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Companies all around the world depend on multilingual talent in order to grow and scale their business. Employees with the appropriate level of language proficiency eliminate communication barriers and mitigate risk when conducting business. The list of companies that have announced hiring initiatives to fill the gap in their multilingual talent pool is growing—from call centers in Honduras to corporations in the United States such as Progressive, Nielsen, and Disney. CEO and Founder of Monese, Norris Koppel, spoke on his purpose, “We operate in 8 languages with more to roll out, so having the insight of those who are bilingual or multilingual not only helps us to achieve our goals but also to understand the nuances and cultures of each country and our customers.” (Gentle)
The impact of having a multilingual proficient workplace in the corporate sector bolsters both economic and social psychological effects. A one language fits all approach to business “could impoverish innovation and creativity, leading to business monoculture and standardized patterns of thinking” while a multilingual approach allows a company the opportunity to look at achieving their goals through multiple lenses (Yanaprasart, 2016, HRPub). Implementing a multilingual approach provides a strong infrastructure for engagement, for suppliers to customers to coworkers, with which otherwise nuances in language would be lost (Kraniotis).
The consequences of continuing on with this one language fits all approach have become indisputable. In the UK, 11% of contracts are lost annually “…because SME’s are unable to conduct business in a language other than English. That’s the equivalent of 945,000 lost contracts”(DCU Language Services, 2013). Overall in the United States, 1 in 6 U.S. businesses are losing out due to a lack of language skills and cultural awareness in their workforce (Conversis). In Australia, a high profile case, in particular regarding 7-Eleven, the convenience store chain, was ordered to pay $57 million in wages to overseas workers who were unable to communicate workplace issues because of a language barrier (Bushell-Embling). Clearly, language proficiency is a worldwide matter.
As the role of technology evolves, it is important to embrace the highly adaptive means of evaluating language proficiency in the workplace (Kraniotis).
Language Testing International (LTI) administers language assessments to hundreds of thousands of candidates every year and is one of the largest and most respected foreign language proficiency test providers in the world. We offer the highest level of client service as well as convenient online test scheduling and reporting over secure client networks. Not sure what level of language is needed for the task at hand? LTI offers comprehensive assessments to help you every step of the way!