10 considerations for your contact center recruitment and multilingual talent training strategies

Great employees are key to success when it comes to providing customer support in multiple languages. Where do you start when hiring and training to ensure you’re building strong teams in the contact center?

A Foundever multilingual associate smiles for a photo; considerations for your contact center recruitment and multilingual talent training strategies

Published ·June 24, 2024

Reading time·4 min

There’s no question about it — to ensure the success of multilingual contact centers, it’s essential to hire and train great talent. But just because it’s necessary, doesn’t mean it comes easy. In fact, according to CCMA research that includes interviews from CX leaders, many noted that contact center recruitment for multilingual support can be a challenge. This is because they need to be native speakers as well as have a required level of writing ability and cultural knowledge.

In this blog, we’ll explore 10 effective strategies for recruiting and training multilingual professionals who can excel in contact center roles.

1. Define the job requirements

Before embarking on the hiring process, make sure you clearly define the job requirements for multilingual contact center agents. Determine the languages needed, proficiency levels required and any specific industry knowledge that may be relevant. This will help attract candidates who possess the necessary language skills and cultural understanding.

2. Develop a comprehensive hiring plan

To attract top talent, there’s no doubt you need a thorough recruitment plan. Use various channels such as job boards, social media and professional networks to reach a wide pool of potential candidates. Additionally, consider partnering with language schools, universities or cultural organizations to tap into their networks.

For example, Foundever™ has a recruitment Center of Excellence, which attracts native and highly fluent (C2) talent to support brands and combines both in-country and local hiring to ensure that every conversation creates a quality connection and builds loyalty and value with your customers. Check out our checklist for recruitment best practices:

  • Engaging, digital hiring experience
  • AI-enabled role-matching aligned to brand needs
  • Above-average employee retention
  • Industry-leading onboarding and coaching to reduce speed to proficiency

3. Conduct language proficiency assessments

Language proficiency is one of the most critical skills for multilingual contact center agents. To ensure candidates possess the required language skills, conduct thorough language proficiency assessments during the recruitment process. These assessments can include written tests, speaking exercises and comprehension exercises. By evaluating candidates’ language abilities, you can make sure they meet the necessary standards.

4. Focus on cultural knowledge

In addition to language proficiency, cultural competence is vital in a multilingual contact center environment. Assess candidates’ cultural understanding and sensitivity during the interview process. Ask questions that gauge their ability to adapt to different cultural norms and effectively communicate across diverse backgrounds.

5. Set up your teams for success

Once you have hired talented multilingual professionals, it’s essential to provide them with comprehensive contact center training programs. These programs should focus on language refinement, customer service skills and product knowledge. Consider partnering with language training providers or developing in-house training modules to enhance agents’ language proficiency and customer service abilities. Other tips to prepare your employees for success:

  • Help agents help the customer through omnichannel platforms and experience orchestration.
  • Help customers help themselves through self-service (conversational AI, knowledge management and self-service content), social media CX and metaverse as a CX channel.
  • Help your business drive better outcomes through interaction and advanced analytics.

6. Role-play and simulation exercises

To further enhance agents’ skills, incorporate role-play and simulation exercises into the contact center training curriculum. These exercises allow agents to practice real-life scenarios they may encounter in their contact center roles. Provide feedback and guidance to help agents improve their communication skills, problem-solving abilities and conflict resolution techniques.

7. Continuous learning and development opportunities

To ensure ongoing success, offer continuous learning and development opportunities for multilingual contact center agents. Encourage them to attend language classes or cultural workshops to refine their language skills and deepen their cultural understanding. Additionally, provide opportunities for cross-training in different languages or departments, allowing agents to expand their skill set and grow within the organization.

8. Create a positive work environment

At Foundever, our motto is: the employee experience is the customer experience. Creating a positive work environment is essential for retaining great talent in multilingual contact centers. Establish a supportive culture that values diversity and promotes open communication. Recognize and reward agents who consistently deliver exceptional customer service. How can you empower teams on a day-to-day basis? Encourage teamwork and collaboration among agents from different language backgrounds to promote a sense of inclusivity and unity.

9. Monitor performance and provide feedback

Regularly monitor agents’ performance and provide constructive feedback to help them improve. Implement quality assurance measures to assess customer interactions and identify areas for improvement. Conduct regular performance evaluations and provide agents with specific feedback on their language proficiency, customer service skills, and adherence to company policies and procedures.

10. Encourage career growth opportunities

To retain talented multilingual professionals, offer clear career growth opportunities within the organization. Create a career progression path that allows agents to advance to supervisory or managerial roles. Provide training and mentorship programs to support their professional development. By investing in their growth, you demonstrate your commitment to their success and encourage long-term loyalty. Mastering multilingual support is essential for brands aiming to provide exceptional customer experiences and expand their business in a global marketplace, and hiring and training great talent is a key part in that.

To learn more about how to expand and scale your brand and provide seamless multilingual support, check out the Foundever whitepaper “Mastering multilingual: A guide to consolidation, consistency, cost efficiency and scalability.”