Should we hire English speakers?
Why employers need to overcome their fear
”It’s a known challenge that there will be a major shortage of qualified workers in the Swedish job market, and the best way to reduce this gap is to think afresh and break the language barriers.”
Suman Thakur, Talent Agent at Ada Digital, writes about her personal experiences of coming to Sweden and looking for a job. And why she thinks it’s time for Swedish employers to overcome their fear of hiring English speakers.
I’ve been a recruiter for approximately 8 years. And to me, the recruitment profession is a win-win- for all parties involved. Clients are happy that I’ve delivered great talent. Candidates are happy with their new position and employer and their career growth. And I’m happy that I’ve forged and strengthened relationships. Finding true talent and matching them with great places to work is my job – and I absolutely love it!
I am from India and when I got the opportunity to move to Stockholm I immediately agreed. My parents were worried about me, but I put up a strong face for them. And at the same time, I had my own doubts which I never showed to them: the doubt of surviving in the Swedish job market.
Talent priority over language barriers
I relocated to Stockholm with a naive assumption that I would get a job without speaking a single sentence of Swedish. And so I started my job search. And trust me, it wasn’t easy!
Then I got the wonderful opportunity to have an interview at Ada Digital – a company where talent takes the highest priority over language barriers and cultural prejudices, something that is deeply embedded in Ada Digital’s DNA. Throughout the interview process, they looked for one single thing: potential. And nothing else.
I was hired only based on my skill and competence, ignoring one of the biggest things a conservative company would look for – the ability to speak Swedish.
This is what Ada Digital is all about. We’re a courageous bunch of people, willing to experiment and learn new things every day. Fail and fail fast, take those learnings and move on. We believe in potential and hiring without any sort of bias. And I strongly believe that all the Swedish organizations should pick up this trend of hiring English speakers!
Time to unfurl our borders
Today, there is a constant ongoing and ever-evolving discussion about hiring English speakers. And I think it’s a great idea to do so because capability does not have a language. After all, English is the universal language of IT and the overwhelming majority of Swedes speak fluent English. It’s time to unfurl our borders, given that Sweden has less than 10 million people and the IT opportunities are growing at a rapid pace.
Therefore, it makes a lot of sense for us to look for people from the Anglophone world. Speaking statistically, there are an estimated 1.5 billion English speakers in the world. 67 out of 195 countries have English as the primary language, 27 countries have English as a secondary ’official’ language. Imagine the availability of the relevant talent pool. It’s a gold mine out there!
For us at Ada Digital, language is never a problem. And we see English-skills as a great resource. Do you want to know more about how we can help you find new talent in the digital field? Get in touch today!