TSR – The Server Room Show – Shownotes – Episode 36

Working in IT Sector in Spain and things I think are important when You are looking for a new job or change in Your Career

The below is strictly based on My Opinion and What I saw during the years I worked in IT in various roles in Spain.

In Spain the IT Job Market is divided into 2 Main groups and effectively a 3rd group which exist in other countries I guess but completely lacking here in Spain.


1., Direct Hire with the company
(Being it a big multinational to a small business means no difference) You will be placed on the company´s payroll , wear the same uniform as the others, have the same benefits from day one, long story short if You apply to an IT Role X for Company Y thats what You going to be , an employee of Company Y with all the bells and whistles it comes with being it Pro Vs Contra

2., Being Hired by an intermediate consulting company

( they called like this here in Spain or can call them IT Job Agencies to be very specific) are companies which find the perfect candidate for the Role required and take care of the hiring and selection process and employs the individual on their companies payroll to eventually sell You or rent You out to the End User/Company whom needs the Role/Services to be done at/for ( their numbers can only be compared to the stars on the night sky)

Often than not the amount You will get paid Vs the amount of Money the Company pays the Consulting Company FOR YOU I see it go as much as being the double of one number to another and not in favour to YOUR Salary.

You will be working from day one for Company Y, maybe You even get to wear their uniform if any, but You will not be on the company´s payroll neither enjoy the same benefits as Your colleagues whom many times are hired directly via Company Y and most often than not You will definitely not enjoy the same salary as Your peers.

Can be that You sit with Your colleagues in the same office space, You all doing the same Job, even wearing the same uniform , sharing the workload and the same job functions/responsabilities but being un-equal in the rest ( salary, benefits or other compensations & perks , sometimes even shifts or work hours (weekends, on call , etc.)

Sometimes in rare occasions It can happen that after a few months if its beneficial for the Company You lending Your services to so to say, decides to take You over and offers You a place at the Company hiring You as a full time employee just as You were directly hired from day one By Them. But this is rare an far between. Id not even say 20% of the cases what I saw.

Most often than not You will be hired for a Project or a fixed amount of time sometimes prolong able (long term or short term but definitely not with an open ending contract or indefinite contract we call it here in Spain which has no written end date on Your contract with the Company You work for ( The Consulting Company remember)

What is completely missing in Spain for as much as I saw in 12 years living here… Freelancing and Freelancing in IT to be exact. Being those huge number of consulting companies out there they completely sucked out the opportunity or chance of anyone going solo contracting out their services as a one man shop / independent contractor or autonomous contractor/person as many times referred to it here. There is just no chance for them to companies or even smaller companies to go to THEM Vs going to these Intermediate IT Consulting Companies whom have the resources and capacity to find and get any unicorn talent in a matter of days VS the chance of Your Specialty or Focus being what exactly they need.

What is the problem with this?

In its simplest form obviously being Directly hired by the company who You work for with all its perks and benefits being for You directly, enjoying the same conditions and salary as Your peers is the best deal out there.

When You work through or via an Intermediate or Middle Man ( IT Job Agency) which takes from Your earnings and hard work by paying You as little as possible and selling You or lending You to the Company Y for as much as possible to have the difference between the most beneficial for THEM obvious therefore it is not the MOST Beneficial for You and in direct correlation to Your Salary.

Frankly someone else making money on YOUR Work doing nothing in exchange for it. like having Your agent like in sports or music but this time they make the big money and You left with peanuts.

Its like being a manager of a rock band but hey at least the rock bands earn a LOT of money so who cares the manager gets off easy for the little or nothing they do 🙂 No offense to any rock managers at all Im sure You all do and work hard to deserve all the money You make.

Another important issue is that the type of contracts they offer ( contract for a determined project f.e with a maximum possible contract life expectancy of 3-4 years maximum after which You ought to be offered a permanent contract/open eneded with the no end date on it as discussed or having temporary contracts with a well defined end date on it perhaps prolong able for another 3 or 6 months maybe a couple of times) are worth NOTHING and I put emphasis on the word NOTHING here for a reason.

