When expanding your startup’s team and upscaling to small business size, it’s tempting to focus your recruitment drive on experienced hires. However, graduates fresh out of university can bring new ideas and modern skills to give your company the innovative edge that is so vital for growth. Language graduates, in particular, can enhance reputation and can even increase your customer base internationally.

As business translation experts London Translations explain, being able to work effortlessly with people from around the world is of paramount importance for all businesses, no matter what size. For example, translators are fundamental in the financial industry as they can quickly and accurately interpret changes to stocks and shares, an invaluable skill in the deadline-driven financial realm.

Many big businesses and financial companies worldwide have already harnessed the skills of bilingual employees. The number of online job adverts targeting bilingual workers more than doubled in the US between 2010 and 2015, while more than a third of companies in the UK (36%) have recruited employees specifically for their language skills. But what exactly can language graduates can bring to the table?

Language graduates can help your business to expand overseas

More businesses than ever before are trading internationally, and it’s not just the conglomerate heavyweights—58% of small businesses now have international clients. In terms of growth, your business will have more potentially lucrative avenues to explore if you can expand overseas. But to do that you need staff that speak different languages, and fluently.

While you could use a translation service when dealing with a foreign client, interacting with them in their native language could help to build a stronger relationship, ensuring a personal touch and creating a more authentic approach to doing business.

This connection is especially important when you consider that different cultures have different business meeting etiquette. For example, in countries like Spain and Brazil they don’t consider interrupting in meetings to be rude, while the Japanese bow to greet each other instead of shaking hands. Respecting and even adopting these cultural differences can be pivotal in forming positive business relationships.

Language graduates are likely to have spent time studying abroad, allowing them to immerse themselves in the culture of a given country. This means they will have more awareness of cultural norms and may have a greater understanding of a particular foreign market, a huge asset in securing foreign clients.

Language graduates have more efficient brains

Aside from their linguistic ability, language graduates bring plenty of other skills to the table. Numerous studies have found that those that are bilingual may have more efficient brains than those that are not. For example, a 2014 study by Northwestern University found that bilinguals process information more efficiently than those who only speak one language. This has been attributed to the high levels of intellectual acuity needed to constantly balance two different vocabularies. This also allows bilinguals to effectively block out unnecessary distractions.

Other research has found that bilinguals can have other intellectual advantages over monolinguals, such as a greater ability to sustain attention, better general memory and enhanced mental retrieval. The study’s authors described this as “mental flexibility”, which refers to the ability to adapt to ongoing changes and process information efficiently and adaptively.

Language graduates know the importance of international communication

Significantly, language graduates will appreciate the importance of languages in the business world. Making the choice to study languages shows that they will have their finger on the pulse on what is needed to be successful in a globalised business culture.

Not only this, but language graduates will be fresh out of university and raring to go. They will be keen to progress as they start their career, meaning you can mould them into the type of employee you want them to be. This could make them a great long term investment for your firm, as they can be developed into someone who could fill a more senior position further down the line. They will be eager to impress in their first ‘proper’ role, meaning you are likely to be employing someone who will be hardworking and diligent.