Mr. Gomez reports that most international recruiting firms, such as Korn/Ferry International or Heidrick & Struggles, pay scant attention to cultivating a pool of Hispanic job candidates. “The big search firms don’t go to Hispanic conventions. They don’t see it as a product line,” he says.
In contrast, Mr. Gomez has logged thousands of miles attending Hispanic conventions, conferences, and meetings, and that has resulted in a database with tens of thousands of resumes on file, mostly from Hispanic job seekers. “If Hispanics out there have a solid background in human resources, marketing, finance, or technology, and they pound hard enough, they can find a higher-paying position,” Mr. Gomez confirms. “But the biggest thing is they have to be mobile. They may have to move to Minnesota.”
In addition to the mobility issue, he suggests that Hispanics make themselves as technologically capable as possible. Ms. Torres concurs. “The onus is on us to continue our education and acquire a specific certification to add to our marketability,” she says. For example, workers could get certified in project management to broaden their appeal. Ms. Torres also observes that in certain situations, computer skills may trump mobility. “More and more companies are working with virtual offices,” she says. “A division director may be based in Miami, but have reports in Atlanta, Buenos Aires, and Puerto Rico.”
Even in the executive search business, technology has changed the rules (see sidebar, “Electronic Headhunting”). Mr. Fresquez keeps a company site at www.fresquez.com, Ms. Torres runs www.letusrecruit.com, Mr. Gomez owns www.iHispano.com, and Hispanic Business Inc., parent company of this magazine, has www.HireDiversity.com. “Technology hasn’t even begun to make the changes it will make,” Mr. Gomez predicts. “Hispanics need to add that to their repertoire. It doesn’t matter if you’re in human resources or marketing, it will give you the tools to get the information you need.”
Jonathan J. Higuera is a business writer for the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson.
Diversity with Discrimination
A Korn-Ferry study points up the value of formal mentor programs, but finds that many minorities still face exclusion.
A study of senior-level minority executives at major corporations tells a tale of successful mentorship programs as well as the lingering effects of discrimination. Conducted by recruitment firm Korn/Ferry, the study titled “Diversity in the Executive Suite: Creating Successful Career Paths and Strategies” found that among Hispanics, the top fields were advanced technology, financial services, apparel/retail, and banking.
The average survey respondent had worked at his or her company for 11.8 years and held the same position about 3.7 years. In terms of salary, Hispanics were more likely to have a base salary between $100,000 and $199,000 than were Asians or African Americans, who more often had higher salaries.
But the 27 percent of Hispanic males who reported they had a primary formal mentor at their company enjoyed significantly faster salary and total compensation growth than Hispanic males without a primary formal mentor.
At the same time, 59 percent of respondents had observed or experienced double standards in the workplace, and 55 percent cited harsh or unfair treatment of minorities by Anglos. Moreover, 40 percent reported that they had been denied a promotion they thought they deserved – and suspected it was because of their race or cultural background. Thirty-seven percent said they had held back thoughts about organizational roadblocks because they feared losing their job or future career opportunities. About a fifth said office support staff tended to give their work lower priority.
Web sites cater to upwardly mobile managers.
Many of today’s senior managers started out flipping through help-wanted ads in the newspaper to find their first job. Now the game has moved online, with online job boards the weapon of choice. Following is a selective rundown of some of the biggest sites for Hispanic job-seekers.
HireDiversity.com (Diversity.com">www.HireDiversity.com): This site features multiethnic recruitment, not just for Hispanics. Owned by the parent company of HISPANIC BUSINESS, HireDiversity.com runs the gamut from entry-level to senior positions at major employers.
Fresquez & Associates ( www.fresquez.com): Here job candidates find openings and employers find job candidates. “It’s the best marketing I’ve ever done,” says Ernesto Fresquez, CEO search firm Fresquez & Associates, which runs the site. “You have to reflect the candidate’s level of sophistication. If you’re a technical person, you’re not looking through the papers for your next job.”
iHispano ( www.iHispano.com): Resumes are matched to job openings. The site also contains information on the hiring process and how to conduct a job search. The traditional executive search firm David Gomez & Associates runs iHispano.
LatPro.com ( www.LatPro.com): A large database of jobs for Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking professionals is maintained. LatPro.com has one of the largest databases of Latin American opportunities on the Web, but serious job-seekers have to pay a membership fee to access the listings.
Lisa Torres & Associates ( www.letusrecruit.com): In addition to job listings, LetUsRecruit.com includes career planning advice, salary surveys, and interviewing tips. “Folks are out there surfing the Net, so you need to have a presence,” says CEO Lisa Torres.
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