Transforming hiring processes in LATAM: Insights from Catalina Sisa Rodríguez

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The job market in Latin America is characterized by an abundance of highly qualified candidates, incredibly diverse talent, and various economies, each with unique opportunities for employers. However, hiring in LATAM comes with its challenges. Data from our upcoming 2023 State of Skills-Based Hiring report shows that 58% of organizations struggle to identify skilled talent through resume reviews. As expected, only 50.4% of employers in LATAM consider resumes to be an effective hiring tool.

To better understand the issues faced by hiring managers and recruiters in these regions, we recently spoke with Catalina Sisa Rodríguez, a prominent influencer in HR, talent acquisition, and talent development based in Bogotá, Colombia. Catalina will also be a featured speaker at our upcoming webinar on skills-based hiring in Latin America.

In this extensive conversation, we discussed various topics, including how hiring processes have evolved in the LATAM region, how recruiters in Latin America address diversity and inclusion issues, and their predictions for the future of recruitment in the region.

What is the most frustrating part of the hiring process (e.g., collecting applications, reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates), and why?

According to the selection processes, the most frustrating aspect for a company is selecting resumes that precisely match the job position and/or profile requested by the company. This is because companies require implicit skills and abilities that contribute to the organization. Adequately, this includes that the candidate should not only possess technical knowledge but also talents, organizational vision, market knowledge, and added value to be selected.

Why? The oversupply and demand in the job market lead to hundreds of resumes reaching the HR department and/or job boards. This overqualifies many professionals, creating a more challenging task for recruiters. On the other hand, recruiters must create practical processes for reading and evaluating candidates that achieve the organization's goals based on industry needs.

How has the hiring process in LATAM transformed over the years, especially in terms of valuing skills over traditional qualifications?

Selection processes have transcended, especially post-pandemic, as organizations had to adapt not only their operational factors but also candidate selection, leading to performance evaluation based on the analysis of soft skills. This means that each candidate must possess aptitudes and/or abilities that contribute to function development, organizational growth, and market competitiveness. These skills include transformational leadership, decision-making, strategic thinking, change management, among others.

This transformation not only affects the selection processes but also the organizational culture. Nowadays, employer branding includes talent development as a fundamental pillar for global organizational development.

Startups play a significant role in the LATAM business landscape. What challenges and opportunities do they face when it comes to scaling through the hiring of qualified talent?

One of the most significant challenges for startups in the coming years will be facing the new technological revolution, distinguishing candidates' talents from artificial intelligence. This requires combining selection processes with AI, implementing digital transformation, and selection processes that include performance assessment, skills, and a culture that defines corporate vision and positioning in LATAM.

Given the rich cultural diversity in LATAM, how can recruiters ensure that their hiring practices are culturally sensitive and inclusive?

To ensure that selection processes are culturally sensitive and inclusive, several factors should be considered:

  1. Breaking paradigms: Recruiters should use inclusive language that breaks social paradigms, such as age, race, sexual orientation, physical appearance, or nationality, and instead evaluate each candidate based on their competencies and abilities for the job.

  2. Implementing organizational culture: Companies should activate their organizational culture with decisive philosophies that not only benefit their employees but also HR areas responsible for the selection processes. Inclusive candidate assessment should consider not only competencies but also skills.

  3. Implementing employer branding: A strong employer brand can attract and retain the best talents for organizations. In addition to breaking paradigms, it should include understanding the audience, communicating the purpose, improving employee experience, promoting professional development, and, importantly, promoting diversity and inclusion.

Looking to the future, what trends do you anticipate will shape the future of recruitment and skills-based hiring in LATAM?

New recruitment trends indicate that old selection models based solely on technical knowledge have become obsolete. It's crucial to evaluate performance quality based on soft skills. This not only opens up more possibilities for candidates but also generates greater productivity, growth, and success for companies in the short, medium, and long term.

Any final advice or ideas you would like to share with our readers?

There are two relevant perspectives in a selection process that, when combined, strengthen companies in a profitable way:

  1. If you are a candidate seeking opportunities, consider the new market trends and what companies expect when selecting a professional for their team. This includes hard skills, abilities, and organizational vision. Research your industry, your position, and your responsibilities to analyze how your competencies and talents can sustainably and profitably contribute to organizations.

  2. If, on the other hand, you are looking for candidates on behalf of an organization, consider that soft skills are a determining factor in professional selection. According to various studies, soft skills have multiple benefits for an organization, fostering productivity, efficiency, and competence in job roles, resulting in improved performance.

Stay tuned for our live webinar to discover more about the trends and discussions shaping the future of recruitment in Latin America.

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