potential future employees and train them in the specific skills required for the business.


Internship, or “prácticas,” is a temporary work experience that is designed to provide an individual with practical experience in a particular field. It is often unpaid, and the individual is not considered an employee. Instead, they are subject to a training agreement that defines the terms of their work and the training they will receive.

Key benefits:

  • Practical experience: Internships provide individuals with practical experience in a particular field, allowing them to develop new skills and gain a better understanding of the industry they are interested in.
  • New ideas and energy: Interns can bring new ideas and energy to the workplace, providing fresh perspectives into the business and promoting innovation.
  • Identifying potential future employees: Internships can help identify potential future employees for permanent contracts once they have completed their internship. This can be a cost-effective way to recruit talented individuals who have already demonstrated their skills and commitment to the business.

Key Elements in a Spanish Contract

The following elements make up the basic structure of an employment contract in Spain:

  • The participating parties in the contract (employer and employee)
    • Full name, identification number, and contact details of both the employer and the employee
  • The job position and duties
  • The salary and benefits
  • The agreed upon working hours
  • The intended duration of employment
  • The conditions under which the contract may be terminated
  • The number of holidays and vacation days
  • The agreed upon confidentiality and data protection
  • Any agreements regarding the health and safety of the employee
  • The relevant jurisdiction and governing law for the contract
  • Applicable collective agreements (convenios colectivos) (applicable only if the company is part of a collective agreement)
  • The relevant probationary period (may be included in temporary contracts)
  • Non-competition clause (may be included in executive and senior appointment hires)
  • Intellectual property clause (may be included in contracts where the employee is expected to create intellectual property)
  • Mobility clause (may be included in contracts where the employee may need to work in different locations)
  • Training and development opportunities

Hiring permanent staff in Spain

The most common job contract in Spain is the “indefinite contract,” which is most sought after as it offers job security and stability to employees.

Permanent employment, also known as “contrato indefinido,” is the most common type of employment contract in Spain.

Full-time employees are legally required to work a maximum of 40 hours per week and no more than nine hours a day, and any overtime hours cannot exceed 80 hours per year, unless there is a separate agreement in place.

Compared to temporary workers, permanent employees in Spain have access to more extensive benefits, such as healthcare benefits, internal career opportunities, and reimbursement for business expenses. These benefits can help incentivize workers to pursue long-term careers with a company and contribute to a more stable and satisfied workforce.

In September 2022, the Spanish labour market saw a marked change in the types of contracts offered. According to recent trends, approximately 70% of all contracts signed were for new permanent positions, which is a marked departure from the trend observed between 2018 and 2021, where temporary contracts accounted for 90% of all those signed.

This shift can be attributed to a new labour reform implemented in 2022, aimed at reducing temporary employment by introducing stricter rules and incentives for permanent contracts along with improving working conditions by increasing severance pay and providing greater stability. The new system requires objective justifications for temporary contracts, and it makes it easier for workers to transition to permanent contracts.

Hiring Temporary staff in Spain

Temporary contracts (contrato temporal) can be more beneficial for employers who need to fill a temporary staffing need, such as a specific project or covering for a permanent employee who is on leave.

These contracts cannot last longer than six months initially and up to twelve months in total, including any renewals or extensions. They are an attractive option as they offer more flexibility and can be less expensive than hiring a permanent employee.

Temporary employees in Spain must receive the same basic working conditions and employment benefits as permanent staff. This includes pay, working hours, overtime, breaks, rest periods, night shifts, and holidays.

Companies that frequently use temporary contracts must comply with stricter regulations in Spain. This includes limitations on the number of temporary contracts that can be offered and the requirement to justify their use for specific job roles.

The contract for training and apprenticeship (contrato para la formación y aprendizaje) combines on-the-job training with a formal education program.

This contract is available for workers between the ages of 16 and 25, as well as for workers who are transitioning to a new field, and it can be implemented for up to three years, with a minimum of six months. During this time, the employee receives a salary that is determined based on the minimum wage in Spain. The employer is responsible for paying social security contributions; however, they qualify for tax reductions under this agreement.

Internship contract (contrato en prácticas) allows employers to hire workers who have completed their formal education but lack practical experience in their field.

