How do I recruit someone who doesn’t speak English?
Take steps to ensure language is not a barrier

How do I recruit someone who doesn’t speak English?

Helping non-English speaking job seekers land great jobs

It’s not uncommon, particularly in the logistics sector, to find that otherwise suitable and available workers present a potential issue in that they have a limited understanding of English, or perhaps no English at all.

But, with an increasingly diverse workforce, combined with a jobs market in which finding and retaining employees, either permanently or as regular temporary workers, is increasingly difficult, employers can take steps to ensure they don’t see the language barrier as a barrier to a successful application or onboarding.

And, with the help of ACS Staffing Solutions, which has put measures in place to take the stress away from both employer and employee, there are ways to bring about a successful outcome on both sides.

Finding a job

There are, of course, roles where good English is an essential part of the role. Someone working in an administration role, or who has to message or speak to clients regularly, will need an appropriate level of English, both written and spoken.

In other roles, however, the language barrier isn’t so prohibitive, and it makes sense for employers to keep their options open about applicants, ensuring they don’t miss out on valuable workers simply because the route to securing a job is that bit more difficult.

ACS Recruitment appreciates the difficulties candidates without English, or with limited English, face and so offers clients the option of including translations of job descriptions online and on social media. Videos can also be produced with voiceovers in a range of different languages to suit the client’s needs.

Application stage

ACS Recruitment offers all candidates assistance with job applications and CV writing. Trained recruitment consultants offer one-to-one guidance for those wishing to apply for a job but who are finding the process difficult. The employer will be made aware from the outset that there is some language barrier with the candidate, but will also be reassured by ACS Recruitment’s proactive approach, understanding that the candidate will get the support they need during the interview process.


Once a new recruit is on board and part of the team, they will begin to pick up some English terms and phrases – there are plenty of language apps that can be employed to help improve communication between the new employee and their managers and colleagues. 

It’s helpful at this stage for the employer to encourage the team to help their colleague settle in and feel welcome, try to help them learn, and always try to include them in conversations as far as is possible as their English improves. 

It could be that there’s already an employee within the company who speaks the same language as the newcomer and who could act as a translator in the first few weeks to explain procedures and answer any questions.

For a permanent, or long-term position, the employer may be able to offer language classes to help their employee improve their English. There are no clear-cut answers to whether or not an employee who doesn’t speak English is right for your business, but with the backing of good advice and practical help, ACS Staffing Solutions can help ensure clients fill their vacancies with suitable candidates, whatever the situation.

If you need help finding the best talent, we are here to help you recruit the right people for your team. If you would like to know how we can help your business, contact us online or give us a call on 01604 704058.

Chris Wright
February 27, 2023
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