The dearth of talented bilingual workers in the UK is one of the biggest gripes of many businesses. Figures from the government show that the British economy loses about £50bn a year in failed contracts because of a lack of language skills in the workforce. But that’s not all that’s lost. A senior advisor from the investment bank UBS has said:
“A deep understanding of foreign languages is often essential to the combination of cajolery and seduction many companies require in their international negotiations.”
And frankly, we couldn’t agree more. But what can UK businesses do to bridge this skills gap? How about a little spot of talent pooling?
What is a talent pool?
A talent pool is a shortlist of candidates for roles that may not necessarily exist yet but who have the type of talent you need in your organisation. Whether that’s specific language skills, experience or hard-to-find qualifications depends on the particular challenges you face.
A talent pool can be made up of candidates who:
- You’ve interviewed before
- Attended events and careers fairs you’ve held
- Have contacted the business about prospective employment
- You’ve met at networking events
- Have been found by a previous executive or corporate search
Research has found that while only 30 percent of the workforce is looking for a new role at a particular time, 75 percent would be willing to talk about a prospective new role. That gives you the opportunity to sound them out and gauge their interest about openings you expect to have in the future.
What role can talent pools play?
Most managers will have a story about how an unexpected resignation or skills gap led to a long and potentially unsuccessful recruitment process. That’s why a more proactive approach can help to reduce the stress.
The impact of a sudden resignation, particularly by a member of staff with key skills, can be devastating for a business. Not only can it be damaging to the operations of the company, but it can also be difficult personally for other members of the team.
Having a talented pool of bilingual candidates to turn to can make it much easier to fill that gap and stay ahead of the recruitment curve. Rather than starting the process from scratch, you have existing contacts you can call on that have already shown an interest in working for your business.
When is the right time to build your talent pool?
There’s never a bad time to start building a talent pool, but conversely, perhaps the best time is when things feel the most stable. Not only is that when you’re most likely to have the time to dedicate to the process, but it’s also when growth is likely to lead to a new role opening up, or when an unexpected resignation could hurt you the most.
In reality, there’s always likely to be some disconnect between finding the perfect candidate and the right opportunity or time, which is why building a talent pool can make sure you don’t miss out.
How can we help?
At Linguistica Recruitment, we can help you find the talent you need to fill your linguistic skills gap. To find out more, please call our team on 02392 987 765 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.