Recruiters in Spain for International Companies

Are you hiring talent in Spain?

Then you’re in the right place.

Despite the seemingly high unemployment rate (16.1% in Q1 2018), Spain is displaying two labor markets – higher unemployment amongst the inexperienced youth (35% in Q1 2018) and shortage in skilled employees (56.6% of Spanish companies report difficulties filling in roles).

In this article we are going to share with you information about the top two ways to recruit talent in Spain and when to use each: job boards and recruitment agencies.

Sources: Spain labor market study 2017, Spain unemployment rate, Spain youth unemployment rate


We start with reviewing how to find recruiters in Spain.

Why? Because this is the best choice for finding experienced talent.

Many international companies and growth startups find themselves looking for recruiters in Spain to help them find talent in major business hubs like Madrid or Barcelona. The right recruiters in Spain will become your true partners in the recruitment process to find the right talent. Therefore, taking the time to find and asses the right match can increase your chances of success.

Finding recruiters in Spain

In our experience, the best recruiters are small boutique companies (1-50 people) who specialize in one industry or type of role and recruiters in Spain are no different. These companies know the market very well, know how to interview candidates and the best ones already hold existing relationships with the top talent in the industry across the country.

So how do you find great recruiters?

Unfortunately, Spain does not have a local authority that ranks and awards a distinction to the best recruiters. Therefore, we have compiled for you the 2 best ways to find them:

  1. Google “recruitment agencies in Spain”: If you tried to Google Spain recruitment Agencies and came up short it is most likely because most agencies only hold a Spanish language website. Instead:
    • For entry-level staff, try searching for “empresas de selección” (selection companies) or “selección de personal” (personal selection) or “reclutadores” (recruiters).
    • For more senior roles, try searching for “los cazatalentos” (headhunters). Don’t forget to add the specific specialization you are looking for in Spanish after these search terms.
  1. Recruitment Agencies Local Database: elEconomista is a local business news website with the largest directory of companies in Spain. Those include over 600 recruiters in Spain.

Assessing quality

Spanish recruiters are similar as other recruiters when it comes to assessing quality. We recommend asking questions about the following:

  • Specialization
  • Typical customers (size and industry)
  • Sourcing and screening process
  • Candidate interview process
  • Typical timelines for the process
  • Way of communication with employers
  • Past successful placements
  • How they measure success
  • Their input on the position you want to recruit – challenges they see
  • Guarantee (both period and who will handle the recruiting in case it is invoked)

We also always recommend asking for at least 3 references and understanding their experience in working with the recruiter.

If the process above seems a little complicated or you don’t have enough time for it, we offer a free service for finding, vetting and matching recruitment agencies for your needs. Find recruitment agencies in Spain with Emeraldo Seeker.

Average recruiter fees in Spain

Before the 2008 financial crisis, a typical recruiter fee in Spain was very similar to the USA and the UK – 20-25% of candidates annual gross salary. After the crisis, that hit Spain’s job market particularly hard, fees went down to an average of 15%. This figure is still valid today for entry and mid-level management jobs. For executive-level jobs, the average stands at 20-30% of annual gross salary.

Employment web portals (job boards)

In Spanish: portal web de empleo

Types of positions: entry and mid-level positions.

Good for: employers who have the time and resources to review many CVs. Because of the high unemployment rate in Spain (16.1% in Q1 2018), many job seekers constantly apply for jobs posted on these boards.

Top generalist boards:

Monthly visits to the website job offers ~15M 45,458 ~8M 58,406 ~3M 23,975


The two main ways candidates in Spain look for jobs are through job boards and recruiters. Job boards are a great choice for companies that have the time and resources to review many applicants. Recruiters are a great choice for companies looking for skilled talent.

When it comes to finding the right recruiters in Spain that can match your company’s needs, you might need to invest some time reviewing and interviewing many companies.

For companies that want the best local recruiters now, we offer a free service for finding, vetting and matching recruitment agencies for your needs. Get started with Emeraldo Seeker.