TBY talks to the heads of two HR firms on the challenges and opportunities of finding the right staff in the Mexican market.
What does Mexico mean for your company?
THIERRY GONNET Compared with other emerging markets, Mexico is the most important for Adecco. We have more sales and more return on sales than in any other emerging country where we operate.
MONICA FLORES BARRAGÁN I think we have many advantages, beginning with our location. We are in the center of the continent, and there are a variety of communication and transport systems that make our market readily available in terms of logistics, oil, deployment of services, and products. In addition to that, we have many natural resources that are attractive for investment and tourism. We are politically stable, and our economy is one of the most fortified in the world. But most importantly, we are talented. We have a lot of people with knowledge, ability, and competence. We have a demographic bonus, which is a huge advantage, especially for European companies, and companies from the US and Canada where the population is aging. In Mexico, we are not yet facing this challenge. We are prepared and are playing a key strategic role in a globalized world.
How has the 2009 Social Security Law impacted Adecco and the labor market in Mexico?
TG Since 2009, this law has been regulating formal companies. Many of these companies were ready for the legislation before it was passed, and therefore saw no significant change. It was a positive step; now the government can explain the regulations and encourage businesses to follow them. However, the illegal companies are still operating in the same way. The current government has made all the correct moves and proposed the best labor laws, contributing to the flexibility of social security and how it is applied to part-time jobs. Unfortunately, not much has changed.
According to a 2010 labor report, 41.1% of the economically active population are women. What role do women play in the economy’s development?
MFB We face the same challenges here as in any country. Half of the population at universities are women, and the issue is that there are still stereotypes that make it difficult to improve their participation in companies. However, there are scenarios that you wouldn’t have believed 10 years ago. We have women running the most important companies in Mexico, and with regard to results, there’s a very important magazine that ranks the 500 most influential Mexican companies and shows that organizations run by women had consistently better results during the most recent global economic crises. Women have talent, and it has been proven. At ManpowerGroup, we don’t face that problem internally—our staff is 70% female. We understand how life and work are for women. However, the real challenge is to accommodate minorities in the workforce, such as people with disabilities, different sexual preferences, religions, and ethnicities. If we can integrate these groups and be very diverse, then it will make us more innovative and competent. The problem isn’t gender, it is talent. If we still see gender as an issue, we are wasting our time.
What are Adecco’s competitive advantages?
TG We work with good companies that offer our candidates competitive salaries. When we visit our client companies, we ensure that they offer an adequate salary and respect policies of non-discrimination; otherwise, we do not work with them. Adecco has very strict codes of conduct, and in this way we are very transparent.
What sectors are driving the demand for your services?
MFB We take on any companies in any sector in any region. We don’t have a niche. We have employees in agriculture, in services, in manufacturing, in the financial sector, and in construction; the demand of our services is not privative to a specific industry sector. We don’t just focus on the sector, we focus on the talent.
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