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How Multilingual Associates Add Value to Our Workforce

Why is hiring multilingual associates important? Gartner Recruiter, Varoujan Tekerian shares his insight on how associates who speak local languages help in building trust with our clients.

September 29, 2020

Written by: Varoujan Tekerian, Recruiter

What’s the key to Gartner’s success?  Our people, of course. Every individual adds unique value to our organization and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to help bring them onto the team. I am a recruiter based in the U.K. (Egham office) and I am responsible for identifying talent for Executive Programs across the EMEA region. My focus is primarily on emerging markets. These regions include the Gulf, South Africa, Turkey, Russia, Poland, Israel, and additional European regions like Italy, Iberia, and France.

Gartner is ahead of the curve in leading best practice in the marketplace for clients, the global community, and Gartner associates worldwide — which is just one of the reasons we’ve been cited as one of the best companies to work for. It’s exciting to be part of a progressive organization that allows individuals the environment for growth and personal development. We continually strive for excellence, and this is reflected in several initiatives that are pioneered globally.

The emerging markets area is very complex in its breakdown and geographical split. All Executive Partner roles require an associate to speak the local language in addition to proficient English. In the Gulf, where we have a diverse team with multiple languages, Arabic and English are key requirements. In addition, I look for Turkish, Russian, and Hebrew speakers for Turkey, Russia, and Israel. For Italy, Iberia, and France I look for Italian, Spanish/Portuguese, and French speakers respectively. South Africa is more complex, the diverse number of languages can range from English to Afrikaans or Zulu.  

For Executive Programs, one of the key components is trust when establishing yourself with your client portfolio. As a trusted advisor, a Gartner representative, and “the face of Executive Programs,” you are responsible for building and maintaining trust-based relationships with your clients. The ability to converse in the local language for formal and business purposes is key in establishing a rapport. In addition, English as the international business language is the perfect component for ensuring the associate can relate with clients and internal peers effectively. 

Some clients in certain regions, (particularly in the public sector) prefer to work with Executive Partners who can speak their language or come from their region. In some regions, trust is not a given, and the cultural respect for and understanding of the traditions of business and personal etiquette cannot be understated. The subtle nuances and knowledge of associates aligned to that region will reflect that Gartner is considerate of the client’s needs and will further serve to strengthen existing client relationships.

Ultimately the principle remains the same when hiring talent. We look to assess fit based on experience, ability, and traits. Typically, the ideal candidate is based in the region they’ll support and will be fluent in the local language, and their ability to articulate in English will also be assessed. If a candidate is out of or has limited experience in the region we are hiring for, we assess their experience, influence, and network they’ve cultivated in their career and align how transferable it would be to current and future Gartner clients that they could potentially support. 

Do you speak more than one language? Look for an available opportunity here.


Are you looking for a job where you’ll do challenging, groundbreaking work? At Gartner, each and every associate has a hand in our success. Learn more about how you can make an impact with your work here.

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