"The Hispanic market is growing and complex, with big differences between subgroups. Companies need more insight from their own people to develop new products or new services," Mr. Shannon says.
Mr. Shannon, who also serves as coordinator of the National Association of Hispanic Professionals job board, sees the recruitment of Hispanic professionals as a major part of the future job market. "For the next year I would expect more private companies to be interested in Hispanics as the Hispanic market is growing and is expected to grow, specifically in the financial industry, the 'service-oriented industries' [advertising, entertainment, media, etcetera] and consumer products," says Mr. Shannon.
Still, being part of a hot market doesn't guarantee landing a good job. Experts say Hispanic job seekers have to rely on persistence and hard work, just like everybody else. "The jobs are out there, you just have to look a little harder and maybe even longer than normal," says Carlos Riojas, president of Riojas Enterprises Inc., a professional services firm in Kansas City. "Even if it means taking a lesser-paying job at first, then either finding that ideal job later, or working your way back up the ladder. People have to treat their job search as a full-time, 8- to 10-hour workday, 40-plus hours-a-week endeavor."
The latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, conducted quarterly by ManPower Inc., a worldwide company specializing in recruitment, indicates U.S. employers expect the seasonally adjusted hiring pace from April to June to be stronger than it has been since the first quarter of 2001. Hiring is expected to improve across each of the four U.S. regions and in all 10 industry sectors surveyed, compared to survey results from a year ago.
Second-quarter job prospects are expected to be best in construction and manufacturing, with construction firms predicting the strongest employment outlook since 1978, and manufacturers expressing their strongest hiring intentions since 2001, according to the survey. Other fast-growing industries and occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are healthcare and medical services — projected to create a significant number of new jobs within the next 10 years. Registered nursing is currently the occupation with the largest job growth; medical assistants are the fastest-growing occupation, with an estimated annual job growth of 59 percent; and six of the 10 fastest-growing industries are in the healthcare and medical services field, according to the federal agency.
Opportunities in the job market are extending to college graduates as well. The National Association of Colleges and Employers' 2004 Job Outlook survey found that employers said they plan to hire 11.2 percent more new college graduates from the class of 2004 than they hired from the class of 2003. The survey also shows the best hiring outlook among service-sector employers, who say they are expecting to recruit 16.1 percent more new grads than they did in 2002 and 2003. Manufacturers also are anticipating a strong job outlook, projecting an overall increase of 12.6 percent in college hiring.
"Results from our most recent survey show that the class of 2004 is indeed graduating into a more positive job market than classes from the past few years," says Marilyn Mackes, the association's executive director. Meanwhile, employment summaries earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Labor added to the growing number of positive signs. Construction employment in March increased by 71,000 jobs, pushing industry job creation to 201,000 jobs over the past year. Other areas creating jobs in March were retail trade, which added 47,000 new jobs, and professional and business services, which added 42,000 new jobs.
Still, to increase the odds of securing a job in today's market, candidates have to be creative. "A very small percentage of available jobs appear in the want ads," says Mr. Riojas. "Networking with family, friends, church members, and former co-workers can help. Participating in local chamber events can put you in front of a lot of decision-makers too."
But even networking goes only so far. "Ultimately," Mr. Riojas says, "the people being hired are the ones that have the most knowledge about what it takes to get a job and those that have the most transferable skills, education, and job experience."