Latin America Executive Search: 4 lessons learned

Many companies from North America and Europe seek our support in their search for executives in Latin America. In some cases, these companies are expanding their operations and establishing a presence in the region, while others are looking for professionals who can work 100% remotely with their teams based in different parts of the world.

With over 15 years of experience conducting executive searches in Latin America, we would like to share some valuable lessons learned that can be beneficial for your own processes:

Searching for passive talent is essential:

Posting a job position on a single job site may lead to finding candidates who partially match the job description. However, this approach needs to be revised when it comes to identifying top executives.

In executive searches, it’s crucial to acknowledge that 80% of potential candidates are actively employed in their current positions. It’s a strong possibility that your ideal candidate, combining the right experience and cultural alignment, is part of this pool. To attract them, you’ll need the expertise of headhunting skills within your recruitment team or the support of an expert firm.

Evaluate cultural fit:

In all cases, but more so when you are looking for executives in a new country, it is necessary that the interviews take into account the cultural fit of the candidate. To do this, different methods can be used, including:

Assessment Tools: Utilizes skills assessments like Hirint to measure how well the candidate aligns with your company’s culture.

Behavioral Interviews: Conduct in-depth interviews that focus on past experiences and how the candidate has handled specific situations. Assess whether their behavior aligns with your company’s values and culture.

Reference Checks: Contact references to gain insights into the candidate’s work style, personality, and cultural fit within previous organizations.

The job titles can be different in Latin America:

Beyond the difference between English/Spanish/Portuguese, the job title can vary by region. For example, differences in organizational structure and job responsibilities can lead to the creation of job titles tailored to meet local needs.

On the other hand, the same title can also indicate different years of experience from one region to another. For instance, a director in Latin America may have less than 10 years of experience due to the size, industry, and even the market in which they operate.

You need a hiring process:

Companies that are expanding their operations should know that onboarding new employees can become chaotic without a well-defined structure in their hiring process. Answering these questions can help define a hiring process:

  • Which are the local labor laws and regulations that impact hiring in this country? 
  • What cultural and language differences exist in the new country that may influence how the hiring process is conducted? 
  • Where will you source candidates in the new country?
  • How will candidate assessment be conducted in the new country? 
  • What are the typical salary and benefits practices in the new country?
  • How will the onboarding process be conducted in the new country?
  • What local partners or legal advisors do you need to ensure compliance with local regulations and effectively manage the hiring process?
  • How will you measure the success of your hiring process in the new country, and what adjustments might be necessary?

In this article, you can find more information about the challenges of hiring for an international expansion.

We can help you!

At MBI Talent Group we have more than 15 years of experience supporting the international expansion of global companies and finding the best Latin American remote talent. Therefore, we can guarantee the delivery of the first shortlist of  3 to 5 selected candidates in just 5 business days. Do you want to know more?  Contact us here