What better way to prepare for the ProZ.com virtual fair on December 30 at 12 PM GMT than by meeting more businesses and learning about their advice for freelancers who'd like to cooperate with them?
Kick off your shoes for a couple of minutes and dive right in! Don't forget to register for the fair »
- What's your name, what company do you work for and how long have you been working for the company?
Aziz Ben Soltana: I’m the Founder and Managing Director of Global Citizens Translation. Been working at the company since 2016.
Veit Guenther: My name is Veit Guenther. I work for GTU Translation Agency, which I founded in 2012. Before that I worked at Translation Companies such as SDL as Project Manager and Team Leader.
Mohamed Aglan: I am Mohamed Aglan. I am co-founder and COO of LocaliZone for Translation and Localization. Being co-founder, I work for the company since its inception on January 1st 2021.
Alexandru Negurici: I'm Alexandru Negurici, Co-Founder of Ytranslations Ltd. , and I've been working here for almost 7 years.
- What's your company's mission?
Aziz Ben Soltana: It is our Motto: Translating ambitions. Globalizing achievements.
We live in an increasingly interconnected world where many individuals and organisations aspire to bring positive change on a global scale to our life. Whether it’s new technologies, new ideas or help to specific communities all over the world, we always want to be part of these events and ideas that will sooner or later be regarded as historical by localizing content for some of the biggest companies, organisations and LSPs.
Veit Guenther: Supporting larger Translation Companies, we want to become the premier vendor for German worldwide.
Mohamed Aglan: We wish to revolutionize the language industry in a way that makes it more accessible to clients ensuring that language does not remain a barrier any longer.
Alexandru Negurici: Our mission is to bridge the communication gap from different generations and environments. We started to enhance the Y Generation (hence the name – Ytranslations) but we went way beyond.
- What sets your company apart?
Aziz Ben Soltana: When it comes to communication with the client we always make them feel that we are their in-house translation team rather than a 3rd party supplier. That’s why we always provide alternative solutions and in some cases work around the clock to not only meet the deadlines but also to help our clients meet their quality standards and exceed them. There are examples where we help clients make the best decisions on the services they need or the dialects/languages they actually require and we even help facilitating and adapting our process and their process to increase capacity and turnaround times. This made many companies always come back to us with more requests because we show them that we are highly engaged.
Veit Guenther: I would say it is our focus on one language: German. We are very effective in communicating with clients and translators and do not have to involve any third parties for languages we do not speak. All our staff are translators and Project Managers at the same time.
Mohamed Aglan: We work with our clients not for them; this means we are the experts of our industry, so we know our client’s needs even if there is something they are unaware of and we specify the tasks in the way that suits their needs best. We also use the best technology combined with strict project management and QA even if that’s not required by the client.
Alexandru Negurici: Our company is an honest translation agency, a warm-hearted group of people that goes the extra mile for each customer that puts their trust into us. We highly specialised into English, having 80% of our translated content into English (UK & US), whilst 50% of our translated content is technical, 30% Business & Marketing, 15% Legal.
We are a very tech translation company, having a lot of smart technology in our current operations. For example:
- 100% of Project Management is done cloud based
- 80% of our PM, HR and Finance processes are automatised using Podio, owned by Citrix
- We are an authorised CITRIX Solution Advisor & Podio Partner
- ISO 17100:2015 certified
- Belbin High-performing teams certified
- 5 in-house linguists ISO certified
- Can you talk a little bit about your recruitment processes?
Aziz Ben Soltana: Our recruitment process, which was an integral part of our ISO9001 certification journey, is heavily focused on understanding the client’s requirements as well as profiling. A lot of work takes place in the background before we start the actual recruitment. During the profiling stage we “draw” a prototype of the most suitable profile who can perfectly convey the meaning in the desired tone. The age groups, the city, the hobbies, interests, the work experience and education do help us greatly in establishing the desired profile. Sometimes a simple detail such as not knowing a certain brand, product or an event may disqualify linguists from being considered as suitable resources.
The actual recruitment process is also very rigid because the linguists need to tick all the boxes of a perfect profile but we also need to check that the information provided is correct. Such checks cover the content of the CV but we also take matters even further by checking IDs, CV format and properties, Google checks and professional profile checks. Our recruitment process is so strict because unfortunately over the years we learned that some individuals/applications may cause huge risks if they go through the selection process: there have been some occasions where some individuals faked CVs and/or posted multiple and different ones or in some other extreme cases were involved in crimes. So our advice is to be as strict as possible when it comes to bringing in people to work with you.
Veit Guenther: We gauge CVs or submissions to our vendor portal (XTRF) and then reach out to suitable candidates, who then have to take a translation test in a field of their choice.
Mohamed Aglan: We have proactive recruitment and reactive recruitment.