The duration of this contract can be up to two years, with a minimum of six months and the worker must have completed their studies within the last four years, or within the last seven years for workers with a disability.

Similar to the contract for training and apprenticeship, the employee’s salary is based on a percentage of the minimum wage, which varies based on their education level and the year of their contract. There is also social security tax relief, as the employer can deduct a certain amount of the worker’s salary from their taxes.

Hiring Self-Employed Workers (Autónomos) In Spain

When hiring an autónomo in Spain, the company is not liable for any of the usual costs associated with employing a person. The autónomo is responsible for paying their own taxes, social security contributions, and other related expenses. This can be a cost-effective way for companies to acquire skilled workers on a flexible basis.

However, it is important to ensure that the relationship between the company and the autónomo is legitimate to avoid potential legal and financial consequences. The autónomo should have control over how, when, and where they work, and the company should not provide the tools or resources necessary for them to perform their work.



Requirements for an employee visa:

  • You need to have signed a contract with a company operating in Spain.
  • Your job has to be classified as a “Shortage Occupation” or there must have been no suitable candidates found within the EU.

Requirements for an EU Blue Card:

  • You must have successfully attained a higher education qualification across a period of at least 3 years OR have a minimum of 5 years of professional experience
  • You must have a valid passport
  • You must have a medical certificate
  • You must have a clean criminal record certificate
  • You must have a legally binding job offer or a signed contract
  • Your job has to pay at least 1.5 times the average salary in Spain
  • You must arrive in Spain within 3 months of the date of issue of the visa

Spain Work Permit Types:

  • Type A work permit is for seasonal and limited work, with a maximum duration of nine months, including renewals.
  • Type B initial work permit allows you to work in Spain, in a specific occupation and geographical area, for a maximum period of one year.
  • Type B renewed work permit is a renewal of the initial work permit, extending it to a maximum of two years. You can also carry out various professional activities with this permit.
  • Type C work permit is a renewal of the type B permit and allows you to carry out any activity in the country.
  • Permanent work permits have an unlimited duration, but you still have to renew them every five years. You can apply for this visa after your type C expires.
  • Other types of permits, such as the extraordinary permit (when a non-EU citizen has helped the Spanish economic and cultural progress), or a type F permit (for working at the Spanish borders, provided the worker returns daily to their own country).


Employment tax & costs in Spain

The total employer taxation amounts to around 36-38% of an employee’s gross salary for social security contributions, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and other mandatory contributions:

Social Security Contributions: Employers in Spain pay between 31% and 33% of an employee’s gross salary, based on work type and risk level. The current maximum contribution base is set at €4,495.50 per month, as of 2023.

Unemployment Insurance Contributions: Employers pay around 6.7% of an employee’s gross salary for unemployment benefits.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Employers pay between 0.1% and 7.1% of an employee’s gross salary for work-related accidents or illnesses.

Occupational Pensions: Employers contribute 2-8% of an employee’s gross salary to their pension plan.

Bonuses and Incentives: Tax rates for bonuses and incentives range from 19% to 45%, with around 30% social security contributions. The exact amount varies based on the bonus or incentive and employee salary.

Spain’s income tax brackets in 2023:

  • Up to €12,450: 19%
  • €12,451–€20,200: 24%
  • €20,201–€35,200: 30%
  • €35,201–€60,000: 37%
  • €60,001–€300,000: 45%
  • More than €300,000: 47%

How much does it cost to employ someone in Spain?

Based on the average salary in the Spain of €30,000, we have provided an example of what it would cost – on average – to employ someone in :

Percentage Per Year Per Month
Base Salary €30,000 €2,500
Holiday Pay + allowance 16.07% €6,414.96 €534.58
Social Security cost 23.60% €7,080.00 €590.00
Unemployment contribution 5.50% €1,650.00 €137.50
Salary guarantee fund 0.20% €60.00 €5.00
Training tax 1% €300.00 €25.00
Employer health care insurance 2.75% €825.00 €68.75
Sick leave  6.00%  €2,779.80 €231.65
Teleworking allowance €600.00 €50.00


Spanish Employment Laws

Spain has a comprehensive set of employment laws that regulate various aspects of the employer-employee relationship. These laws cover areas such as contracts, wages, working hours, holidays, and termination of employment. The Spanish labour market is also heavily regulated, with significant protections for workers, including mandatory social security contributions and various forms of employment benefits.

