Bosses hunt for Brits who can speak different languages in hiring sprees

EMPLOYERS have revealed the top skills they’re looking for in job applicants – with the ability to speak foreign languages high on the list.

A study of 200 employers and those involved in the hiring of staff claimed it’s “never been harder” to find candidates with the desired skill set.

Companies have revealed the skills they want most in future employees


Companies have revealed the skills they want most in future employeesCredit: Getty

Other sought-after abilities include leadership, emotional intelligence, and social media savviness.

Employers said they spend an average of nearly £54,000 a year searching for the right people to fill roles through recruitment companies.

While finding staff with the right skill set is one of the biggest challenges for businesses, according to 78% of those polled.

The research, commissioned by free language learning company Drops, also found 57% of companies look for people who can speak a different language.

Daniel Farkas, Drops Co-founder and CEO, said: “The research has shown that employers are struggling to match candidates to job roles effectively as many people are applying for roles that they don’t quite tick all the boxes for.

“In an increasingly multicultural world, the professional skills needed are evolving, with foreign languages putting candidates ahead of their rivals when out to market.”

The average business currently has four vacancies to fill – and five hours a week will be spent looking at 15 applications per job.

Four in 10 bosses said the main reason they struggled to fill vacancies was due a lack of candidates with the relevant skills, as well as a lack of applicants generally and too many time wasters.

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The hardest skills to find are leadership, attention to detail and adaptability, while 13% found foreign language skills tricky to get.

Decision making, problem-solving and verbal communication were other skills most difficult to find – with only 44% of applicants said to match up to the requirements.

A third have a perfect record when it comes to hiring as they claim to have never hired someone who turned out to be a bad fit after a lengthy recruitment process.

Nearly half have also tried to ‘poach’ an employee from a rival company – because they had the key skills required for the job.

James Barrett, from recruitment firm Michael Page said: “September is the busiest month in the job market, with an average of 23% more job applications than other months.

“We anticipate the coming month to also be busy and when combined with a trend for employers looking further afield for talent, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd, but clearly highlighting skills is one of the best ways for candidates to do this.”

Young workers are driving the jobs bounceback by moving off furlough quicker than any other age group.

Thousands of criminals are to have their records wiped clean to try to help them get jobs.

While the number of UK workers on payrolls has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels.

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