The Right Way to Hire a Bilingual Call Center Agent

Call Center

The population of non-native English speakers in the US grows each year, which means the percentage of your customer base who cannot communicate with customer service agents is also growing. Hiring bilingual employees is just good for business, but it’s often easier said than done. Finding great CSRs who speak one language is tough enough, so how can you effectively recruit for talented reps who speak two or more?


Recruiting Strategies To Connect With Bilingual Candidates

Connecting with a new type of candidate means changing your approach.  The hiring team will need to branch out in order to get in front of bilingual job seekers. Here are some actionable strategies you can take to find the bilingual or multilingual talent you seek.

  • Rework your job descriptions: Be very specific about the languages and proficiency levels you are seeking. You are looking for fluency, and you will likely want someone who can not only speak the language, but read it as well, given the multi-channel customer service approach of the modern era.
  • Test them from the outset: If you require CSRs who can write in different languages, have them submit their cover letter in that language. Not only does this test their proficiency level from the outset, but it also tests their ability to follow directions.
  • Get to know your local culture: Most cities and more and more towns print foreign-language newspapers. Post openings in those publications. This will expand your reach, and it also familiarizes the local immigrant community with your company name, which is great for PR.
  • Work with local schools: Get involved with local high school, community college and college recruiting centers. Attend their job fairs and actively advertise your desire for bilingual employees.
  • Reach out to community centers: There are likely community centers and organizations that cater to specific immigrant populations. Reach out and let these groups know you actively recruit bilingual talent.
  • Leverage employee referrals: Put an extra bounty on bilingual referrals in your employee referral program.
  • Connect with passive candidates: Spend time on LinkedIn and other social platforms, establishing connections with bilingual CSRs who are employed but willing to make a change when the time is right.
  • Work with a bilingual recruiter: Working with a bilingual recruiter will help you test applicants’ fluency, connect with a wider talent pool and will give credibility to your initiative.

Always make sure to test bilingual candidate’s proficiency in speaking, writing and reading. You want to make sure that the people you hire to communicate with your non-English speaking customers are able to handle anything that is thrown at them.


If your call center is looking to start a bilingual recruiting program, or if you already have a program in place but you’re looking for the best and brightest customer service agents, the experienced recruiters at CSS are ready to help. As a market leader in customer service call center recruitment, we have cultivated a deep pool of talent who are ready to tackle new challenges. Contact us today to learn more about the ways in which you can improve your hiring strategies this year.