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Spanish e- coffee... with Talentor Latvia

In Servitalent, as Talentor Spain we created this initiative called “Spanish e-coffee with...” as a team building activity that aims to increase knowledge and integration between the teams of different nationalities with the objective of improving our international recruitment services within Talentor International.

This time, our “Spanish e- coffee with…” was with our partners from Talentor Latvia, letting us have the opportunity to interview their Partner and Senior Consultant Agata Anča, about the important factors to consider when looking for talent in Latvia and about their experience working with the local Spanish market. Here’s what she shared with us:

So Agata, please tell us a little bit about Talentor Latvia!

We are operating since 2008. 

  • I started this journey in 2009. So, in a way – I am the oldest one in the team.  ?
  • Usually, we are 4-6 in the team, but at the moment we are 6 people: Gunita (partner since 2013), Alise (sn.consultant, experienced in banking/fintech sector), Amanda (research and marketing angel - she is fantastic writer), Olga (sn.cons. and also very attractive sales & marketing person) and recently also Thibault joint us (previously working in Mac Anders Talentor office in Paris).
  • Our focus remains the same during those years – we are head-hunters working with TOP and middle level management recruitment projects.
  • However, during years our product portfolio expands, and we have been approached by clients to make management assessment projects, outplacement services, HR advisory (setting-up core teams, HR policies, sometimes also HR audit) and coaching/tailored leadership trainings. 
  • We develop a boutique approach, and aim to build long-term relations with our clients, to dive into their business needs and internal culture, so we are able to earn credibility by offering a tailor-made solution and professional advice. It means that sometimes we develop something that is new both to us and to the client, and thus growing together. 


Actually, we try to treat our candidates like clients – working to build their trust, understanding their needs and trying to offer a positive and insightful experience, even if they are not selected. 

What would you say are the most important factors to consider for a foreign company when looking for talent in Latvia? What important aspects should you consider before starting the search (culture, legislation, salary policies, mobility, social benefits, etc)?

 As everywhere, there are pros &cons.

  • The market itself is quite dynamic (in comparison with “old Europe”, which means that many things happen at once, people are willing to build up and change their careers.
  • People are well educated, and most speak at least 2, normally 3 languages (Latvian, Russian or English for younger generation. There are not many Spanish speakers here).
  • Digital literacy is quite high. As internet coverage and e-service availability are among the best in Europe, and people expect a certain level of digitalization and also value hybrid working. 
  • It is a SMALL market (Baltics itself is approx. 6 million, and Latvia 1,5ml). For companies it means that the number of people with certain profiles is quite limited (you should be creative/flexible and think how to develop them or look for wider profiles and industry synergies) and reputation/word of mouth is very important (everybody knows everybody and both good and bad things spread out quickly).
  • Being in EU, most of the common rules are there, but one should except a certain bureaucracy for setting up a business in Latvia. Being a small nation, the state is quite protective of the locals (using local language is mandatory in public communication, immigration is limited).

What are the most demanded positions by foreign companies in your market?

  • I would say: company management, executive -1 level (COO, CFO, function directors etc), sales and business development leaders when companies are entering the market. 
  • Our client portfolio mostly (~90-95%) consists of foreign companies whose representative offices are located in LV. Those might be smaller / bigger entities, already historically grounded in LV and pretty new in the market. Usually positions are: MD, Directors, Heads of team, Sn. Key Specialist (most likely has no team but is in the top level of hierarchy).

​​​​​​​For very old clients, of course we are happy to help to find also teammates. Knowing that we are expensive (within the local market), they still chose to work with us as we already know the company, its nuances or “kitchen”.

  • The example of recent untraditional projects:
      - Norwegian Air came in last year. We helped to build processes, including all regulations (adaptation to the Law), contracts, etc. As well as assisted in the recruitment process.
    Currently running something new for us – building an IT team. This is kind of an unfamiliar area for us, as we usually HH-ing senior management staff. However, now we are very happy that we realised a very challenging project.

      - Decathlon. As a company they never have been working with outsourced partner opening entities worldwide. However, due to C19 we manage to help them change the approach being cooperation partner – assisted in recruitment of all staff being part of totally untraditional way of recruitment.
  • Those are out of box projects, that became a solid long term partner. ?

Which sectors are you specialized in?

  • As mentioned: we were able to enter the top level management headhunting market. So we are eager to stay at this level. 
  • As leaders move from industry to industry, so does our experience. Though, we have long-term, well-established relations with clients in Financial services, Manufacturing, Business Services Operations, Energy, Tech & Digital, Retail 

And finally, could you tell our clients and followers about your experience in the Spanish market?

  • As we mentioned in the "Spanish e-coffee with..." break: not much or actually would say no experience. Most probably there are not so many companies whose operations are also running in Latvia. There is a Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Latvia, but it is not very known and active in public. 
  • Gunita completed a project for a Latvian Business representative for Tradecorp (though having contact with their regional unit, not HQ), while I have some contacts (many of them have been my candidates), for example from Raminatrans Castellon (logistic company).
  • For a common Latvians, Spanish business is often associated either with tourism (for obvious reasons, we love your warm and sunny country, and vibrant Barcelona is among the top destination for city holidays), or food (there are several specialised shop chains and importers selling Spanish wines, olives, jamon, and fruits).

We would definitely like to know more and learn on how we can support Spanish companies here, in Baltics.