As changes are occurring in the political and economic environment both globally and within Mexico, business in the country is embracing this change and is flourishing. Most multinational and multilatina organizations now have offices in Mexico and the country has its own thriving startup scene in the Jalisco State and Guadalajara. Financially, Mexico is also having a high-performing 2017 and, as of publication, the peso is the strongest performing global currency against the dollar for the year.
To find out how the changes will affect the job search process for executives in Mexico, we spoke to executive recruiters from AESC member firms working there to get the pulse on the what types of leaders organizations in Mexico are looking for and how candidates can make themselves more visible to executive recruiters.
Because of the rapid growth of business in Mexico, there is a shortage of talent ready to lead at the executive level. Executives with the right mix of skills, competencies and experience will face a market rife with opportunities. But what are those skills that organizations and executive recruiters are looking for?
- Agility: There is a premium on executive talent that is comfortable in uncertainty like Mexico is experiencing now. “They have to be very adaptable to changes to the economic environment… with an open mind that things might change very fast,” commented one AESC executive recruiter. “We have very talented people coming back to Mexico who have gone to business school and worked abroad. They are bringing with them an international perspective and a multinational education that offers them a competitive advantage in the marketplace,” offered another consultant.
- Global Experience: “Some companies are importing talent from abroad…For example, Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Goods, those industries have tapped talent from Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil to work in Mexico.” As for Spanish executives, “We see that a little bit less,” commented one consultant. When the Spanish economy was practically collapsing in 2009, 2010, we saw a lot of Spanish talent coming to Mexico, so we had a pool of Spanish talent that was tremendous.
- English Proficiency: In the past, English language proficiency, even at an executive level, was not necessarily a given in Mexico. But, as the country solidifies its status as a global marketplace, the need for executives to have a professional working proficiency in English is becoming a requirement according to the AESC search consultants we spoke to.
- Experience: “In uncertain times, you need very experienced talent,” stated one consultant. “You need people who can deal with uncertainty and with difficulty. Those are probably not the same people who you would need to run your company in more certain times.”
- Digital Expertise: “Digital expertise is something that we see as a requirement for our clients more and more every day,” offered another recruiter, “a lot of sectors are rapidly changing because of technology and more executives across functions need to understand technology and how to leverage it.”
For executives looking to remain visible to executive search consultants in Mexico, one consultant suggests participating in professional chambers and industry associations, as well as leveraging Mexico’s love of the business breakfast. “It is very common in Mexico to have a business breakfast, to enhance networking,” commented one consultant. Yet, executives will need to establish mutually beneficial relationships with executive recruiters and not simply think of them as sources of jobs. Relationships will be built on unique market insights and access to networks, so executives will need to think carefully before reaching out to a consultant, and thinking strategically about what value they have to offer besides their candidacy for a job.
Another consultant mentioned LinkedIn not being an ideal tool for communicating with executive search consultants: “Think about how many requests to connect you receive all the time. I don’t think it is a very good tool for the candidates now.” Another consultant offered: “The worst thing candidates can do is just shoot emails and sporadic messages because like everybody else, we’re just saturated with information.”