5 tips for hiring bilingual candidates

5 Tips for Hiring Bilingual Candidates

Have you decided that the time is right to start hiring bilingual candidates for your organisation? The truth is that hiring top bilingual talent is a challenge and you will need to alter your usual recruitment process to get it right. However, with the benefits associated with hiring bilingual candidates, ultimately, it will all be worth it. 

So, what steps should you take to attract and hire the best bilingual workers? Here are our five top tips. 

1. Write a job description in two languages

To attract bilingual candidates, you need to show that you are a multilingual organisation that is language inclusive and makes the effort to build other languages into everything that you do. Writing the same job description in two languages will help you do that. It’ll also increase your reach dramatically by making your post appear in job searches using native language and second language terms.   

2. Advertise on local and foreign job sites

While posting on local job sites is very important, you’re just as likely to find a bilingual speaker who is fluent in English by advertising on sites in countries and regions where your target language is spoken. While hiring candidates who do not currently live in the UK has been made more difficult by Brexit, you could become a Skilled Worker Sponsor to hire workers from the EU and outside the European Economic Area (EEA).   

3. Be specific about what you’re looking for

Despite the demand for bilingual candidates, there still seems to be some ambiguity about the terms used to describe an applicant’s level of language proficiency. Terms like ‘intermediate’ and ‘business level’ are commonly used, but can mean different things to different people. Therefore, it’s important to decide on the requirements of the role and to be specific when communicating them.  

Ask yourself:

  • How much will the candidate use the language in question?
  • How proficient should they be?
  • Will they primarily be communicating orally or in writing?
  • Will they be speaking to customers, clients and internal teams with different dialects?  

Once you have a thorough understanding of your specific language needs, you can then include a detailed list of the skills required for the role as part of the person specification.

4. Make it immediately obvious what language you’re looking for

The biggest mistake a lot of organisations make when hiring bilingual candidates is not leading with the fact that it’s a bilingual job or including the language they are looking for right at the top of the posting. Burying this information makes the job more difficult for bilingual speakers to find and prevents it from grabbing their attention.

5. Test language skills before inviting applicants to interview

The simplest way to vet bilingual candidates is to ask them to complete online English and target language proficiency tests before you invite them for an interview. There are plenty of language tests to choose from that are quick and can be taken remotely and submitted online. If a candidate passes the test and has a great CV, then it’s time to schedule an interview.

Let us do the hard work for you

At Linguistica Recruitment, hiring bilingual candidates is our bread and butter. All of our candidates are reference-checked and undergo comprehensive written and spoken language tests to check that their language skills (both English and their second language) are of the required standard. Find out more about our process and call 02392 987 765 or email info@linguistica-recruitment.com when you have a multilingual role to fill.