Hiring and keeping talent in the age of social media, Millennials

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 Staying 15 years with a large company used be a positive sign that someone could be counted on.

Now, it may be a red flag to recruiters that someone can’t adapt to new circumstances.

That was one insight into talent acquisition shared Sept. 5 at WorldCity’s CEO Club by Lorena Keough, a managing director in Miami for retained executive search firm Diversified Search.

Human capital ranks as the No. 1 concern for CEOs worldwide, according to a recent survey by Mercer consulting firm.

But finding and retaining talent in the global marketplace is undergoing “disruption,” Keough said.

Companies find they must leverage social networks, starting with LinkedIn, to identify and recruit talent worldwide. They also must market their “employment brand” to attract staff.

In addition, they need to develop new ways to reach Milllennials, born between 1980 and 2000, who value the community impact of work and their lifestyle fit more than earlier generations, she said.

Lorena Keough, a managing director in Miami for retained executive search firm Diversified Search. Photos by Carlos Miller

Lorena Keough, a managing director in Miami for retained executive search firm Diversified Search. Photos by Carlos Miller

To adapt, some companies are forming “internal recruiting departments.” They mine LinkedIn and other social media for potential hires, often relying on a “28-year-old MBA” to lead the effort, said Keough.

But making lists of potential candidates is just a first step. There’s an art and science to approaching potential hires, engaging with them and evaluating if they are a good match for a company.

To lure top executives, for instance, it’s important to explain why a change to a new company will help their career. Often that means discussing specifics in their field, such as IT. A recruiter may need to bring a subject-matter-expert from inside the company to meet and persuade that executive, she said.

“There is a war for talent,” so it pays to recruit and engage effectively, said Keough.

Finding top talent in Latin America and paying them

How does the Latin American region fit in the global picture for finding top talent?, asked Rodrigo Gonzalez, managing director in Miami for(add) ventures, a digital branding company.

“Latin America is a tough region, because that band of executives who are college-educated, bilingual and international in their focus is a bit thinner” than elsewhere, Keough said.

Rodrigo Gonzalez, managing director in Miami for(add) ventures, a digital branding company.

Rodrigo Gonzalez, managing director in Miami for(add) ventures, a digital branding company.

That’s part of the reason that top executives in Brazil now earn salaries about 40 percent more than U.S. counterparts, and top Mexicans are earning about the same or a tad more than U.S. peers, she said.

How does the competition between Miami, Mexico and Brazil to lure Latin American headquarters influence salaries and recruiting of top executives?, asked Marta Clark, vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean for software company Adobe Systems, based in the Miami area.

It’s easier to lure talent to some cities than others. Sao Paulo is a tough sell: It’s very expensive, and companies there often end up hiring Brazilians. Miami in contrast readily attracts talent, especially Latin Americans. They find Miami welcoming, safe and easily accessible by jet to their homeland, said Keough.

A recent study broke down the location of Latin American headquarters for multinationals like this: About half at their main corporate headquarters, about 25 percent in Miami, 15 percent in Sao Paulo and the rest elsewhere, said Jim Giustini, managing director in Miami at consulting firm RGP- Resources Global Professionals.

Hiring in the age of LinkedIn, Glass Door and Millennials

For hiring, social media can help enormously.

LinkedIn lets employers scout candidates worldwide. And you can check a candidate’s Facebook, Twitter and other accounts to see “if the person you are targeting is the right person” for your organization, said Juan Riillo, vice president of supply chain enterprise solutions for North America at mSE Solutions.

Job seekers also now can learn about employers through sites like Glassdoor, where employees or potential hires post comments about comments, their hiring, operations and culture.

Juan Riillo, vice president of supply chain enterprise solutions for North America at mSE Solutions.

Juan Riillo, vice president of supply chain enterprise solutions for North America at mSE Solutions.

“There is a lot more transparency now,” helping both employers and employees, said Keough.

Millennials scour social media and websites, yet often look for different information than older colleagues. They’re the first generation to see their parents laid off by big corporations, said Tom Shea, president of Right Management Florida/Caribbean, which specializes in workforce management.

“Their sense of loyalty to companies doesn’t exist, because they say, “Companies aren’t loyal,” Shea said. “So, they are much more likely to change companies,” said Shea.

Increasingly, for Millennials and other employees, the thinking in today’s workplace is that you’re self-employed and “leasing your services,” said Shea. “So, you have to be in the mindset: What is your branding? What are you doing to build your brand?”

That means employers must motivate employees in new ways: investing more in training, offering more flexibility in how and where staff can work and also helping the community more. Employees now look more at “total rewards,” not just money, said Keough.

Pros and cons of staying with one employer

“Would you hire someone who has changed jobs every two years?,” asked Maria Sanchez, senior vice president for Latin America for broadcast company NBC Universal. “I wouldn’t.”

Companies invest money and time in training and sharing confidential information with employees, she said. They lose out when workers jump around every couple of years.

Maria Sanchez, senior vice president for Latin America for broadcast company NBC Universal.

Maria Sanchez, senior vice president for Latin America for broadcast company NBC Universal.



Yet staying too long with one employer may signal an inability to adapt, others argued.

“I see someone 20 years with a company, I take that as a negative,” said Jim Hogan, president for Latin American operations at medical device company Medtronic.

People who stay 15 years with a company also tend to make less money than those who change jobs every five years or so, said Keough. “If you move a little more, your salary tends to be higher.”

The CEO Club is one of six event series organized by WorldCity to bring together executives in greater Miami on international business topics. The CEO series is sponsored by The University of Miami School of Business Administration and real estate company CBRE.

The next CEO Club is Oct. 3.