Print Posted by Idiomas Mundiales on 02/25/2016

Three Mistakes Employers Make When Testing Language Skills

Three Mistakes Employers Make When Testing Language Skills

If you’ve ever hired overseas, you’ll know one of the biggest challenges is finding employees that process the English skills required to service your clients well. There are common mistakes interviewers make that can be avoided and significantly reduce the number of erroneous errors. 

An Interview is Not A Language Exam

Too often we meet with HR departments that use the interview itself as the primary language assessment as well. This puts enormous pressure on the HR staff to get it right.

The interview Q&A should focus on whether or not the candidate has the necessary work skills and is a culture fit, not whether they speak at a certain level.

Common Errors Are To Be Expected

Most corporate call center positions require a B2 level to service their customer base. The problem is, very few HR staffers could define what that level is, or how to identify individuals that have acquired this level.

The most common mistake made by unqualified language assessment staff is deducting points for common errors. It is important to identify errors that are common in the country where hiring. You can have a strong B2 that makes what the untrained ear would think is a basic mistake.

For example, in Costa Rica, it is common to hear “I’m not agree” from even the highest levels. The problem is, they’ve heard this mistake their entire lives, and even though they have a high level of English, the common mistake will take serious time and effort to correct.

Assessments Are Not Segmented

It is very difficult to assign an overall score. A proper language assessment requires hours to complete. We recommend to our clients to segment their evaluations into specific skills. This helps the HR staff focus on a specific skill and provide a score based on six possible levels.

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