In search of Hispanic-Americans: a few ideas

As I hope you have noted from my last post, my TMP colleagues and I have lately been thinking hard about how diversity recruiting in the federal government might be improved. Don’t misread my meaning here: fed human capital strategists have chalked up many exemplary achievements in recruiting and retention, most notably their outstanding record with African-American candidates over several decades.

But what we’ve really been puzzling about is why we haven’t seen similar large-scale advances among the Hispanic-American community, the country’s fastest growing minority. While our company has enjoyed solid success in helping a number of standout individual agencies with their recruiting of Latino-Americans, our agency-specific success has contributed only modest advances in the government’s efforts to increase Hispanic numbers in the fed workforce as a whole.

As OPM’s recent report reminded us, the overall numbers are disappointing, to say the least: Hispanic-Americans comprise about 13% of the population, but only 8% of the fed workforce. And as I reported in my last post, in 2009 the feds hired even fewer Latinos, by percentage of new hires, than they did in 2008. 

So maybe it’s time to adjust the standard approach before the government loses seen more ground. My TMP colleague John Bersentes and I have attempted a logical analysis of the challenge in “How can the federal government improve its programs for recruiting and retaining Hispanic-Americans?” In this newly-released TMP Government white paper, we suggest a few reasons why Hispanic participation in the government workforce is lagging. Among our key points: it’s essentially a new kind of problem, different in many ways from the government’s earlier challenge in recruiting African-Americans.

In the second part of “How can the federal government improve its programs for recruiting and retaining Hispanic-Americans?” we advance a few bold suggestions for making progress on this front. Among the most far-reaching: Deputize OPM to create and administer a government-wide program for recruiting Hispanic-Americans. Individual agencies would participate as partners in a common-cause initiative, rather than contending with each other as rivals for Latino talent. We need to break this negative cycle. We suggest that only OPM has the charter, the reach, and the reputation to get this important initiative back on the rails.

Give our piece a read and let me know what you think. 

Thomas Delorme
Written by Thomas Delorme

VP, Digital Products & Strategy


  1. jersey

    The footballers who supported the bans on playing for dummy ‘multi-racial’ teams during the apartheid era. The heroes of the African game who deployed their prowess on the dusty township football parks (you could hardly call them stadiums). Often accompanied by choirs of fans singing their hearts out, and not the obvious borrowed-from-Britain anthems and hymns (ironically, the mound occupied by the Liverpool choir at Anfield was an abbreviation of the Afrikaans word for hill ‘kopje’) who mixed their adulation for the players with some rousing calls to arms in the struggle for freedom, most of which were not understood by the authorities, who rarely went to black football games during the apartheid era.

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