Language expertise is very important as we reach out to our clients’ customers. We find being able to speak and write in local language is extremely helpful when discussing advocacy opportunities. Program activity is increasing in Asia and as a result we prioritized fluency in Asian languages for our most recent hire and are happy to say our newest hire is from China and also fluent in Korean. She recently finished her MBA in the US and joined the team last week. Her work experience in China and time living in Korea gives her a familiarity with both business vocabulary and etiquette, which is critical. As we hire for language expertise we have made it a priority to hire native speakers or individuals who have spent extensive time living, and working, locally. For western countries as well, sensitivity to local practices enables us to build trust, understanding and confidence with those we come into contact with and is helping us forge very successful and longstanding business partnerships and relationships.
More and more of our clients have expressed a need for assistance with their customers in China so we are adding Mandarin capability next week. Found someone with just the right background – past sales experience, in both China and the US, for high tech firms – a great match for what we need. With customer reference activities we do find local language capability makes a huge difference and native speakers bring not only language skills but they also know important cultural nuances which aren’t as easy to learn in school. It’s exciting that we’re growing again! We’re looking forward to a new team member starting next week!
We’re hiring again, looking for someone with foreign language skills and, of course, great English! The team is asking their friends, and friends of friends. So far that’s been our very best source of new employees. All the people we hired last year were from contacts our existing employees have and all are proficient in at least two languages. This time we need a ‘less common’ language so are doing a bit more to publicize the position. Today we posted the opening at two local colleges. Of course the systems they use are different, but both were fairly easy for registration and then job posting. We also contacted a local school which specializes just in foreign language instruction. They’ll be distributing the opening to students and staff.
Our team may still be the best source for another candidate but it will be interesting to see what comes of the other postings. We wouldn’t mind being flooded with resumes soon!
We’re about to say goodbye to our team member from London. Her visit went so fast! She’s headed to a conference next week and then back home. We love having her visit. We’ll miss having her here in person, but we’ll see her on Skype with our team meetings each week. While we are sad to say goodbye to Lynn, we are happy to say hello to Ankit. We just hired a new staff reference manager. He brings a great skill set and multiple languages – fluency in Punjabi and Hindi. He’s joining just as we kick off work with a new client; it will be nice for him to be involved from the beginning.
To wish Lynn a safe trip home and to celebrate Ankit joining us, we have a fun afternoon planned on Friday. Lunch and a bit of team building ahead. We are all looking forward to a fun afternoon. While we eat lunch as a group most days it will be nice to have some extended time together.
We’re revamping our website and when we do the big reveal one of the pages we’re adding is ‘fun facts’ about the team. Here’s a little preview. While data is still coming in, as a group we’ve visited over 60 countries, pretty impressive. Of course our neighbors Canada and Mexico are on the list, but so are countries not as well known for tourism such as Syria and Croatia. And beyond the team, our children are world travelers as well. One daughter just returned from business travel, teaching in Guam. Another’s daughter returned last night from a 3 week college service trip to India.
While the travel is fun, and educational, it serves a business purpose as well. As a team we speak a range of languages, allowing us to easily provide world wide support to our clients. Significant travel, combined with time living abroad, makes us culturally aware and attuned to the differences as we work with clients around the world, a valuable added benefit for our work and personal lives.
English, French, German, Spanish, and Japanese. We just finished program documentation for one of our clients in all of those languages. Language expertise has been a priority for our recent hires and they’re busy translating program documentation, speaking with our clients’ sales reps in local language, and working directly with their end customers. We prioritized languages after discussions with our clients and analysis of their customer base. Our hires are a mix of native speakers and folks who learned primarily in school, but who coupled that book learning with significant time abroad. We have found that even native speakers don’t necessarily know the complete suite of business terms we need but that’s been fairly easy to address. We have our next priority languages set and are actively recruiting now. Our languages list will be longer shortly!