How to Find Foreign Language Jobs in the UK

Despite the fact that a lack of foreign language skills could be costing the UK economy up to £48 billion each year, many top level candidates are still finding it hard to kick start their linguistic careers.

There are a diverse range of foreign language jobs in the UK. Just a quick look at our jobs page and you’ll see we’re currently looking for a German-speaking sales manager, a Dutch-speaking customer support executive and Swedish-speaking market researchers, so there are plenty of jobs out there, you just need to know where to look…

Specialist language job recruiters

Generalist recruiters tend to shy away from language jobs because they do not always have the skills in-house to accurately test the candidate’s language proficiency. A ‘basic’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘advanced’ tick box simply doesn’t cut it when you’re recruiting for foreign language jobs.

That’s why you’ll usually find the best range of well-paid language jobs at specialist language recruiters like Linguistica Recruitment. All our candidates must complete written and spoken language tests to ensure the highest level of candidates for our clients, and the right type of job for you.

Picking the right role

The current skills shortage in the UK means  there are a whole host of positions available for foreign language speakers with the right level of experience. As with any job search, it’s essential you not only have the necessary language skills, but also the experience and core competencies to fill the role. Whilst this might seem obvious, it’s amazing how many people apply for a foreign language job, such as a German Marketing Manager, without having any previous experience in marketing.

Of course, you should also make sure your language skills meet the requirements of the job. If you have an intermediate ability in French, you would not be suitable for a role as an English to French translator or interpreter. As a general rule, if you couldn’t handle a face-to-face interview for the job in the target language, you probably shouldn’t apply.

Employers looking to fill a foreign language position will generally require a fluency in that language. Millions of Brits have GCSEs or A Levels in a European language, but that level of proficiency is not sufficient for a foreign language job.

Quick tips for conducting your foreign language job search

Here are six quick tips to help in your foreign language job search:

  • Make sure you upload your CV to Linguistica Recruitment and other specialist language recruitment agencies
  • Take a look at the language job boards online
  • Conduct an online search for jobs in your chosen language, skill type and location. For example, enter the search term: ‘French speaking finance workers in London’
  • Use social media to find suitable language roles (LinkedIn and Twitter are probably your best bet)
  • Use Google to search for companies with an international presence that you’d like to work for. Then take a look at the careers section on their website for details of their current vacancies.

Still struggling to find foreign language jobs in the UK? Just get in touch with the friendly team at Linguistica Recruitment who will be more than happy to help.

The Benefits of Hiring Bilingual Speakers for your Business

Generally there is some wisdom that heralds the benefit of speaking a second language, such as “it will help people better understand and appreciate other cultures and their people”, but when businesses are making their hiring decisions, they want to know whether there will be any economic gain from hiring a second language speaker.

Language graduates in the UK have the lowest unemployment rate of any discipline other than medicine and law, so the benefits of speaking a second language for individuals is clear, but what advantages can companies across the UK expect from a bilingual employee?

1. Help entering new markets

Bilingual employees are an incredibly valuable resource when it comes to entering new markets. A Spanish speaker with English as a second language, or vice versa, can help you unlock a huge number of potential markets around the world.

Those who have grown up speaking two or more languages understand how difficult communication between two different cultures can be. Generating consumer-facing content is essential when entering new markets, and bilingual employees can be extremely helpful when creating geotargeted posts.

2. Localisation becomes a breeze

The way a company’s website, blog and social media are localised for individual regions is central to the success of any overseas expansion effort. Localisation allows business to translate long form content, such as detailed guides or webpages, into different languages while keeping regional preferences and buying behaviours very much in mind.

A bilingual employee can also work with website developers and the online marketing team to develop a regional search engine optimisation (SEO) plan that helps the website rank for internet searches conducted in the target market.

3. Reduced relocation costs

A study of a number of American firms by the Employee Relocation Council found that large companies were spending an average of $1 million simply to replace employees who could not acclimatise to overseas assignments. 58 percent of employees who returned to the US said they had difficulty adjusting to the culture and the language of the new country.

4. A second pair of eyes

If your business is expanding into overseas markets, having a bilingual speaker on your staff could be hugely important when it comes to reviewing legal documents, contracts or packaging produced by clients and suppliers.

5. Bilinguals are better multitaskers

Understanding the intricacies of two different languages has been proven to increase an individual’s ability to multitask. People who speak more than one language find it much easier to switch between two tasks than those who only speak one. As bilinguals have two set of language rules in mind, their brains are wired to switch back and forth between them. This improves their ability to carry out more than one task at any one time.

How can we help?

If you’re sold on the superhuman powers of a second language speaker, we can help you find the perfect bilingual employee for your business. Take a look at our clients’ page to see how we can help you.