2022 ALL STAR | TALENT ACQUISITION
Director of talent acquisition, Gentex Corp.
Like the much of the rest of the industry, western Michigan mirror supplier Gentex Corp. was struggling in recent years to find enough workers to handle the high demand for its products.
It found a unique solution: Gentex remade itself as a bilingual company. It worked to hire Spanish-speaking workers that might not have otherwise applied for a job because they didn’t know enough English to do so.
“As we look around our communities, nearly a quarter of the population is Spanish-speaking,” said Dan Quintanilla, Gentex director of talent acquisition. “But we weren’t able to appeal to them because — how do you come in and apply for a job if the application is written in English, if the interview is conducted in English, if the benefits are explained in English, if training is in English and if your supervisor only speaks English?”
Job applications, training instructions, shop floor signs, safety instructions and more were provided in Spanish, allowing Gentex to create a Spanish-language production line at one of its plants. The company has plans to create even more Spanish-language lines at other facilities in the future.
Quintanilla, 45, told Automotive News that the company is looking into whether it can replicate its success with other demographic groups in the region, such as people from southeast Asia.
“We still need more people,” Quintanilla said. “But without our new people, we’d be hurting real bad right now. That would be a whole lot of people not producing parts.”