Why go Bilingual?

When talking to clients about roles they are currently recruiting for the response we often get is that some clients do not really have a requirement for multilingual candidates; whilst in an international business with offices and clients worldwide the advantages of having bilingual employees are obvious, the use they have in other commercial environments is often more difficult to understand.

However, a new study by Northwestern University in Illinois shows there may be more benefits to employing multilingual staff than you might have first thought.

Research carried out by the university demonstrates very clearly that bilingualism radically alters the brain physically, particularly the area known as the brainstem. When compared to non-bilingual individuals in a range of cognitive tests, bilingual candidates showed a heightened ability to extract complex auditory information and displayed increased activity in the brainstem

It would appear that bilingualism automatically has the same effect upon those that use their languages as several hours of logic training exercise, thus making multilingual individuals not only superior to their single-language colleagues in terms of their ability to communicate cross-culturally, but also in terms of a wide range of other high level brain functions.

So the question is, if you do not tend to seek bilingual candidates, then why not? Even within a small business, operating in a solely domestic market, bilingual individuals have a lot to offer you. And of course it is always a fantastic opportunity for you to gain an insight into another culture and to engage in a little self improvement. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up learning a bit of the lingo too?

For more details on the research carried out by Northwestern University please visit http://www.pnas.org/