Inclusion: How to make your business and mind Spanish speaker friendly

By Rob Coven | July 14, 2011

The concept of inclusion is very important with any team, especially one that is culturally diverse. Many successful companies start by establishing a diversity policy, a mission statement that incorporates the establishment’s intentions and strategies toward a diverse workforce.

Latinos eating at homeThe needs of minorities and ethnic groups should be addressed proactively, starting with language. Many Hispanics remain Spanish-speaking at home, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

The most important consideration from an employer’s perspective is providing versions of all written materials in Spanish. This includes not only training materials and procedure manuals, but also benefits statements, memos, back-of-the-house posters, and so on. Many companies who have a Latino workforce also invest in Spanish language-skills training for managers and other supervisors.

Darden Restaurant Group, which includes the Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains, requires its managers and executives to take a diversity learning experience course. Attendees learn about cultural differences and the impact they have on recruitment and hiring, training, customer service and other issues.

Actively promote any diversity efforts you have, through advertising and marketing efforts, press releases, referral programs and other activities.

Here are some additional considerations:

  • Hispanics prefer more traditional approaches to finding a job, according to EthnoConnect, such as personal referral, newspaper want ads and direct mail, rather than internet ads. However, with computer literacy and use growing all the time, it’s a mistake to ignore the internet altogether.
  • Hispanic workers are 50% more likely than whites to use contacts, friends or relatives to find a job, according to Hispanic Workforce. Implement an active reward program to encourage referrals from existing employees.
  • Make initial interviews more personal—and easier on language skills—by conducting them in person, rather than over the phone
  • Hispanics tend to be highly kinesthetic, according to studies—they learn by doing. Hands-on training such as structured group exercises and the use of drawings may be more effective than listening or reading.
  • According to Hispanic Workforce, corporate role models and mentoring programs are one of the more successful factors in whether or not an employee stays with the company
  • Food and family are very important to Latinos. Think “family meal” rather than employee meal, making it a time when staff can gather before or after a shift to share not only food but also community.


Source: Nestle

Rob Coven is president and founder of Market To Latinos an online, Spanish language based, marketing and consulting company. He has been working and living with the Spanish speaking and Latino community since 1984. He writes blogs and shares important articles and research on the Spanish speaking population in the U.S. and abroad. Call Rob at 706-850-7555 or

Visit our website: Market To Latinos