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Digital talent is the only one who can choose where to work | Business

Digital nomads already existed before the pandemic. But new ways of working are spreading behind it, allowing many employees to embrace a new lifestyle. The arrival of flexible work, which the CEO of LinkedIn, Ángel Sáenz de Cenzano, believes will sooner or later be generalized in all companies that can operate remotely, opens up a world of possibilities for staff. Especially if they work in technology, where the only professionals who today can choose from where they want to work come from. In fact, there is a movement of workers to smaller cities and towns, according to Gary Mullan, CEO of Prosperity. “They are looking for lower rents and better quality of life. The trend is very clear. Displacements have doubled,” he says.

Although there is no data to corroborate it, take the case of Google as an example. Some 15,000 of its workers have moved under the company’s global program and another 10,000 have signed up for 100% remote work, according to Javier Martín, director of human resources for southern Europe. In Spain, where there is still no data because the massive return to the office has not yet been decided and it is voluntary, Martín has been transferred to Malaga, Barcelona or the vicinity of Madrid. Or to Hamburg (Germany), where Victoria Campetella has gone to live with her family. “With the pandemic we considered the lifestyle we wanted to have. We had been in Hamburg, a city that is smaller than Madrid, greener and friendlier to children and where my husband has a family. And we have been living here for two months with our two daughters and we are satisfied with the decision, ”she says by phone.

And it is that 40% of digital workers operate remotely, while a quarter are forced to spend their day in the office and 35% combine both formulas, according to the digital talent scout Prosperity. “Remote work is what these profiles ask for the most. And it is very important to retain talent, since those who cannot enjoy it last less in companies”. The company is recruiting for Microsoft, Google, Wallapop and many start-ups looking for dozens of digital positions in Spain. Mullan believes that this is going to be a regular dynamic from now on and gives Meta as an example, which has chosen Spain to set up its technology center and is going to hire 2,000 people.

From Begur

José López Morales has been working for several years in the technical department of The Knot Worldwide, the largest wedding planner in the world. Before the pandemic, he did it in the Barcelona offices, where 500 of the 900 employees of the firm present in 16 countries are counted. As a result of it, everyone was forced to work at home. Now, the platform offers hybrid work. “At the moment, we give freedom to the employee, who currently spends 70% of the time at his house and one day at the office,” explains Ana Visar, the company’s vice president of People. Except for workers in the technology area, to whom it offers 100% remote work. Something that has allowed José to move his residence and even buy a house in Begur (Girona), where he lives in an urbanization, close to nature and the beach and in which he has a patio that allows him to disconnect from his intense activity. as a programmer. “Away from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona I live more calmly and it allows me to save time and money”.

José López Morales, in the patio of the house that has been bought in Begur (Girona).
José López Morales, in the patio of the house that has been bought in Begur (Girona).

He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.

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López Morales has two teams under his charge scattered throughout Spain. “Before, we only hired locally. Now that many American companies have decided to establish their technological headquarters in Spain, things have changed and it is an incentive for hiring”, he assures. Joaquín Quero, a software engineer who joined the company this year from his residence in Córdoba, knows this well: “In my city it’s hard to find a job. And if you don’t want to move, remote work is the key,” says this 37-year-old professional with two children, delighted to have left a company that didn’t give him this option.

The person in charge of personnel of The Knot Worldwide has it clear. The firm intends to recruit 250 employees in Spain this year, especially in the technology area. And to achieve this, it knows that one of the fundamental requirements is to offer 100% remote employment. “These are highly sought-after and difficult-to-find profiles, to whom we have to offer added value so that they come to work at the company,” she admits.

Globant is also trying to hire “all the people it can”, according to Mercedes MacPnerson, its People manager for the EMEA zone, where she assures that in recent times they have hired 300 people a month and 1,000 in the company as a whole, up to 25,000 current employees. “Between 2020 and 2021 we have almost doubled our growth,” she says. They are looking for experts in data, artificial intelligence, clouddevelopers of software…, “profiles that are very difficult to find all over the world. It is a global problem. Very few leave the universities and Globant makes great efforts in the training and retraining of people through programs and boot camps specific”.

For the software engineering company, flexibility is inherent to the job (“something that came with the pandemic to stay”). In fact, it leaves the decision of where to work in the hands of the employee. And many people, especially with children, have moved away from the big cities in search of a better quality of life, says the directive. That is why in their value proposition for employees they are no longer addressed only to them, but to the entire family. “When the work was face-to-face, we did not get into the house of the globersSince it’s not, we’ve developed family health and wellness programs,” explains MacPnerson. And not only that. In view of the requests of their workers to move to other countries, they have launched a specific plan and Spain is the country that people are looking for the most to live.

The great question

“Before the pandemic, it was embarrassing to ask about telecommuting because it seemed like a lack of commitment, but now it is a question that all candidates ask. It is a radical change”, appreciates Javier Martín, from Google, who has seen how his workforce in Spain has doubled since 2019 to exceed 400 employees. He is now looking for workers for his commercial area and engineers.
In the Adecco database, 15% of job offers claim positions that provide for telecommuting. Because the conciliation is eating ground to the salary among the main motivations of the candidates to change companies, fundamentally due to teleworking, according to Randstad. Their preferences are salary, conciliation, pleasant work environment, job security and career development. And although one in three Spaniards surveyed by the company says that they would quit their job if it does not allow them to live their lives, the companies that offer telecommuting have gone from 50% at the end of last year to the current 33% (in Europe it is 38 %).

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