Hiring for Manufacturing in Mexico: What to Expect


One of the biggest advantages of manufacturing in Mexico is the availability of a skilled, cost-effective workforce. However, foreign companies may not know exactly where to start when recruiting and hiring employees for their operations.

Fortunately, a shelter service company like IVEMSA handles all HR and recruiting responsibilities, freeing up time and resources for manufacturers to focus solely on production. Regardless, it’s good to know the basics of what to expect when hiring for manufacturing in Mexico, including recruiting strategies, differences in labor laws, and the competitive advantages that can help a company stand out.

Recruiting Qualified Candidates from a Competitive Workforce

As with other industries, the recruiting process for senior-level positions like a plant manager or engineer is different than the time it takes to recruit production-level workers, and companies should be prepared for what to expect from each.

Hiring Senior-Level Positions

The majority of qualified workers in Mexico are already employed by other manufacturers but may be open to new opportunities or advancing to a leadership role with another company. It’s up to recruiters to create competitive offers and establish a reputable presence within the workforce to build a strong production team.

The recruiting process starts by scouting profiles on LinkedIn, social media, and national-level websites for potential candidates. Then, the HR and recruiting team works with manufacturers to filter job candidates and schedule interviews for open positions based on the scope of work as requested.

With managerial roles, the time-to-hire is often longer due to the internal decision-making process. Though there are typically candidates immediately available, there are often only one or two roles to fill, which makes narrowing down the talent pool more time-consuming as candidates go through the various rounds of interviews.

Hiring Production-Level Workers

At the production level, the recruiting strategy is focused more on where the factory is located when sourcing potential new hires. The preference is to find employees who are local to the area and don’t have to make a long commute. There are always recruiting opportunities available through Facebook, as well as physical advertising in surrounding neighborhoods. Often, there are continuous ads for production workers in order to create a pool of potential candidates that can be used as a buffer when necessary to quickly fill positions.

Once an employee is hired, IVEMSA helps with the logistics of start dates and distributing company uniforms before production starts. Then, the manufacturer trains on how to use equipment implement safety measures, and shares other specifics about the job, company, and expectations.

Understanding Mexico Labor Law

When hiring for manufacturing in Mexico, it’s important to dispel the common misconception that Mexico is not a hard-working labor force. Though popular industries like travel and tourism perpetuate the idea of a laid-back work environment, the manufacturing sector is completely different. A regular shift in Mexico is 48 hours per week, versus the typical 40-hour workweek in the U.S., with only seven holidays and one week of paid vacation for the year.

Additionally, Mexico’s labor laws are very different from the U.S. with more risk associated when not handled properly. For example, termination rules do not follow an at-will approach as many U.S. states allow. Foreign companies manufacturing in Mexico must provide documentation of just cause when terminating employees and be prepared to pay the required 90-day severance that applies.

Having a shelter component in place will help minimize risks with labor relationships and labor law and provide guidance on how to minimize the economic impact of employee termination. Part of IVEMSA’s job is to talk with leadership and follow the evidence and plan according to Mexico’s labor law and provide an expert resource to support the manufacturing company throughout the process.

Competitive Benefits to Retain Loyal Employees

Most employees stay with companies for a long time; the right environment creates worker loyalty for years. Therefore, companies must stay competitive in terms of pay and benefits to avoid employees leaving for better opportunities. The baseline benefits are similar throughout the border, which includes transportation availability, holiday/vacation time off, and annual bonuses. However, one of the key areas that help set companies apart is strong leadership.

Though compensation may be comparable with another manufacturer, poor leadership and poor communication can quickly cause retention numbers to decline. In addition, employees will evaluate a solid company infrastructure, such as a separate cafeteria to take breaks and eat lunch, programs for career development, and an overall positive environment where employees feel like they are valued and can grow in their roles.

Working with IVEMSA

Each hiring strategy is based on the specific needs of the company. There are general strategies that are commonly applied, but depending on the manufacturer and the roles available, job fairs, meet-and-greet events, and other in-person networking and recruiting opportunities may also be part of the overall plan. IVEMSA has the experience and expertise of knowing how to help companies stay competitive and hire the best workers within the timeframe needed.

Have questions about manufacturing in Mexico and what else the hiring process entails? Contact IVEMSA today and see how we can help you achieve your business goals.


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