How HR Can Capitalize Changing Workplace Demographics

2016-09-14 | , Society for Human Resource Management

As an HR professional, finding qualified talent that is a good fit with your organization’s culture can sometimes be a challenge.  And sometimes it can be darn right impossible. The term “skills shortage” gets tossed around a lot lately, and the truth is, many employers know all too well how difficult it can be to match organizational needs with individuals that possess those skill sets.

Now, what if I told you that there is an entire demographic entering the workforce that could potentially help to fill these skill gaps? I think you’d want to hear about it! Today, SHRM and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) released a report, The Changing U.S. Workforce: The Growing Hispanic Demographic and the Workplace, which looks at just that. Specifically, how the burgeoning Hispanic demographic is poised to fill skills gaps as well as workforce needs left by the departing Baby Boomer generation.

In the report, SHRM and CHCI delve into the latest research and high-level insights from experts on the Hispanic demographic and lay out for human resource professionals, public-policy makers, business owners and others both the challenges and opportunities presented by the massive influx of Hispanic Millennials into the workforce.

And how great is this influx? Well, Hispanics currently make up 16 percent of the overall U.S. labor market and will account for one out of every two new workers entering the workforce by 2025. Hispanics are the fastest-growing U.S.-born segment of the population and are expected to grow by 115 percent from 2010 to 2060. Currently one out of every four Americans under 18 is Hispanic, and already 66,000 Hispanics turn 18 every month.

So, how can the Human Resource profession engage this dynamic segment? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Harness the power of diversity. When organizations understand and value diversity, they are better positioned to solve problems creatively and capitalize on new opportunities. To increase diversity, companies can implement diversity training programs, create diversity councils, and establish top-down diversity targets for recruitment and retention.
     
  • Engage Hispanic Millennials. Hispanic Millennials are more likely than other Millennials to search for a workplace where they feel comfortable and could see themselves staying for a long time. Companies should develop and implement creative benefit designs that take into account the extended family make-up of Hispanic Millennials.
     
  • Facilitate training programs. Training programs and apprenticeships for entry-level workers are important anchors for success at many companies and are a way to address skills gap issues while cultivating talent for specific trade or skill areas.

If I’ve peaked your interest, please take a look at the report located HERE. While the issue is complex, there’s an important role that employers can play, and being responsive to the changing workforce is certainly a solid first step.