4. Assessing and Selecting Internationally Trained Workers
4.4 Language standards
Assessing and Selecting Internationally Trained Workers
Make your hiring more effective: identify the language skills you need, and ones you can foster.
The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks has developed national standards for measuring the English or French language proficiency of adult immigrants and prospective immigrants. You can use these standards to help define language requirements for job descriptions.
Several sector councils, national associations and regulatory bodies have also developed sectoral or occupation-specific language testing and training materials. You can find links to individual sector councils at the Alliance of Sector Councils.
- Determine the language skills needed for the job. Some jobs may require a high level of language skills, while others may not. Consider selecting workers who do not speak fluent English or French for positions where basic language skills are sufficient.
- Try to overcome language barriers when recruiting. Use plain language, free of jargon and slang, in your job postings and ads. Consider “casting a wider net” by advertising in languages other than English or French, especially for jobs that do not require a high level of language skills.
- Give candidates time to prepare for interviews. Keep in mind that a candidate may be nervous during a job interview and his or her language skills may appear worse than they are. Make allowances and give candidates advance notice of interviews so that they can properly prepare.
- Concentrate on what the applicant is saying. Candidates may be proficient in English or French but speak with an accent or express themselves differently. Make allowances and try to focus on the content. Keep in mind that a good candidate’s language skills can be improved through training or on-the-job experience.