There’re 3,494,428 registered companies in Spain as of 2020. If you’re looking for jobs in Spain for English speakers, the list of companies can seem endless! Luckily 1.9 million of these belong to self-employed individuals, leaving 1.5 million potential companies for you to work at.
While narrowing down the top companies in Spain may seem daunting, we’ve done the groundwork for you based on the biggest companies and the best employers.
One of the easiest ways for foreigners to find a job in Spain is to consider large, well-known companies. These are the companies that are more likely to sponsor your work visa, offer a competitive salary, and use English as their business language. Moreover, there’re only 172 companies that hire more than 5000 people and 880 companies that hire 1000-4999 people.
In comparison, you’ve got the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Although they hire most of Spain’s workforce, a majority of the SMEs are micro and hire between 3-10 people. This, combined with a heavy focus on Spanish and a low probability of issuing a work visa makes it hard for internationals to find a job in Spain at SMEs.
Given most expats look for work in foreign or large companies, we’ve narrowed down the list from 1.5 million companies to some of the largest companies and the best employers in Spain.
To give you an edge over other expats and maximise your chances of finding a job abroad, we’ll briefly mention some global top companies and introduce you to some top Spanish companies that you may not know of.
One way to assess a top company is to look at its number of employees and their net worth. We’ve looked at companies that hire more than 1000 employees and have a net worth of upwards of a billion. We’ve also specifically focused on the in-demand industries in Spain as companies can only offer work visas for positions that are hard to fill in locally.
Telefónica- One of the largest telecommunications companies offering wireless, TV, and broadband services. You may recognise it from brands such as Vivo or O2. With offices located in France, Germany, UK, Brazil, USA, and more, it’s perfect for expats who know a few languages. Potential jobs include account manager, data scientist, service manager, customer service, among others.
Other local companies: Cellnex Telecom, Masmovil Ibercom. Global companies: Vodafone, Orange, Huawei.
Inditex- A massive global fashion retailer that has 8 well-known brands under it: Zara, Zara Home, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Stradivarius, Bershka, Pull&Bear, and Uterqüe. No surprise, this retailer hires over 144,000 employees worldwide who speak over 73 different languages.
Other local companies: El Corte Ingles, Mercadona, Alcampo. Global companies: Lidl, Reckitt, Puma, Amazon.
SEAT- One of the largest suppliers of cars in Spain. Students, graduates, and professionals can all find a place here. You can join their sales team, work on innovating their sustainable hybrid vehicles, be a software engineer, or build digital services to enhance the consumer experience.
Other local companies: CIE Automotive, Gestamp. Global companies: Toyota and Volkswagen.
Banco Santander- This Madrid-based multinational financial company ranks as one of the world’s top 25 best workplaces in the world. It’s also the 5th biggest bank in Europe and the 16th biggest financial institution globally. There are more than +191,000 employees and you can join one of their many departments, such as HR, IT, wealth management, legal, cybersecurity, etc.
Other local companies: Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, CaixaBank, Bankinter. Global companies: BNP Paribas.
Mapfre- A Spanish insurance company that offers its services on all 5 continents. It has its headquarters in Spain and employs over 36,000 people worldwide. With 97.6% of its employees being permanent, it’s a great place to work for those looking to have a stable job. You can join several departments, such as marketing, legal, audits, operations, etc.
Other local companies: Vidacaixa, Mutua Madrilena. Global companies: AXA, Allianz.
Actividades de Construcción y Servicios- One of the world’s leading civil and industrial construction, infrastructure, and industrial services companies that operate in more than 30 countries worldwide. They’re part of the United Nations Global Compact, making them a good option for for expats wanting to work for an environmentally conscious company. ACS is also perfect for skilled workers who can operate machines and ground vehicles, such as a forklift, as these are in-demand professions.
Other local companies: Acciona, Applus, and Ferrovial. Global companies: Hilti, Vinci.
Repsol- One of the world’s biggest multi-energy companies that’s also the first in this sector who’s pledged to have net zero emissions by 2050. They specialise in exploration, generation, production, development, distribution and trade of energy. They’re also paving the way for a decarbonised energy model fit for the future. They currently have more than 24,000 employees across 31 countries.
Other local companies: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Naturgy, Iberdrola, and Endesa. Global companies: GE Renewable Energy, Schneider Electric, Norsk Hydro.
