77% of Spanish SMEs work with freelancers

Spain is a country of SMEs, according to data from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism corresponding to the month of January 2023, in Spain there are 2,919,599 SMEs, which means that more than 99% of the country’s companies are small and medium-sized companies. These companies employ more than eight million workers in the Spanish territory and many of them are freelancers or high-level self-employed workers. In fact, according to data from Maltthe largest freelance marketplace in Europe, 77% of Spanish SMEs work with freelancers, a figure that makes Spain the European country in which the largest number of SMEs bet on these professionals. Compared to other countries, this figure drops to 69% in the case of French SMEs and to 43% in Germany.

The main benefits that these SMEs see in collaborating with independent experts is that they are always at the forefront of innovation and are a source of inspiration for other workers. In fact, Malt freelancers dedicate an average of 4 hours a week to training, acquisition and development of new skills and abilities to continue specializing in certain market niches and give life to the short duration of a digital skill estimated at 5 years. This supposes an incalculable added value for the companies, since, after those five years, the competence of the hired worker loses 50% of its value if they have not continued training.

On the other hand, in the case of large companies, those with more than 250 workers, despite the fact that many of them face a huge shortage of qualified personnel and a growing need for flexibility and subcontracting in times of high activity, the Malt data shows that they still do not reach the levels of collaboration of SMEs. In Spain only 5% of large companies say they work hand in hand with freelance talentwhile in France 14% do so, and in Germany 20% of these large companies opt for high-level freelancers.

Still, it should be noted that these figures change a lot when they need to unlock an extra capacity, in effect, Large companies are the ones that most opt ​​for freelance talent when they need to increase their capacity in periods of high activity. In the case of Spanish companies, the figure increases by almost 40 points, reaching 44% of large companies that opt ​​for freelancers only when there is a lot of work. In the case of Germany, the figure reaches 63% and 46% in France. This is because the hiring of freelance talent is much more agile and in these cases what these companies need is speed, in fact, at Malt it takes six days on average to find the perfect freelance while the average time to hire a permanent employee for engineering and research positions had reached 49 and 48 dayss respectively, according to data from LinkedIn.

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Malt in Spain has a community of 48,000 freelancers and more than 5,000 companies have already worked with one of its independent experts. These data confirm the great potential of the future of the freelance digital market both for independent professionals and for companies that need to retrain in terms of digitization. Malt experienced a 39% increase in registrations on the platform last year, which shows that freelance work is emerging as an increasingly convincing career path, and Spanish SMEs have been the first to bet on it.

“In the highly competitive and changing environment in which SMEs find themselves, it is essential to have the capacity and resources to respond to the new needs and trends of consumers. Innovation is a challenge, and at the same time the way to guarantee relevance in the market.

Companies can innovate with internal resources, although taking advantage of ideas or solutions that external agents can provide has been shown to accelerate growth. There are multiple formulas such as collaborations with other companies (partnerships), join ventures, or having professionals who have complementary and specific skills in areas where there may be a lack of knowledge or capacity. Collaborating with freelancers, who are continuously in training, as another source of innovation allows access to new opportunities and has a positive impact on the business. There are more compelling reasons to have this strategy, such as the flexibility to adapt the volume of human resources based on business needs, savings in structure costs, productivity improvement, team training, and even providing an external perspective. different”, Explain Rocío Romero, director of SMB (Small and Medium Business) of Malt Spain.

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