Blog

Growing Need for Bilingual Agents

August 27, 2012 Veronica Chimney

As some say, Spanish has become the country’s unofficial second language, and corporate America has responded with diversity initiatives seeking to recruit, understand, and attract a Hispanic/Latino workforce.

Last December Matt mentioned NBC News launching NBCLatino.com and Fox Networks launching Fox Hispanic Media. With more than 50 million Hispanics in the US today, the Hispanic population accounts for more than half of the total U.S. population. America is finally getting to grips on these facts and this trend is creating a tremendous demand for bilingual job seekers fluent in Spanish and English.

To sell to this multicultural market, companies must hire people who understand the language and culture of their clients and their partners. Being fluent in Spanish is huge in the contact center industry. Many of Etech’s clients market to the Hispanic community and we need to be able to communicate with them.  Finding candidates who are fluent in Spanish and have a strong sales ability are two key criteria when we review resumes and decide who to interview, especially right now as we are currently looking and needing to add agents with bilingual capabilities.

Knowing this, if you are bilingual, be sure to tell employers up-front. Even if there is not an immediate need for such capabilities, employers are likely to see this as an added benefit. Also, don’t forget to include this information in your cover letter and resume. Refer to your skills as "bilingual" and list each language, including English. But be honest. If you only had a couple of semesters of a foreign language in high school or college, use the phrase "knowledge of…" – never overstate your expertise.

Veronica Chimney

Veronica Chimney is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources and a 20 year veteran of the contact center/BPO industry. Veronica leads the global HR team at Etech to reinforce a strong company culture. She is responsible for global labor relations, employee engagement, leadership development programs, benefits, diversity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility, and human resource strategies that support the achievement of Etech’s business goals and objectives. Veronica is an active member of the national and local chapters of the Society of Human Resource Management.