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As UK companies look to overseas markets to maximise on business during the downturn, there has been a boost in demand for more exotic language skills, especially within the finance and sales sectors. That’s according to a new hiring trends report from multilingual recruitment consultancy Euro London Appointments.

Dutch, German, Japanese and Russian remain popular languages within finance, but more generally there has been increased demand for Arabic, Gujerati, Polish, Czech, Cantonese and Korean as companies look to develop in new and alternative markets.

Although finance and banking recruitment, particularly within hedge funds and trading, has been badly affected by the economic problems, the report shows that demand in areas such as risk and compliance and relationship management has grown as these aspects of finance become increasingly important.

Demand for experienced candidates in digital media has also increased, as has requests for multilingual sales staff, as organisations look for ways to boost sales both at home and abroad. The online gaming sector continues to boom and is seeing continuing demand for linguists too. In the North West of the UK particularly, companies are facing a lack of IT and engineering professionals with language ability, mostly driven by a drop in the number of foreign nationals coming here.

“With the economic picture and the recruitment market varying so much across the globe, organisations in the UK are realising the importance of maximising on relationships with their customers overseas” comments Steve Shacklock from Euro London. “This is not only in Europe but increasingly across Asia too, making language ability an even more valuable skill than ever. It’s reassuring to see that despite the doom and gloom that we hear about the jobs market, that there is still demand out there for skilled and experienced candidates.”

The report highlighted similar market trends across Europe, with France seeing an increased demand for sales professionals and the online sector also expanding in Germany. Although their financial markets have been substantially affected, Luxembourg and Switzerland are still seeing demand for finance professionals, with Luxembourg seeing growth in accountancy and Switzerland experiencing a continued demand for risk and tax specialists.
Euro London’s Spring 2009 hiring trends report covers the job markets in the UK, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland and France.

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