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The Great Resignation: Language Diversity

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

My LinkedIn timeline is full of job postings because of the “great resignation.” Most of the postings have one thing in common: they’re looking for bilingual individuals. In specific, “Spanish speaking required” shows up often. The great resignation has done some marvelous things for our community. It’s proven we need language diversity in business.

The need for bilingual candidates also increases a company’s responsibility to their clients because folks need to be equipped to successfully do their jobs. Bilingual individuals aren’t always bicultural, which is a key aspect to ensuring that clients/customers are heard for the first time. And that they feel like they’re welcomed in your establishment. Also, not everyone who is bilingual can speak another language fluently.

We’ve harped on this one for many years, but assessing a person’s ability to speak a distinct language is of the essence when hiring. Especially when the candidate will be a company’s primary point of contact for a historically marginalized community.

On at least one occasion, I worked with folks who spoke “Span-glish” (a mixture of English and Spanish) with clients. Leaving them confused, unclear and with more questions than answers. A potential employer has only evaluated my Spanish twice, which is surprising because the evaluation process can be simple. As simple as:

  • Asking a Spanish-speaking employee to join the interview process and pose questions in Spanish.

  • Setting aside some time for folks to meet and have a conversation that is a lot less formal than an interview.

  • Engaging an interpretation/translation firm to do a formal evaluation of someone’s fluency.

We at Be Moore Interpreting can help you find the right candidate by helping you assess their language abilities. And once hired, we can provide the training needed to ensure they’re empowered to support your clients and customers in the most culturally responsive manner possible.

Written by:

Shirley X. Moore, MS


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