Latinos who are bilingual are becoming increasingly crucial in today’s business world, as both AdCorp Media and AdCorp Latino demonstrate
As the world becomes increasingly diverse, it’s becoming almost a necessity to learn more than one language. If not, many people may have a tougher time finding work and employers may similarly have a tough time finding employees who fit into their workplace culture.
Young Latinos growing up in the United States would be well advised to listen to their parents – especially if their parents are fluent in Spanish. Why? Simply because increasing numbers of businesses are purposefully looking for bilingual employees, realizing there’s a dramatic demographic shift taking place in the country that needs to be addressed.
Two such companies actively seeking out such workers are AdCorp Media Group and AdCorp Latino, both of which work out of the same office in the Westchester County, New York, town of Irvington. From sales to support to creative, these sister companies have come to the conclusion that two languages are better than one.
Franco Cabral, senior VP/COO, AdCorp Media Group and AdCorp Latino, is a fine example of that. His parents, both of whom came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic as children, encouraged him to learn Spanish, even though the 29-year-old Cabral himself was born in the States.
“I learned Spanish from both my parents, although my father pushed me a bit more. It didn’t hurt that I had once worked for my father, who owns a food-spice company that distributes to supermarkets in New York and Connecticut. Most of his clients speak Spanish, and working on routes, taking orders and managing accounts, I had to quickly learn the language to keep up with them,” Cabral says.
This paid off for him in many ways, especially when he joined AdCorp Media Group, which offers marketing and advertising opportunities to grocery stores, when it was founded in 2006. At that time, many of the company’s customers were small, independent supermarkets, many of which were located in Latino communities. Although the business has since grown to include larger non-Latino customers, that bilingual background still plays an important role when Cabral’s conducting business.
“A lot of Latinos like doing business with other Latinos, especially if they can speak to them in their language. It’s always a win-win when you can do that,” Cabral notes.
This became especially true when AdCorp Media Group decided two years ago to spin off part of its business to create AdCorp Latino. As its name implies, AdCorp Latino focuses almost singularly on Latino-owned and -run bodegas, mercados and Latino-focused chain supermarkets located in states such as California and Florida.
“We were deciding what to do next with AdCorp Media Group and said, “Hey, why don’t we go back to our roots, when we were starting out and focusing on Latino markets?” It was a great niche, and nobody in our industry is really tapping in to it. And so far, it’s worked out fantastic for us,” Cabral remarks.
Work Ethics and Language
As with AdCorp Media Group, AdCorp Latino offers a number of marketing and advertising vehicles for its customers, including branded aisle-directory placards on shopping carts, large display benches located either inside or outside stores, welcome-center kiosks and community-information centers.
Staffing a sales organization that depends primarily on a commission-based sales team presents the greatest challenge for Adcorp and Cabral. As Cabral explains “It’s difficult, but something that we’ve become pretty good at, particularly with younger people who are motivated by things other than just money. Being a fairly young guy myself, I can relate to wanting to be part of a growing organization and knowing that my efforts will be recognized.”
Adcorp is also deeply involved in developing and executing programs for continued education for its sales people and has created training videos, online testing programs and monthly workshops.
For employees handling Latino clients, being bilingual is usually a requirement for both AdCorp Media Group and AdCorp Latino. But as both businesses have grown – from four to around 45 salespeople operating in 13 states in the case of AdCorp Media Group – that one extra caveat can sometimes make it a little tougher to hire people. “We just have to look a little harder,” Cabral says, “but it’s doable.”
Both companies are doing well, thanks in part to a local business climate that promotes the success of companies such as AdCorp Media Group and AdCorp Latino, as well as dedicated senior managers such as Cabral. It also doesn’t hurt that Cabral and others of his ilk listened to their parents when they were younger, learning not only the benefits of a strong work ethic, but also the importance of becoming bilingual in an increasingly diverse world.