Transport and Logistics:
International Airlines Group- IAG is a major airlines group formed after the merger of leading carriers from the UK, Spain and Ireland. You’ll recognise IAG from brands such as British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, etc. Working here is great for those who are trained pilots, have technical knowledge, or simply love travel discounts.
Other local companies: Acciona, eDreams ODIGIEO, Compania De Distribucion Integral Logista Holdings. Global companies: DHL, FedEx.
Agriculture & Food Processing:
Borges Bain- One of the 100 biggest companies in Spain which is dedicated to agriculture, processing, marketing and sale of nuts and dried fruits since 1896. They have clients in over 62 countries.
Other local companies: Ebro Foods, Deoleo, Capsa Food. Global Companies: Cargill, Cofco.
Amadeus IT Group- A leading travel technology company that provides IT solutions to travel and tourism companies. Considering the country is big on the travel industry, its a perfect sector for expats jobs in Spain. Excited to power the future of travel? You can join one of their team of 16,000 employees and opt for a technology or business role.
Other local companies to look at: Indra Sistemas, BairesDev, Everis, Glovo. Global companies: HP, Amazon, Booking.com.
Pharmaceutical & Health:
Grifols- A pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing company based in Barcelona. If you’re experienced in bioscience, diagnostics, or bio-supplies, you can join their team of +24,000 to develop, produce and market innovations in science.
Other local companies: Cofares, Almirall, Lilly, Faes Farma. Global companies: GE Healthcase, Pfizer.
Hotels & Properties:
Melia Hotel International: One of Spain’s biggest hotel chain companies that’s got subsidiaries to suit every traveler type, such as Sol by Melia and Circle by Melia. They’ve got upwards of 40,000 employees and as a company they focus on making their employees the protagonists.
Other local companies: AEDAS Homes, Metrovacesa, Merlin Properties. Global companies: NH Hotel Group.
Working at any of these top companies is a great option for expats as they have the ability to invest in employee development, provide higher salaries, and hire top international talent.”
Just looking at company size and net worth isn’t going to give the whole picture. Top companies are increasingly being judged by the work environment, how much they facilitate growth, how inclusive they’re, and how they’re contributing to sustainability.
|Electronics||Keysight Technologies, BSH Electrodom, Electrolux.|
|Retail||Leroy Merlin España, Alcampo, LIDL Supermercados.|
|Healthcare||Sandoz, Abbott, Novartis, AstraZeneca España.|
|Transport||DHL, Acciona, Airbus.|
|Financial Services||AXA Seguros, Allianz Seguros, Experian.|
|Insurance||Admiral, Reale, DKV Seguros.|
|Chemicals||Boehringer Ingelheim España, Cepsa, Uriach.|
|IT||SAP, Delsol, Salesforce, Indra.|
|Consulting||BC&G, Deloitte, Sipadan.|
|Food and beverages||Pepsico, Lyreco Iberia, Campari, Capsa Food.|
|Banking||Banikter, Santander España, Banca March.|
|Energy||Naturgy, Enagas, Cepsa.|
|Construction||Applus, Acciona, Immobilaria Colonial Socimi.|
|Engineering||Otis, Airbus, John Deere Ibérica.|
|Manufacturing||Airbus, Capsa Food, Alstom España.|
|Telecommunications||Experian, Orange España, Everis.|
|Media||GroupM Publicidad Worldwide, Genjoy, SIDN Digital thinking.|
|Automotive||Saint-Gobain, Toyota, Applus.|
|Insurance||Mapfre, Cigna, Nationale Nederlanden.|
|Pharmaceuticals||Sanofi, Pfizer, Sandoz, Lilly, Abbott.|
|Health||Siemens Healthineers, GE Healthcare, Medtronic.|
|Real Estate||Acciona, Castellana properties.|
|Consumer goods and services||Puma, Amazon, Campari, Electrolux.|
Once you’ve narrowed down which company you want to work for and have been given a contract (congrats!), it’s time to make your way to Spain.
For non-EU citizens, you’ll need the company to apply for your work visa as they need to prove they didn’t find a suitable candidate locally.
Once that’s done, you can apply for your entry visa to Spain and arrange for all the mandatory documents, such as your NIE number and health insurance. Have a look at the complete Relocation Guide created to facilitate expats moving to Spain.
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