Francesca’s take on working in a multicultural team
Having been with Hudson RPO for more than a year now, Francesca shares her thoughts on what it’s like to join the Centre of Excellence (CoE), an Edinburgh-based team supplying remote talent services for organisations in the UK and abroad.
So, Francesca, tell us a bit about your background.
I am originally from Italy, but recently I spent about three years moving from country to country, mostly because of my studies.
I lived in Finland for about six months while doing my master’s degree. I then moved to the Netherlands to improve my Dutch. I stayed there for almost a year.
When my landlord decided to sell my flat, I took the opportunity to do some travelling around Europe, visiting friends, and interviewing for various positions. I stopped in Lisbon, Rome, and Eindhoven.
I didn’t plan on visiting Scotland, but when I was about to go back to Italy, I received a call from a recruiter, inviting me to Edinburgh for a first interview. Ultimately, I got the job, and since I had already fallen in love with this city, I decided to stay.
Which languages do you speak, and how did you end up learning them?
I speak fluent Italian, English, and French. I have an intermediate level of Dutch and Spanish. I learned most of these languages at university, where I studied translation and interpreting.
How did you find working in a different language than your native one? Were there any challenges?
I really like working with foreign languages. I have been speaking mostly English for the past four years, and I have gotten to a point where – funnily enough – it comes easier for me to speak English than it does to speak Italian – even though I still make plenty of mistakes!
The challenges I have faced have mostly to do with the different communication styles. Dutch speakers tend to be rather direct and to the point, while English speakers aren’t exactly known for their bluntness. Furthermore, a high level of formality is not necessarily required when talking to Dutch speakers, but French speakers tend to prefer it. And so on and so forth…
What do you like the most about working in a multicultural environment?
I think the greatest aspect of working in a multicultural environment is the free knowledge that comes with it. We have the unique opportunity to learn about other parts of the world that we might not be familiar with. We have unlimited exposure to cultures and languages. I believe this alone is an extremely enriching experience.
What do you think about working with clients and candidates based in different countries?
Ever since I started working for Hudson RPO, I have had the chance to recruit in a variety of different countries: France, Belgium, Italy, Poland, the UK, etc.
It has been very interesting to see how different countries/cultures/clients require different approaches. From reach-out messages to screening calls, it is fundamental to have a cultural understanding of the other party in order to avoid misunderstandings that can potentially lead to a sticky situation.
Thanks for sharing your story, Francesca.