The importance of English language
Working in Human Resources covers so many areas such as personnel administration, recruitment, salary liquidator, commercial consultancy, trainings, amongst others.
Despite the fact that every area has its own activities, all of them have the same goal: to fulfil client’s expectations or needs. In order to achieve this fulfilment, it is necessary to have a strong commitment and willpower, know company’s mission and vision, understand the culture behind it and get results working all together as a strong team.
One of the most complex activities is recruitment which involves understanding the clients, the positions they are requesting and defining the candidate’s profiles. Once the client’s request is clearly defined and understood, this process continues with the publish of the request in different communication means. Then it is necessary to filter those that are likely to be suitable for the position based on the requested conditions. After a short interview by phone, the recruiter arranges a personalized interview with the candidates / applicants. This is the basic process. Depending on the requested position, it could be either harder or easier to find a suitable candidate since some of the requirements could be very specific.
For lots of positions we are required to find someone who, for example, manages particular systems, writes and reads emails from / to foreign countries or attends international calls. All of them have something in common: The need of English language. A few years ago this was not an issue for recruiters since there were not many job positions requiring English skills. Today, this skill is being more and more required as we are part of a globalized world where many companies communicate and collaborate to each other. Some of those companies are international ones so this skill is even required to communicate internally with your coworkers.
For instance, in areas such as Systems, Software Programming or IT positions in general, this is a must. Almost everyone has to be able to communicate in English. The variation could be in the required level: Some basic skill may include reading and writing but not speaking or having conversations. An intermediate level may include reading and writing very well, and speaking a little (As long as the candidate is able to have a basic conversation for example). Upper intermediate or advanced levels are more specific and required a strong knowledge of the language (grammar, vocabulary, idioms, etc.)
This new globalization condition also forced the recruiters to adapt and get prepared for those kinds of positions where it is necessary to have not only the Human Resource’s skillset but also the use of English language. The landscape is even bigger if we are talking about particular areas like Systems or IT. Those out of that condition will be out of that segment too which could be good or bad depending on the HR Company’s strategy. Every new variable generates a new segmentation in the market causing for example HR Companies working exclusively with IT positions, other working only with Spanish speakers, etc.
In some cases, the English language variable represents a tremendous constraint since candidates may be perfect for the position in terms of experience and knowledge but the lack of the language skill leaves him or her out. This not only could be frustrating but also could represent a strong barrier in the candidate’s career. In certain situations, an experienced candidate without English skills could be replaced by a less experienced candidate with English skills.
As the years go by, new positions and jobs are being created. Those positions are based on knowledge areas in a clear difference with the past operative areas. This changed the paradigm and even when we do not know what those new jobs look like; we could take something for granted: We will need to be able to communicate in English as a direct language or as an indirect one (for example to translate it to Chinese).
The importance of English language in current job positions makes us understand that the society should be able to adapt to this new globalized world by learning and improving our current the English language education. It is demonstrated that it is more difficult to start learning English in our adultness than it is in our childhood. In the same way, those who know two languages are more likely to learn more languages.
The sooner our children start learning English, the easier will be for them to be prepared for future.