Employers: Why you should recruit Erasmus students and Global Graduates to boost your business!
This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 21st November 2013 and has been read 6566 times.
The old myth of English being the only language used in trade and business is no more. Banks, insurers, sales departments, marketing agencies and - yes, believe it or not - SMEs are all looking towards international students and graduates in order to boost their commerce.
Logic would dictate that businesses are more likely to profit from their consumers and clients if they have well-trained sales staff, who possess a European language, to facilitate trade and communications. If a business is looking to expand its appeal to new markets, mainly found abroad, it cannot go without investing in language skills. To put it bluntly as did Willy Brandt, the German Chancellor: "If I'm selling to you, I speak your language. If I'm buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen."
It is undeniable that you are more likely to sell your products and services if you relate to your customer’s needs. How would you go about doing this if you didn’t get the chance to speak to them in the flesh, in their own linguistic currency? Contracting agencies can be time-consuming and expensive, hence why so many savvy business owners are turning to employing students and graduates with language and intercultural skills.
Recruiting placement students for your team abroad
With the introduction of schemes such as the Erasmus+ Traineeship, and the constant striving of the European Commission to improve trade and investment within the EU, there is help at hand. Students undertaking an Erasmus Work Placement can add a different dimension to your trade, your strategy and your team. Generally speaking, they will be younger than most of your team members, meaning they will be probably have a firmer grasp on new forms of communication (social media, blogging, social advertising) and will be more open to offering their ideas, giving your brainstorming sessions new ideas and aspirations. New blood in the company breeds better results. Erasmus students are also offered a grant by the British Council (€350-€400 a month, depending on the country), giving you more flexibility when it comes to offering a wage if you are a smaller company with less financial means.
Erasmus students are a great investment if you are looking for some short term help, as placements can range from 3 to 24 months. However, if you are looking to really invest in the next generation, and the next generation of linguists, look at recruiting a Global Graduate. Armed with a degree, a thirst for work and a competitive edge (who couldn’t be, in this economic climate?), the graduates of today tend to be better equipped than their predecessors. Work experience, internships, courses, online workshops… These are all extras that are common place on a graduate CV these days. With the added bonus of languages, you are looking at tomorrow’s talent, today.
Knowing their language level
Europass is a common tool used by linguists, international recruiters and businesses to compare and contrast language skills, from understanding, to speaking and writing. Request your intern or placement students, as well as your graduates, to create a Europass Language Passport to give you a better idea of their language abilities, on top of their CV.
Skills way beyond languages
“Adaptability, flexibility and the ability to work in situations of ambiguity and risk is a definition of the linguist’s placement period and what defines a global graduate,” reports the research for the Association of Graduate Recruiters, conducted by the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CFE Research and Consulting, 2010). Students and graduates who have undertaken a year abroad, or even a semester, have had to cope with the unexpected, the risky, the difficulties, from finding a flat, to sorting out a phone contract, to getting a job. They are willing, they are resilient and they can find alternatives quickly - all of these attributes would serve any team, in any business, extremely well. How many of your current employees do you consider to be quick-thinkers? Have an alternative mindset? Are not afraid to face up to a problem and tackle it head on?
Recruiting Global Graduates
We are passionate about ensuring young people are equipped to be employable not just hyper-educated. Recruiters are frequently disappointed by the lack of maturity and variety in the applicants they see: Where is the common sense? Their sense of how the world actually works? Their drive to just get on with things? We believe that spending time working and studying abroad gives graduates these life skills, and so we really want employers to see value in our Members as a recruiting pool. Please check out our jobs and internships board for young people with global skills at GlobalGraduates.com!
The value of a language strategy
And no one can deny the fact that the numbers speak for themselves. Despite the decline in young people learning languages, a recent study carried out by the European Commission found that across 27 EU member countries, those with a consistent, thorough and professional language strategy increased their sales turnover by 10 to 25%. A staggering 69% of non-exporters said they considered a lack of language skills a barrier to trading internationally, the British Chambers of Commerce found, in their International Trade Business Survey of 2012.
Earning your stripes through an internship or placement is one thing, but to do it abroad, and gain a better understanding of working culture as well as the nuances of negotiating in a foreign language, is testament to strength of character, tenacity and compromise. Hiring these students and graduates can only mean a positive return on investment for your business, at home and abroad.