It is currently estimated that 11.5% of the United States population speaks Spanish at home, and the number of Spanish speakers will be expected to increase to about 530 million by 2050. Interestingly, in the United States alone, the Spanish speaking population seems to be increasing at more than 1 million per year.
As a result of this rising Hispanic population, would it not be strategically beneficial for businesses to start fully recognizing the importance of hiring Spanish speaking employees? The truth is that regardless of the size of your company, there is an increase in the need for Spanish speaking employees in the private and public sectors. The Hispanic community is not and will never abandon their beloved Spanish language, so avoiding this expansion could be futile if you want to remain a successful team player in your industry. Therefore, it is wise to promote diversity and cross-cultural awareness in your organization.
With respect to jobs in the public sector such as education and government, Spanish speaking employees are particularly valued. Think about it. If you hire Spanish speaking employees who efficiently handle customer service matters, your large Hispanic clientele will not only be impressed, but they may be more inclined to bring their business to your organization instead. Additionally, regarding jobs in the private sector, a competitive advantage would be to hire Spanish speakers because diversity is not only here to stay, but it is a global reality and inevitable. If you do not have Spanish speakers working for you, you should either allocate room for a few now or have some current employees learn Spanish. That said, the following is a list of a few benefits you would gain if you take the bilingual route:
•The Spanish community will not hesitate to do business with your company if you already have Spanish employees.
•Hiring bilingual employees represents to the Spanish community that your business is able to service their needs without making them feel ignored.
•Having bilingual employees adds value and a competitive advantage by making the customers feel appreciated and understood.
Whatever path you choose, know that there are more benefits than not to going bilingual. Hiring Spanish speaking employees in your business is an advantage. Diversity is the way to go in 2011.