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Updated: 5 days ago

Author: Zala Mlinar

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Date of publication: 16/2/2022

“The COVID-19 pandemic hit Spain harder than most countries. More than 3.2 million people have been infected, the eighth largest number in the world, and over 75.000 died from coronavirus.” (Chislett, 2021)

“Employment Rate in Spain increased to 50.52 percent in the third quarter of 2021 from 49.63% percent in the second quarter of 2021.” (TradicEconomic, 2022)

In this article I am going to talk about the unemployment in Spain during and before the pandemic. I am going to talk about why the unemployment in Spain is the problem and what can Spain do to change that. In second part I am going to talk about the recruitment process in the world and how it changed during the pandemic. In the last part I am going to talk about the recruitment process in Spain during the pandemic.


During the pandemic Spain had the deepest recession in 80 years. It was the biggest recession in Europe. Spain is the country where the tourism is one of the biggest parts of the economic system. The number of international tourists plummeted from 83.7 million in 2019 to bellow 20 million in 2020. Spain suffers a high level of structural unemployment because of economic and financial crisis in 1980 (Chiseltt, 2021). Spain was less dependent on industry or on professional and specific activities, because of heavy tourism.

The tourism in Spain was a key sector for Spain’s economy before the pandemic. This sector will suffer the most from the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. Many workers in Spain that has worked in the touristic sector has lost their jobs. The loss of tourism has affected Spain the most.

The companies in Spain are mostly small, with fewer than 10 employees, this makes firms more vulnerable to changes. Business activity has been particularly affected by the crisis. All of the companies in Spain were forced to react in record time to a new social, economic and legal context, in which the rapid-fire passing of new regulations required more sophisticated legal advice than ever before, so as to interpret, almost in real time, the new and unprecedented legal framework.

New trends in companies have appeared, these new trends are:

· Technological revolution and the attendant legal ramifications (remote working, sign documents electronically, videoconferences…)

· Feeling of legal uncertainty (uncertainty shadowing all things at present, lack of predictability, new legal framework)

· Labor and employment impact on companies (managing the employment status of workers in the mids of an economic shutdown)

· Remote management of companies

· Reordering of priorities (faster responses, use of technology)

(Garrigues, 2021)

When the pandemic started the unemployment rate in Spain was 14%. At the end of the 2020 it was 16,2%. For the 2,2% higher than the year before. (Ramos, 2021) Spain had the high unemployment before the pandemic, that’s why it has not risen significantly during the pandemic.

Spain has done more than 50 Labor market reforms in last 40 years (a world record). (Ramos,2021) The reforms haven’t got much success in lowering unemployment.

“Around 6 million workers are now unemployed or covered by temporary employment adjustment schemes which have been adopted in order to ensure an adequate level of social protection of workers such as the new minimum income scheme.” (Ramos,2021)

The situation with unemployment in Spain has affected on all of the country. From people to economy system. The crisis has impacted significant on households. It has led to a reduction in the wage income of individuals who have lost their jobs or been furloughed, and in their wealth, given the adjustment of the valuation of most financial assets. From the standpoint of financial stability has showed that the data has showed that the households are becoming unemployed. This has also affected the real estate marked and the banking sector. People are unable to buy apartments/houses and can not afford to take a credit. (Hernandez de Cos, 2020)

However, despite of high unemployment Spain is one of the fastest countries recovering after pandemic in EU (Statista, 2021). The unemployment is getting better than it was before the pandemic. There is higher chance to get a job in personal care, construction and hospitality sectors. (Statista, 2021)

This statistic shows the unemployment rate in Spain from 1999 to 2020. In 2020 the unemployment rate in Spain was 15,67 percent. Today, Spain has the second-highest unemployment rate of all EU states. (Statista, 2021)


At the start of pandemic of Covid-19 the life changed. At the shutdown almost everything started to work remotely. People started to work remotely so they had to start using the technology needed for work from home.

