The Business Year

Rosalba Montoya Pereira

COLOMBIA - Health & Education

Doing the Research

Andean Regional Director, Manpower Group


Rosalba Montoya Pereira studied Educational Administration at the University de San Buenaventura in Medellí­n. She went on to establish the temporary work recruitment services UNO A Servicios, where she worked from 1976-1997. The company was later merged with Manpower Group. She is currently the President of Manpower Group Colombia and Director of the Andean Zone, Manpower Group South America.

TBY talks to Rosalba Montoya Pereira, Andean Regional Director of Manpower Group, on their international mergers, putting the right people in the right positions, and the importance of diversity in the workplace.

How did the company you founded in Medellí­n in the 1990’s go on to join forces with Manpower?

We started the company as a partnership of the founders named UNOA. Our goal was to become the best temporary services company in the world. The most important condition for us was that employees and clients felt it was the best possible environment to work or to have their labor requirements met. As the Colombian market shifted towards globalization, we realized we had to open our company to a new business model. I was approached by Manpower, whose managers liked our business model. They proposed to purchase the company entirely so I sold my shares as a partner, but stayed on as General Manager of Manpower Colombia.

What added value does your company provide to the temporary services industry in the Colombian market?

We are about to carry out a study on this matter, because it is a difficult variable to assess. When we evaluate the competences of an individual to determine if they fit the required profile, we guarantee better results, and higher productivity, efficiency, and stability if we select the adequate candidate. The individual’s vocational strengths will determine their success in any specific position.

In terms of the multinational companies that have entered the Colombian market, how are you covering their employment needs and what are their main requirements?

In general terms, the highest demand is from companies that provide services. Technicians, engineers, finance professionals, and commercial and sales staff have the highest demand in the current market. Regarding specific competences, bilingualism is highly valued, as Colombian economic endeavors in general have entered global markets. There is a global necessity for skilled human capital, and it is becoming more evident as time passes and people are choosing to postpone having children until later in life. It will become a challenge to maintain a functional workforce. There is a shortage of skilled labor, Japan being the number one country facing this difficulty, and Colombia occupying ninth place in this ranking.

How is Manpower partnering with educational institutions to reduce the scarcity of skilled human capital?

We have conducted research on this matter in Colombia and have divulged the results to companies, allowing them to better grasp the importance of diversity to partly solve this issue and participate in inter institutional networks devoted to it. Nonetheless, a long-term program needs to be established by the government to create groups composed of government, companies, and educational institutions, to create comprehensive solutions to confront this shortage of human capital, and define what the profiles Colombia requires are according to the national development plan. This prospective evaluation has to be defined to guide the coming generations when they decide their career paths starting at a young age. Unfortunately, educational institutions create programs according to their demand in terms of revenue, and not in terms of the requirements of the job market in the country.



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