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John Bersentes and Mark Havard

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Why the Federal Government Can’t Recruit and Retain Hispanic-Americans

John Bersentes and Mark Havard
Jan 27, 2010, 5:21 am ET

crl_mastheadThe U.S. is subject to powerful cultural forces rooted in demographics and ethnicity. Nowhere is the influence of these cultural crosswinds more evident today than in our growing Hispanic population and its increasing claim on a share of the American Dream. By the numbers, Latinos are the dominant minority group in the nation, totaling more than 15 percent of the population, a proportion that continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. They make up just under 13% of the U.S. workforce nationwide, certainly a significant portion but still lagging their overall share in the American population.

But the participation of Hispanic-Americans in the federal workforce is a different story. According to the latest data (2008) from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Latinos make up barely 8% of the Federal workforce. In recent years, a number of high-visibility initiatives have been directed at the challenge of Hispanic participation, but the numbers continue to lag. Despite their seeming best efforts, Federal agencies have generally made little progress in recruiting and retaining Hispanic employees over the last decade.

At TMP Government, this situation has puzzled us as well. In the March Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership (ERE’s print publication geared at recruiting leaders), we lay out a seven-step suggested solution to the problem.

For now, though, we’ll kick it off online by suggesting a few possible causes and symptoms of the government’s apparent failure to make headway on this challenge. keep reading…