Comparing salary benchmarking guides in Spain

Comparing salary benchmarking guides in Spain

We live in the information age. In fact, billions of pieces of data are available, and it is crucial to know which are reliable.  Either if you are a recruiter or you are looking for a job, keeping an eye on the market’s salaries will help you reach your potential objective. Currently, there are many websites and salary benchmarking reports available that present average salaries for specific positions in specific locations. Hence, this helps users of this information discover where they want to position themselves.

Overall, this article will compare 3 salary benchmarking guides with a reputation in Spain: Hays, Michael Page and Adecco.

Why salary benchmarking is important

Overall, salary benchmarking guides are collections of information mainly useful for recruiters. Thus, the data these guides contain is actually relevant to everyone in the labour market. 

Firstly, the importance of knowing the market prices lies in positioning yourself. Companies are interested in offering higher salaries than their competitors in order to attract and retain the best talent. Companies do not want to risk losing the ideal candidate just because they are offering too tight salaries 

On the other hand, employees want to be aware of whether they are being paid according to market trends. This is useful either to request better salaries or to look for a job with a better remuneration system.

Presenting the salary benchmarking companies analyzed

  • Hays Recruitment: In Spain, Hays is a foreign company (founded in the UK) leading the recruitment sector. They have a huge database of qualified professionals worldwide. And they work both for the public and private sectors as human resources consultants.
  • Michael Page: Michael Page is one of the world’s most reputable recruitment consultancies, working with different organisations ranging from SMEs to major blue-chip companies. It was also founded in the UK as a part of PageGroup.
  • Adecco Staffing: The Adecco Group, based in Zurich, Switzerland, is a Human Resources provider. They provide services covering temporary staffing, permanent placement, career transition, and talent development, as well as business process outsourcing and consulting.

Analyzing the salary benchmarking guides

The main salary benchmarking guides in the Spanish talent market are:

Hays Salary Guide

Hays Salary Guide analyzes 15 different sectors. It presents salaries segmented by city, position and seniority. Although they own a large database of salaries, they also extract more subjective information by running a survey of 4k participants.

For example, in the 2022 edition, the respondents had to give their opinion of whether their companies would be prepared if quarantine had to be reestablished, among others.

Specific information about whether organisations provided in-company training or whether respondents are actively still looking for better job opportunities is displayed.

On the side of objective data, salary growth by sector is an insight that adds lots of value to this guide.

It is usually around 70 pages long. It has the more descriptive data at the beginning, and then it proceeds to show long tables of salaries by position ordered by sector.


  • Gives insights of the market, not only related to salaries.
  • Analyzes five different Spanish cities.
  • Many positions for each sector.

Michael Page Salary Guide

Firstly, Michael Page Salary Guide analyzes 9 different sectors. Secondly, it presents salaries segmented by position and by company billing volume. 

For every sector analyzed, it presents:

  • The most common benefits offered, 
  • Some recent tendencies affecting these industries, 
  • The most demanded skills by recruiters, and
  • The most demanded positions.

In the report, they also introduce the employees in Michael Page that are working as consultants for each sector. 

Its format is quite compact. In fact, it lasts for less than 30 pages since it develops information on only managerial positions in each sector.


  • Lots of focus on benefits and current trends
  • It is the only guide that presents different salaries depending on the company billing volume.


  • Does not segment by neither city nor region (salaries vary a lot in different locations of the same country).
  • The salary is presented in ranges that are really wide. For example: a Chief Commercial officer in a company billing 50-250M€ annually, can earn 140-210k€. This gives a brake of 70k€, meaning that the information about this position is not very precise.

Adecco Salary Guide

Firstly, Adecco Salary Guide analyzes 14 different sectors. Secondly, it presents salaries segmented by region, position and by seniority. Plus, they differentiate with the fact that the salaries analyzed are positions with wages no higher than 30k€ annually.

It is the longest of the guides analyzed (more than 350 pages) since it includes a description of each job position individually. Apart from including salary tables, it also includes graphs to help in the data visualization and comprehension.

It includes an introduction explaining with many details the evolution of each sector.


  • Long and descriptive explanations of what they consider each of the positions to be.
  • Contains a description of the actual market situation in each sector.
  • Shows different salaries depending on years of experience.
  • Salaries are segmented by region (it could be improved if they were analyzed by city).


  • There is not a table of salaries, each position is defined on a separate page. For comparative purposes, this makes it more difficult to read.
  • Salaries biased to be lower than average.

Comparing data across guides

Due to the huge differences between guides, it is difficult to compare common positions across them. This could be seen as a positive factor since each one of them is covering a different target market.

The positions that can be analyzed, all follow the same pattern:

  • Adecco, since it analyzes salaries around 30,000€/year, has the lowest salaries. It includes positions of low responsibility.
  • Hays is the broadest one and the one that has more salaries in common with the other guides.
  • Michael Page only contains information about high-hierarchy positions. It results in having higher salaries.

To start comparing, we will use three different managerial roles that appear both in the Hays Salary Guide and in the Michael Page Salary Guide.

GuideAvg. Salary for CDO (Chief Data Officer)Avg. Salary for Chief Investment OfficerAvg. Salary for Sales Manager
Michael Page130,000€150,000€115,000€

For all positions, Michel Page’s salaries are higher.

On the other hand, we will compare three other roles that appear both in the Hays Salary Guide and in the Adecco Salary Guide.

GuideAvg. Salary for Director of Customer ServiceAvg. Salary for CRM ConsultantAvg. Salary for SEO Specialist

In this case, Hays salaries are higher for all positions. In addition, none of the Adecco salaries is higher than 30,000€.

Conclusions of the comparison

In conclusion, we could say that the most complete and unbiased salary benchmarking guide for the Spanish market is the Hays Guide. This is due to the fact that it covers more roles than the rest, and they are more common roles. Michael Page is too focused on high positions, and Adecco is too focused on positions with low salaries. This may be at the same time, the characteristic that differentiates them and gives them value.

However, for the public in general, and for companies recruiting specifically, Hays is the best option. 

Moreover, Hays is the only guide that classifies salaries by city. This is crucial given that, inside the same country, wages vary a lot from one city to the other. This adds more quality and usefulness to the Hays guide.

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About Author

Èlia Adroher i Llorens

Content Writer. Èlia studied International Business Economics with a focus on digital marketing. She is also interested in learning about data analysis.