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Economy

Most Spanish companies foresee a worsening of the economy in 2024

Research highlights anticipation of deterioration and AI's potential to mitigate talent shortages.

Content Insights

57% of companies consider the shortage of professionals.
21% believe there might even be an increase in employment.
AI has the potential to alleviate the talent deficit issue.

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Spanish businesses are bracing for a challenging economic year ahead, as indicated by research conducted by Randstad Spain in collaboration with the Spanish Confederation of Business Organisations (CEOE). The study, encompassing responses from over 300 Spanish companies surveyed in November and December 2023, reveals a prevailing anticipation of economic deterioration.

According to the report, 77% of the surveyed companies expect a mild to significant worsening of the global economic scenario, with this figure increasing to 82% when considering the Spanish economy specifically. Furthermore, 51% of businesses foresee a decline within their industry, and 31% anticipate challenges within their own organisational structure.

Despite the overall pessimistic economic outlook, the impact on employment is projected to be relatively limited. The data indicates that 2 out of 10 companies anticipate a reduction in their workforce throughout 2024, while the majority (59%) anticipate stability, and 21% believe there might even be an increase in employment. Notably, this represents an improvement from the 2023 outlook survey, where 3 out of 10 companies expressed uncertainties about maintaining their workforce.

51% of businesses foresee a decline within their industry, and 31% anticipate challenges within their own organisational structure.

In the realm of human resources, the study identifies talent shortages as the foremost challenge in 2024. Finding and retaining the right talent, incorporating measures to enhance employee well-being, and offering competitive remuneration are highlighted as critical and complex aspects for HR professionals in the current context.

The survey reveals that 57% of companies consider the shortage of professionals (talent deficit) as the primary challenge, followed by talent loyalty (48%) and the attraction and selection of professionals (46%). Companies are already witnessing the impact of the professional shortage on various fronts, including productivity (98%), competitiveness (95%), the ability to meet customer needs (93%), and ultimately, financial results (91%).

In terms of technology, Randstad’s findings indicate that 90% of companies report no significant effects of AI technology on their workforce numbers. While 8% acknowledge a positive impact, 2% have experienced workforce reductions directly associated with AI technology. Looking ahead, businesses believe that AI has the potential to alleviate the talent deficit issue, with 37% expressing confidence in its contribution.

Nearly half of the surveyed companies already incorporate AI for various tasks, such as data analysis and prediction (49%), optimisation of administrative tasks (38%), automation of production processes (36%), customer service (33%), and virtual assistants (30%).

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