Challenges During the Hiring Process in Spain


Emily Martin, Corporate Recruiter

Spain is one of the most preferred business destinations among entrepreneurs in Europe. This is because it is a fast-growing economy with promising growth opportunities for people looking to invest in the country. The same goes for the tourist attractions. Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world and the large numbers of international visitors motivates brands to invest in the hospitality industry and expand their company as well.

However, finding the right employees in Spain is a treacherous process. For Starters, the country has a very high rate of unemployment. Individuals who have stayed for long without formal employment find it hard to return to work. Besides, the country has a low percentage of educated job seekers. Finding qualified individuals to fill up positions can be overwhelming.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that it is a hopeless endeavor, there are still many chances to make the most out of it. After all, you need a qualified team if you are to succeed in your business in the country.

The following are some of the considerations to keep in mind when putting up your team in Spain.

1. Job groups

Jobs in Spain are grouped into different categories. Each category is characterized by strict regulations also known as a collective agreement in terms of salary ranges, paid time off, and working hours. It will depend on which department of the industry you belong in, accommodation, food and beverages or travel. When hiring individuals in this country, it is good to pay attention to regulations set for each section and ensure that you are employing them under the right job group. The conventions regulate, for example, the legal salary range for each job, hours in a working day, vacation days per year. Each of these categories is created under these types of contracts:

Indefinite contract – includes the normal indefinite contract as well as several types of indefinite contracts with government incentives. In the absence of any other formalized contract type, the contract is presumed to be normal indefinite.

Temporary work contracts – The maximum duration of this type of contract is six months in any twelve months. Transitory employment needs may be met through workers provided by temporary work agencies.

2. Salary payment

Paying a salary in Spain is complicated. As an employer, you are required to pay the employees 14 payments in a year. This means that you pay a monthly salary and two more payments made in July and December. However, you can agree with your employee on an annual salary then divide it monthly if you prefer to stick to 12 payments a year. Just be sure that the employee signs an agreement on this to avoid problems in the future. Besides, it is important to know how much you need to pay social security for the employees.

3. Interview process

Information concerning criminal records is confidential. Disclosure to the public is prohibited as it is deemed as a violation of data protection regulations. This is to say, there is no way you can lay your hands on the criminal records of the people you are hiring unless they agree to tell you voluntarily. Also, it is an offense to discriminate against any employee for any given reason, before or after hiring them. There is also a prohibition on asking employees questions or personal data that is not related to the job they are applying for. You may ask any questions as long as they are necessary and objective to the job.

In this case, you need to improve on your recruitment process to ensure that you can gauge the people well during the interviews.

4. Outsourcing the hiring process

An employer in Spain is required by the law to carry out obligations such as social security contributions and payment of income tax. It is paramount that you are compliant with the Spanish Tax Agency and the social security contribution system.

In this case, it is important to consider how best to establish your business in the country before hiring employees. You can opt to register a legal entity and hire employees directly. If you opt for this route, the obligation to comply lies with you. However, you can opt for international payroll services. That is where you establish a representative office, and then hire a third party to take over these obligations on your behalf. If you are looking at expanding to Spain, you can trust PEO experts to recruit and manage your human resource.

5. Where to find the right employees

Besides considering the regulations surrounding hiring employees in Spain, it is paramount that you consider where to find the right candidates for your positions. Just as it is everywhere, job

seekers turn to the internet to search for jobs. You can start by advertising job vacancies on your social media pages.

Also, pay attention to the popular job boards in the country and post your job offering there. These sites include Infoempleo,, Trovit, and Barcelona Activa among others. Viadeo and LinkedIn are also popular among job seekers.


After finding the right candidates, it is good to familiarize yourself with the work culture. Spain happens to have some interesting working norms that might shock you if you are not prepared. For instance, business meetings can be noisy and messy. It is not considered rude to interrupt or yell at someone especially if they started it.

All in all, finding the right team is paramount to ensure that you are setting up your business for success. Put the above in mind when doing so.