How to hire bilingual workers

Recruitment Tips: How to Hire Bilingual Workers

If you’ve made the decision to hire a bilingual worker then you’re obviously aware just what an asset they can be in an increasingly globalised world. Bilingual workers in the UK are in greater demand than ever before, which can make the hiring process a challenge. For this additional skill set, you should also expect to pay a little bit more, with bilingual workers commanding an average of 12 percent more than their monolingual counterparts.

In some sectors, bilingual workers are in particularly high demand. In the corporate world, bilingual speakers are a huge boon for international businesses, but they are also becoming increasingly prevalent in charity, medical, public sector and legal professions. So, it’s clear you’re going to face fierce competition for the brightest bilingual minds, which is why we’ve created these top recruitment tips to help you find the best talent.

Look for past experience working for British businesses

British businesses that are hiring foreign language speaking staff for the first time should look for those with experience working for British businesses. It doesn’t matter whether they used their foreign language skill in the role; you simply need to know they are familiar and comfortable with the culture of a British workplace.

Think about the other skills bilingual workers can bring

If you’re looking to recruit bilingual workers then you’re clearly aware of the value of their linguistic skill set, but you should also consider the other benefits they can bring. Significant benefits arise where migrants assist a business’s expansion by sharing insights and connections to international markets. You should also consider their ability to introduce new ideas and innovations, and add skills that are culturally unique and complementary to the role.

Clearly advertise the level of language skills you’re looking for

Companies that produce job advertisements that clearly explain the level of language proficiency they need are much more successful at hiring and retaining the most qualified bilingual speakers. Also, explaining that language skills will be tested in the advertisement will weed out unqualified candidates from the start, without having to foot the bill for additional language tests.

Assess their language skills

Never take the simple ticking of a box marked ‘fluent’ as proof of the candidate’s foreign language fluency. If you’re recruiting a bilingual worker without the assistance of a specialist multilingual recruitment agency, make sure you assess the candidate’s language communication and comprehension skills. There are a number of objective, scientifically designed assessments to gauge their verbal and/or written communication skills, so make sure you use them.

Some companies prefer to assess candidates’ linguistic skills for bilingual positions at the first stage of the hiring process to ensure they only use internal resources on qualified candidates. Other companies may assess language proficiency at the final stage of the recruitment process once the other hiring criteria have been met.

Use a specialist linguistic recruiter

Given the high level of demand for bilingual workers, finding a candidate with the necessary qualifications and experience to fill the role can be a challenge for UK companies. At Linguistica Recruitment, we have a track record of finding and placing talented multilingual staff in commercial, technical and administrative positions across the South Coast.

Get in touch with our team today for expert help filling your marketing, human resources, I.T., legal, logistics, finance or market research role.