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Hiring talent in Spain

An Exec's guide to manage talent acquisition abroad

An office space empty
Hiring talent is Spain has its challenges

Talent acquisition, retention and management are important considerations for any company looking to expand into a new market, including Spain. Attracting and keeping talented employees is often key to a company's success. This article examines some of the specific challenges and opportunities around acquiring, retaining and managing talent when entering the Spanish market. It also provides suggestions for dealing with these issues when planning an international expansion.

Hiring talent in Spain, and elsewhere

Talent acquisition refers to identifying and bringing in suitable candidates to fill positions. When expanding internationally this can be challenging due to language barriers and cultural differences. However, by using all available resources and emphasising diversity, you can find skilled talent in Spain.

Networking with local industry organisations can help provide connections to potential candidates and insights into the local job market and hiring norms. In addition, job boards and recruitment agencies can help access a wider pool of candidates, including passive ones open to new opportunities but not actively looking.

Social media is another useful talent acquisition tool in Spain. Building a strong online presence and using platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter can showcase your company culture and values to prospective candidates. It is also important to prioritise diversity in hiring efforts. A diverse workforce brings a range of skills, perspectives and experiences that can improve innovation and competitiveness. Actively seeking diverse candidates can foster a more inclusive environment, which is often attractive when entering a foreign market.

It is worth remembering that highly skilled people can choose where to work. Positioning your company as an appealing option is key. This can involve highlighting your brand, office locations and unique corporate culture, as these factors often influence top talent's decisions.

Developing a robust employer brand, emphasising your company's benefits and fostering a positive culture will be important for attracting skilled employees. This topic warrants further discussion in a separate article.

While networking, social media, job boards and emphasising diversity are effective talent acquisition strategies when entering Spain, companies can also leverage local partnerships and alumni networks.

Partnering with local organisations, educational institutions and industry groups provides access to qualified candidates. These partnerships signal commitment to the local community and help position the company as an attractive employer. Alumni networks of local universities and companies are another option, as alumni often have relevant skills and interest in new roles.

When sourcing candidates, remember that highly skilled individuals seek employers aligning with their values. Companies should clearly communicate their vision, social impact and community engagement. Surveys indicate purpose-driven organisations retain employees longer. Promoting values and social initiatives can make companies more appealing, especially to younger talent pools.

It is also beneficial to highlight unique aspects of the role and company culture. Top candidates want opportunities to display expertise and creativity. Emphasising projects or responsibilities allowing employees to solve complex challenges or contribute innovative ideas can be compelling. Describing a collaborative, dynamic workplace culture can also attract ambitious talent.

Furthermore, emphasising development opportunities and career progression convinces top talent their skills will grow. Discussing training programs, mentorship initiatives and defined career paths signals investment in employee success. This communicates that the company supports professional advancement.

When marketing open positions, remember to highlight any relocation assistance and language training provided. Even if not recruiting abroad, detailing this support shows the company values inclusiveness and will help non-Spanish speakers assimilate.

Retaining Talent

Once talented staff are hired in Spain, retention becomes the priority. This involves keeping valuable employees at the company. Retention can be tricky when internationalising, as relocated staff may experience homesickness and cultural adjustments. Providing relocation and language support, career development opportunities and a positive company culture can help overcome these hurdles.

If hiring from abroad, offering assistance with housing, language classes and navigating local customs shows commitment to supporting foreign hires. Additionally, providing training, clear career paths and promotion opportunities demonstrates investment in professional growth, which can increase loyalty.

Fostering a positive culture also aids retention. This can involve establishing clear values and expectations, communicating openly and providing regular feedback and support. Creating an inclusive and supportive environment tends to improve employee satisfaction and retention when expanding internationally.

Beyond relocation, language and cultural support, professional development is critical for retaining foreign hires. Employees want to continuously build skills, so companies should provide ample training and learning opportunities. This includes funding external courses, workshops and conferences relevant to roles. Rotational programs allowing employees to develop new competencies are also beneficial.

Mentorship programs contribute to retention by helping employees navigate roles, gain insights from seasoned professionals and build internal networks. Assigning mentors assists with assimilation and signals investment in individual success.

Providing clear paths for career progression is also key. Employees should understand what is required for promotions and have transparent criteria to work towards. Managers should outline realistic timeframes for advancement to avoid frustration.

Competitive compensation and benefits are important retention factors, especially equity incentives. Employees want to share in the success enabled by their contributions. Providing stock options or bonuses based on company growth motivates talent to stay and perform.

