The Role of Bilingual and Multilingual Employees in the Growing Global Workforce 

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In recent years, more and more U.S. employers have come to rely on U.S. based employees with foreign language skills in the workplace. With this increasing demand for bilingual and multilingual professionals, the need for validated language proficiency testing in the workplace has risen drastically. From commercial industries to telehealth, more organizations are reaching more people every day, and they need the right people to communicate with their expanding audience.  

As the world becomes even more interconnected and the global market becomes more easily accessible, American employers are realizing that most of the world’s consumers and, in turn, most of the world’s purchasing power comes from outside the U.S.A. This has created a need for professionals with bilingual and multilingual skills to empower companies not only to reach worldwide customers in their preferred languages, but also to expand their companies globally.  

A similar concept applies within the U.S., with over 25 million people with Limited English Proficiency. Employers want to make sure they have staff that can communicate with this population effectively. Hospitals want qualified bilingual nurses, phlebotomists, and others that can properly communicate with their multilingual population in order to provide equal access to their patients. Call centers want to be able to reach customers across the linguistic spectrum, and do so with staff that has documented language proficiency. Municipalities servicing multilingual consumers want to have employees who speak the same languages. However, it’s not enough for candidates to simply state on a résumé or application that they are bilingual or multilingual. More and more employers are looking for validated levels of language competency and proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Employers need valid proof that job candidates truly possess the language skills to make sure that whoever they hire will successfully perform the tasks required for the job. 

Human Resources at major companies are focusing more on ensuring objective, valid, and reliable processes for employee selection, assessment development, and confirmation of job language competency. By using language assessments, employers are better equipped to test and track their employees’ language proficiencies to fill any gaps, better serve their customers, and grow their businesses. 

However, we, at Linguist Education Online (LEO), advise companies to rely on language testing experts that have years of research, experience, and validated tools to ensure that they are measuring what they are intending to measure, which is language proficiency. Assessing language proficiency is both an art and a science that requires a certain level of accountability as the research and empirical evidence needed to validate the reliability of the assessments evolves. As potential language test-taker, employees also want the comfort of knowing that the process is just, fair, and meets the company’s proficiency needs. 

LEO is a leading industry expert on Language Proficiency Testing. If your company is looking to improve your recruitment process or upskill your current employees, contact LEO today!  


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