Monolingual recruiters, multilingual candidates? What?

By Stirling Austin
Intelligent recruitment for international roles

As accessibility to the global community, both in the social and business spheres, continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly clear that companies with international connections need to have multilingual employees on their payrolls. The problem is, though, that if the English-speaking company’s human resources department (in old fashioned English read personnel department) is staffed by monolingual recruiters, how are they to know if the level of the foreign language spoken by applicants is a high enough degree to achieve the company’s aims.

There are ways in which the target can be achieved. Get the applicant to write a short article on something related to the type of business being conducted on a specific topic, and then send it off to a translation company to have it translated back to English. What you received back from the translation company will enable you to see what your foreign colleagues would have to deal with. This is an excellent way of seeing if your meaning and intent would be lost in translation.

Another method may be used if you have the luxury of being able to use your overseas colleagues, to ask them to evaluate a short article or even do part of the interview. Ah, the value – yet again – of today’s virtual communication systems.

But the best method by far is to use a dedicated candidate assessment service, such as one run by one of our preferred partners Vici Language Dynamics run by Nathalie Danon. You will get a verified, independent assessment from professionals who are dedicated to the task.

Understanding foreign business environments

Employing foreign language speakers for your company is a tricky business and it is therefore imperative that the successful applicant be au fait with not only the nuances of the language but of the general customs of successfully doing business on the other side of the world, in order to keep your company at the top of the pile. Sometimes it is not enough to just understand the local culture, the language, and the work expectations. Successful assignments depend on understanding that country’s business environment and how that impacts their work style and expectations. This includes their regulatory framework, market conditions, tax implications, and intellectual property rights protection laws.

Having multilingual members of staff ( as well as a multilingual website) in this day and age cannot be more highly stressed – but it is the quality, not the quantity, of such employees which will prove to be an asset to be nurtured.

Some may think that the very importance of multilingualism in the business world we now live in means that they need to employ recruiters with foreign language skills, but this is not the only important thing. Having a strong human resources team or recruiter that knows the type of person to recruit in order to achieve international success is an asset of untold worth.

Pixel Executive is a full-service Digital Agency. Whether for a simple brochure website, a multilingual website, an e-commerce site, or digital marketing, we help you build your business and your brand. Our team is supported by a network of trusted specialists such as copywriters, translators, and experts in multilingual SEO.  Whatever your requirement for design, content marketing, or website maintenance, we support you every step of the way.