Probation in Spain

Incorporating a probation period is an opportunity for employers to assess the employee’s suitability for the job and determine if they are a good fit for the company. During this period, both the employer and employee can terminate the employment contract without notice or compensation.

According to the Spanish Labour Law, the maximum duration of the probationary period depends on the type of contract:

  • For indefinite contracts: The probationary period cannot exceed six months for technical, middle, and junior management positions. For senior management positions, the probationary period can be extended up to a maximum of one year.
  • For fixed-term contracts: The duration of the probationary period cannot exceed one-fifth of the total duration of the contract, with a maximum of six months.

During the probationary period, the employee has the same rights and benefits as other employees in the company, including social security coverage, paid vacation days, and sick leave.

Both the employer and the employee can terminate the employment contract without notice or compensation during the probationary period. However, if the employer decides to terminate the contract, they must give the employee at least seven days’ notice. If the employee resigns during this period, they are not entitled to any compensation or severance payment.

Notice Period in Spain

The minimum period of notice required for termination of employment in Spain is 15 days, however, the length varies depending on the type of contract and the length of service of the employee.

  • For indefinite contracts, the minimum notice period is 15 days. However, this period can increase up to 60 days depending on the length of service of the employee. For example, an employee with more than 12 years of service is entitled to a 60-day notice period.
  • For fixed-term contracts, the notice period is one day per week worked, up to a maximum of 12 days. For example, an employee who has worked for three weeks on a fixed-term contract is entitled to a three-day notice period.

It’s worth noting that collective bargaining agreements can establish longer notice periods than the legal requirements. In this case, employers must adhere to the notice periods established in these agreements.

Employers can reduce the notice period if the employee agrees to it. However, the reduced period cannot be less than the legal requirements.

Maternity & Paternity Leave in Spain

Maternity Leave: Permiso de Maternidad is the standard maternity leave in Spain that entitles employees who give birth to a paid period away from work.

Mothers in Spain are entitled to 16 weeks of maternity leave, with the possibility of an additional 2 weeks in case of multiple births or a child with a disability.

Maternity leave can start up to 4 weeks before the expected due date or on the date of birth.

During maternity leave, the employee is entitled to receive 100% of their regular salary, which is paid by the Spanish Social Security system.

Employers are required to reserve the employee’s position during the maternity leave and must guarantee that she can return to the same or a similar position with the same salary and benefits.

Paternity Leave: As of April 2021, fathers in Spain are entitled to 16 weeks of paternity leave, which can be taken at any time within the first year after the birth or adoption of the child.

The same remuneration system and job security aspects as in the mother’s case apply.

Shared Maternity/Paternity Leave: As of March 2021, parents in Spain can choose to take a total of 26 weeks of leave, with the first 16 weeks being maternity leave and the remaining 10 weeks being paternity leave.

The leave can be taken by either parent or shared between them as they see fit.

The first 16 weeks of leave are fully paid by the Social Security system, and the remaining 10 weeks are unpaid.

Sick Leave in Spain

The Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social (INSS) provides sick pay benefits in Spain, and the allowance covers a maximum of 365 days.

When an employee goes on sick leave:

  • The employer pays the employee’s salary for the first 3 days.
  • After that, the Social Security system pays a sick leave benefit.
  • The benefit is usually 60% of the employee’s salary for the first 20 days.
  • After 20 days, the benefit increases to 75% of the salary, but only up to a maximum of 365 days.
  • The employer must keep paying their share of social security contributions during the entire sick leave period.

In some cases, collective bargaining agreements or employment contracts may include additional provisions related to sick leave pay. For example, an agreement or contract may require the employer to pay a higher percentage of the employee’s salary during sick leave or provide additional benefits such as bonuses or vacation time.

Justified Absences

An employee in Spain is entitled to a series of compensated permits for justified absences without salary deductions.

  • Marriage: 15 natural days.
  • Birth of a child: 2 days or 4 days if the worker needs to travel.
  • Moving: 1 day.
  • Hospitalization or surgery of a family member: 1 day or more depending on the circumstances.
  • Death, serious illness, or accident of a family member: 2-4 days depending on the circumstances.
  • Legal summons or public duties: The time required to fulfil the obligation.
  • Exams: The necessary time off to take the exam plus travel time if necessary.
  • Fertility treatments: 16 weeks per treatment.
  • Breastfeeding: 1 hour per day for the first 9 months. Employees can also save these hours in order to take a total of 15 extra days to stay home with their child.
  • Gender-based violence: The necessary time off to receive medical or legal assistance or to relocate.

