Multilingual employees are increasingly valued by companies to keep up with the rhythm of globalization. With remote work becoming the new standard, many companies now take advantage of the global job market to hire internationally and stay competitive. According to the FlexJobs platform, there was a 30% increase in bilingual job listings between 2020 pre-pandemic data and 2021.
Bilinguals are people able to speak two languages fluently. In Canada, the term has taken on a more specific meaning: the ability to communicate in both official languages, English and French. French tends to disappear in many parts of Canada: french-speaking people represent less than 5% of the population in 11 of its 13 provinces and territories. Hiring francophones is therefore an occasion for the country to maintain its bilingual identity.
The benefits brought to companies by bilingual candidates are numerous, especially when doing business overseas. At Canada Talents, we specialize in recruiting and integrating bilingual candidates into the Canadian market. Let's dive into 7 benefits of hiring bilingual employees for your Canadian business.
Support your Expansion
Bilingual candidates are a considerable asset if you consider expanding your business nationwide or worldwide. They can help you build connections with Canadian companies and customers for which French-speaking is the norm. The provinces of Quebec and New-Brunswick are the ones counting the majority of francophones in Canada, with respectively 85% and 32% of their population speaking French.
French is also the official language in 29 countries, making it the second most used official language after English. If you are planning an international expansion, you have to understand the way business is done overseas to rethink your strategy and maximize your chances of success. Bilingual talents can capture the interests of a different culture and help you adapt your product or messaging to foreign markets. This is what is called “localization”. Fluency in more than one language is also a strong asset when it comes to communicating with other organizations worldwide and building international relationships. All these processes made possible by bilingual employees give your business a competitive advantage in the globalized world.
Provide Multilingual Customer Service
In Canada, the Official Languages Act ensures the availability of bilingual customer service in federal organizations. Even though it is not mandatory for other businesses, Canadians often perceive the ability to serve in French as a marker of quality.
Prospective customers always feel more comfortable speaking their native tongue. If customers think that their concerns and questions cannot be answered due to the language barrier, they are likely to give up on your business. On the contrary, an international company able to speak the languages of the countries in which it operates will gain certain respect and achieve higher customer satisfaction.
With 274 million fluent French speakers worldwide, having bilingual staff is the opportunity to build relationships with an increased number of customers and ultimately increase your revenue.
Benefit from their Unique Skills
Bilingualism is not only a competitive advantage candidates bring to a company; it is also a remarkable training for the brain associated with the development of a unique set of skills.
Switching between languages has been directly linked with higher capacities for executive functions. Bilingual people process information faster and more efficiently, making them performant at problem-solving tasks. They are better at prioritizing since they constantly evaluate which language is relevant depending on the situation and filter the irrelevant one. A study from York University also found that bilinguals are better at multitasking: they can switch between tasks a lot quicker than their monolingual counterparts.
These soft skills are greatly valued by employers and are among the most useful for customer service positions. Having bilingual staff in contact with your customers is probably the best strategy you can adopt for a positive and effortless customer experience.
Have a In-House Translator
With in-house bilingual talents, your company has the opportunity to centralize all its translation projects. It is not necessary anymore to contract third-party translators and spend time getting them familiar with your objectives. Your employee already possesses in-depth knowledge about the company. They can proofread your website and communications to avoid embarrassing mistakes, thus saving you a considerable amount of time and money.
If you prefer to outsource your translation tasks anyway, you can still take advantage of having an in-house person to review what translators did. This will help your brand establish itself as trustworthy and reputable to international consumers.
Obtain Valuable Cultural Insights
Take advantage of the cultural background and experience your employee brings to the table and adapt your content to what is more suitable in different countries. For example, French Canadian can sound weird or even incomprehensible for French people, so it is essential to make sure that your translations reflect the vocabulary used in France if you want to market there.
Norms about prices are also subject to variations. While in Canada, the price without taxes is advertised because of the different provincial taxes rate, in Europe, the price advertised should be the final price, taxes included. Not knowing about this detail could lead your international customer to a quite unpleasant surprise when buying your products. Having bilingual and multicultural employees provides you with all the necessary insights you need to expand your business to new countries without making mistakes.
Foster a Diverse Organization
Bilingual people have usually been exposed to various cultures. This multicultural background enables them to see situations from perspectives your other team members might not think of. They are likely to offer innovative solutions to business challenges that could be the key for your company to stay competitive in the market.
Their international connections are an asset to expand and reinforce your network of international partners and customers. Overseas companies doing business with someone that speaks their language will immediately know that your company is prepared to understand and meet their needs.
Access Overseas Talents
Word-of-mouth is still considered one of the best forms of advertising. Considering the increased competition between companies to attract multilingual talents, a bilingual team member can act as an intermediary to access more candidates. They can, for example, be an ambassadeur for their school and promote your company to recent graduates.
Hiring bilingual employees is a strategy most companies are now investing in to stay competitive in the globalized world. On top of opening the doors to new markets, their unique skills and perspectives will lead your company into a promising future. Discover more strategies to attract global talents by checking our article.
If you are looking for the best bilingual talents for your company, Canada Talents has your back! With our expertise in recruiting bilingual candidates for Canadian companies, we can offer you solutions tailored to your needs. Contact us now at email@example.com to discuss your project.