With rising awareness of the size and staying power of the Latino population in the United States, organizations wishing to capture this segment have begun to move beyond marketing gimmicks that may bring Hispanic customers to their doors—but only once or twice at most.
Retailers and direct service providers, such as banks and insurance companies, are now seeing the wisdom of hiring Latinos to attract and retain this coveted customer base.
It is Beyond the Spanish Language
Clearly, a bilingual employee can bring down barriers (or objections to sales) almost instantly by speaking the customer’s primary language. But beyond that comfort level, it is his or her implicit understanding of Latino cultural values that will keep those customers coming back.
- It’s about customer service: In a service-oriented environment, the well-publicized brand loyalty of the Latino community is more applicable to the employee than it is to the company. In other words, a Hispanic customer who develops a relationship with a personal banker or teller, for example, may not transact business at that institution on a day when that employee is absent. Likewise, if that employee is lured by a competitor, the Latino customer might follow him or her to the new employer company.
- It provides direction for effective marketing and product or service development: Employees who understand the needs of their customer base—partly because they were brought up with the same values and partly because they know what questions to ask—are a great asset to their employers. They can point out, for instance, that tableware sets for eight people tend to be inadequate for Latinos who tend to have large families and whose meals often include members of the extended family. Or that it is important to offer a greater variety of petite sizes when people tend to be shorter than the average dominant culture. Or that a different approach is needed to lend money to individuals who save considerable amounts of cash but have failed to establish a formal credit history.
- It expands and develops your customer base: Being community-oriented, Latino employees who are happy working for your company are likely to become a valued source of new customers—and additional employees. Small businesses, suppliers, and members of organizations in need of your services are likely to choose your company over your competitors simply because they trust your Latino employee.
These are only a few of the reasons why hiring Latino candidates can give your business a competitive advantage. By focusing on culturally-sensitive recruiting practices, you will be well equipped to improve the effectiveness of your Hispanic hiring efforts and increase your Latino customer base.