English is the global language for international business, making English testing for companies vital to assess the language skills of your employees. In most countries, English is often the default form of communication. No matter where an organization is located, an English proficiency test is a powerful tool that can help improve decision making, streamline communications, and provide data to justify hiring practices.
Every company needs to hire qualified workers, but it can be hard to accurately judge the English language proficiency of a potential employee during the interview process. English testing can be used to help differentiate between employees with the similar resumes and is an effective tool to screen candidates before the hiring process begins. But what type of testing works best?
iTEP helps determine the ideal test for your industry and need. Hotels, restaurants, cruise ships, and companies in the tourism industry that need a quick turnaround can use iTEP Hospitality, designed for fast-paced environments that tests listening and speaking and is graded in 24 hours.
Say, for instance, you need to hire 1,000 people very quickly and don’t have the time to conduct individual interviews with every candidate. An English language test can be used to set a baseline level of competency needed for the job. Testing can be administered on any modern computer, so companies can test applicants either on-site or with a remote test—a key accessibility feature that could help increase the diversity of your candidates. Results are provided fast in a simple format anyone can understand.
Even if you’re not doing a massive round of hiring, English language tests can help companies promote from within. Hiring is often a subjective exercise, but when deciding to promote an employee to a new position, it helps to have a quantifiable reason to make a decision. Administering an English language test will provide a score and benchmark executives can use to promote someone who has particularly strong English language skills, especially in non-English speaking companies.
Testing the specific language skills used on the job
It’s true that English testing for companies can help build a more skilled workforce. Yet not every industry needs its employees to converse in fluent English about complicated academic topics. A catering company needs to hire people who are knowledgeable about food and can make pleasant conversation, but doesn’t need someone to ace the writing section of an English test. iTEP has created English assessment tools for specific settings, such as au pairs and interns. At just 30 minutes, iTEP Conversation is a test that doesn’t feel like a test, and is perfect for companies that just need to evaluate the speaking and listening skills of their workforce. The convenience doesn’t end there—iTEP works with individual clients to design specific, branded English tests for any industry, such as an exam created specifically to evaluate English skills needed to work in the Japanese real estate market.
Using English skills of staff as a selling point
A recent LinkedIn survey revealed that 90% of HR Directors, CEOs and CMOs say that having English-speaking employees is beneficial to their businesses. Having qualified English speakers on staff is attractive to new clients, business partners, and potential employees. If your entire staff is fluent in English, you can point this out to customers as a way to distinguish your brand from competitors.
Evaluating ROI in English training
Companies that hire a large number of English as a Second Language (ESL) speakers, often choose to provide English language instruction to their employees. To see if the provided courses are effective, a company can administer an English language test before new employees start and after their instruction is complete. These results can help an employee understand their strengths and weaknesses, and also help an organization measure the ROI of its English instruction.
Shaping English training curriculum
English testing for companies can help modify the curriculum to best fit the needs of the organization. A good English language program should have clear goals, measurable outcomes, and metrics for success that the HR manager can easily track against. If test takers are scoring high on grammar but lower on other areas, these results can be used to shape how English is transmitted in your organization. iTEP is calibrated to show details that other tests might miss.
Administrators can also use the results to help improve the quality of its instructors. Spotting patterns among test takers and making teachers aware of the outcomes of their courses can help them change the class to focus on improving the students’ weaknesses.