Monthly Archives: January 2013

Break It – Even If It’s Working (Maybe)

I enjoy finding new models that disrupt traditional approaches to doing things. One example is how “experimental recruitment” is seen as a better way for colleges and universities to attract potential students. Rather than “selling” a school, new models give potential students a preview of their experience.

Here [The Brunel Business School] we put a lot of we offer a mini-university experience with business simulation games, peer networking opportunities, motivational speakers and group exercises, all with the aim of creating a shared understanding of what university life is all about. In taking this approach, we are starting to undermine the conventional recruitment model that is fast becoming outdated.

Organizations that offer internships attempt to do the same thing, but I bet very few are able to provide a similar experience.

Perpetually Disconnected

Isabel Valdés and Jake Beniflah at AdAge question why the Hispanic market still doesn’t receive its fair share of investment from corporations.

…the Hispanic market grew 43% in the last 10 years — how can this market still seem invisible so much of the time, failing to get the investment share and business priority it ought to have?

It’s a good read and indirectly ties back to the lack of Latino representation in key marketing decision roles in organizations.

Can We Fix the Global Skills Gap?

This is a great report via McKinsey regarding how educational institutions and organizations are sometimes at odds about understanding the skills gap. The study focuses specifically on youth who are making the transition into the workforce. Despite the need for entry-level workers on a global scale, organizations aren’t able to hire them because they lack the required skills. Six explanations as to why are highlighted:

  • Employers and educational institutions live in parallel worlds;
  • Numerous barriers in the school-to-work transition;
  • The school-to-work system utilized by educators and employers is failing;
  • A lack of system consistency;
  • A lack of incentives to improve the system;
  • The system isn’t scalable.

More details in the  full report or executive summary.

Organizations: Do Your Homework

Here are two very interesting articles (here and here) that are a good follow-up to my earlier post regarding how 2012 was a tipping point for Latinos. These examples again show the growing influence that Latinos are having as a result of this year’s elections.  There are still many lessons that need to be learned by organizations – even if some of these organizations mean well. If organizations don’t understand the Latino workforce, they aren’t communicating with potential talent.  Not appreciating the cultural and political elements of any initiative aimed at attracting Latino employees is doomed to fail.

I’m always surprised by how many organizations still do not understand this very simple fact.

Avoiding the “Educational Cliff”

We’re facing another “cliff” as a country. This one is not “fiscal” but educational. According to this Gallup blog post, we’re losing the engagement battle with students. Why? Too much “teaching to the test” and fewer avenues to get students through the educational pipeline.  For Latinos, the drop-off is even steeper due to other social and economic factors – but the answers are out there.  The remedy – here’s one:

We not only fail to embrace entrepreneurial students in our schools, we actually neutralize them. Forty-five percent of our students in grades five through 12 say they plan to start their own business someday. That’s a ton of entrepreneurial energy in our schools. Yet a mere 5% have spent more than one hour in the last week working, interning, or exposed to a real business.

The Start of Something New

The New Year brings a lot of new changes for me including helping the Madison Latino Chamber of Commerce start a new Latino professional association. While there are a number of Latino organizations in Madison, there isn’t an organization that targets Latino professionals specifically. As in many communities, there are many Latino professionals looking to attach themselves to an organization that helps to develop them professionally. I’m honored to be a part of it, and I’ll be posting more about it later this Spring. In the meantime, I’m excited to be presenting to the Chamber board later this month to discuss a tentative strategic plan. Stay tuned!

A New Era

The 2012 election cycle provided a reality check to our political system.  Latinos voted in record numbers, and minorities had a significant impact on the outcome of the presidential election.  However, these realities also provided insights of our labor force.  There are ongoing demographic shifts occurring in our country.  The U.S.  Population growth is slowing and aging.  However, the Hispanic population continues to surge.  These changes will put pressure on employers to shift their strategies from a stable to a changing labor market.  Organizations will need to convert these anticipated changes into opportunities to attract and retain new talent.  What we are the entering is an era of personalized recruiting.  Organizations must be prepared to offer custom tailored recruiting strategies to particular talent pools.  These changes will also put targeted prospects in the driver seat.  Potential candidates will no longer consider themselves part of a mass recruiting effort.  Rather, new talent will be knowledgeable and demand organizations to know who they are.  Candidate knowledge will become the centerpiece of effective recruitment strategies.  And more importantly, this knowledge will become a highly valued organizational resource.

Happy New Year!

The last couple months of 2012 were incredibly busy with teaching and other projects. I’ll be posting more in the coming months but glad to see the last two months over (in a good way!).

Here’s to a fantastic 2013!

See you soon!