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How Important Is LinkedIn in Employee Recruitment? How Much Value Would Employers Place On Multilingual Employees?

Joe Light reported two employee recruitment trends in The Wall Street Journal. First, companies rely less on online job boards because job boards also attract unqualified candidates. Instead, they would rather “hunt for candidates” in professional social networking sites such as LinkedIn. I agree that LinkedIn could be very effective. For example, I shared a job opening that was posted by one of my LinkedIn connections (a hospitality recruiter) in a LinkedIn Group, on my Facebook page and Tweeter. Within minutes, a 2008 Texas Tech graduate in Hospitality Management thanked me for the information and told me she would apply for the job. A hospitality recruiter and a hospitality graduate, what a good match! What is your experience of using social networking sites for job hunts or employee recruitment?

The second trend is about multilingual employees. Joe Light suggested that proficiency in a foreign language will become more important in the workforce. In particular, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Russian will be in “moderate-to-high demand.” I have been studying and working in the U.S. for several years, either in international hotel chains or in academia. I also speak fluent English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and some Japanese. Yet, the only language skill that seems important is English. If multilingual employees mean so much to today’s organizations, why doesn’t any employer in the U.S. show interest in my language skills or my multi-cultural backgrounds? I wonder if it is just my unique personal experience or if I am just one of a million who happens to know another language. What are your opinions?

Light, J. (2011, January 18). Recruiters rethink online Playbook. The Wall Street Journal, B7. (One may also retrieve this article online via:
Light, J. (2011, January 18). Help wanted: Multilingual employees. The Wall Street Journal, B7. (One may also retrieve this article online via:


  1. LinkedIn has become a very strong source of communication and recruitment throughout the work force. It is not used for any specific field of work, yet it is used for almost every one. I have had a linkedin for a few years and it has enabled me to connect with employers and ultimately lead to an interview or a summer internship. It is a very helpful tool that can increase both recently graduates success as well as people seeking to replace a job or venture on to something new.

    In any work force, it can always be helpful and used to a persons advantage if they are multilingual. Being multilingual can never be a bad quality, only a positive one. In my opinion, certain companies may choose to hire a one person over another solely on the fact that they do speak more than one language. I think it really depends on the particular company and what they are looking for in an employee.

  2. Riana Bauman

    LinkedIn is a fantastic way to find a job, get closer with the media, and find people that are in your field major. I would like to make a LinkedIn page soon because I am having difficulty finding an internship for this upcoming summer. I know older people who have LinkedIn pages and they have said that it is very helpful and useful. While reading your blog, I was amazed how someone became connected so quickly! While reading this, I really believe that it is time that I make a LinkedIn page only to benefit me now and in the future with companies.
    On the second topic about multilingual languages, I do feel that in the hospitality business it is beneficial to speak many languages. I do feel that people in the United States speak English and maybe another language or two, but people who are not form the United States speak many languages. It only makes that person smarter at the end of the day. Maybe even get you a job because you are fluent in many different languages and can understand people who have trouble speaking English. I feel that it will only benefit you by being multilingual.

  3. LinkedIn is a professional network. It is another source that college soon-to-be graduates or college graduates can find a job and let recruiters know their existence, by posting up academic and extracurricular activity information onto his/her page. I currently do not have a LinkedIn page yet, but am planning to get one soon to see how LinkedIn exactly works and to see if there is any chance I can find an internship for the summer through LinkedIn.

    I believe that being multilingual is beneficial. There are more people you can communicate with. English is definitely a very important language, but it would be better to know another language. China is a growing country right now, so I believe that knowing Chinese is definitely a plus. Knowing any other language is a plus. If the U.S. hospitality industry isn't working as smoothly as expected, there are chances to going to China to seek employment opportunity, or any other country where English is not the primary language spoken.

  4. For several years now the internet has become a fad in today's culture. It is used in ways which previous ghenerations would never have imagined. The internet has become a nesessity in peoples lives to the point where they rely upon it to comminicate with one another and to find jobs during the current rough economic situation. Linkedln gives these people the benefit to help them find the job that is right for them! After reading this article, I feel as though it is only neccessary to make myself a Linkedln page inorder to help me find an occupation in the future!
    People who speak several languages are begining to recieve many jobs within the work force. It has been said that others should take it upon themselves to being learning other languages besides the dominant one, English, in order to better comminicute with fellow employees. I feel as though it is important for most employees, especially in the hospitality management field, to be multilingual because they may encounter several situations where the person they are trying to comminucate does not speak english. Although learning a new language does take time and patience i feel as though in the end it will only help to bring more success.

