Finding high quality, reliable talent remains a challenge – and an opportunity – across the Latin American and Caribbean region. Competition for talent is fierce and ensuring that potential employees have the right skills is increasingly tough.
We spoke to four different recruiters operating in different locations across Latin America and the Caribbean to find out how they are approaching the challenge of finding the right talent. Brandon Ammons, VP of Talent Recruitment at Qualfon, talked about how they recruit in Guyana and Mexico, Eddyth Durán, Human Resource Director at UNO, looked at the Dominican Republic’s market, and Andrea Ibarguen, Chief Human Resources Officer at Onelink BPO, discussed the Colombian market. We also spoke to a team of recruiters from KM2 Solutions – Christy Castro, Maria Mantilla, Ana Fonseca, Julian Lasprilla, and Dana Kreiss – about their recruitment focus in Honduras and Colombia.
NSAM: What is unique about the location(s) you operate in, in terms of recruiting? How does it differ in terms of the kinds of skills in demand and the way you approach recruitment?
Ammons: Certainly, there are cultural norms in both countries that are different than in the US. For example, in Mexico a title is often more important than salary, and time off to celebrate holidays is very important to them as employees
In Guyana, people tend to be more direct in their communication and respond to very clear messages and guidelines of job responsibilities and what the job offers, pay rate and so on. Advanced Education is highly valued and sought after.
Durán: The Dominican Republic demographic and cultural affinity with the USA provides an ideal labor market to industries like the call center who are driven more by millennial and generation Z population, who are tech knowledgeable and eager to work in modern up to date industry.
Also at the core characteristics of our culture and idiosyncrasy make the Dominican people orientated to service, friendly and overall open to embrace other cultures. Our near shore location and great relationship with the USA also create the conditions for our people to understand and adapt the American culture and costumes from a young age.
Ibarguen: Colombia offers an extremely skilled and prepared labor workforce. Since the early 2000s the Colombian government has supported and invested in the education of its people. As a company, with over 5,000 employees in Colombia, we have managed to hire a friendly, warm, and talented workforce. With their charm, great capabilities and customer centric culture our Colombian Incredybles have enhanced the customer experience paving the way for continued growth.
All of our geographies offer a uniqueness in the resources we find to operate our programs. What differs is the way we approach recruitment. Despite all countries being Latin American, they are different and what works in one not necessarily works in the other. However, having said that, our recruitment efforts all focus on attracting the best talent that seeks to join our Incredyble team with a philosophy of happiness, innovation and excellence.
Kreiss: In some countries we work in, like Barbados and St Lucia, there is a much smaller population and so the type of recruiting efforts need to be much more localized and when you are pulling from a smaller population, lots of different people have either worked for the company or know the company very well. But, in countries like Colombia and Honduras, which have much bigger populations, you have to do much more work up front with branding and showing who you are as company to potential employees. You are pulling from a much bigger employee pool and so the more information you can provide, the better.
Castro: For example in Honduras, the appeal includes the company’s location which is right near the main universities and the facilities are great with a mall right next door.
NSAM: What tools are you using to recruit in these geographies?
Fonseca: We use social media, because it has great impact. We also have a referral programme, which is very important to us.
Kreiss: The referral programme that Ana mentioned really is one of our best methods of recruiting. If you are a current employee, you are well incentivized to bring your friends, your family, people who you trust into the company. Let’s say we have a $100 referral feee, the person who referred the person will get $50 when the person has completed training, another $25 3 months later and then another $25 again 3 months later, assuming both people are still employed. That’s why the agent quality is so high through our referral programme.
Durán: We have a very proactive approach and constantly work with different recruitment strategies that allow us to have a large pool of qualified candidates for every profile our client’s request.
Currently our top 3 recruitment sources are social media, our referral program and job search web engines. We also invest in job fairs, traditional advertising (radio, physical adds, etc) and head hunting agencies, as well as keeping strategic relationship with technical educational institutions and universities.
Keeping a good monitor and follow up each recruitment campaign, allow us to change the dynamics and combine our efforts through the different sources to always keep a fresh and efficient strategy in place that allow us to establish our employer brand and attract the talent that we need.
Ibarguen: Our top sources for recruiting include social media, our internal referral program, on site and external job fairs, job boards, and alliances with local universities.
NSAM: What role does social media play? What is your specific approach to social media recruitment?
Kreiss: We use social media in many different ways. The first one is to have one central platform to show all the fun things we are doing as a company, whether that is celebrating Colombia’s independence day or a local soccer match coming up or somebody’ birthday. These are all quality of life things that we communicate on all platforms. Primarily we are using Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn; not so much Twitter and not Snapchat, but those first three. The second thing is to show how strong our brand is, so that when people are doing research on KM2 they can see that. Then we are also pushing recruiting campaigns through the channels, including recruiting paid promotions across Facebook and LinkedIn, so that even if you are not part of our network you can still see that we are recruiting.
Ibarguen: Considering we attract millennials and centennials, social media is crucial in recruiting. The top social media platforms we use include Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. The strategies and campaigns used with each platform varies as does the audience. However, we always try to convey a fun work environment and strive to come across as “the call center with a smile”. We promote activities and posts that generate an emotional connection so potential Incredybles as we like to call our team members, want to work for our company, without having to make a compromise with ethics and beliefs.
Durán: Social media is definitely become a key element that we need to recognize for its value to create an employer brand and in our experience provides the most efficient tools to get our message and impact on the millennial and generation Z resources.
Our approach with social media has been to create a two way channel through it, for us to receive the inputs from our target talent population, understand their lifestyle and priorities and with this create our recruitments strategies that can speak to their expectations.
Constantly changing and maintaining a fresh approach through social media is definitely a must we always have on plan.
Ammons: Social media is a vital part of recruitment in Mexico and growing in Guyana. In both regions, we will be using these vehicles to attract the right talent.