With the increase of flexible and remote working opportunities, there will be an increase in the number of expats working for global multinational organizations in the coming years. Even though working abroad has never been easier, English language skills continue to be the deciding factor. Without the right level of English language comprehension, finding work or an internship abroad to gain valuable experience is difficult, because a large number of multinational organizations have English as a corporate language, regardless of what part of the world they are headquartered in.
Since English is the most used language in the corporate world, knowledge of English becomes one of the most important employable skills. The ability to express oneself fluently in both oral as well as written English is essential for career growth. It is also essential to understand why English is considered important in the workplace. The answer is that since effective communication is the key to increased sustainability and career advancement in the workplace, it might be difficult for an employee to maintain business relationships and, in the long run, climb the corporate ladder without proper knowledge of the English language. Additionally, English language testing benefits employees by:
- showcasing their interest to perform beyond basic business standards,
- enabling them to adequately express and represent themselves in front of an audience
- allowing them to develop high-end interpersonal and networking skills,
- providing them with the necessary confidence while delivering presentations and speeches.
To assess the proficiency of English language and to enable employees to carry out essential work-related tasks, proficiency tests are needed that will measure this ability in a standardized manner.
Using LTI Assessments to Make Sure Your Employees Are Competent Enough to Get the Job Done
A task at work usually requires a particular level of language skill to efficiently be able to complete it. Having information about an employee’s language skill level would help organizations assign the right task to the right employee. Having experience working with small- to mid-sized companies, Language Testing International (LTI) works closely with the Human Resources departments of an organization to analyze and understand the requirements of a position they are looking to fill. Once that has been done, LTI identifies the appropriate level of language proficiency required for the position. Thus, LTI helps enable organizations find the right candidate for the right position, which not only benefits the organization but will also allow candidates to be successful in the long run.
In observing todays’ global workspace, multinational companies such as Airbus, Samsung, and SAP, to name a few that have offices the world over, have mandated English as the common corporate language. One of the main reasons for this is to facilitate communication, performance, and business efforts across geographically diverse functions. The competitive pressures faced by multinationals and the globalization of tasks and resources make it essential to have a workforce that possesses the required skills and abilities, especially when it comes to English language, be it spoken, written or even the ability to read the language. Also, with recruitment being one of the costliest, and most time-consuming processes, identifying and interviewing the wrong candidate can become an economic issue. Given the amount of resources that go into the recruiting process, and into making important hiring decisions, it is important to effectively identify the correct candidates to bring in for an interview. Additionally, when reviewing candidates resumes, determining English language ability can be difficult if there is no clear measurement of a qualification. Evidence that 97% of employers in countries where English is the official language, stating that English is vital to their organizations, with the majority needing native, or advanced language skills further underscores the need for standardized English language testing.
The ACTFL English Study – Preliminary Report (June 2016)
Global Business Speaks English – Harvard Business Review (Tsedal Neleey, 2012)
How to Successfully Work Across Countries, Languages, and Cultures – Harvard Business Review (Tsedal Neleey, 2012)
Better English for Better Employment Opportunities – (Pandey & Pandey, 2014)
English at Work: global analysis of language skills in the workplace – (Cambridge English Research, September 2016)
Devyani Mahajan is an Industrial Organizational Psychologist, and her research interests include psychometric scale development, selection and assessment, and quantitative data analysis. She has a doctorate from Kansas State University and has worked with organizations in developing and validating selection assessments and has also enabled better decision making by utilizing standardized assessment methods.