Mar 5 2021

You found the perfect candidate, but how are their language skills?

Language assessment literacyLanguage  assessment is something to consider when trying to find the perfect candidate for your business. Nowadays more and more companies require their employees to be fluent in at least two languages. This is where ELAM and our language assessment services come into play. But before we dive deeper let us look into what and why of language assessment.

What is language assessment in recruitment and why is it crucial?

The goal of a language assessment in recruitment is to test the possible candidate’s communication skills in the language they’ll use in a job posting to converse with colleagues, managers and more importantly, customers. Actually, language assessments are a necessary tool if you’re hiring for any job where clear and efficient communication, whether it be spoken or written skills, is crucial.

Person Typing on Computer KeyboardLanguage assessments are usually conducted on the phone in the form of an interview and/ or online with a timed test. At ELAM, our assessment service is built around a structured oral telephone interview in which a candidate is required to demonstrate specific active skills and capabilities. This allows our evaluators to assess listening and speaking skills, confidence as well as fluency and a range of other skills that determine how effective a candidate will be in a real work-related situation. Our online written assessment is timed and allows our evaluators to assess business writing capabilities, as well as, reading skills needed for specific jobs. More specifically, at ELAM we focus on language competencies.

It is no secret that today, many companies now employ workers from countries with different language backgrounds. This is beneficial in some roles, even more so if you are looking for candidates who can speak more than one language, or if you happen to be offshoring part of your operations to a different country. However, if language proficiency is not evaluated during the recruitment process, you are preparing yourself for potential issues down the line. Like having to pay for employees to take online French classes or online English work-related conversation classes. “As many as 37% of companies believe customer service suffers from miscommunication and a lack of team collaboration due to language barriers.’’ So next time you are hiring someone think about adding this assessment to the hiring process!

How Valid Are Integrated Assessments?

Many job recruitments sites have added online assessments for skills like Word, Excel, and even languages. In fact, Indeed has a comprehensive employment assessment library that includes a wide range of job levels and industries to let you screen candidates for their aptitude, cognitive abilities, and specific skills that fit your hiring needs. However, their language assessments are quite generic and can easily lead to inaccurate results and lead to ineffective hiring.

Language assessments are a global need. The most important conference addressing this is ILTA’s official conference: The Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC), which has been held every year since 1978. In the last few years, it has been held in different parts of the world: Temecula, California, USA (2004); Ottawa, Canada (2005); Melbourne, Australia (2006); Barcelona, Spain (2007); Hangzhou, China (2008), and Denver, Colorado (2009), Cambridge, UK (2010), Ann Arbor, Michigan (2011), Princeton, New Jersey (2012), and Seoul, South Korea (2013).