Maribel Márquez is Mexican and she works as our recruitment consultant for the labour market in Mexico since 2014. After having worked in the automotive sector, she later expanded her areas of expertise to sectors such as renewable energies, retail, construction, hotel/catering, and services, among others. Moreover, she recruits specialised positions for Spain and the Caribbean.
What are the greatest difficulties to hire in Mexico?
The labour market in Mexico is different from any other. There is more employment than in Spain but it is not easy to recruit specialised professionals who are able to help a particular business grow. If a company is willing to establish itself in Mexico, it is compulsory to obtain advice and counselling from a consultancy accustomed to working with transnational businesses.To start on the right foot, the legislation must be perfectly known, which is rather extensive, as well as the idiosyncrasies of the country itself.
Some cultural questions will also be decisive to find the person we need. Lastly, even though the language is the same, there are some contextual differences. For example, in Spain, it is customary to use “Technician” as an equivalent for what in Mexico is a professional with university training, an “Engineer”. The validation of degrees is different and therefore, it is vital to know the differences.
In which areas can we find the specialised talent in the automotive sector?
In the Bajío and some areas located in the North of the country: Querétaro, Puebla, Guanajuato…
What are the most common periods of notice?
From the ethical point of view between 15 days and a month ahead, but in reality workers leave and notify the company a couple of days or a week in advance at best. However, in the Mexican labour market the period of notice is not stipulated in the contract.
What can you tell us about the work agreements?
In Mexico, work agreements are less advantageous than in Spain. The initial holiday period is 6 days a year. A regular working week is 48 hours, working from Monday to Saturday. Normally, working days are extensive, including overtime.
Is there something that a manager should know?
Mexicans work hard but it is essential to establish deadlines very well so that projects finish on time. In Mexico, “ahorita” may mean three hours or several days. For that reason, expat managers need to be counselled by someone who knows the ropes because giving instructions requires great diplomacy. If managers are unaware of the culture and traditions they might be perceived as arrogant and/or authoritarian… Mexicans speak slower, they are very polite, and, therefore, a direct communicative style may alienate the staff.
Which benefits are valued the most?
Although it is not required by law, one of the most representative benefits is the savings fund or savings account, to which both the company and the worker equally contribute. Considering the complexity of the public health care system, for any administrative position, middle or high-level management, the major medical insurance is indispensable. In Mexico, the insurance is a tremendous extra, almost more important than the salary itself. The administrative staff receive their wages fortnightly. Generally speaking, the operative staff receive it weekly. Here the extra pay check does not exist: it is twelve wages plus the bonus, which is 15 days by law, although in some companies the bonus can reach up to 30 days.
What does develop and gain the loyalty of talented workers?
Apart from having an adequate staff selection, creating a training programme and a succession plan so that the staff keep on growing has worked perfectly for me in the labour market in Mexico. Taking care of the working climate is basic, as well as the promoted values in the company, which will help reach loyalty among the employees. Everyone must perceive that they can contribute to the company and they need to feel always informed. Convivial events work very well. Generally, such events take place at least once a year, whereas company meals usually occur once a month…
What must the company offer to an expat who leaves for Mexico?
The major medical insurance is the most important benefit both for the candidate and the rest of his/her family. It is also advisable to offer an initial accompaniment: assistance for searching for a home, school, the best areas to live… For someone to accept an expatriation to Mexico, the wages must be relatively high. Depending on the company or the project, it is also possible to cover the house and car expenses or the school fees, etc.
Does Mexico work more for the cultural construction of the company than Spain?
Multinational companies do try to introduce the culture of the company: i. e. the companies adapt their culture to the reality of the country. And it depends greatly on the Boards of Directors since it is usually composed of expat members. But, as an advice, the management of Human Resources should be local. It is appreciated both from the legislation as from the cultural point of view that this position is hold by a Mexican, even if he/she must functionally report to the parent company.
What do you do to understand what the client expects from our candidate search?
I study the company, their leadership style, the environment, the culture… I can detect if the functions are well defined. And of course, I talk to the client to check exactly what he needs. The communication with the client is basic. And I believe that having the perspective of the people involved in the process is essential because otherwise, the dialogue will not be agile nor adequate.
Why do you work in recruitment?
I think I have the ability to acknowledge talent and to detect who is good at something. I love to develop people and I receive great satisfaction to watch them grow. Many of the candidates that I have found become my clients later on.
Do you search for a recruitment provider for your branches in other countries?