Proactive recruitment means that we don’t wait until a project is received. We analyze our potential needs for each language pair and domain. We then search on ProZ.com or LinkedIn, or post an announcement on social media. We then find the suitable vendors for our requirements, we assess them by requiring a small free test and evaluating the test and their CVs. Then we require them to sign our NDA, agreement and payment terms, thus they are added to our system for potential future projects.
Reactive recruitment is when we receive a large project in a domain or language pair for which we don’t have a sufficient number of vendors. We either search ProZ.com or LinkedIn, or post on social media. When the suitable applicants apply, we test them and evaluate their CVs. Then we require them to sign our NDA and agreement before assigning the project to them.
Alexandru Negurici: We have a Native only policy regarding our translators recruitment process and 10 steps process check-list:
1. Native in the target language
2. Lives in the target country
3. ISO 17100 compliant (at least 5 years of experience in the translation industry)
4. Passed the industry-specific sample test in 48h
5. Recommendations from previous clients
6. Passed the creativity test
7. Passed the Emotional Intelligence test
8. Video Skype interview
9. Consistent project availability
10. Proficient with CAT Tools (Trados, Memsource, MemoQ)
- What are the DO's and DON'Ts when applying for a project with your company?
Aziz Ben Soltana:
✔️First of all, ask yourself and be honest if you are really able to take the project or the job opportunity and if you really want it. If your answer is a convinced yes, then we’re off to a good start. 😊
✔️Make your CV as succinct as possible.
✔️Make your CV relevant to the project we are hiring for. If we are hiring for a Marketing project, including 2 pages about other specialties may give the CV evaluator the impression that you are not suitable for the required specialty.
✔️Be professional. Replying with one line emails containing simply “ok yes” or “I don’t know” without opening lines or closing lines is a sign that the applicant lacks engagement and is not really interested in taking the opportunity offered.
✔️Be courteous. Establishing a relationship with a translator who comes across as aggressive or overly informal is a red flag. Agencies avoid working with such profiles because moody and temperamental individuals are usually unreliable and disruptive.
✔️Be proactive. If you are applying for a long-term project and you are definitely interested in taking part in it, please let us know in advance if you have any other commitments (family, full-time work) that may impact your availability. We will certainly find a way to arrange for an agreed schedule.
✔️Finally and most importantly… Please read the emails and the paperwork thoroughly. There are some individuals who sign documents and agree to conditions set out in emails and paperwork and then come back with objections halfway through a project. This is not good neither for the linguist nor for the employer.
Veit Guenther: The application process is fairly straight-forward, however, once you have applied, we expect that freelance translators do what they promise to do. For instance, we expect them to make a spell check, do Quality Assurance and keep the deadline. Rather than hiring translators on a project basis, we are looking for a long-term cooperation.
✔️Read the announcement carefully and provide all the requirements.
✔️Make the subject of your email as instructed in the announcement.
✔️Start with a cover letter and try to prove why you are the fittest for the project.
✔️Highlight your experience and previous work in the required domain.
❌Send an email without subject or with a subject different from what is required in the announcement.
❌Send only cv attachment without introducing yourself or highlighting your experience.
✔️Be honest on your CV and application
✔️Be honest of the sample texts
✔️Be kind in your communication
✔️Be on time or let us know in time if you can not deliver
✔️Do your research properly
✔️Loyalty is always rewarded
- What are some common mistakes freelancers make when contacting you and what advice can you give them?
Veit Guenther: Admittedly, it's difficult for both sides: translators do not know us and we do not know them. One advice I can give is that translators should not just think about landing this one assignment, but think of it as a beginning as a long-term cooperation. Working for a new customer is a huge opportunity, and it is not really clear from the outset how much work there is do for them in the future. It sometimes amazes me that translators miss this first opportunity to make an exceptional impression on their client when, from our perspective, it is so easy 😊
My favorite example is the spell check, which many people seem to consider optional, when it is absolutely essential.
Mohamed Aglan: Some freelancers just send CV without any word and even without a subject. My advice to them, I don’t know you and I shouldn’t have time to read your full CV and evaluate you.
You must introduce me to yourself, highlight your top domains of experience and expertise, and why should I rely on you.
Some freelancers don’t clarify their language pair in their application email, and their CV includes several languages. They must specify exactly why they are sending their CV and what language pair/s they can perfectly translate from or to.
Alexandru Negurici: Some mistakes are:
❌They appear as highly specialised in a lot of languages, but native only in one/max 2
❌They put all industries down as specialties
❌They cite a rate that does not reflect their expertise
The advice I can give them is:
✔️Know the value of your work
✔️Choose only one language of target language (mother tongue) and when you have more than one, explain the exception
✔️Choose your specialty industries industries based on wordcount
We hope that you found these insights useful and that their advice will help you when you are applying for your next project. Don't forget to register to meet Aziz, Veit, Mohamed and Alexandru!
Have any questions about the job fair? Contact ProZ.com site staff »
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