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Spain - 81% of companies value experience far beyond a good education

04 June 2012

According to Hays’ 2012 Employment Guide for Spain, 81% of employers to value experience over education when choosing a candidate for a job, a rise of eight points from last year. Employers are increasingly demanding when selecting a new employee. Looking for the perfect professional, capable of adding value to the company from the start and who can provide a return on investment as soon as possible; "because there is no time” according to Christopher Dottie, Managing Director of Hays Spain.

The study, which includes the 2012 Salary Guide from nine major sectors of the Spanish economy has been based on a sample of over 6,000 professionals and 1,000 companies.

The most recruited roles in Spain are currently for strategic decision making positions such as Business Intelligence, Analysis and Security Audit and Consulting Functions, and those jobs that provide control and optimization of cost structure, such as Risk and Collections. Also, growing are professionals such as lawyers, while the demand for IT professionals and those related to e-commerce is still stable.

Soft skills are also increasingly valued - personal qualities of the worker who can add value to the company such as adaptability, loyalty, versatility, work capacity and motivation.

According to candidates, 83% of respondents say they are thinking of changing jobs.  A striking figure in an economic context full of uncertainty, where both employers and employees agree there is lack of confidence in the market and low levels of credit and liquidity.  The main reasons workers to want to shift is career progression, followed by wages.

The fact that 83% of professionals looking for a job change is complemented with the intention that 45% of employers surveyed say they are willing to hire in 2012.  The difficulty is that while firms are looking for experienced professional they are not prepared to take on more junior professionals.  Only 31 % of companies are willing to hire interns this year.

Layoffs and insolvent companies have left a considerable number of highly skilled workers without jobs: 40% of workers Hays placed in January this year were previously unemployed.  Others, however, continue looking for work. According to them, personal contacts is the best way to find employment.

The internationalization of Spanish companies and multinationals foster a market where languages are key to accessing a new job. English is taken for granted: 9 out of 10 positions offered require it.  A second language is increasingly valued, like German, a language in demand in the automotive sector, or Mandarin Chinese.

Besides the languages, the other great qualities necessary for an international profile is mobility. 73% of Spanish professionals are willing to work abroad, especially in Europe or North America, or the growing Latin American markets; 31% of professional are willing to work in Asia, and 19.5% in Africa.

As for pay, generally, Madrid ranks first in terms of wages, followed by Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia and Seville, with fairly wide swings depending on the level of experience. The guide confirms the freezing of wages and, in many cases, their decline, a trend which is likely to continue this year.

There has also been a rise in the variable component of professionals’ salaries: 50% of workers say salaries are linked to individual performance and targets and also take into account the overall business results. There are many cases in which these objectives have not been reached, partly because of the difficult economic times.  The guide also confirms the growing importance of non-financial benefits to compensate for wage freezes:  80% of employers have opted for them.

The full report will be available soon here.

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