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Archive for December, 2009

We’ve blogged before about the falling number of students taking GCSEs in languages. According to CILT, the National Centre for Languages, this year only 44% of GSCE students took a language – compared to 78% ten years ago. We all know that today’s marketplace is becoming more global and without the language skills that enable us to communicate on a global scale, UK business is going to suffer dramatically in the future.

With this in mind I was pleased to see on Twitter recently a link to a petition calling for the re-introduction of a compulsory language GSCE. Please click on the link below and sign your name – hopefully it will be given some serious consideration.

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/TeachLanguages/

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Recently we thought it’d be interesting to get your thoughts on some questions so we posted a poll here on our blog. The response was good – although maybe we gave you too many options because we had a major draw on our hands!

The most popular languages, each with 17% of the vote, were: French, Spanish, Japanese, Russian and Scandinavian. Next with 8% each were German and Chinese, with neither Arabic nor Polish getting any votes.

The popularity of French surprised me as I assumed most people would have some knowledge of it – but maybe our respondents wanted to know more! With Spanish being such a widely spoken language this however was not a huge surprise. I myself voted for Japanese as I think Japan is a fascinating country and one whose prominence is growing, and the language is so different to any European one. I also think Arabic is an interesting language and one that is becoming increasingly important to know so I thought more people would be voting for that.

So what did you vote for – and more importantly, why?

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I recently popped into a popular French-name sandwich shop in London (I’m sure you can guess which!) to buy some lunch. In the hustle and bustle that is London at lunch time, and most other times, I appreciate that staff have it tough sometimes. But the service was slow, and I didn’t even get a smile! Customer service is one of those things – when it’s good people may not appreciate it, but when it’s bad customers definitely notice it! And it can make a big difference to their experience and their chances of using that service again.

This goes for any service – a shop or a recruitment consultancy. At Euro London, we know that if our consultants aren’t helpful, friendly and efficient – i.e. if we don’t offer a great customer service – our clients won’t want to use us again. This in turn affects our reputation and our business. Strong customer service is something we therefore pride ourselves on at Euro London – here are our top methods of offering our customers the best possible service:

  • We’re specialists in our field. When we put forward a candidate, we will not only have interviewed them to make sure they’re suitable for the role, but one of our multilingual consultants will have tested their language skills to ensure they are good enough
  • Our consultants not only have language skills, they have cultural knowledge as they have also lived or worked in that country. That means they can advise clients on things like foreign qualifications, education and other cultural differences. They can also help candidates with relocating – from setting up bank accounts to advising where the best schools are located.
  • It’s a cliché, but we do go the extra mile! We source candidates from all over the world, we’ve met candidates at weekends and we’ve stayed late to talk to clients in different countries. Because it’s our job to keep you happy.
  • We invest in our staff. Using expertise from Lander Associates we make sure our recruiters are fully equipped to deliver the most professional and effective service possible
  • Communication – we’re always keeping in touch with clients and candidates, and sharing ideas through our blog and our tweets (follow us @eurolondon).

Sometimes we just need to stop and put ourselves in the customer’s shoes, so to speak! But if all else fails, remember to smile – a little can go a long way.

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