How to Test for Language Proficiency in Your Hiring Process



Language proficiency is crucial in many industries and businesses, particularly in today's global market. So, when it comes to hiring employees, language proficiency is often a key requirement.

As such, language proficiency tests have become an essential part of the hiring process.

Key Language Skills

The four fundamental components of language skills are listening, speaking, reading and writing. Some may be more important than others based on the function you're trying to fill.

  • Listening skills demonstrate a candidate's comprehension and ability to understand diverse accents depending on the desired degree of expertise.
  • Speaking skills necessitate clear, complete articulation, a firm command of grammar and a broad vocabulary. It's crucial for jobs where your hires will communicate in a foreign language with clients or business partners.
  • Reading skills prove a candidate's understanding of written content, such as emails, policies, contracts, manuals and articles. Reading well is a requirement for applicants applying for highly skilled positions.
  • Writing skills are essential for putting together written communication. It is vital if you require applicants who can respond to messages or emails or produce presentations, articles, guides, or other documents.

Testing for Language Proficiency

If you are looking to hire someone fluent in a specific language, follow these key steps to ensure you find the right candidate:

Determine Proficiency Level

Determine the language proficiency level you require for the position before searching for a candidate. Are you looking for a native speaker, or do you only need someone with a basic understanding of the language? This can help you determine the type of language proficiency test you should use.

Choose the Right Test

Several language proficiency tests are available, including the International English Language Testing System, the Test of English as a Foreign Language and the Berlitz Language Assessment Test. Each of these tests has its strengths and weaknesses, so choosing the one best suited to your needs is important. Berlitz Canada offers courses to prepare you for these and other internationally recognized language tests.

Use a Consistent Testing Method

Once you choose a language proficiency test, use it consistently for all candidates. This ensures that each candidate is evaluated on a level playing field. It also limits judgements influenced by unconscious biases or personal values.

Set Clear Expectations

Before administering a language proficiency test, make sure there are clear expectations for what the test will cover. This helps candidates prepare and give their best performance.

Evaluate Results Objectively

When evaluating the results of the language proficiency test, it is important to do so objectively. That means looking at the results in a neutral, non-judgmental way while taking into account any external elements that may have influenced the candidate's performance.

Consider Additional Factors

While language proficiency tests are essential to the hiring process, it is also vital to consider other factors, such as the candidate's work experience, education and interpersonal skills. These aspects all contribute to a candidate's ability to perform well in a language-related position.

Language Proficiency Tests in Vancouver

Whether you're looking to expand your business into new markets or simply want to ensure your employees can communicate effectively, knowing how to assess their language skills is crucial. Language proficiency tests improve communication and overall productivity.

Berlitz Canada is a worldwide leader in language assessment and instruction. We offer a comprehensive range of internationally recognized language proficiency tests to evaluate candidates in various languages. Our tests are also adaptable to specific industries.

Fill out our contact form or call us at 1-855-865-0548 to learn more.