Monthly Archives: March 2010

When Improving Isn't Really "Improving"

I got a chuckle from this article regarding how the Office of Personnel Management is aiming to cut recruiting time (interview to hire) for federal jobs in half. This means cutting a 5-month process to about 2 1/2 months. When I worked at the University of Texas at El Paso, I helped many students find federal jobs and the process back then took about 9-12 months (depending on the agency). I just don’t see how anyone, especially today, will or be open to waiting even 2 months to just start a job.

Thanks to All of You!

I was just reviewing my blog’s “numbers” over the last 9-months using Google Analytics. Last month I had the largest number of visitors to Hispanic Talent Memo since I started blogging in July, 2009. And while my numbers don’t obviously compare to many other “high traffic” sites, the trend lines show that more and more of you are visiting. I’m incredibly humbled by the thought that many of you visit this blog on a consistent basis to read my thoughts on the Hispanic workforce.

I do appreciate your willingness to spend some time here – I realize the internet and blogosphere are filled with so many choices so it means that much more knowing you stop by now and then. After each visit, I hope you walk away with a better understanding of how organizations can tap into this emerging and very talented group of future employees.

So thank you for visiting, and please keep coming back!

Gracias and saludos, Miguel.

Small Businesses: Get in the College Recruitment Game

I came across this blog post via Seth Godin’s blog – interestingly it’s a re-post of his from eight years ago but much of it still holds true today. Part of the post discusses a visit he made to Harvard to talk to students about getting a job in marketing.  Seth encouraged students back then to get a job with a small business in order to get some real experience –  get their hands dirty – an opportunity not easily provided to students in most large organizations. One student’s response was remarkable:

…one woman professed to agree with me, but then explained, “But those companies don’t interview on campus.” Those companies don’t interview on campus. Hmmm. ……She has just spent $100,000 in cash and another $150,000 in opportunity cost to get an MBA, but…

Aside from the student’s incredible response, the thought that popped into my head is  – well, why weren’t small businesses there? College students can obviously learn from this story – but so can small businesses that aren’t showing up to campus. If you’re a small business, it doesn’t take that much work to develop a highly effective college recruitment program. It takes planning, commitment, and consistency. Given that many college graduates today want to get their hands dirty, want to work with the CEO, and want to make a contribution, small businesses provide an excellent opportunity for college grads to do just that. So make an effort to get on campus and get it in the game.

When Engagement Matters

The results of a recent study by Encuesta Inc. show that Hispanics feel corporations are less engaged and involved in the Hispanic community than a few years ago. According to the results (via Hispanic PR Blog):

The findings show that Hispanics have lost confidence in major corporations’ role in their community. Even though Hispanics find it increasingly more important that major corporations be “good” corporate citizens in their community in 2009 compared to 2005 (86% in 2009 vs. 81% in 2005, on a top two box basis), they believe that the major corporations are doing remarkably less than they were five years ago (36% in 2009 vs. 12% in 2005).

The purchasing power of the Hispanic market is apparent, and results like these might have some impact on how organizations market to Hispanics; however, another question is this: how do results like this impact the recruitment of Hispanic workforce into your organization?

As some employers struggle to increase representation of the Hispanic workforce and other minorities into their organizations, potential employees of color will certainly research how organizations are giving back to their respective communities. And while corporate social responsibility reports might tout their successes, study’s like these indicate there is a definite perceptual gap between an organization’s efforts and the perceptions of a minority group.

It’s important for employers to pay attention to these results (and others like this) because it continues to confirm the perception that organizations are more interested in selling their products to a minority community than attracting them into their businesses.

Carrying the Load

Another great article by Lorelle L. Espinosa, director of policy and strategic initiatives at the Institute for Higher Education Policy, regarding what colleges and universities are responsible for graduating minority students in STEM fields. Dr. Espinosa makes an excellent point that a significant  representation of minorities in STEM careers will not occur until ALL institutions make a commitment to graduating more minorities in these fields. Good read.

Gains in Under-Represented Minority Group Grad Rates

Came across this great study conducted by The Education Trust showing positive movement in the number of minority group graduation rates between 2002-2007. You can check out the complete report here but some highlights a telling graph below.

Ohio State University and Florida State University, have been recognized for model programs that boost retention and graduation rates among underrepresented populations.

Twenty-five percent of “gainers” improved by 10 percentage points or more, and 10 percent increased by 15 points or more. Among the top gainers, the graduation rates for minority students rose upwards of 20 points in five years.

Hispanic Workforce: A Multicultural Strategy

I just came across a great source of information regarding the representation of Hispanics online including consumer behavior, multiculturalism, and social media trends. A researcher over at Forrester Research, Tamara Barber, focuses on these topics via her indepth studies and blog.  Tamara’s most recent research focuses on the social media usage of Hispanics. Take a look when you have a chance. One of the most interesting posts she shares is related to Tips for Building a Multicultural Strategy. Once again, while her research concentrates on “consumers” – her results can be easily applied and incorporated to employer recruiting strategies for the Hispanic workforce, including Hispanic college graduates.  Among some of her key points in this regard are:

Don’t mistake language for culture. When it comes to reaching Hispanic consumers, remember that language is only one piece of Hispanic culture….

Research must drive marketing decisions. In order to create a culturally relevant campaign, brands must do their homework to segment and understand their Hispanic consumers…. (Same goes for college recruiters, a broad approach is a strategy of the past)

Executive buy-in is key. In order to preserve and grow budget for multicultural strategies, marketers must educate their executives on why these segments are important…. (A vital component of organizations hoping to tap Hispanic college grads and the Hispanic workforce)

Measure success incrementally. Once you’re armed with solid research and have executive buy-in, be prepared to keep learning as you go and build out a strategy over time…. (As I noted many times, be prepared for success, recruiting is the first step, but how will you retain, develop, and promote your Hispanic workforce?)

This is really a great resource for anyone hoping to understand the Hispanic  market as well as its online trends and activities. I’m looking forward to their future work!