Spain Recruiting & HiringReading Time: 4 minutes
Spain’s laws group jobs into different categories, and each has strict regulations concerning salary ranges, working hours, and paid time off. You must keep these regulations in mind when recruiting and hiring new employees in the country. In addition to following all of Spain’s employment compliance laws, you’ll have to onboard employees and continue growing your subsidiary.
Instead of figuring out these complex tasks on your own, we can help. Globalization Partners takes the hassle out of employment by hiring employees on your behalf and assigning them to work for your company. We’ll also take all issues of compliance off your shoulders and onto ours.
Recruiting in Spain
If you are unfamiliar with Spain, the work culture can come as a shock. It’s about more than just long lunches — you need to understand Spanish management norms, hierarchy, negotiations, and business etiquette for successful staffing and recruiting. Here are three factors you should know about before you start recruiting employees in the country.
1. Changing Hierarchy
Many companies in Spain still use a hierarchical structure, including family-owned businesses and government sectors. However, young managers educated abroad are starting to change the work culture, preferring individualism in management. Overall, business communication takes place on equal levels, so you should deal with your potential employees during negotiations and only bring in a superior if there are issues.
2. Informal Business Meetings
Unlike those in many western countries, meetings in Spain are informal and typically used to communicate instructions or decisions that have already been made. They can easily turn personal, loud, and noisy. It’s not considered rude to interrupt or yell at someone during a meeting in Spain, especially if they yelled first. While recruiting, make sure to keep things light and understand that someone yelling or interrupting isn’t necessarily meant to be rude. However, be careful not to say anything that could offend someone’s personal dignity or honor.
3. Lengthy Negotiations
The overall relational business culture in the country means you must build a personal relationship with your counterparts before starting negotiations. First, you’ll meet for lunch or social gatherings rather than talking over the phone or via email. Then, you can begin a lengthy negotiation process. You’ll want to recruit potential candidates slowly and understand who they are personally before learning about them professionally.
Keep in mind that this mentality varies by region. For example, Catalans negotiate using a professional style and avoid bargains. In the southern parts of the country, people negotiate in a more traditional and formal style, striving for a bargain. In all areas, senior managers make the final decision, then write up a formal contract.
The Recruitment Process in Spain
Staffing your business in Spain requires an understanding of the country’s recruiting and hiring laws. One important regulation relates to criminal records. This information is confidential, and public disclosure is prohibited, as it could violate data protection regulations. Certain state agencies, judges, courts, and judicial police can access the Central Registry of Convicts. As the employer, however, you cannot obtain criminal data unless the candidate voluntarily provides it.
You also cannot discriminate against any employee for any reason during the recruiting process or after hiring them, including asking candidates to submit personal data not directly related to the job requirements. During the interview stage, you can ask any necessary questions as long as they are reasonable, objective, and related to the job.
Where to Find the Right Candidates
If you’re unfamiliar with this country, you could fail to find the right candidates by not looking in the right places. The best recruiting tactic in Spain is to use your company’s social media accounts to advertise positions. You can also use popular websites, such as InfoJobs, Infoempleo, Barcelona Activa, and Laboris. More people are using specialized social networks such as LinkedIn and Viadeo as well.
Other options include working with the Chamber of Commerce and hiring a consulting firm or agency. If you choose a consulting firm, you’ll need to ensure that the agency you work with understands the country’s laws and regulations, or you could be held liable.
What to Look for in Potential Candidates
Many foreigners who speak numerous languages live in major Spanish cities. If it’s important to have a bilingual employee, make sure you note that fact in your job description. Since the unemployment rate in the country is high, you’ll receive many applications. Most employers choose to conduct one or two interviews, depending on the complexity of the job. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to make a hire, as employees will need to give two weeks’ notice at their existing jobs.
How to Hire Employees in Spain
Hiring employees in Spain must start with a written employment contract per the country’s laws. Employees typically prefer indefinite contracts, which make it more difficult to lay them off and usually outline a higher salary. Negotiating the terms of an indefinite contract with an employee is just as important as the initial salary negotiations.
Spain’s labor law is relatively strict. It requires employers to draft a strong employment contract before the employee’s start date. The agreement should put any salary or benefits in euro rather than foreign currency. It should also include:
- Compensation amounts
- Termination requirements
- Any probationary periods
Spain Employment Compliance
Spain’s legal workweek is 40 hours. However, many companies have opted to shorten the week to 37 or 38 hours. Spain’s Workers Statute maintains a 40-hour legal workweek but allows employers to distribute the total hours irregularly throughout the year if that arrangement is part of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
Both national law and CBAs regulate any overtime hours. Paid overtime cannot exceed 80 hours per year, and employees can either pay employees or give them time off within four months of the date on which they worked the overtime.
How to Onboard Employees
The onboarding depends on your company and your goals for the position. If you hired someone that needs significant training, build this training into the onboarding process. It is also best practice to go over the employment contract with the employee during their first day or week.
Other helpful onboarding tips include:
- Fly to Spain for the employees’ first day or send other important company executives
- Onboard multiple employees at the same time to streamline the process
- Go over the company’s code of conduct and other relevant documents with your workers
Benefits of Spain Hiring Outsourcing
With so many Spanish employment compliance laws to remember, outsourcing the hiring process can be highly beneficial. Globalization Partners makes it easier to hire employees and stay compliant. We’ll use our established PEO to hire employees assigned to work for you. They will get added to our compliant payroll, and we take on the risk as the Employer of Record.
Why Globalization Partners?
Globalization Partners offers a faster way to expand to a new country. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you with Spain employment compliance.