With over 14 million people living in the greater metropolitan area, Buenos Aires makes up 23% of the total GDP of Argentina. It is a city rich in culture, art, and education but its’ talent is what sets it apart. Of the $75 billionUSD in exports, 95% is in services. Talent is a competitive advantage for Buenos Aires and as a result, professions such as HR and talent acquisition are strategic career development opportunities. Over 70% of students graduate with HR and business degrees.

Last month, I was invited by Cielo to be part of a delegation to this beautiful city to learn more about the culture, the growth of the Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) market, and Cielo’s expanding presence in this region. It was an amazing experience that I was fortunate enough to share with many old and new friends. Below are some of the highlights from the trip:

Key Trends in Talent Acquisition in Latin America

Relationships are everything. It is no surprise that relationships matter in recruitment. It is everything we talk about in employer branding and recruitment marketing. Companies that can build strong talent pipelines are more successful at hiring quality talent. Relationship building for companies in Latin America is the most critical part of the talent acquisition process. The difference is that recruiters build and maintain these relationships through constant communication, support, and connection. It is constant. In fact, 50% of companies recruit talent through referrals.
Social Media is a powerful recruitment tool. Because of the commitment to relationships, talent acquisition teams rely heavily on social media channels (specifically, LinkedIn and Facebook) to recruit and engage talent. Customers that we met with in Buenos Aires said that social media is the primary form of communication with candidates.
Workforce Planning is more advanced. Most companies in North America are immature with workforce planning. These companies do some basic headcount analysis but are slow to invest in strategic workforce planning. In Latin America, the companies we met with are focused on staying ahead and being prepared for various changes in their workforce and any unplanned scenarios. Talent acquisition is often the owner of workforce planning initiatives.
RPO is a hot market. Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) began to take off in Argentina in 2005. At that time, Argentina served as a hub for many RPO providers given its’ talent and size. The success of RPO deals are based on the relationships and leadership in the region. Cielo’s SVP of Latin America, Christian Scandella, is a perfect example of this exceptional leadership.

When I was first introduced to Cielo (at the time, Pinstripe), it was a small RPO provider based in Milwaukee with a strong commitment to customer service. Fifteen years later, it has expanded to almost 40 countries, established deep expertise in all areas of talent acquisition, and maintained its’ commitment to customer service. It can be incredibly challenging for any company to balance growth with strong values. But, Cielo appears to be doing just that under the strong leadership of Sue Marks. It now offers diversity and inclusion certifications, specialty centers, a global technology platform, high-volume and total talent solutions, and strong consulting services. In the world of global RPO, Cielo has demonstrated that it is a contender and we are excited to see what is in store for the future.
If you are interested in learning more about talent in Latin America, Gerry Crispin (Founder of CareerXRoads and the Talent Board) and I will be sharing a podcast we recorded in the next week.