Businesses show greater demand for multilingual jobseekers

Organisations searching to fill critical employment gaps are paying greater attention to the value of multilingual jobseekers, according to Hays Recruitment.

While English is still the global language of business, Managing Director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand Nick Deligiannis says the ability to speak multiple languages has become an increasingly valuable professional skill, particularly as developing economies such as Brazil and China grow in prominence. 

"While the ability to speak English has been the deciding factor in the success of numerous businesses around the world, it is increasingly true that its role as the language of international business is under threat," said Mr Deligiannis in a February 11 statement.

"We're seeing more businesspeople who've learnt new languages and when speaking to these candidates many talk of the value these skills have brought to their career."

Australian recruitment agencies may want to take note of this fact, and consider the various methods they could employ to ensure multilingual jobseekers are put forward for critical positions where their skills may be of value.

Recruitment software that can filter candidates by special skills – such as the ability to speak certain languages – has a part to play here, by ensuring that the best possible candidates are put at the front of the queue when relevant positions come up. 

Mr Deligiannis went on to name Russian and Mandarin as specific languages that have grown in value in recent years. With Brazil having recently surpassed the United Kingdom in terms of economic strength, Portuguese is another language that is expected to be in demand in the near future. 

According to results gleaned from the 2013 Census and compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the most common non-English languages currently spoken in Australian homes are Mandarin, Italian, Arabic and Cantonese.

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