Imagine You work in Spain with one of these contracts for a given project with no clear end date on it but as per the type of contract it has an expiry on it of 3-4 years as maximum for Company Y as a IT Systems Administrator via IT Consulting Company X.

After a year or so when You feel happy and comfortable You decide to take Your savings and try to get a loan or mortgage to buy a house or a car.

For getting any of these these type of contracts worth Zero. No matter You have the down payment or entry amount however You want to call it based on the country You live these contract types are handled like Trash Vs a Permanent Contract / Indefinite Contract in the eyes of the Banks/Loaners.

Permanent Contract –> with a Company with Your name on it ( in the case being a Permanent Contract no matter if its with a flower shop or a big multinational company or even with a Consulting Company if they were to offer You one which they wont as its not in their benefit i have to say that in some cases lets say 10% of the cases intermediate companies or f.e an official company being service partner for HP just to mention one this intermediate company does offer a permanent contract to its employees. But its rare and far between)

It is not very fair is not it? You do the same job most of the time as Your colleagues You just happened to be the unlucky one to get hired via an Intermediate Consulting Company VS Being Hired by the Company Directly itself.

Cherry on top , in Spain to get a Rent for obituary amounts per Month ( as You could not get a loan or mortgage for Your own house on the above step as described) most often than not Renters/Landlords look down upon these type of contracts and many times insist and describe on the ad or via the agency they hired for renting the place out to specifically reject anyone Without a Permanent Contract. Lets say thats the case of 80% of the rents , the nicer the apartment or the district the more problems You can encounter IF Your type of contract is not the desirable one. And this is even without specifying many times a quiet high amount of per neto value they want to applicant to reach per month with his/her salary either individually or as part of the group of persons in sum total if lets say 3 people looking to Rent House X which asks for a rent of 1000 euros a month.

Another important damage caused to the IT sector in itself:

Big Companies therefore have the opportunity to further filter and alienate away whatever jobs left in the country Vs the ones they already outsourced like in many cases to developing countries for their obvious very low low wages and modern day slavery scenario.

What I mean with this that whatever strange, special , rare, obnoxious job or role left in the company which has not been outsourced overseas and normally would require a pretty fee to maintain a person on payroll for such a role f.e AIX Administrators, System Administrators and alike now can be completely be alienated and kept so to say out of the company by making those roles and jobs available through the third party IT consulting companies and having the benefit of both words – the work is done but still they dont have o worry for the person as him/her not being on the Company´s payroll. Easier to insist and demand and held responsible the individual and-or the Third party providing the resource compared to if they have that person so to say in-house.

When You look at these alienated or strange or special or undesired by the company jobs offered through IT Job agencies two main things You will see:

The amount of specialty in a given topic (f.e AIX administrator) with the amount of experience in years along with a long list of other high profile experience and knowledge as Required Vs being Desired from the candidate

Paired with a relatively low salary compared to the desired qualities and experience and know how plus many times very little to non favorable working hours many times working shifts even nights shifts or weekends and on call availability expected.

Personally to stick with Myself and My example for a second. If I want to become a Linux Adminstrator in Spain:

* I have to accept rotative shifts , oncall availabilty even nightshifts

* Relatively Low Salary

* No option to be hired directly with the End Client / Company

* Have to have a long list of experience and know how in a lot of things required about and around the job itself — so exhaustive that many times i think if I had the amount of X years in the field in that Job plus all the experience and know how required I´d probably would not be looking for a job OR be out of one so to speak.

* Being alienated from my colleagues as I d not be one from the same company but the guy hired through an external agency / IT Consuting company

The above as described happens to nearly all of the jobs I d see myself doing and would love to have. Systems Administrator or Linux Admin or something special as UNIX / Solaris related things when it comes to Servers and similar.

Final Conclusion

Today it is better to be just a guy who connects mouse and keyboard as an IT On Site Analyst but directly hired by the company VS Being some big shot and doing something You love and enjoy doing but having contracted through intermediate job agencies sucking the life out of You with all those things describe which goes against You ( low salary, type of contract, etc.)

Many times what You would love to do as a daily job is not paid well or giving the same perks & benefits and job security what something else does no matter it is not as attractive

And A Funny Post From Linkedin (Joke) but Still True to what I was trying to explain: