Insights

Language Barriers in International Executive Search

Posted by Reed Flesher

You may have decided to expand your executive search and make it international in order to find a larger pool of candidates, but international executive searches have their share of challenges. One of the biggest international executive search challenges is a language barrier that may make these searches more difficult.

Traditionally, part of a foreign education has included learning English in many parts of the world, so some of your international candidates may be fluent in English. Fully 1.5 billion people around the world speak English, and it is the most spoken language in the world.

But the globalization of the workforce means that no longer is English the only valuable second language to know. Some overseas are deciding that one of the many varieties of Chinese may be more valuable to them, or that they want to learn another language other than English. 5.5 billion people don’t speak English around the world, and English is expected to become less of a universal language as time goes on.

Chances are, the executive candidates you seek will have some fluency in the English language, at least in their area of expertise, but that doesn’t mean you will be able to find them if online materials like LinkedIn profiles and other data are not in English, but are in their native language. Recruiting firms have access to translation software and other tools for finding international candidates, but what does your in-house search team have?

Finding Foreign Candidates

Having a tool that can handle and process information in different languages is important when conducting an international executive search. Thrive TRM has multilingual capabilities and can integrate with multilingual resume screening tools, candidate profiles, and other candidate communications that may not be in English.

Having the capability to incorporate candidate profiles, resumes, and other materials in multiple languages can make an international executive search easier and more manageable, helping diversity objectives and putting international candidates on a level playing field with U.S. ones.

Thrive TRM is not a translation tool—it won’t translate resumes or profiles, but it can compare those not in English to others even across a language barrier. You may still need translation services once you have identified a foreign candidate whose materials are in a different language, but for the initial screening stages, it’s a useful tool to have.

Multilingual Data and Its Management

The capability to gather and manage data in multiple languages is a tremendous advantage to your international in-house executive search, and is a great first step to developing multilingual abilities in your executive search process. An international candidate may just be the right fit for your company’s executive leadership, particularly if you do business abroad or plan to expand internationally.

Although Thrive TRM’s features can make international searches easier, the process of relocating to a different country can still be time-consuming and difficult. Thrive TRM seeks to facilitate executive recruiting, including international searches, and help searches progress faster and with more efficiency, making the sourcing and recruiting process as easy as possible.

Guide to CRM, ATS, TRM Software