America has always been a melting pot of cultures. Immigrants bring many important traditions with them when they move to the United States, with language being one of the most vital. English is still the most commonly spoken language, but 2010 Census data reveals that the use of a language other than English is up 100 percent from the 1980s. As more and more U.S. citizens begin speaking Spanish, businesses have had to adapt to cater to the evolving trends in language. Bilingual employees have become more in demand than ever before in the following industries:
Bilingual employees open up an entirely new corner of the market for law firms. Rather than work solely with clients who speak English, attorneys with bilingual colleagues can take on clients of a wide variety of backgrounds. Considering the large demand for immigration lawyers, the ability to converse with current and future clients is of critical importance. The bilingual benefits don’t stop with clients, either. Those in the legal industry may find that networking and investigating claims involving non-English speakers is much easier with a bilingual employee by their side.
When you’re considering shelling out for a home renovation, chances are good that you’ll be giving a general contractor a call. If the contractor and their employees only speak English, they could be missing out on a whole demographic of folks in need of their expertise. Just like anyone else, Spanish speaking consumers need to be able to communicate with plumbers, electricians, roofers and HVAC experts. Without bilingual employees, winning their business will be next to impossible.
Children pick up languages far more quickly than adults, so when a first-generation American student brings their report card home to their parents, they may be doing their fair share of translating for mom and dad. Since the demographics of American schools are changing, this evolution needs to be reflected by staffing choices. Relying upon bilingual students to communicate with parents does a disservice to the student, so schools are hiring bilingual counselors, tutors and teachers to ease the communication divide. Of course, as children enter school for the first time, they may know little to no English whatsoever. Naturally, the demand for English as a second language teachers (ESL) is on the rise.
The United States is home to some of the best healthcare facilities in the world. To handle an influx of immigrant and transitory patients who travel to be treated in such facilities, hospitals have had to aggressively recruit bilingual employees. Whether in person, via phone or email, the work done by bilingual employees in the healthcare sector requires clear and sensitive communication with patients. When your health is on the line, you want someone who can understand your concerns completely. That’s why language barriers are often associated with unsatisfactory patient care.
Clear communication is also needed when meeting the needs of your customers. From online support agents to hotel front desk clerks, customer service employees must reflect the needs of their client base. Any company that prides itself on its customer service needs to have bilingual staff on hand. After all, there’s no quicker way to establish trust than speaking to someone in their native language. Hiring bilingual staff is a surefire way to make your guests feel as comfortable and cared for as possible. No matter their background, that’s something just about everyone wants.
There is perhaps no bilingual employee more valuable than one handling your incoming calls. Whether you need someone to book appointments, provide tech support or address problems with an order, having a bilingual agent on the phone can put your customers at ease. This can be especially useful when dealing with a frustrated or angry customer eager to have their problems solved.
Evolving Needs, Evolving Skills
Considering how increasingly global our society is becoming, the need for bilingual employees will only continue to rise. Beyond the obvious benefits of hiring bilingual workers, you may find that such employees are excellent multitaskers and are great at listening. Such traits are always valuable, regardless of industry. Bilingual people also tend to be open-minded about other cultures and can help bridge the gap between the evolving needs of your customers and the status quo.
If you’d like to hire bilingual workers to help with your company, consider working with a call center like MAP Communications. A leader in the industry, we offer bilingual answering services, call center services and virtual receptionist services for businesses of all backgrounds and sizes. Best of all, our employees are highly trained and multilingual.
Ready to explore everything MAP can offer your team? Fill out this form to begin your free, week-long trial of our bilingual answering service.