New Tammy Erickson Associates Study Identifies Keys to Attracting the Hispanic Workforce
Large Companies, In Particular, Must Prepare To Attract and Retain Top Hispanic Talent through both Traditional and Innovative Management PracticesDecember 13, 2013 - Boston – A new study from Tammy Erickson Associates (TEA) concludes that the Hispanic workforce will require a unique mix of both traditional and forward thinking work options, further challenging the race for the best and the brightest in this critically-important segment of young workers.
The TEA study is the result of a proprietary online survey of U.S. workers ages 18-53, conducted recently by Research Now for Erickson’s company. “We spent much of this year looking at racial and ethnic diversity in the workplace and finding ways that companies can prepare for the changes that will occur down the road,” she said. “What we found is that the work preferences of the Hispanic cohort are in sharp contrast to another frequently discussed talent group Generation Y.”
“Hispanics are destined to be the most important source of talent for large U.S. companies over the coming decade,” predicts Tammy Erickson, the founder and CEO of Tammy Erickson Associates, a thought leadership and consulting firm headquartered in the Boston area. “The overall Hispanic population is growing rapidly – and its young members are very different from those in Generation Y (or the Millennials) overall. Hispanics are particularly drawn to larger, well-established firms with recognized brands. The reverse is true with Gen Y’s as a whole, many who prefer working in small organizations and having entrepreneurial opportunities,” she explained. (A recent Deloitte survey found that only 20% of Y’s overall want to be a leader in a large organization, while 70% of respondents want to launch their own organization).
“Large employers should prioritize developing a work environment that is attractive to this group, using a mix of traditional values and forward-thinking practices”, said Erickson, a widely-respected expert on the changing workforce and award-winning author, who has three times been named one of the 50 most influential living management thinkers in the world by Thinkers50.
According to Erickson, Hispanics, who represent a significant proportion of the incoming workforce, place a large value on an employer’s stability and reputation. “The important role work plays in creating paths for upward mobility in many Hispanics’ lives indicates that companies should emphasize well-thought-out career development options—attractive promotion possibilities and access to resources required to attain them,” she said.
The TEA study results show that work plays a very important role in Hispanics’ lives and participation is high for both men and women. Hispanics (71%) describe work as a major source of pride. For most, work’s role is clear: 75% describe it as a route to upward mobility and economic security.
Erickson pointed out that because of the role work plays in upward mobility, “learning and development are core elements of the optimum work experience, with nearly 85% of the respondents saying that receiving needed training and development from their employer is important in creating excitement and engagement at work. “Being able to learn new things as I work” was rated as equally important in creating a pleasurable work experience by almost the same percentage of respondents.
Erickson said job security and “the employer’s reputation and stability are extremely important to the Hispanic workforce.” When choosing the ideal employer, 91% said the company would have to be financially stable and secure; 63% rated this characteristic as extremely important.
When moving to a new company, Hispanic workers rated the job’s long-term security and the company’s financial stability as the third most important consideration, behind only better benefits and base salary; 82% viewed these factors as important or extremely important.
The complication? “Although attracted to stable, traditional companies, this segment is not looking for traditional work arrangements,” according to Erickson.
Strong Family Ties
Often part of large extended families, with a strong sense of responsibility to other family members, most Hispanics are looking for flexible, forward-thinking work arrangements. Erickson points out, “It is important or extremely important to 76% of the respondents that employers allow the flexibility necessary to pursue other responsibilities and interests.”
In the TEA survey, 72% said they consider ideal work arrangements to include time shifting, asynchronous work, and flexible schedules; 68% said ideal arrangements would embrace family-friendly flexibility. Almost half said their most preferred work arrangement would include a schedule that allows the employee to shift his or her work on a daily basis, as needed, to balance other responsibilities.
Erickson concludes, “Companies should offer a wide variety of work arrangements, with an emphasis on personal choice, to attract and retain top Hispanic talent.”
Another implication of the role of family in Hispanics’ lives is the need to communicate workplace success with a broad community. Erickson advises companies to included innovative status-related recognition (such as badging) that can be easily shared with an extended community.
The effort to develop attractive practices is likely to have significant pay-off in the future. “Not only will Hispanics represent a large percentage of the available workforce, they are also likely to be among the happiest and most engaged. Currently, 60% say their current work exceeds expectations,” Erickson said.
Further information on this study, or to talk with Tammy Erickson, please call Celia Doremus, 781-648-2953 or Stephanie Ebsen, 1-978-254-1705.
Tammy Erickson Associates explores organizational change, develops unique insights, works in partnership with businesses to disseminate and leverage new ideas within their organization, and offers a specific set of hands-on services that help re-shape key organizational practices. The research includes an online survey of 1,292 respondents, ages 18-53, conducted in October 2013 by Research Now for Tammy Erickson Associates. Hispanic respondents only: N=602.
Tammy Erickson is a McKinsey Award-winning author and widely respected expert on collaboration and innovation—on building talent and enhancing productivity—and on the nature of work in the intelligent economy. She has 3 times been named one of the 50 most influential living management thinkers in the world by Thinkers50. Tammy is the author of a trilogy of books on how individuals in specific generations can excel in today’s workplace.