Bridging The Language Gap: When Can You Hire Non-Native English Speakers


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Virtual assistants and outsourcers in countries with low costs of living saves you plenty in labour costs if you compare it to hiring locally. However, not all foreign workers guarantee excellent workmanship, which is why employers interview and scrutinise their applicant’s skills before anything else.

Unfortunately, many off-country VAs and outsourcers cannot speak or write fluent English. However, it doesn’t mean their English deficiency is a reason to reject their application. Hiring them depends on their role and expected output in your company.

In short, it depends on which task will you need them to work on the most.

Tasks Unsuitable for Non-Native Speakers

Often, non-native speakers can construct unintelligible to decent sentences. They can recognise certain words and even express themselves and their ideas sufficiently. While they may have potential in developing their English, you will most likely not want VAs and outsourcers doing these tasks for your business.

Published English Writing Content in All Forms

We identify published writing as the following tasks and jobs:

  • Blogging
  • Scriptwriting for video logs/vlogs
  • Copywriting
  • Email and Newsletter Marketing
  • Web content and page writing
  • Infographics content

These tasks require a writer who understands advanced sentence formation, target audience vocabulary, and presenting text in an easy-to-understand and professional manner. A non-native speaker and writer will take time and produce problematic results in this field.


Cold calling, vocal lead generation and nurturing, and customer service and success departments in your company need a native English speaker to understand and converse with your customer’s concerns.

If you present them a non-native speaker with a foreign accent and unintelligible vocalisation of words, your customers may have a hard time understanding them. In addition, it will affect your brand negatively.

Digital Marketing Outreach

You cannot qualify non-native speakers and writers for tasks involving content and response for live chat support, PR writing, email lead generation, and social media management.

While they can work on the back-end with data analytics, reports, and additional research, non-native speakers must steer away from anything involving digital marketing content you intend for outreach.

The Perfect Tasks for Non-Native English Speakers

If they express their ideas and can pronounce and understand terms well enough, VAs and outsourcers can still make great use of their talents in non-publishing and outreach tasks such as the following:

Web Design and Programming

Web design and programming uses a different language that business owners may find foreign partially or completely. Non-native English speakers only need to produce a beautiful and effective website that meets your objectives — and this requires speaking English only when talked to.

Task Scheduler/ Dedicated Assistant Role

As a business owner, you know how building and managing a business can become so cluttered you’ll need an organiser that reminds you about your upcoming activities and projects.

Virtual assistants can take on their role as you task scheduler and preparation aid whose job is to remind you of your next activity and prepares the materials you need to make it productive.

Data Entry

Most online marketing agencies and freelancers will want someone who can perform data scraping, analytics, create reports, and more. An applicant’s communicative English will need to be at least decent. If they can produce intuitive reports and give accurate and excellent analytic interpretations, then they’re worth hiring despite the language barrier.

Search Engine Optimisation and Marketing

Keyword research involves the English language. However, your VAs and outsourcers can recognise word patterns they’re unfamiliar with as a set of objects. This makes them qualified for SEO tasks — if they can perform well as you need them. The same goes for PPC and advertising campaigns in social media too.

Can You Turn Non-Native English Speakers Into Good Speakers?

True enough, you can invest in top-performing non-native English-speaking VAs and outsourcers by giving them resources to improve their English. You can pay for their days-long English speaking and writing classes to elevate their skills. However, this is still an expense on your end, so do this only if you find your VAs and outsourcers valuable to your business.

How To Save Time Bridging The Language Gap With Native and Professional-English Speaking VAs

You can definitely have a top-performing, English-proficient employee that can handle both suitable and perfect tasks for non-native English-speaking VAs. However, finding them is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

However, Outsource to Success a huge pool of top-level English-speaking VAs with excellent performance in their chosen fields. They achieve this through our English program, which is part of their overall professional training program in fields their strengths allow them to perform exceptionally.

Save time bridging the language gap and finding a native English speaker by working with Outsource to Success today. Contact us to know more about finding the perfect VA or outsourcer for your company.



Learn the step by step process to successfully outsourcing and hiring freelancers from overseas.



Amy King

Amy is the founder of Outsource To Success. She aims to provide digital agencies and creative consultants the tools they need to help scale their business, successfully hire a remote team and support a positive team culture.

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