There are other customer-facing occupations that require excellent language abilities, including contact center positions in customer service, tech support, and sales.

Assume this is something you need for your recruits. In such a situation, you may be wondering: How can I ensure that my shortlist of applicants has the appropriate language proficiency?

The solution: Include a language evaluation in your recruitment process.

So, in this essay, we’ll go over all you need to know about language evaluations in recruitment. What they are, how language is evaluated, the advantages of administering this type of test, and, of course, some best practices.

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started!

What is language assessment in recruitment?

The goal of a language assessment in recruitment is to examine a candidate’s capacity to speak in the language they will commonly use to converse with colleagues and, more crucially, customers, in a standardized manner. Language evaluations are frequently utilized in the pre-selection process to fill various customer service and inbound sales positions. In fact, language tests are useful when hiring for any position that requires clear and effective communication, whether spoken or written.

These assessments are typically completed online using an internally produced or externally offered test. Even though interviews are still a popular method of evaluating language proficiency, they may not be as accurate as standardized tests.

It’s no secret that the labor market is becoming more globalized. As a result, many organizations increasingly hire employees from nations with diverse language backgrounds. This is useful in some areas, particularly if you’re seeking for people that can speak more than one language or if you’re outsourcing some of your operations.

However, if language proficiency is not assessed throughout the recruitment process, you are setting yourself up for problems down the road. But don’t simply take our word for it. Language limitations cause confusion and a lack of team collaboration in customer support, according to up to 37% of organizations 

When language proficiency is lacking, customer service quickly becomes a frustrating experience:

  • Customer care representatives are misreading the callers’ questions.
  • Customers are regularly asked to repeat themselves.
  • Consumers are straining to understand the customer service person.
  • Agents fail to appreciate the nuance of a problem.
  • The customer service representative provides answers that do not address the issue at hand.

Language assessments are quite valuable in this context. When done correctly, you will avoid the dangers described above and ensure that you have the ingredients to give first-rate customer service.

Of course, depending on the role’s scope, you may want to assess your applicants’ proficiency in a second language. Needless to say, you decide how many languages to test for.

There are several different types of communication skills test, each with its own role and goal. For example:

  • Diagnostic examinations assess the candidate’s current language ability, areas for improvement, and strengths.
  • Aptitude tests measure an individual’s capacity to acquire a new language. So, this type of test is useful if candidates are expected to learn a language on the job or improve their language skills.
  • Proficiency examinations determine how well a candidate uses language in a practical environment.

As you’ve undoubtedly guessed, proficiency exams are best suited for determining whether candidates are competent enough to flourish in the workplace and are frequently used for recruitment.

Benefits of Assessing Language in the Recruitment Process

We’ve already discussed some of the benefits of employing language evaluation in recruitment, but there are more.


One of the most useful aspects of language tests is the ability to filter candidates right away. It is much easier to identify high-quality talent early on, eliminating the need to invest additional resources and time on applicants who lack appropriate language skills.


The unfortunate truth is that with the correct preparation and study, anyone can snag an interview. Setting an objective test, such as a language assessment, allows you to accurately establish a candidate’s proficiency.


If you want to standardize your interview process, adopting a language exam is a great option.

Specifically, because you may establish a baseline figure and then readily compare the outcomes of your candidates. With a quick glance, you can discover which applications stand out in terms of language skills.

Furthermore, standardized recruitment processes are the most equitable way to acquire new employees and justify hiring judgments. You eliminate subjectivity from the evaluation process by comparing all candidates to the same criteria and assigning them an objective grade.

Improve the interviewing process.

Once you’ve tested for language competency, the interview process will go much more smoothly. For starters, you don’t have to focus on evaluating the candidates’ language skills, which gives you more time to discuss and analyze their other talents, competencies, and experiences.

Ensure job success.

Choosing language-proficient candidates for roles where this is a need is beneficial to their success. You will avoid placing candidates in difficult or uncomfortable circumstances.

Language Assessment Methods for Recruitment

There are numerous facets to language competence, therefore it’s best to employ a number of language proficiency tests to obtain a better sense of whether candidates have the ability to accomplish the job well.

Reading, grammar, and vocabulary skills

A recognized language test demonstrates the candidate’s grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension abilities. This assessment frequently involves multiple-choice questions. Here, candidates must select the correct grammatical structure, spelling, and/or definition of a word.

Written tests

According to a recent study of 100 agents from India, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines, just 40% were strong bilingual speakers and writers. That suggests that more than half of customer service representatives struggled to write in high-quality English.

This is why implementing writing tests is a surefire method. You can examine your applicants’ writing abilities by asking them to react to a prompt in writing. You can then evaluate their response for grammatical accuracy, vocabulary, and structure.

Written tests are especially necessary if the prospective employment entails responding to clients in writing. For example, if you’re hiring live chat representatives or rely heavily on email communication.

Assessment of speaking and listening skills.

Evaluating candidates’ speaking and listening abilities is also critical. As you might expect, this type of evaluation assesses a candidate’s ability to speak orally, listen with comprehension, and follow instructions in the language under consideration. 

The simplest approach to accomplish this is to present the applicant with a scenario similar to what they will encounter while working.

We hope that after reading this blog article, you can understand that language evaluation in recruiting does not have to be difficult and complicated. With the correct tools in place, you may more efficiently and affordably shortlist candidates with the appropriate level of language skill.

Having personnel who speak your clients’ language will help take your customer experience to the next level. The Mercer | Mettl language assessment tool may give HR professionals and recruiters with critical information, allowing them to make sound decisions at the correct moment. Check out the website now!

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