How to recruit talent with the right English language skills?

Namita Pandey from Cambridge Assessment English introduces Linguaskill a new English language test with Artificial Intelligence capabilities and explains how it’s really helping recruiters meet this challenge head on. 

How do you recruit talent with the English language skills they need to succeed? How can you ensure your existing employees get the training they need to improve their English? This is a challenge for HR professionals and there is a growing demand in the recruitment sector for an effective solution that takes the guesswork out of assessing English language skills for the workplace.

The importance of English for business has become more prevalent in the last decade. This is because more and more organisations are realising that good English language skills are essential for fostering international commercial relationships with colleagues, customers, partners and global organisations across the world. The significance of English in the workplace was highlighted further by a major piece of research which we carried out with QS. The study ‘English at Work: Global Analysis of Language Skills in the Workplace’ looked at the importance of English in the global economy by surveying thousands of companies around the world. The study, which look at data from over 5,300 employers in 38 countries/territories. It found that English language skills are important for over 95% of employers in many countries and territories where English is not an official language. Other highlights included 40% of companies reporting a skills gap in English. The study also showed that an estimated 85% of international organisations use English as one of their working languages.

So how do you test English skills for the workplace?

Of course interviewing candidates for a job can give you a good starting point, but we would not recommend relying solely on this impressionistic approach as people often speak English better than they write it for example. That is why international English language tests are increasingly becoming a key tool in the recruitment sector. It’s common for recruitment professionals to need to test at the point of recruitment and for existing employees as part of their professional development. At the end of last year, we launched Linguaskill – a new test that’s helping the recruitment sector to overcome some of these challenges. Multinational companies around the world are already using the test, but for anyone who hasn’t come across the test yet here are ten key facts about Linguaskill.

  1. It uses the latest technology – Linguaskill uses the latest cutting-edge technologies in language assessment. This includes artificial intelligence capabilities to make sure that test content is tailored to a candidate’s individual performance, and a high tech auto-marking feature.
  2. It’s accurate and backed by Cambridge research – Linguaskill is developed by Cambridge Assessment English, a department of the world-famous Cambridge University. The team behind the test are some of the world’s leading experts in language assessment. In fact Linguaskill has been extensively researched and trialled by speakers of over 40 languages from 50 countries to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the results.
  3. It’s convenient – Linguaskill is a quick and convenient online test that can be easily administered and invigilated at your own venue, at a time that suits you. All you need is a computer, internet connection, a microphone and headphones.
  4. Results are fast – Results are generated within 48 hours, with instant results for the Reading and Listening module.
  5. Results are in depth – You get clear individual Test Reports and Group Reports. These are provided for easy comparison of performance.
  6. It tests the core skills – Linguaskill tests all four-language skills: speaking, writing, reading and listening.
  7. It tests to international standards – The results of a Linguaskill test are aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference, which is a global standard for describing language ability. This is great because it allows recruiters to make informed decisions.
  8. It’s flexible – Two test options are available, Linguaskill General and Linguaskill Business, depending on whether the job role requires everyday English or English used in a business and corporate setting.
  9. It’s popular – the test is already being used by a number of organisations around the world including big names such as Air France and the University of Cairo.
  10. Suitable for all – You can test individuals or groups of candidates, and candidates of all abilities take the same test to establish their level.

What should I do next?

This is a very quick overview of how Linguaskill is already making an impact in the recruitment sector, but if you would like to find out more about how the test can help you acquire the talent you need, please visit: https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams-and-tests/linguaskill/ or you can contact: mea@cambridgeenglish.org  or 97144378077.

Meet Cambridge Assessment English at HRSE 2019 (HR Summit & Expo) this November in Dubai! Find out more about Cambridge Assessment English’s solutions directly at the exhibition floor and discuss face to face the best products for your business.

Register your visit to HRSE (HR Summit & Expo) here.