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Spain - The Spanish staffing market, an insider view

09 August 2011

Leticia De La Herran, Managing Director of staffing agency Antal Spain, has laid out her views on the current recruitment market in the country and its future outlook. She writes "it is no secret that Spain is experiencing economic troubles, which are obviously affecting the recruitment market. However, our latest Global Snapshot of hiring and firing trends showed that current recruitment levels in Spain have remained steady since last quarter at 35% and that the recruitment market is more active than other Western European countries such as Portugal and Switzerland."
 
"While vacancies across the board are down, there are still some niche sectors that are recruiting. For example, there are jobs available in sales and marketing within the software and hardware technology sectors and in industry, not to mention a variety of engineering roles, particularly within production in the FMCG sector. In fact, the downturn has actually created some jobs."
 
"One instance of this is within the finance sector where there is a high demand for international controllers. This is due to Spanish companies investing outside Spain, creating a need for Spanish speakers with both international and finance experience."

English capability is sought-after

"Within the roles on the market, we've noticed that a large number of employers require candidates to speak both fluent Spanish and English. As this bilingualism is still a relatively uncommon skill in Spain, we often find ourselves recruiting candidates from overseas."
 
"For example, we recruit from a pool of Spanish nationals who currently work abroad but would like to come back to Spain, bringing with them valuable international experience and language skills."

Spanish workers moving abroad

"Due to the financial climate, there's a large exodus of Spanish citizens going abroad at the moment and Spain is losing a lot of potential talent. As there are few opportunities to move up the career ladder, rather than taking a pay cut or a step backwards, candidates are instead taking up jobs in the USA, South America, the UK and Germany. Germany is a particularly popular destination for engineers, as it is running a successful campaign to attract engineering skills from Spain."
 
"As we are already seeing a pool of Spanish nationals who choose to return to Spain, bringing with them the requisite language and international skills, in the long term we may see Spain benefit from this new diaspora. In the short-term we are losing talent, but in the long-term Spain will hopefully see an influx of new skills as a result."

The future outlook

"Although there are no immediate signs of the situation improving, there is still some stability in that the usual recruitment cycles apply. Hiring activity is still stronger at the beginning of a quarter than at the end."

"Here at Antal, we're still placing outstanding candidates and are optimistic that we will continue to find and fill roles for excellent candidates while Spain rides out the economic storm."

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