The general rule is that compensated permits are equivalent to a normal working day, and the worker needs to provide supporting documents. Compensated permits are paid as normal workdays, so the worker receives payment and benefits as if they had been working.

Redundancy payment

Fixed-Term Contracts:

  • A fixed-term contract is one that has a predetermined end date or is linked to the completion of a specific project or task.
  • If an employer terminates a fixed-term contract before the end date, the employee is entitled to compensation equal to the salary for the remaining period of the contract, unless the termination is due to serious misconduct by the employee.
  • If the contract ends on its own, without the need for termination, the employee is entitled to compensation of 12 days’ salary for each year of service.

Temporary Workers:

  • Temporary workers are those hired to cover a specific job or activity for a limited period of time, but without a fixed end date.
  • If an employer terminates a temporary contract, the employee is entitled to compensation equal to the salary for the remaining period of the contract, unless the termination is due to serious misconduct by the employee.
  • If the contract ends on its own, without the need for termination, the employee is entitled to compensation of 12 days’ salary for each year of service.

Indefinite Contracts:

  • An indefinite contract is one that does not have a fixed end date and is intended to continue for an indefinite period of time.
  • If an employer terminates an indefinite contract, the employee is entitled to a severance payment of 20 days’ salary for each year of service up to a maximum of 12 months’ salary.
  • In the case of collective dismissals (layoffs of multiple employees), the employer is required to negotiate with employee representatives to determine the amount of severance pay. The minimum amount of severance pay is 20 days’ salary for each year of service up to a maximum of 12 months’ salary.


Standard recruitment fees (retention)

In Spain, recruitment agencies can work with two types of contracts: contingency/success fee contracts and retained contracts:

Contingency/success fee contracts: In this type of contract, the recruitment agency is paid a fee only when they successfully place a candidate with the client company. The fee is usually a percentage (ranging between 10% and 20%) of the candidate’s annual salary and is paid by the client company. If the recruitment agency does not successfully place a candidate, they do not receive any payment. This type of contract is often used for lower-level positions where there is a larger pool of potential candidates.

Retained contracts: In a retained contract, the client company pays the recruitment agency a fee upfront to conduct a search for a specific position. The fee is usually a percentage (ranging from 20% to 35%) of the position’s annual salary. The recruitment agency is expected to present several qualified candidates to the client company, and the fee is paid regardless of whether a candidate is ultimately hired. This type of contract is often used for higher-level positions where there are fewer potential candidates.

In both types of contracts, the recruitment agency is responsible for sourcing and vetting candidates, conducting interviews, and presenting qualified candidates to the client company.


Challenges when recruiting in Spain

Recruiting in the Spanish market can present some unique challenges:

  • Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs): Spain has complex rules and provisions around CBAs, which define many regulations regarding compensation and working conditions. These agreements are not just between unions and individual companies but also apply to certain sectors in some geographical areas. Outsourcing can be a helpful way to navigate the challenges and hurdles of hiring employees in Spain.
  • Regional Differences: Spain is a big country with many differences between its regions. For example, Madrid and Barcelona are generally busy and thriving areas, while smaller cities are still struggling to find their way.
  • Overeducation and Lack of Skills: According to a 2016 study by Davia and other researchers, Spain has the most overeducated males in Europe and the fourth most overeducated women, behind Italy, Greece, and Portugal. Despite this, various studies have shown that many Spaniards lack the additional skills that their academic credentials imply they have.
  • Talent Deficiencies: Certain roles, particularly in IT, such as Software Developers, may face talent deficiencies.
  • Expectations of Candidates: Candidates in Spain expect permanent employment and a decent package of benefits, even in uncertain times.
  • Remote Work: Many employees have become used to fully remote work and are reluctant to return to the offices.
  • Recruitment Agencies: Many recruitment agencies over-promise but under-deliver, creating challenges for organizations looking to recruit top talent.
  • Generation Z: This generation has initiated big changes in the market, with candidates having a different approach to the recruitment process and employment in general. They expect transparency when it comes to salary information, type of employment, and details regarding the potential manager and the team. Lack of feedback or updates in the recruitment process makes them reluctant to proceed with it. Additionally, more candidates are choosing companies with a culture that is compatible with their values.


