Speaking the Language

We live in an increasingly diverse and commingled world, where the borders between countries are less and less an obstacle  in business. As a part of that growingly inclusive trend, businesses around the world and right here at home need to accommodate individuals who speak different languages than English, posing a new challenge for customer service and call center managers who want to be able to fulfill their commitments to customers. In turn, the push to hire multilingual individuals as part of their workforce has become a driving trend in many locations.

In the United States, the second most-commonly spoken language is Spanish. According to 2011 U.S. Census Department data, more than 37.5 million people in the U.S. speak Spanish as their primary language, an increase of 232.8 percent from 1980 to 2010. With such a large percentage of the overall population speaking Spanish, many call centers have focused on growing and developing their Spanish-speaking staff to accommodate these callers.

Foreign Language RepresentativesBusinesses with a heavy focus on customer service and phone support have begun jumping on this, and the signs are obvious in developmental changes within some of the nation’s largest organizations. For example, in May, Comcast announced building three new customer service centers in the Southwest, each planning to have a team of bilingual employees to handle client needs in both English and Spanish. In the same release, the company also stated that they expect to create nearly 5,500 jobs in customer service during the next five years, with a majority of the positions being focused on bilingual speakers.

So how can you highlight your Spanish skills on your resume to appeal to prospective employers? For many, using a “Job Skills” section on your application materials provides a great place to not only include your language skills, but also your other trade knowledge or business-related software proficiency. Another option suggested by Monster.com is that candidates who are applying for jobs that require Spanish as a skill offer in their application cover letter to conduct their interview in Spanish if they are selected, something that the job site calls a great way to show an applicant’s confidence in their language abilities as well as a way to help make their application stand out.

Companies looking to hire Spanish language speakers also face difficulties in connecting with qualified employees in the increasingly competitive market. According to a May article on Monster’s blog, Spanish was listed as a requirement for jobs in an incredibly diverse range of fields in myriad industries and markets. With so many job openings that list “Spanish” as a job requirement – Indeed.com lists nearly 99,000 openings nationwide in all career fields as of the writing of this post – attracting and hiring great talent is a challenge for many employers.

This is where CSS can help both job seekers and employers find the perfect new candidate or career. With CSS’ extensive database of qualified candidates, employers can find great new prospective employees who have not only the language skills they’re seeking, but also a strong business acumen and track record of success to bring to the organization. Job seekers can also partner with CSS to help grow their career or find opportunities for advancement with larger organizations. Find out more about CSS can help you overcome the language barriers – contact us today!