On average there are 543,000 new businesses created in the USA.
From a customer viewpoint – more businesses and competition in different markets should translate to lower prices. However, more competition will require you to work smarter to keep your market share as a business owner.
When your company makes a concerted effort to hire bilingual employees it can provide better customer support to offshore clients and this opens up new markets for your business.
Read on to discover 10 reasons you should consider hiring people who can speak more than one language.
1. Save Money
One reason it’s beneficial to have bilingual employees on staff is because it can help your company save money.
Instead of hiring a contract translator or interpreter every time you need one, you have one on staff. And this person will also do their day-to-day tasks.
In other words, you can have the benefit of two or employees in one. Perhaps you can hire someone in marketing or accounting who is also bilingual, and they can be your company’s translator or interpreter.
This is an excellent idea for startups or companies going through a tough financial time.
But if you don’t have a fully bilingual person, that’s okay! For example, if you are targeting Hispanic consumers, see who on your staff is most familiar with the language and have them brush up on their skills with a Spanish pronunciation guide.
2. Better Connection to International Consumers
One of the most obvious reasons to hire a bilingual employee is to expand your business into international markets.
Even if the employee doesn’t speak the language of the region you’re targeting, they might be able to offer insight from someone familiar with cross-cultural communication.
However, the ideal situation is that your employee speaks the language and understands the culture of the area where your customer lives. This way, they can interact with them through email or phone.
They can even read social media comments and help you understand people’s reactions in other countries.
3. Bilingual Employees = Better Multitaskers
Guess what? Added language skills aren’t the only benefit of hiring bilingual employees.
Did you know that bilingual people are better multitaskers?
A study by the National Institutes of Health found that bilingual people have much easier time switching between tasks than those who only speak one.
As a business owner, this is excellent news for you. Since every day in the corporate world is a little different, you want employees who can handle more than one responsibility at a time.
4. Bilingual Employees Process Information More Quickly
Another study found that people who spoke several languages process information more quickly and efficiently than those who only speak one.
If you’re trying to grow your business, wouldn’t you want the best and brightest individuals on your team? Because their brains are used to processing two languages, bilingual employees are great problem solvers.
They are great at seeing the difference between relevant and irrelevant information and then making decisions to move the business forward.
5. Provide Better Customer Service
It’s simple. People love to feel understood.
In a business context, you want to do everything you can to make sure you treat your customers as well as you possibly can.
For most people, it’s much easier to speak in their native language. If they can communicate with your company in their native tongue, it will likely be a better experience for them.
This is often because they will be able to more easily express their concerns, helping you know exactly what they need and how to solve it. In the end, this results in a better experience for both you and the customer.
6. Improve Your Localization Efforts
Is your business expanding with physical locations in other parts of the world? If so, you first need to understand the needs of local people in those places.
Having bilingual employees will help make that process much more straightforward. They can travel to this new location and gain the trust of the local people, both business partners and the general public. This will also help you understand the desires and needs of your target market in these areas.
In this way, hiring a bilingual employee can help with your globalization and localization.
7. You’ll Have an Instant Multilingual Proofreader
If you market your products or services to customers who speak another language, you will have to translate those materials. Hiring a bilingual employee means that you could have an in-house proofreader.
This can apply to marketing materials like flyers, advertisements, and website copy. But this benefit extends much further than just these cases.
It’s valuable to have a second pair of eyes to proofread contracts and legal documents to ensure they are free of grammatical or spelling errors.
8. Increase Your Competitive Edge
Every company has competitors. And it’s a well-known fact that you want to do everything you can to outperform them.
Adding a bilingual employee can put you on pace to surpass your rivals. You’ll save money on outsourcing while adding these employees who bring significant benefits to your business.
And all of these things make your company leaner while growing your bottom line.
9. They Think Outside the Box
Because bilingual employees are experts in shifting from one language to another, they are used to switching their mindsets. This translates to them being able to think outside the box when solving problems.
They can see a situation from different perspectives, helping your teams be more open-minded. And at the end of the day, this results in increased productivity for your business.
10. Last but Not Least: Better Decision Making
A different study found that speaking a foreign language can result in better decision making.
This is because it reduces biases and leads to faster decisions.
Making tough decisions is a hallmark of every businessman or woman. And bilingual employees bring greater objectivity and mental sharpness to the table. What business owner doesn’t want that?
Now that you’ve read through these 10 advantages of hiring bilingual employees, what’s next for you?
It’s simple! Look into hiring a bilingual employee to work for your company.
If you have questions or want to learn more, contact us today. We’re here to help!