Global Leadership Blog

Recruiting Latinos in the Bay Area

The following students in the MBA program at the Graduate School of Management at UC Davis have submitted the following written proposal for how to recruit job candidates from the Latino community in the Bay Area: Chris Baggett, Alexandra Caldwell-Wenman, Nathan Chan, John Churchman, and Sara Snider

Candidate Recruitment in Latino Community (Bay Area)

Local recruitment is difficult and your company would like to tap the Latino community for new hires.  Discuss and find solutions / strategies for the following challenges:

  • How do you find qualified candidates?
  • What could your company do to encourage and motivate candidates to join?
  • What could be effective retention strategies to create an inclusive environment?

Case Summary

For our group, analysis of this case prompted discussion of issues that extend beyond just how to best hire, motivate, and retain Latino employees.

The case raised interesting questions for our group, many of which face large multinational organizations on a daily basis:

  • “How can a company create a culture of inclusion when faced with a diverse, multicultural employee base?”
  • “What is the best way to increase recruitment of an underrepresented group in order to build and maintain a truly diverse team?”
  •  “How does a company recruit employees of a specific nationality without creating the impression of inequality for employees and recruits of other nationalities?”
  • “Once a company has successfully recruited members of a particular nationality, how do they make sure that the corporate culture evolves to be welcoming and inclusive?

The answers to these questions are definitely not straightforward, and require a great deal of tact and sensitivity.

Our group feels that the most important prerequisite to any strategy of this type is a genuine, top-down commitment to diversity.  This entails much more than simply hiring employees of particular nationalities and trying to be inclusive by sponsoring “cultural events.”

We feel that a company should promote diversity by “promoting diversely.”  A company should ask themselves:

  • Is our management team ethnically and culturally diverse?
  • Is our executive team ethnically and culturally diverse?
  • Is our board ethnically and culturally diverse?
  • Does executive management value diversity both personally and professionally?
  • Does management go out of their way to recognize and celebrate the many cultural traditions represented within their company?

The key is genuine, top-down commitment.  If employees feel that their individual interests and traditions are genuinely respected and valued by management (starting at the top), a diverse corporate culture will grow organically from within.  This negates the need to “force” corporate culture.  Our group feels that any attempt to “force” a culture of inclusion will not produce results, but rather, be perceived as insincere and disingenuous.

Finding Qualified Candidates

A firm in the San Francisco Bay Area has a wealth of resources at their disposal to find highly qualified Latino Candidates:

  • Latino Clubs at Colleges and Universities– A great place for an employer to find highly qualified candidates are local universities.  A firm based in San Francisco could look at any of the highly ranked universities in the Bay Area:
    • UC Berkeley
    • Santa Clara University
    • San Jose State
    • Stanford
    • UC Davis

Most of the local universities in the San Francisco Bay Area have Latino clubs.  A firm could easily establish relationships with these organizations by sponsoring events.  For a small sponsorship, the firm could easily align themselves with Latino students at great universities.

  • Latino Professional Clubs– There are many national clubs focused on the advancement of Latinos in business.  Many of these organizations hold job fairs and recruitment events.  Examples of these organizations include:
    • League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) – www.lulac.org
    • Latin Business Association (LBA) – www.lbusa.com
    • National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) – www.nshmba.org

Encouraging and Motivating Candidates

Our group feels that a company should encourage and motivate Latino employees in the same way as employees of other ethnic groups, including:

  • Compensation and Benefits – A company that provides competitive compensation and benefits will retain more employees.  This is true for Latinos, and employees of all nationalities.
  • Potential for Advancement – This is a key area for motivating employees.  A company that truly wants to create a diverse and inclusive environment needs to “put their money where their mouth is,” and create real opportunities for employees of all nationalities to advance.  The best way for a company to promote diversity is to “promote diversely.”
  • Public Relations – Our group felt that PR is a necessary, yet ancillary component of encouraging and motivating employees of different nationalities.  It is necessary because a company needs to let everyone know that they promote diversity, but ancillary because without a top down commitment from management to “promote diversely,” public relations can seem transparent and vacuous.

Retention Strategies

If a company has truly committed to diversity from the top down, retention is easy.  Management just needs to make the work environment inclusive, social and enjoyable for the entire workforce.  Examples of ways to do this include

  • Extracurriculars / Social Events to Foster Inclusion
  • Empowering Individuals to celebrate their diversity, with Management initially taking the lead to plan:
    • Multi-Cultural Clubs
    • Cultural Events highlighting the breadth of unique foods and traditions from around the world.
    • A CREATIVE AND FUN ATMOSPHERE!!!!!

Conclusion

A culture of diversity and cultural inclusiveness is not something a company can hope to “fake” or “force.”  It has to be genuine, and it has to come from the top down.

If management is truly committed to diversity and inclusion, the modern global organization can be a place where people from all over the world can come together to work, have fun, and celebrate the remarkable qualities that make each one of us unique.

 

Melissa Lamson

About The Author

Melissa Lamson, Founder and President of Lamson Consulting, is an author, consultant, and speaker who accelerates the business expansion goals of today’s most successful companies by developing global mindset, refining leadership skills, and bridging cross cultural communication.
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