  5. I agree that LinkedIn and other social networking tools are a great way to recruit and advertise job opportunities. Social networking is becoming more and more popular in society and I believe it will continue to expand within the coming years, mainly because the millennial generation will soon be taking over the work force.

    Last semester I had to create a LinkedIn account for a class project. I had to explore the social network and learn about its different tools. I was fascinated that I was able to find people on LinkedIn that I worked with at a summer camp for the past few summers. It really is a great tool to use to connect with people who share similar working interests.

    Although it is a great quality to be bilingual I do not believe it should be necessary in the United States and I do not believe it should cause some people to get a job over other people. This is the United States where English is the primary language. If one wants to work in the U.S I believe it is their responsibility to become fluent in English, not the other way around. I am completely aware that in the Hospitality industry there are many people from other countries that speak different languages, such as Spanish, but I do feel strongly that those people should be required to speak fluent English to obtain a job in the United States. I am not against being bilingual in any means, I think it is a great quality to have, but I do not think it should be a necessity on a resume.

  6. Social networking is rapidly becoming a trend for job hunters and as well as employee recruitment and is almost crucial in this world we live in.

    LinkedIn is one of the great social networking websites that allows for businesses to recruit new employees and for ordinary people to have the opportunity to search for potential jobs. It is a way for people to put themselves out there in a positive manner and seek a job their field of interest. Since social networking is such a major part of today's business fields, websites like Facebook are making it harder for people, especially those in college, because of unprofessional or unwanted information, pictures, etc. about them on their pages. LinkedIn is a great way to eliminate that and show yourself in a professional manner. I do not have a LinkedIn profile yet, but I am definitely looking into it. It will help me look for internships and it will only benefit me for my future.

    While being bilingual is a fascinating and interesting thing, I believe it should not be a determining factor for choosing a person for a job unless the job critically requires this quality. Yes, in the Hospitality Management industry it may help in the long run or in some instance but English is the primary language and I believe people should be learning English if they want to work in America. My mom encourages me always to learn more Spanish because she says it will help out in my career path but from seeing what you have to say I can see it does not really matter. Maybe if you are traveling all the time or working over seas it can be a necessity, but definitely not in the United States.

  7. There is now a high demand in the United States and Europe for Chinese speakers because of the influx of Chinese tourists. My Mandarin, English, and Italian-speaking friend was shopping in Milan at a Gucci store and he was kind enough to help some Chinese tourists fill out tax-deduction forms. A manager at the store approached him on the spot and asked if he would like to work there because they needed Mandarin-speaking employees. I imagine this sort of problem was arising in many retail and hospitality venues all over the World. Having a bi-lingual employee on your staff is not only more convenient but also is a form of service.
    When you have a cultural and linguistic understanding of the guest it makes them feel more at home and more comfortable. Making a person feel more at home is the theme of many hotel renovations and staff-trainings across the world. It is pleasing to the guest to hear a familiar language and if you have not mastered that language then showing that you have made at least an attempt to learn a few words of a guest’s culture gives them pleasure.
    The level of education of a hotel employee and having employees that are bi-lingual is also a reflection of the standards of a hotel. They say anyone can help carry luggage and check-in guests, but not everyone can carry a somewhat meaningful conversation with the guest while taking them up to their rooms.
    I realized this first-hand while interning at a hotel in Shanghai. There were many German guests that stayed at the hotel and although I don’t know German I knew at least how to say good morning so greeting them in the morning with a simple “Guten Tag!” certainly lit up their faces. A Dutch guest who had been waiting in line and seemed annoyed asked if I could store their luggage and I asked for their names, and they told me Vermeer, and I responded quickly with “Vermeer, like the artist!” They were surprised and pleased that a simple front desk employee in China would know an artist of their country and it gave them a sense of personal and national pride. Therefore when hotels are on the recruit for employees that are bi-lingual, they are indirectly expecting for the candidate to be multi-cultured as well.
    With the Americans, it was comforting to hear an Asian employee speak in fluent English; some have never been to China before and enjoyed chatting at ease about the purpose of their visit and state they were from. Many of the Americans were surprised and often said “Oh My God, you speak like an American! Where are you from?” Language is definitely power if you know how to use it.
    One of the biggest fears when visiting a new country is not knowing the language and not being able to get around. Often when I am in the New York City, I am approached for directions, if they seem to be Spanish-speaking or Chinese-speaking I will reply in the respective language. Seeing their surprised yet relieved expression gives me a sense of satisfaction, not to mention it is a great way to practice language.
    In my view, all languages are important and I wish I knew all of them.

    Lorenz Chiu


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