Top Tips for Hiring Bilingual Candidates in Canada


Canada is a rich, multicultural nation that has a large number of bilingual job seekers that your company may wish to engage. Although hiring bilingual agents is largely the same as any other type of job, there are certain additional considerations that should be kept in mind in order to make the process more effective at identifying the best potential candidates. If you are a company in Canada has bilingual jobs that need to be filled by bilingual candidates, be sure to take note of the following tips to ensure the right candidate joins your team.

Perform a Candidate Assessment

Bilingualism is a skill like any other and you should be able to have candidates perform assessment tests so you can understand their proficiency. The exact nature of this test is up to you to decide, but some possibilities include can include things like providing a paragraph and asking for a translation (written or oral) or having the candidate answer questions in a different language than the speaker. The underlying purpose of your tests should be to gauge not only how well the candidate can understand different languages, but also determine how effectively they can communicate in them. In doing so, you can better narrow down the best qualified candidates.

Be Specific in Your Job Descriptions

For obvious reasons, you should already be specifying whether bilingual abilities are needed in the position’s job description. What you may not already be doing is making sure the description is specific in how those skills are to be used. There is a large spectrum of language proficiencies, and it is important to figure out where your position’s needs fall and to communicate them properly. If the position will be translating text documents, for instance, then you will want to emphasize that translation and writing in multiple languages will be involved. If you want something like a call centre agent, then you will want to emphasize that spoken clarity and oral communication will be the primary focus. Just as some native English speakers are better at writing or talking, so are any bilingual individuals in their alternate tongue. It’s important to identify and communicate the exact skills you are after.

bilingual candidates Canada

Make Sure Your Recruiter Is Bilingual

This applies regardless of whether you are doing your recruiting in house or using a recruitment agency. If the job is going to require multiple languages, then having a bilingual staff member involved will be important. While it is possible, for example, to have a bilingual candidate interview done by someone without familiarity with the other language (answer keys to proficiency tests, for example), the simple truth is that there are many elements of proficiency that a speaker would be able to recognize. Matters relating to syntax, pacing, syllable emphasis, and especially word choice can only be noticed and accounted for by a bilingual recruiter and not including one can limit your ability to recognize talent.

Resolve Recruit is one of the leading employment agencies in the Mississauga, Brampton, and Toronto areas. We match skilled workers with employers across a variety of industries, with an emphasis on bilingual talent. Learn more by contacting us by e-mail at or call (905) 568-8500.