Top 5 Bilingual Recruitment Strategies


Bilingual jobs can be tough to fill, especially when in-house recruiters aren’t sure how to bring in the appropriate candidates. Bilingual recruitment requires specialized strategies in order to attract those with the necessary skills and background. If you want to learn how to recruit like bilingual staffing agencies, then keep on reading for recruitment strategies you need to know how to use when looking for bilingual candidates.

1. Analyze What Positions Need Bilingual Staff

Before you begin employing any strategies to attract bilingual talent, you’ll need to determine the positions you want to fill, and what the linguistic requirements are to be. Managers will need to figure out the level of language skills required, as well as how to assess candidates. Deciding on a solid set of criteria and method of assessment will make it easier to compare applicants and make the best decision for your company.

2. Determine the Levels of Proficiency for Different Positions

Once you have an idea of the position you’re looking for a bilingual individual to fill, you’ll have to figure out what level of language proficiency they should have in order to qualify for the role.

There are three main levels of language proficiency. The first is professional working proficiency, which means the person is able to almost completely understand others and can discuss many topics with ease. The second level is full professional proficiency, which means they can participate in conversations with only minor grammatical errors. The third level is native proficiency, meaning it’s their native language (i.e. they were brought up speaking it) or they can use the language in the same way a native speaker of it can.

3. Post Job Ads in Both Languages

In order to attract bilingual talent and encourage them to apply for your open position, the ads you post on job boards should be both in English and the second language you’d like the candidate to use in that position. Be sure to conduct your bilingual recruitment search using outlets that are popular with English speakers as well as speakers of the second language. In addition, you’ll want to add a sentence at the end of your English post in the second language, encouraging bilingual applicants to apply. These tactics will target bilingual applicants specifically, instead of just mentioning that they’re welcome to apply at the end of a regular job post as an afterthought.

4. Interview in Both Languages & Use Code-Switching

To really get a feel of what level a candidate is at with their second language, you can interview them in both languages, instead of just one. You can also employ code-switching, which means you alternate between the two languages during the interview. Of course, your hiring manager must also be proficient in both languages to accomplish a successful bilingual interview.

5. Build a Bilingual Work Environment

When you’re looking to establish a bilingual workplace culture, it’s important that you take steps to retain the bilingual employees you take on or already have, making sure they feel comfortable in the workplace.

To build a positive bilingual work environment, make it clear that staff members are welcome to speak French, or whichever language they were hired to use, freely in the workplace. Ensure bilingual employees don’t feel excluded from the team and encourage collaboration among them and other staff members.

How We Can Help

Recruiting qualified bilingual employees is no easy feat, especially when you’ve got an entire company to manage. You also may not already have someone on board who can interview or test a candidate in the second language. Let Resolve Recruit Inc. help you find high-quality candidates who will best suit your bilingual needs. Serving the GTA since 1999, we’ve built solid partnerships with clients and job seekers alike. Contact us today to take advantage of our full-service recruitment firm.