So, you’re searching for a proficient Dutch speaker to join your team? You’re in luck. Over 150,000 Americans speak Dutch at home, and 4 million people speak Dutch as a second language worldwide. Even though you have a challenge ahead of you – to find a candidate whose Dutch proficiency propels productivity forward in your organization – and you might be wondering how to test Dutch fluency, thankfully there is a simple way to achieve it. All you need is the right Dutch language proficiency skills test to assess your candidates.
With this in mind, this blog post covers all you need to know on testing Dutch proficiency. It features sections on:
- The challenges that make learning the Dutch language difficult
- The various levels of Dutch proficiency you might be looking for
- How to test Dutch fluency in your candidates
- How to test Dutch fluency with proficiency tests
- The advantages of using proficiency skills tests to assess Dutch proficiency
What are the challenges that make learning Dutch difficult?
You candidates will have faced various challenges when learning the Dutch language. Proficiency and fluency don’t come easy if Dutch is your second language, and your candidates will need to have mastered four key areas. The four essential areas you will need to assess - which your candidates will need to have gained proficiency in, are:
- Reading – how well can your candidates interpret the Dutch language in its written form? Given that there is a vast range of text styles, such as company documents, email communications, and meeting minutes, each with their level of difficulty, consider whether your candidate will need to understand all of these. This is the first challenge that makes learning Dutch difficult.
- Writing – can your candidates respond to messages shared within the company in writing? When you consider the vast selection of written communication styles that are out there and the range of written communication within your organization, ask yourself whether your candidates need to have expert-written communication skills in the Dutch language.
- Speaking – Dutch fluency in terms of speaking skills is vital to your organization, though it can be a hurdle to overcome for your candidates. Can your candidates communicate in various business contexts? From having a conversation with colleagues to presenting an idea to senior management to speaking on the phone with stakeholders and clients, how proficient are your candidates at speaking Dutch?
- Listening – perhaps one of the most challenging skills for some in terms of language learning is listening. As with the three other skills, there is a range of contexts in which your candidates might have to listen and interpret the Dutch language in its spoken form. Can they listen to a video meeting dialogue, understand face-to-face meetings that take place in Dutch, and listen to the information they are given from Dutch-speaking colleagues?
Which level of Dutch proficiency are you searching for?
You might be wondering how to test Dutch fluency and which other factors are important for this. One of the important things to consider is the level of Dutch proficiency you’re searching for in your candidates before administering skills tests or interviews. There are six levels of Dutch proficiency, ranging from A1 to C2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. So, the levels you might need to evaluate include:
A1 – entry level/ beginner
Candidates with an A1 level of the Dutch language are considered beginners. They can use simple words and understand very basic phrases, verbs, nouns, and adjectives in Dutch. With the support of native speakers, they can describe a little bit about themselves (such as where they were born) and understand Dutch natives who speak very slowly.
A2 – elementary level
If your candidate has an A2 level of Dutch they can pick up on common expressions that are heard frequently and use basic, common expressions when writing and speaking. Sharing information about themselves is not as big of a challenge as for A1-level candidates, and communicating about their family or their job is also not too difficult.
B1 – lower intermediate
Although they might make errors when speaking and communicating, candidates with a B1 Dutch level can still understand approximately 60% of the language across the four skills required for mastery (described above).
B2 – upper intermediate
A candidate with a B2 level of the Dutch language can interact with native Dutch speakers and understand them without the effort required at a lower intermediate level. They can also write well and enter into discussions on the benefits and drawbacks of different topics. B2 Dutch candidates can also understand written texts that focus on a niche topic – such as global warming.
C1 – operational proficiency
Interpreting subtle meanings in complex texts is simple for candidates with a C1 Dutch level. They can also understand Dutch sayings, expressions, and idioms and use them confidently when having a challenging conversation with Dutch natives. Expressing themselves in writing is effortless.
C2 – mastery
If your candidate is proficient in the Dutch language, they can conduct themselves in a near-native way in a vast range of situations – including the workplace. They can understand technical language, understand native Dutch speakers effortlessly, and be understood with ease.
How to test Dutch fluency in your candidates
When it comes to the question of how to test Dutch fluency in your candidates there are many ways to do it. Take a look at the most common approaches below.
