The Business Year

Rosalba Montoya Pereira

COLOMBIA - Economy

The Paths We Choose

Andean Regional Director, Manpower Group


Rosalba Montoya Pereira studied Educational Administration at the University de San Buenaventura in Medellí­n. She went on to found the temporary work recruitment service 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.

"In general terms, the greatest demand is for companies that provide services."

How did the company you founded in Medellí­n in the 1990s 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 in which to be. As the Colombian market shifted toward globalization, we felt a need to open our company to a new business model. After a business trip to Brazil, I was approached by Manpower managers from different countries who liked our company model. They proposed the purchase of the company entirely and I sold my stake as partner, but remained as General Manager of Manpower Colombia.

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

We are set to conduct a study, because it is a difficult variable to assess. When we evaluate the competencies of an individual to determine if they fit the required profile, we guarantee better results, and higher levels of productivity, efficiency, and stability if we select the adequate candidate. The individual’s vocation will determine the success they accomplish.

“In general terms, the greatest demand is for companies that provide services.”

Taking into consideration the amount of multinational companies that have entered the market in Colombia, how are you covering their employment needs and what are their main requirements?

In general terms, the greatest demand is for companies that provide services. Technicians, engineers, finance professionals, and commercial and sales staff see 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 have children later in life. It will be a challenge to maintain a functional workforce. There is a shortage of skilled labor, Japan being the number one country facing this difficulty, while Colombia occupies 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 that confront this shortage of human capital, and define what profiles Colombia requires according to the national development plan. This prospective evaluation has to be defined to guide the coming generations when they decide their career paths at an early 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 of the country.

© The Business Year – May 2015



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