Recruiting, Retaining Hispanics Is About Looking Forward

By Leon Rubis Apr 29, 2015
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​SAN DIEGO—Recruiting Hispanic Millennials “is not about where they come from, it’s about where they are going,” according to recruitment expert Miguel Joey Aviles, a 28-year-old member of that demographic group.

Employers who may be lacking Hispanic employees can attract workers from this growing workforce if “they tell me about potential. Tell me where I can go. When companies are able to paint that picture, we will take risks.”

Aviles, founder and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based diversity consultancy MJA International LLC, presented on “How to Recruit, Develop and Retain Hispanic Millennials” at the 2015 Society for Human Resource Management Talent Management Conference & Exposition.

Aviles stressed the importance of using social media to recruit members of this group, citing Pew Research data that 75 percent use social media. Facebook is the most popular site, used by 73 percent of Hispanic Millennials, followed by 34 percent on Instagram, 25 percent on Twitter, 21 percent on Pinterest and 18 percent on LinkedIn.

Aviles encouraged attendees to develop long-term partnerships with Hispanic professional associations and other Hispanic institutions to develop internships and fellowships, and to participate in job fairs and other activities. Highlight current Hispanic employees, leaders and success stories on your website, in your videos and in other recruitment ads and efforts. “Make sure you are telling their stories,” he said.

“Engage with the struggle” by acknowledging and discussing their challenges with language, community problems and getting an education. Explain how your company can help them grow their careers and meet their goals with leadership development programs, mentoring and coaching, and rotational assignments. Additionally, Hispanic Millennials are very family-oriented, and value having connections with their boss and co-workers.

Hispanics are the largest and youngest minority group in the United States, Aviles said. Every 15 seconds, a Hispanic reaches 18 while two non-Hispanics reach retirement age. Hispanics are the largest minority in colleges. Last year, Hispanics earned 6.5 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in computer science and computer engineering.

One in five Millennials is Hispanic, and two-thirds were born in the United States. While they may prefer to use English and some may speak Spanish at home, one common myth is that that they all speak Spanish, or speak it fluently enough for professional purposes.

It’s important to start your recruiting and retention efforts by understanding your company’s baseline metrics, Aviles said, including the number of Hispanics in your market and community, the number that apply and are hired, their retention and attrition rates, and the number in development programs.

Leon Rubis is vice president of editorial at SHRM.

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