Using a phone interview to assess Dutch fluency
You might choose to conduct a phone interview, in which you could communicate in the Dutch language with your candidate to get a better sense of how well they understand the language. The phone interview is the ideal way to test your candidate’s listening skills, which can sometimes be particularly difficult over the phone.
Using a video interview to assess Dutch fluency
Further down the line, you might opt to carry out a video interview via Zoom or Skype. Carry it out all in Dutch and see how your candidates handle it. But, if you choose to go down this route, we recommend you carry out video/‘face-to-face’ interviews after a language proficiency test, which we have provided more details about in the following section.
Soliciting videos as responses to custom questions in Dutch
You could also use TestGorilla’s custom video questions to dig deeper into how your candidates speak and communicate in the Dutch language. Custom video questions are one of the best ways to get to know your candidates. Watch out for the candidates who make grammatical mistakes when expressing ideas, and take those candidates who express themselves fully and competently forward in the hiring process.
Distributing custom questions in a multiple-choice format
If you’re wondering how to test the Dutch fluency of your candidates further, you have multiple choice custom questions at your disposal from the TestGorilla platform. You could ask your candidates to respond to these questions to give you an insight into your candidates’ Dutch language competencies.
How to test Dutch fluency with a proficiency test
But the simplest answer to the question of how to test Dutch fluency, as we’ve mentioned in the introduction, is to use skills tests. Interviews and custom questions aside, the language proficiency/skills test is a reliable, objective, and comprehensive way to discover how fluent your candidates are in Dutch.
The Dutch fluency test works by assessing the Dutch grammar, vocabulary and spelling, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension of your candidates. All that’s required is for you to administer the test, and you’ll receive results for all four areas that pertain to language fluency.
Which Dutch skills tests are available?
There are two main Dutch skills tests available via the TestGorilla platform, which are the Dutch (intermediate/B1) proficiency test, and the Dutch (proficient/C1) proficiency test. Here are the two tests explained.
Dutch (intermediate/B1) skill test
Letting you test your candidates’ Dutch fluency at the B1 level, you can use this skills test to find out whether your candidates can interact within your organization in intermediate-level Dutch. This test is ideal for a range of roles, including customer support candidates and sales reps. It is a comprehensive test that follows the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
So, if you want to know how your candidates can work alongside stakeholders and colleagues in a range of workplace scenarios, using the Dutch (intermediate/B1) test will assist you. The test recreates such scenarios and is both accurate and reliable.
Dutch (proficient/C1) skill test
Testing your candidates’ proficiency and near-mastery of the Dutch language, this skills test is specifically designed to test high-level Dutch communication within the workplace. Not only does it cover grammar at the C1 level, but it also includes listening and reading comprehension, in addition to vocabulary and spelling evaluation.
Going a step further, the test evaluates sentence composition, as well as giving you information on how well your candidates understand long texts and nuanced meaning in Dutch. Again, this test follows the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
You can use the Dutch (proficient/C1) test for various roles, including content writing positions, editing roles, customer success manager vacancies, and a range of other positions that require a mastery of the Dutch language.
What are the advantages of using skills tests for assessing Dutch fluency?
There are three main benefits of using skills tests for assessing Dutch fluency.
- The first is that they help you hire without bias. You will hire the best regardless of their gender, regardless of their name, irrespective of their cultural background, and make hiring decisions based purely on how well they speak and understand Dutch – if this is your goal.
- The second is the speed with which you can select candidates. Reducing time to hire is more than possible with a Dutch proficiency test, which is another reason we recommend them. Filtering those candidates who make grammatical mistakes is simple with skills tests, and you can make the right hire in less time than with a resume screening approach.
- The third is that verifying your candidates’ Dutch fluency aptitudes is simple with skills tests. It’s all well and good receiving a resume in which a candidate claims to have a B2 Dutch level, but how can you confirm this? Skills testing is the ideal, reliable, and simple way to do it, with the results pointing towards the ablest candidates.
Hire candidates fluent in the Dutch language with a skills test
The question of how to test Dutch fluency needn’t be a head-scratcher. Skills testing, used in conjunction with interviews and custom questions is the best way forward. Remember to establish which level you’re looking for and let the skills test do the rest. Explore TestGorilla today and hire candidates fluent in the Dutch language with ease!