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Language Skills Trump Experience

Posted by: Robert Stokes

2017 has seen an explosion in the number of tech sales vacancies which require candidates with a 2nd language to sell into international territories.

More and more of our client's UK headcount growth plans are based on growing their European and global sales teams based here in the UK.

Whilst the UK (and London in particular) is regarded globally as a highly multicultural and international society, the reality is there is a massive shortage of candidates with a second European language. The most regularly requested languages in order of need are 1. German, 2. French and 3. Nordics (Swedish, Finnish and Danish).

The most common vacancies requiring languages are internal sales and account management positions ranging in salary from £25,000 through to £40,000 base salaries, plus OTE and benefits.

The shortage of good candidates with language skills is leading to a reduction in the required levels of sales experience within these roles. Where an English speaking role may require candidates with 2-3 years sales experience, the same position with language skills may only require 12 -18 months experience. Equally, those candidates with a second language are achieving starting salaries of 10-15% higher than their solely English speaking colleagues.

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