Hernan J. F. Saenz, MBA '98, MIL '98, Bain & Company managing partner
Latinos@Bain founder says developing strong relationships breeds success
As head of Bain Consulting in the Dallas, Houston, and Mexico City offices, Saenz works hard to ensure that clients receive excellent service and economic results, and explains that coordinating between several offices is a major internal team effort. “Ultimately, it is all about prioritization and delegation. Knowing where to focus and when, and having a group of people in each location to deliver exceptional outcomes to clients,” says Saenz.
Though always a team player, Saenz has made individual strides during his time at Bain as well, spearheading a revitalization of Latinos@Bain – a previously informal network of Latino employees. Under Saenz’ leadership, the organization became a formal recruiting and mentoring effort, with the mission to make Bain & Company the best career choice for Latino business talent.
The organization is an important asset for Bain & Company because of the nation’s growing diversity. “Look at the statistics — one-fourth of the children in the United States under the age of five are of Hispanic origin. The population is becoming more diverse every day. And it means that firms will need diverse workforces to understand their customers better,” Saenz says.
Since Latinos@Bain has become more formally developed, the organization has grown and now has large local chapters across Bain’s North American offices. There is also a much heavier emphasis on on-campus recruiting, which Saenz believes plays a major role in finding new talent. “When we are on campus, we are very active with Latino and Hispanic clubs. We don’t only identify ourselves as Bain, but we identify as a group within Bain. My sense is that part of our success in hiring many Latinos to Bain at all levels of the organization is based on the fact that we develop relationships very early with them.”
After the organization launched, Saenz immediately sought feedback from the broad Bain community and the reaction was very positive. “I was surprised with the overwhelming amount of energy and enthusiasm. I think Latinos have always appreciated the informal networks because it’s a very tightly knit community, but I think they were even more energized by the formal initiatives,” he says.
Looking beyond the success of Latinos@Bain, Saenz has aggressive plans for improving his organization’s recruiting — an effort that is personally important to Saenz because of the challenges he faced when looking for a job. “My experience at Johnson was exceptional, but finding the job I wanted was hard,” he says. Saenz does not want students to face the same issue, so he is making sure Bain takes the steps needed to recruit students effectively. According to Saenz, each local office has begun to think about how they want to make an impact in their local community. “Ultimately, what we would like is more Latinos coming to Bain, staying longer at Bain, and becoming leaders at Bain. We also want them to become part of the cycle of helping us recruit, and in doing so create a community internally, and serve our local Latino community,” he says.
Saenz’ dedication to recruitment does not stop at Bain. As a member of Johnson’s Advisory Council, Saenz enjoys helping the school improve its ability to recruit top talent and then help place graduates in exceptional jobs. “I came back,” he says, “because I wanted to make sure the school got better and better at placement, particularly in general management and consulting. There is a lot of talent at [Johnson], and it’s important that recruiters know that.”
Maria Minsker ’13 is an intern in Marketing and Communications at Johnson.