All over the world the recruitment techniques became remotely. Job seekers now have interviews taken via zoom and teams’ meetings.

Human resources at almost every company had to update their recruitment systems. This means that all the human resources workers had to learn online working skills. The recruitment process had to became quicker because of the loss of competitive advantage. It was also because of the many job applications and a short deadline. Human resources teams had started to adapt to new recruitment trends.

New recruitment trends in last 2 years:

· Artificial Intelligence and Gamification

· Selection of passive candidates or proactive recruitment

· Recruitment marketing

Artificial Intelligence and Gamification

The candidates nowadays are selected by skills and abilities and not by education. Gamification in recruiting has become mainstream in HR space. Gamification is the application of game technology. Gamification is used for attract, select and develop employees.

Selection of passive candidates or proactive recruitment

This selection is made via social media as LinkedIn, Twitter etc. The human resources teams are posting the job through platform. They are using hashtags and filters to find the people who are looking for similar job. Passive job seekers are individuals who are currently employed and not actively looking for a new job, but who may be open to a good career opportunity if one came along. Many employers target passive job seekers because they are looking for candidates who have positive employment records and who are satisfied with and successful in their work. Employers often target passive job seekers because of the lack of qualified job candidates to fill critical roles. Locating, wooing and successfully luring passive job seekers are critical for organization to remain competitive in a tight labor market.

Recruitment marketing

Recruitment marketing has an objective, to attract the best clients or professionals to be part of the company and to retain them to create a pride of belonging. (Job Finder Spain, 2021) In recruitment marketing we are using the practice of using marketing strategies to promote the value of working for an employer in order to attract, engage, recruit and retain talent. It’s supported by a set of skills, practices and technologies that have become essential for employers to compete for the best talent. Put plainly, employers need Recruitment Marketing because the old way of transactional recruiting simply doesn’t work anymore. Today’s candidates discover and consider employers the same way consumers find products, hotels and restaurants. Through searching online, following social media and reading reviews, candidates can become aware of an employer and its career opportunities. What they learn about a company’s mission and culture can influence a candidate’s decision to apply for a job and accept an offer for employment, or form a negative perception and become a brand detractor.


Spain is slowly recovering after pandemic. The pandemic has changed almost every working process that exists.

Before the pandemic many companies in Spain used virtual interviews only as a last resort, the interviews were mostly face-to-face. In the pandemic many companies are choosing virtual interviews, so it became popular because a virtual interview saves time and money for the candidate and for the employer.

Because of the virtual interviews in Spain, the Human resources teams has a wider pool of candidates. Location is no longer a deciding factor. It means that more candidates will apply for the same position, which is worse for the candidates and better for the employers. From that prospect can employers find the perfect candidate for the job.

The candidates in Spain are searching mostly for the jobs in bigger, more stable companies, so they can provide job security. The recruitment process has started again in Spain, after the shutdown. Now the candidates have more options in their job search.


This research shows how the pandemic changed the world and work of Human Resources teams and the process of recruitment. Spain is one of the countries that was hit hard by the pandemic. However, it’s one of the fastest countries in recovering from pandemic.

The unemployment in Spain remains high, but not because of the pandemic, but because of the global crisis. Spain is getting back on its feet, so the county has a lot of hiring right now. The recruitment process in Spain has changed during the pandemic. The HR teams in companies are now interviewing candidates through video calls. The companies are looking for candidates mostly via social media and the recruitments agencies.

I think that Spain will get lower precents of unemployment people in next few years. However, it’s a long way for Spain to recover fully.

Spain’s economic recovery will be neither instant nor easy-the pandemic’s impact has been seismic. But the experience could also be an opportunity to create value in the next normal while protecting lives and livelihoods. We know that the road back will require a sweeping effort from the country’s public and private sectors alike. Just as Spain fought its way back from the global financial recession, the country can rise to this challenge and rebuild its economy. Better days await.


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