1. Don't assume that someone who is born with a Spanish last name has special knowledge about marketing to Hispanics. Hispanic marketing is a field of study. Being born Hispanic does not magically impart such knowledge. So don't be tempted to ask Mr. Perez in Accounting to fill the slot.
2. Hire only at the expert level. An expert should possess a combination of education and experience in Hispanic marketing. Taking Spanish in college does not count. Living in Argentina for a summer? Nope. Married to a Mexican? Sorry, not the same.
Look up the definitions of "code switching" and "Generation Ñ" and then ask your candidate to explain each one to you. If the candidate's score is less than 100%, walk away. Why? For the same reason you wouldn't hire a mechanic who wasn't familiar with a crankshaft or a voltage regulator.
Only a handful of colleges offer degrees in Hispanic marketing, so not having a degree isn't a deal breaker. An expert should still have a strong grasp of theory via self-study. Ask the candidate about online courses taken, books and research read, and seminars attended in Hispanic marketing.
Of course there is no replacement for real-life experience, but accept no less than five years' worth.
3. Choose someone with experience in your industry. Hiring a candidate who needs to be trained in your business model is like having someone borrow your watch to tell you the time.
4. Pinpoint which segment of the Hispanic market you are trying to reach. Verify that your candidate has successfully marketed to that segment. Past behavior really is the best predictor of future performance.
5. Hire a candidate who is truly bilingual. Hispanic marketing requires a keen feel for the spirit of the language and how it affects consumers. Free language testing is available online.
6. Know the current pay scale for the candidate's experience level.
Don't expect immediate gratification. It takes time, but the payoffs are well worth the wait. Just ask Disney, Ford, or McDonald's. They are predicted to survive and even thrive during the recession due in part to their large, lucrative, and loyal Hispanic customer base.\