Cultivating an engaging culture requires soliciting regular feedback to address pain points. Conducting anonymous surveys gives employees a voice and shows the company values input. Implementing feedback demonstrates listening, which increases retention.

Managing Talent

Broadly, talent management refers to attracting, developing and keeping skilled staff. It is a strategic approach to managing human resources that helps achieve business goals and remain competitive. When expanding internationally, effective talent management can be hindered by language and cultural barriers.

Key elements include identifying and hiring top talent, offering development opportunities, and retaining valuable employees. This encompasses recruiting skilled individuals, providing training programs, and cultivating an engaging and supportive company culture.

Robust talent management also involves regular performance evaluations to highlight areas for improvement and provide feedback and coaching.

For any company looking to stay competitive, dedicated talent management is essential. It facilitates attracting and keeping top talent, growing employee skills, and boosting overall performance. As a senior executive, recognising the importance of talent management and dedicating appropriate resources to supporting it aligns with strategic goals and long-term success.

When managing international talent, sensitivity to cross-cultural differences is required. Misunderstandings can occur due to differing communication norms and workplace expectations. Managers should be trained on avoiding assumptions and mindful of potential gaps.

Performance management processes may need adapting to local norms. Spanish employees often appreciate qualitative feedback and coaching rather than quantitative ratings. Managers should adjust approaches accordingly and recognise cultural preferences.

In some cultures, employees hesitate speaking up about performance issues. Managers should therefore hold regular one-on-one meetings to check-in and encourage open dialogue. This allows surfacing any problems early before frustration builds.

Managers must also be patient and allow time for adaptation when employees relocate. There is often an adjustment period coping with language barriers, homesickness, and unfamiliar workplace norms. Providing extra guidance and support during the transition helps ensure success.

For optimal results, local managers familiar with cultural nuances should oversee international hires. Locals better understand motivations and can more effectively connect with teams. Higher-level strategic roles may still be filled by foreigners with specialised expertise.

When expanding into Spain, remember language skills take time to develop. Employees should not be penalised during the learning process. Managers should set realistic goals based on proficiency levels.

For optimal talent management, employers must demonstrate ongoing interest in employee success and satisfaction. Checking in regularly, being available to answer questions and proactively flagging opportunities shows commitment. Employees want to feel their growth and wellbeing are priorities.

Hofstede cultural dimension

Utilising Hofstede's cultural dimensions as a framework, several distinct aspects emerge that should be considered when recruiting talent in Spain, as opposed to other nations:

Collectivism - Spain's inclination towards collectivism suggests that incorporating prospective team members into the interview and selection process may enhance cultural compatibility and acceptance of a new recruit. Encourage candidates to engage with potential peers, not solely managers. Upon hiring, initiate joint projects promptly to assimilate the new staff member into the team.

Power Distance - Spain's elevated power distance necessitates transparent communication of the company's hierarchy and reporting lines during the hiring phase to establish clear expectations. The induction process should include managerial guidance coupled with individual autonomy. Collaboratively set objectives, allowing new recruits the latitude to decide the means to achieve them.

Uncertainty Avoidance - Catering to a preference for well-defined structures, present candidates with in-depth job specifications, schedules for the recruitment process, and a clear outline of the training programme. Once employed, furnish new staff with exhaustive guidelines and frameworks, while encouraging them to seek clarification if needed. Encourage ongoing feedback to maintain alignment with expectations.

Masculinity - As accomplishment is esteemed, assess candidates on their ability to fulfil goals and previous achievements. Inform top performers that success is met with opportunities for growth and added responsibilities. Provide avenues for professional growth that enable ambitious staff to enhance their competencies.


In summary, talent management when expanding internationally, or hiring talent in Spain for the same reason, requires cultural sensitivity, locally-aware management, extensive development opportunities, and cultivating trust through transparency, dialogue and support. Investing in talent drives success in global markets.

Overall, acquiring, retaining and managing talent are crucial considerations when expanding into Spain. To navigate these challenges, companies should leverage local partnerships, emphasise continuous development, adapt performance management, demonstrate commitment to employee success, and implement talent management strategies around training, career development and cultivating an engaging company culture. Effectively managing and developing employees equips an organisation for success in the global market.


Over the years, we have gained a reputation on strategic compliance guidance. At iBerotech, we harness regulatory expertise and leverage key strategic partnerships to empower foreign organisations in successfully traversing Spain’s multifaceted regulatory landscape for strategic growth.


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