Are global graduates speaking your language?

Multinationals looking for graduate hires look at the ability to speak a foreign language as important but not essential, according to a survey of global firms.

The research carried out by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) and research agency CFE showed that colloborative working, general communication skills, drive and resilience, and open-mindedness were seen as the most important skills for potential graduate hires.

UK students are less likely to be internationally mobile after graduating than their foreign counterparts, with over 11 foreign students in the UK for every UK student studying abroad, the report finds.

David Docherty, chief executive of the Council for Industry and Higher Education, says: “A global graduate isn’t simply a highly educated young adult who can speak a foreign language. Employers want talented graduates who can work with people from different backgrounds and embrace different perspectives.”

Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, adds: “There needs to be a collaborative effort to facilitate opportunities for industry to introduce the idea of global business activity as early as possible; to provide viable opportunities for students to both study overseas and experience the global workplace.”