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Language skills give jobseekers an edge

Speaking another language is a hugely important business skill, and it will only become more so according to recruiting experts Hays in Malaysia.


“While the ability to speak English has been the deciding factor in the success of numerous businesses around the world, it is increasingly true that its role as the language of international business is under threat,” says Chris Mead, Regional Director of Hays in Malaysia & Singapore.


“Brazil has overtaken the UK to become the world’s sixth largest economy, meaning fluency in Portuguese will become increasingly useful. And the ability to communicate with clients and colleagues in the rapidly growing Russian market will be advantageous.


 “We’re seeing more businesspeople who have learnt new languages and when speaking to these candidates many talk of the value these skills have brought to their career.”


The issue is explored in the latest Hays Journal, the recruiter’s bi-annual magazine on the world of HR and recruitment.


Improving your language skills benefits both your personal development and the organisation’s capability in an increasingly global business environment,” says Chris.


“For those looking to move up, these skills and the cultural intelligence they often come with are equally indispensable for today’s global executives and the organisations they lead.”


According to Hays, while businesses throughout Asia are typically bilingual, increasingly we have to have the insight to understand people on their own terms and in their own language. As a result more trilingual candidates are starting to emerge.


“Although English remains the global business language, organisations will benefit from hiring candidates who are fluent in other languages. Including language skills in graduate training is also a sensible move. Job seekers meanwhile should look at what languages can give them a vital edge and what will be useful in the future.”


To access the Hays Journal please visit:


Hays is located in Kuala Lumpur at Suite 4 & 5, Level 23, Menara 3, Petronas, Kuala Lumpur City Centre.  Phone +60 3 2786 8600 or email


Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.



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