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How to Recruit Spanish Speaking Candidates for Manufacturing Jobs

In the manufacturing sector, recruiting employees is harder now than at any time during the past nine years, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s Leading Indicators of National Employment (LINE) report. In fact, one-third of HR professionals in manufacturing have said in recent months that they can’t fill an open position. It’s imperative that recruiters and HR teams identify and target diverse candidates. In order to step up your diversity recruiting game, you’ll need to first identify candidates that you might be overlooking and develop a strategy to reach out to those candidates with information that speaks directly to them. In the case of reaching Spanish speaking and bilingual manufacturing candidates, we mean this quite literally.

At 54 million strong and growing, the U.S. Hispanic population is the largest ethnic minority in the nation from which to recruit. But talent acquisition professionals must learn more about this labor market segment to successfully recruit these workers, according to the latest jobs report released by the Professional Diversity Network.

Solving the Worker Shortage in the Manufacturing Industry

More than 75 percent of manufacturers report a moderate to severe shortage of skilled workers and a significant portion of the manufacturing workforce is nearing retirement age. Perhaps the most serious recruiting challenge is manufacturing’s negative image among young people.

According to a report by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, there is a worker shortage coming of 2 million manufacturing employees over the next 10 years. The report expects U.S. manufacturing industry jobs to increase by 700,000 further strengthening the economy. Another factor impacting the worker shortage is the expected retirement of 2.7 million manufacturing workers who take with them decades of experience, skills, and problem-solving.

If your organization is looking to attract different candidate pools to your openings, you need to diversify your recruitment marketing and talent attraction efforts. For hiring and attracting Spanish-speaking and bilingual workers to your organization it is really simple and it starts with offering bilingual marketing. 

Reaching Spanish Speaking and Bilingual Manufacturing Candidates

In the same way, you develop your high-level recruiting strategy, micro-targeting Spanish speaking candidates requires some similar steps. Bilingual candidates, or candidates who only speak Spanish, are a sizeable portion of the candidate population. A Center for Immigration Studies report found that 21% of the U.S. population speaks a language other than English at home. Here are some areas to consider when creating your micro-targeted, multilingual recruiting strategy:

Make use of your current in-house resources

Survey your Spanish speaking employees. Ask them the types of platforms and channels they like to spend time on and how they would want to be approached for a job. I also suggest following up with small group focus meetings. Make sure to include an interpreter or have a Spanish speaking member of management ask the questions and insights. Your current employees are not only going to be key to steering you in the right direction when you’re searching for more candidates like them, they’re also a great resource of employee referrals.

Engage your candidates on multiple platforms

Based on your own research, create targeted organic posting strategies to Facebook or LinkedIn groups with Spanish language job postings, and directly target your posting to Spanish language preferences on that social platform. Make social apply possible through LinkedIn or even Facebook. With LinkedIn, you connect your ATS to LinkedIn apply and ensure you have (at least one) bilingual associates on your HR team to be able to respond to messages outside of normal business hours. Remember that you’re focusing on openings in manufacturing, so your passive demographic is likely to be looking for jobs outside of standard business hours.

Hispanics as a group are more likely apply to online job boards, participate in virtual forums and leverage social media tools during their job search—ideal circumstances for businesses seeking to connect with Hispanic job seekers at all levels of employment. It’s also a good idea to have a broad reach to potential candidates through your company’s support of causes of importance to the Hispanic community via partnerships with credible Hispanic organizations as well as networking opportunities (events, online, etc.) for Hispanics that offer access to your company’s hiring managers.

Focus on mobile

Spanish speaking candidates reliance on mobile is more prominent than their non-Spanish speaking counterparts. In fact, Hispanics represent the most digitally savvy, socially connected group in the country, with smartphones being indispensable to their lifestyles; 72 percent of the group owns at least one such device, according to a Nielsen Mobile Media Marketplace study cited in the Professional Diversity Network report. Tailoring your Spanish language job postings to be mobile responsive and allow for easy apply through mobile will help broaden your reach to Spanish speaking candidates.

Offer separate landing pages or options to listen, watch or read in Spanish

This could be as simple as having the English language job listing and associated text translated and available in Spanish, or creating a specific Spanish language campaign. You might also consider posting your career site Spanish language links to Hispanic professional organizations and websites that accept job announcements and also feature resumes of Hispanic job candidates. Many of these sites are in English and are easy for non-Spanish speakers to access.

Offer Spanish speaking and bilingual referral incentives

Again, your current employees are the best source for referrals and increasing incentives across the board for all employees to refer Spanish speaking and bilingual candidates can broaden your diverse talent pool.

Finally, by adopting new strategies to recruit Spanish speaking candidates for your manufacturing jobs, don’t overlook local organizations, particularly those geared to skilled trades for Hispanic employees. Partnering with a local agency can help your company stand out, particularly if you’re open to offering apprenticeship or training in manufacturing roles.