Best Practices for Recruiting and Hiring Employees in Mexico

Best Practices for Recruiting and Hiring Employees in Mexico

Foreign manufacturers expanding into Mexico can find the process of hiring employees to be perplexing. Among other challenges, recruiting direct labor in Mexico tends to include some channels not typically used in the United States or Europe. To navigate the labor market in Mexico and harness the skilled manufacturing workforce the country offers, employers must learn to tailor their recruiting strategies to reflect local norms appropriately.

Successful recruitment in Mexico hinges on understanding local job-seeking behaviors, cultural nuances, and potential employees' preferred communication channels. A multifaceted approach, combining the power of social media platforms with traditional job advertisement methods, is essential. Leveraging local networks through referrals can also significantly enhance recruitment efforts.

Companies that adapt their recruitment strategies to these local preferences can streamline the hiring process and ensure that they attract the most suitable and talented candidates for their operations. Partnering with local HR specialists or utilizing the services of a shelter service company can also lead to invaluable insight into the most effective recruiting practices for Mexico’s unique labor landscape.

The most effective methods of recruitment in Mexico:

Most manufacturing companies will likely need to fill a combination of positions, including direct labor production workers, engineering staff, quality control personnel, and plant management. Given that each of these positions may require different levels of experience, skill, and education, recruiting across a range of channels is essential. 

While the preferred recruitment channels may vary based on the specific region you’re targeting and local job seekers’ expectations, the following strategies are a good place to start.

1. Social media is king

While job seekers’ most frequently used channels may vary depending on their location, Tetakawi’s regional labor market reports have found that virtually every employer should lead their recruitment efforts with online efforts, particularly social media posts.

Mexico has the eighth largest social media audience in the world, with WhatsApp and Facebook at the top of the preferred apps list. Our research indicates that social media and Facebook at large are favored job search tools in many regions. This is where your HR personnel will want to take time crafting and boosting tailored job posts. Recruiters can also leverage these tools to begin onboarding candidates.

For certain positions, such as sales and engineering roles, job seekers can be found via online job boards in Mexico, including OCCMundial, CompuTrabajo, and Bumeran. LinkedIn can also be an effective channel for higher-level roles.  

2. Traditional media remains reliable

Social media alone won’t find you the top recruits. Job seekers in many parts of Mexico also rely on more traditional media. Many employers in Mexico rely heavily on print street ads, radio ads, and even television advertising as part of their recruiting strategy. 

Other sources include state and municipal employment services, postings at educational institutions, and Goo¬gle searches. Employment fairs are also popular — as are less common recruitment methods, such as town criers who drive through communities announcing employment opportunities over a loudspeaker. This is one reason that foreign investors new to the region may find the most benefit in working with a local recruitment specialist who understands local expectations. 

3. Referrals secure a loyal employee base

For companies already operating in Mexico and looking to expand, referrals are another common way that job seekers connect with employment oppor­tunities. Mexicans place considerable trust in friends and family, particularly when it comes to a company’s reputa­tion and status in the market. That’s great news for employers, as research indicates that referrals tend to make the best employees. Job recruitment site Zippia reports that 88% of employers rate employee referral programs as the best source of applicants, as 45% of referral hires stay with a company longer than four years, compared to only 25% of candidates found on job boards. By providing an excellent employee experience for your current workforce, you’ll be better able to recruit and retain the best talent. 

There is another advantage to focusing on referrals. Many companies in Mexico offer transportation benefits to boost their likelihood of attracting candidates, particularly to more rural locations. By targeting specific neighborhoods with your recruitment efforts, employers can not only increase referrals among family and friends but also reduce transportation costs by serving a narrower range of areas. 

4. Tailor recruitment strategies to regional preferences

While using a combination of the recruitment strategies listed above is the most likely way to find success, the strategy you ultimately opt to use should reflect regional preferences. For foreign employers, it can be challenging to find this information. A local HR expert should be able to help provide this data.

Regional Recruitment Preferences in Mexico


Jobseekers’ First Recruitment Preference

Jobseekers’ Second Recruitment Preference


Facebook (67%)

Recruitment portal (24%)

Monterrey metro area

Facebook (54%)

Online job boards (51%)


Facebook (42%)

Newspaper (32%)


Social media networks (44%)

Online job board (35.1%)


Newspaper (62%)

Facebook (41%)


Find local support for your recruitment strategies

Of course, the very first step for recruiting and hiring employees in Mexico is to become registered with IMSS as an employer and ensure your hiring practices are in line with the federal labor law. Because this process can be complicated, it’s one more reason that many foreign direct investors opt to begin manufacturing in Mexico under a shelter service provider’s umbrella. Some shelter service companies offer varying levels of human resources support, including recruitment steeped in knowledge of local best practices. 

While there is much competition in Mexico for skilled manufacturing employees, a well-planned recruitment and retention strategy can help employers stand apart. With the aid of an experienced partner, the process of staffing the new production plant can be achieved in as little as 30 to 60 days. 

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