Benefits of using Recruitment agencies vs Employer of Record Services

An Employer of Record (EOR) is an organization that acts as an employer for legal and tax purposes. The EOR is legally responsible for paying international employees, as well as handling employee taxes, insurance, and benefits. The business where the employee works retains control over business operations.

A recruitment agency can also provide a number of similar services and is usually responsible for hiring directly for the jobs and employees themselves, as well as managing contracts between employer and employee.

Allen Recruitment can support any type of contract (permanent, temporary or contract). We can offer a number of high touch services that suit employers and employee’s needs. In Spain, we deliver the full service in house with no hand offs to local suppliers. We have local on the ground staff with both English & Spanish language support. Client and employee contracts are issued both in English & Spanish.

Our legal entity in Spain ensures local compliance with registration procedures, employment contracts, payroll, HR regulations and tax law.  Our team is equipped to source/headhunt and manage employees across Spain as well as hire and employ pre-identified candidates on your behalf. Our temporary employees are fully insured by us for the work they do for you.

We pay temporary workers on time, irrespective if you have paid us or not. Our billing solution is simple and convenient – we can bill clients in their preferred location and currency. We can provide a full breakdown of fees with no hidden charges and at a lower cost than employer of record services.

Our onboarding team smooths the local onboarding process and can help with additional services around relocation and governmental documentation. Temporary workers can use our offices if they need somewhere to work. We have local technical support to deliver the tech kit they need to get started.

We are experienced in sourcing and employing temporary staff for some of the biggest multinational companies in the world. We pride ourselves in proving the best experience for our client’s and temps, check out our reviews on Glassdoor to see for yourself!


Choosing Allen Recruitment

We think differently about recruitment and possess technological advantages that enable our recruiters to find better candidates faster. How? Our technology-led solution is built on leading machine learning search and automated communication/scheduling software.

Our solution is described as the future of recruitment and allows us to find and engage with the potential candidates that are currently considering changing positions.

Not only do we target local talent but also suitable candidates across many countries that may be interested in your role, company, and location – our candidate reach is truly global.

Our software also allows us to follow up with extensive pools of passive candidates who may be interested in your role or company but are currently sitting on the fence.

Trusted by many of the leading technology and finance companies across the globe since 1998, supporting their recruitment programs across multiple countries from our offices in Ireland, the UK, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Sweden and Belgium.

Sourcing in permanent, temporary and contract jobs with multinationals, early stage and local indigenous companies, providing an unrivalled and established recruitment service for our candidates and clients alike.

We specialize in a variety of areas, with experienced insights into areas such as Desktop/Network Admin, Software Development, Sales/Marketing, Business Support, Finance, Customer Service and HR/Recruiter roles and much more.


Are you interested in learning more about employing fantastic talent in Spain, but you’re not sure where to start? Or perhaps you simply need a little help to get on your way? Then please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected].


Employment cost comparison per country:

The data below is based on the role of Data Analyst with medium level experience (between 3 to 8 years). Employment cost calculation does not include potential costs, which might occur during and after termination of the employment such as: sick leave, severance pay, or similar.

The employment cost comparison is subject to change.

Country Gross Annual Salary (local currency) Gross Annual Salary in EUR Total Cost in EUR*
Ireland  EUR 50,030.00  € 50,030.00  € 55,558.28
United Kingdom  £ 61,521.00  € 69,159.45  € 79,666.77
Poland  PLN 111,360.00  € 23,750.30  € 28,376.90
Netherlands  EUR 55,216.00  € 55,216.00  € 65,350.24
Sweden  SEK 805,104.00  € 71,727.92  € 94,837.04
Spain  EUR 54,511.00  € 54,511.00  € 72,811.72
Belgium  EUR 84,060.00  € 84,060.00  € 125,239.80
France  EUR 72,289.00  € 72,289.00  € 110,244.69

* Total Cost in EUR = total employment cost for Employer (including taxes)


Local Terminology Reference Guide:








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