Scaling Irish recruitment firm Prosperity expands to Spain

Tech and digital sector recruitment player Prosperity opens new Barcelona office mid-pandemic with a view to further European expansion.

Dublin-based digital recruitment agency Prosperity has begun actively recruiting in Spain for both clients and its own internal team in Barcelona.

Prosperity’s new office is based right in the heart of Barcelona near the vibrant Plaça Urquinaona – one of the city’s main squares.

“Our mission is to become one of the biggest players in Europe in our sector, so we’ll be launching in other markets in the near future too”

To spearhead the expansion into Europe, Prosperity’s managing director Gary Mullan made the move from Dublin to Barcelona back in December, and now works between Barcelona and Dublin, travel rules permitting.

Hitting the ground running

Prosperity currently has a team of five in Barcelona and is planning to grow this number to 15 over the coming months. It has already won some significant Spanish clients in the digital and e-commerce sphere too.

“We’re very proud to be investing in a city as wonderful as Barcelona. It gives our team the opportunity to work with new brands and we’re excited to play the role of matchmaker between digital employers and job seekers”

“People thought we were mad to open an office in the middle of a pandemic,” said Mullan. “One of our advisors even tried to convince us to wait until the market stabilised. But we thought it was the best time to enter the market as there’s good availability for office space at the moment.

“Plus, we are ready to hit the ground running as the economy reopens and recovers. We expect the demand for new hires to grow even further.”

Established 20 years ago by Mullan and Jim Murray, Prosperity is one of the few agencies in Europe that specialises specifically in digital recruitment. Since then, it has worked with leading tech companies and digital businesses in Ireland.

Its base in Barcelona is the company’s second expansion overseas. Its first successful investment in mainland Europe came with the opening of an office in Paris a few years ago.

“Our experience so far is that our brand travels well and, since opening in Spain, incoming inquiries have grown, and our social media following has ramped up. We are now heading toward 50,000 followers on LinkedIn. So, bit by bit, our business is definitely building a presence in Europe,” said Mullan.

Prosperity chose Spain as its latest European base because of the rich pool of skilled digital talent, as well as the strong demand for it.

“Being in mainland Europe also has its advantages,” said Mullan. “One of them is that the market here is significantly bigger. We’ve already started working with some major companies in Madrid. They’re delighted to benefit from our years of experience in the Irish market.”

During its 20 years in Dublin’s digital jobs market, the team at Prosperity introduced custom technology and systems which provide it with a unique edge. The fact that it specialises specifically in digital recruitment also helps it stand out from other recruitment agencies.

“This opens a lot of doors for us here in Barcelona. Our mission is to become one of the biggest players in Europe in our sector, so we’ll be launching in other markets in the near future too,” explained Mullan.

Mullan said Barcelona is an exceptional location for homegrown digital talent. In normal times, the city’s colourful character, attractive lifestyle and rewarding career opportunities also attracts thousands of workers from abroad each year.

This is largely thanks to its role as a hub for tech start-ups and companies. Right now, the city is home to a total of 1,200 tech start-ups and over 100 leading companies.

Altogether, 77,000 professionals work within Barcelona’s tech ecosystem. A figure which swelled by 10,000 between 2019 and 2020 alone.

Then, there are the other sectors of the economy that have a growing requirement for digital talent. Many of which urgently want to improve their online presence or undergo a complete digital transformation because of the current economy.

“Digital talent is one of the most in-demand professional groups here in Spain,” said Mullan. “A massive increase in graduates, as well as experienced professionals coming in from abroad, has really added to the availability of talent in recent years.”

In fact, the availability of digital talent grew by a quarter in 2020. However, at the same time, demand for digital skills increased by a massive 80pc, according to Barcelona Digital Talent, an organisation set up specifically to attract digital professionals to the city.

Mullan said Prosperity is well-positioned to handle this kind of climate. A shortage of digital skills in Dublin has driven up demand for Prosperity’s assistance for many years now.

“This aligns perfectly with the experience we’ve gained in Dublin and we’re prepared to meet the challenge,” commented Mullan. “We’re very proud to be investing in a city as wonderful as Barcelona. It gives our team the opportunity to work with new brands and we’re excited to play the role of matchmaker between digital employers and job seekers,” observed Mullan.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 26 May 2021

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