The number of companies hiring multilingual professionals has increased in the UK, but it’s job seekers that are calling the shots. With fierce competition for the best candidates, employers are often finding it hard to secure those people with the right combination of experience and languages and need to become more flexible if they want the best talent. That is according to the latest ‘European Hiring Trends Report’ from specialist recruiter Euro London Appointments, which has offices across the UK, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
The report, which summarised findings from the recruiter’s UK offices in London, Windsor and Manchester, highlighted the continuing war for language talent across the UK, with linguists able to secure multiple interviews quickly. This is especially true outside of London and also when it comes to finding speakers of Dutch and Scandinavian languages for example, due to the small pool of both native speakers and British nationals with this skill.
“It also seems that the Euro/Sterling exchange rate is no longer attracting many foreign nationals to seek employment here in the UK” comments Steve Shacklock, Managing Director of Euro London. “Despite this, lengthy hiring processes remain common, and businesses spending too long making decisions often leads to the best people being snapped up by other companies. Although some SMEs are being flexible when it comes to increasing remuneration to secure the best talent, many organisations have not significantly increased their salaries or expectations since the recession. As the market becomes more candidate led, in 2010 we have seen more job offers declined than in the past four years.”
With regards to hiring activity, the report found a 100% upturn in banking and financial services vacancies requiring languages from 2009. There has been a strong demand in particular for equity sales, relationship management, compliance risk and regulatory reporting and M&A, with the main languages in demand being French and German but also Japanese, Russian, Dutch as well as Scandinavian languages, each required for different niche areas of banking. Social media was found to be driving an increase in roles within sales and marketing and as a result of increased business activity across a range of sectors, the number of office support vacancies has also risen. In the North-West, manufacturing and shared services are both boasting high levels of language recruitment.
Across Europe hiring levels have steadily increased, with financial services experiencing a strong recovery in Germany and a shortage of talent in Luxembourg. Recovery is slower in France although demand for linguists in iGaming is continuing to grow following recent relaxation of gambling laws there. Switzerland is seeing an increase in demand from the retail sector and for business development professionals. The trend for long hiring processes is evident across all the European markets.