5 Advantages of Hiring a Bilingual Candidate

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"One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way." Frank Smith definitely knows what he's talking about, since the search for bilingual candidates has gone up 162 percent between 2010 and 2015. Having bilingual employees in the workforce can only bring benefits to the company. Studies have shown that bilingual people are good at multitasking and have excellent communication skills (in more than one language).

Any company looking to expand or to have global reach should have at least 5 bilingual employees in their payroll. The most common language combination nowadays is English/Spanish; however, Chinese, German, and French are languages also being sought after by recruiters and hiring managers. So, if you're a recruiter or a company owner and you're not yet convinced bilinguals will eventually take over the business world -and soon after the entire planet-, here is a small list of the advantages hiring bilingual candidates can bring to your company:

1. Multitasking: A recent study showed that bilinguals can switch between tasks a lot quicker than people who know only one language. Researchers found that people who spoke several languages could also process information faster and more efficiently than monolinguals.

2. Thinking outside the box: Bilingual people cannot only shift from one language to another, but they can also switch between different perspectives. Being able to see the same situation in different angles make them better at problem-solving and also proved to make them more open-minded.

3. Getting along with everyone: If your company is already dealing with people who speak various languages (whether they are clients, partners, or employees), bilingual employees could come in handy as they can act as intermediaries between different parties. Their problem-solving skills will also come in handy to help you resolve any multilingual conflict in no time.

4. Translation made easy: Having a bilingual employee makes using localization services a breeze. The staff member could be in charge of proofreading the translation of the content of the website and can assess the localization process. He or she can also adapt the information for what is more suitable in the different regions.

5. International reach: Bilingual employees not only know how to speak the language, but, in most cases, they also have knowledge about their native country’s culture, which is always an advantage when dealing with international clients.

So, what are you waiting for? Do you really need any more reasons to hire a bilingual candidate? Make sure you test their language skills properly before making an offer. Anyone can say they passed a language course, but not everyone is actually bilingual. Languages are here to stay, it's up to you to keep up with them.

Vanessa Fardi
Digital Copy Editor