5 Ways Bilingual Employees can Benefit your Business

If you’ve set your sights on new markets overseas, the skills offered by a bilingual worker can help to overcome many of the obstacles you’ll face when increasing the reach of your business. However, the benefits of employing bilingual speakers are not limited to the additional linguistic skills they inevitably bring. There are also other advantages associated with the multitasking, information processing and communication skills of bilingual employees.

So, next time you’re thinking about hiring a new team member, consider the many benefits a bilingual employee could bring to your business…

1. They can help you reach international customers

A bilingual employee can be an extremely valuable resource, particularly in a business which is expanding overseas. Ideally, your bilingual recruit will speak the language of the target market, but if not, simply speaking two languages has been shown to boost their communication skills and their understanding of other cultures.

When it comes to generating content for overseas buyers, or simply interacting with them via social media or over the phone, the benefits of a bilingual employee are obvious. Studies have shown consumers are much more likely to buy from a business when product information is available in their language. It engenders trust, and to snag that all important sale, that’s exactly what brands need to do.

2. Localisation is easier than ever before

While simple translation of your English website and supporting content might be better than no foreign language content at all, what you really need is to localise these critical assets. Localisation goes one step further than translation, taking into account the cultural and other requirements of a target market as well as the language. This includes adapting graphics and ensuring all elements are culturally appropriate and sensitive. This level of understanding is something only someone who has lived in that country can bring.

3. They’re better multitaskers

In a small business, you need employees who can switch between tasks quickly and effectively. Bilingual speakers constantly have two sets of language rules in mind, which means their brains are better wired to toggle back and forth depending on their circumstances. A study has shown that being bilingual also improves their ability to switch between tasks. The headline finding is that bilingual employees may conduct multiple tasks more efficiently than their monolingual counterparts, which certainly makes them an asset in the workplace.

4. You have a point of contact for overseas customers and suppliers

If you have expanded overseas then you’ll know how important it is to be able to speak the target language. Broken English may work in the short term, but over the longer term it can be a real asset to be able to communicate with customers, clients and suppliers on their own terms. This plays a big part in the quality of the relationships you build. Having a second pair of eyes to proofread contracts, packaging and other documents can also be hugely beneficial and help to build trust in the eyes of international buyers.

5. Bilingual employees have excellent communication skills

The cognitive benefits of being bilingual extend well beyond the ability to multitask. Researchers have also found those who speak more than one language can process information more quickly and efficiently than those who speak only one. This skill stems from the fact that bilingual speakers are more accustomed to working the muscles of their brains. This ability to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information can make them a real asset to your business.

How can we help?

The next step is to give us a call here at Linguistica Recruitment. Set up by a team of linguistics professionals, we work with small businesses and leading organisations to place the highest calibre of bilingual recruits across the south coast of England. To discuss your requirements, please call 02392 987 765 or email: info@linguistica-recruitment.com today.

Could a Foreign Language be your Route into Investment Banking?

Foreign languages and investment banking – on the face of it you might not think there’s much to link the two disciplines, but it turns out a surprising number of employers look for foreign language skills among candidates’ core competencies.

If your plan is to retire by 40 and live out the rest of your life sunning yourself on the deck of your own private yacht, then without a lottery win, a professional football contract or a colossal inheritance, your options are quite limited.

And then there’s investment banking. Of course, not everyone in the industry is on the receiving end of six figure bonuses, but if you speak a foreign language and have a related degree, you stand a good chance of making your early retirement dreams come true.

Foreign language skills are ‘highly desirable’

The competition to land an investment banking job is understandably fierce, and it’d be wrong to suggest that a foreign language competency is all you’ll need to land yourself a top job in the sector. A first-class or 2:1 degree from a Russell Group University, a passion for finance and the dedication to work 12-hour days will certainly help you along the way. As will your ability to perform well in psychometric tests, and cope with what can be a bullish culture.

However, among the litany of essential attributes, many of the key players in the sector also list foreign language skills as ‘highly desirable’, with some naming the languages that are particularly relevant to their businesses.

What level of language skills do you need?

Recruiters who specifically seek foreign language skills, like us here at Linguistica Recruitment, typically seek candidates who are either native speakers or are fluent in that language. Fluency implies a standard beyond A Level, and the ability to do business in that language. If you list a foreign language fluency among your skills, you should not be surprised if the interviewers switch between languages during your interview.

Employers that do not have a specific need for language may be willing to accept candidates with less developed language skills, while some will even offer language classes so you can improve.

What languages do banking and investment employers look for?

The following is a list of the some of the investment banks in the UK and the foreign language skills they look for:

  • Barclays Wealth – Candidates should be willing to spend at least six months working abroad, with languages like Mandarin, Arabic, French and Spanish in particularly high demand.
  • HSBC – While specific languages are not listed, this bank implies that candidates with a second or third language have an advantage.
  • Goldman Sachs – This bank seeks candidates with a foreign language fluency or native speakers for approximately 50 percent of its roles.
  • UBS – Candidates with excellent German speaking skills and international experience, either through study or experience, put themselves at an advantage.

How can we help?

We might not have any investment banking jobs in our list of current vacancies at the moment, but we do have an excellent range of foreign language jobs across the South Coast of England. If you’re looking for your next bilingual job, please send us your CV or apply online today.