Labor Tip: Language liaison

November 8, 2018 -  By
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Speaking Spanish graphic (illustration: iStock.com/Alberto Masnovo)

illustration: iStock.com/Alberto Masnovo

Candice Bún of MetroGreenscape is more than the everyday human resources coordinator—she’s also bilingual in English and Spanish, serving as a touch point for Spanish-speaking workers.

Of MetroGreenscape’s 25 employees, several have limited English skills, Bún says. “To have someone who understands their question, can communicate it to the right people and help with the language barrier is great,” says Bún, who has been with the Charlotte, N.C.-based company since May.

The presence of a bilingual staff member in the office helps instill confidence in people who may want to apply for a job, she adds.

Bún begins the day standing by as crews load up their trucks, in case anyone needs to communicate a question or concern about payroll, time cards, new policies, etc. She also makes recruitment calls to job applicants, acts as MetroGreenscape’s initial contact to Spanish-speaking subcontractors and generates recruitment materials in English and Spanish. Additionally, she translates the weekly field staff trainings and monthly all-staff meetings into Spanish.

For companies interested in hiring a bilingual human resources representative, Bún says it’s important to find someone who is willing to be out in the community, recog-nizes where to target specific recruitment efforts and has knowledge—or a willingness to learn—about different Hispanic cultures.

“It’s things like having an understanding of colloquialisms and slang and realizing you can’t lump all Spanish speakers into one culture,” she says.

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