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: firstname.lastname@example.org today.