With the ProZ.com virtual fair on December 30 at 12 PM GMT fast approaching, it's time to meet more businesses and read what advice they can give to freelancers when approaching a translation agency for collaboration.
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- What's your name, what company do you work for and how long have you been working for the company?
Ivana Barišić Oharek: My name is Ivana and I've been working as a vendor manager at Ciklopea, a translation agency based in Zagreb, Croatia, for 3 years.
Marko Hozjan: My name is Marko Hozjan. I’m the CEO and one of the founders of Taia Translations, and I’ve been working at Taia since the beginning, in 2017. Sara Posati, one of Taia's Vendor Managers will be joining the ProZ.com fair.
Dorothee Orf: My name is Dorothee Orf and I work for the company INTERTEXT Translation Services, based in Barcelona, Spain. I have been with the company for more than three decades and I have watched it develop and grow. We started in the pre-digital era and we have incorporated new technologies as they have emerged. We currently offer specialised translation services, software and website localisation services, audiovisual translation, proofreading services, post- editing, DTP and other additional services.
- What's your company's mission?
Ivana Barišić Oharek: We help our clients optimize their multilingual efforts and accelerate their digital transformation through the development and application of customized language solutions.
Our vision is to be the leading provider of language solutions in South-Eastern Europe through the generation of value and innovation in a digital, multilingual and data-driven world.
Marko Hozjan: By automating simple and repetitive translation tasks using modern technology, we are helping people work more efficiently and conveniently. This way they can focus on more important and interesting work and consequently live a more meaningful and fulfilling life.
Dorothee Orf: Our company's mission is to provide quality, professional translations and language services that meet our customers’ needs in order to gain and maintain their long-term trust and loyalty. We seek to foster internationalisation of the company as a means of growth and to learn about other competitive environments and to develop responsible business activity from a social, environmental and ethical viewpoint in order to contribute to social well-being and development. None of this is possible without teamwork in a climate of mutual respect and trust, with open, cordial communication, both between the members of our team and with freelancers.
- What sets your company apart?
Ivana Barišić Oharek: Our core 5 values are:
1. Simplicity – we are a People-First Business. It's simple to do business with us.
2. Transparency – our business processes are transparent and based on the principle of Open Book Management.
3. Partnership – we always strive to achieve a win-win situation, both with our clients and our freelancers.
4. Integrity – we keep our word and deliver on our promises.
5. Kaizen – we plan, analyze and improve every business process when necessary.
Marko Hozjan: The biggest differentiator between Taia and other companies is our culture. We strive to create a pleasant work environment, where everybody can feel comfortable and continuously develop on a professional (and personal) level.
Dorothee Orf: The features that differentiate us as a company include our more than 30 years of existence, our experience, our drive to innovate and the fact that we have broken new ground in such areas as having been co-founders of the Spanish sector association ACT (later ANETI), of the Lengua Clusterlingua technology cluster and the development and implementation of the quality standard for translation services (we were the second Spanish company to implement UNE EN 15038, the precursor of ISO 17100). We work with different universities on their internship programmes and we have tutored several master's degree final projects. We led the commission on the first market study conducted in Spain, promoted by member companies of the sector association. From the outset, we have been an international company, with clients and translators in many different countries, which has enabled us to develop resources in a multitude of fields and language combinations.
- Can you talk a little bit about your recruitment processes?
Ivana Barišić Oharek: Our recruitment process consists of five steps: approaching potential freelancers –through job postings or cold contacts depending on the specialization and experience required; a testing phase – all our freelancers have to pass a test translation related to their specialization and for the language pair(s) they are qualified for; asking for credentials – documents, diplomas, certifications and sometimes for references; sharing the terms and conditions of our partnership; informing the Production team about the new freelancer by sending an introductory email with all the necessary information about the freelancer (language pairs, specialization, CAT tools, availability, prices).
Marko Hozjan: For the past year, we have been working on setting up a vendor management department and developing our vendor management processes. We have tested different approaches to our recruitment process and have now found balance in a mixture between a reactive and strategic approach. Since we are in a phase of fast growth, we are quickly acquiring new clients with different needs. As such, we are trying to find solutions that of course entail the perfect team of linguists, so we are currently recruiting a lot of new vendors to fill the slots for new needed profiles.
Dorothee Orf: We tend to recruit quite frequently when we receive translation projects for which we require a very specific field of expertise or when there are language combinations for which we would like to have more resources. The essential requirements that we take into account in order to establish a relationship with a translator are as follows: to be a native speaker of the target language and to have several years of experience in the field of expertise of a given project. We also tend to prefer candidates with training in the field of language/linguistics, who have an up-to-date CV and have references from other companies/jobs, etc. When there is no specific recruitment procedure, all the applications that come to us are classified by language combination and, if we like their profile, we encourage translators to register in our database so we can contact them whenever necessary.
- What are the DO's and DON'Ts when applying for a project with your company?
Ivana Barišić Oharek: Freelancers should definitely be open to new technologies and CAT tools. They should emphasize their strengths and what makes them special and different from others. It’s good to stand out in the multitude of resumes. I love original CVs 😄 They shouldn't be afraid of new challenges in the translation industry related to new industries such as gaming, IT, localization, or new technologies such as CAT tools and MTs. They should be willing to become partners and regular members of our teams.
Marko Hozjan: First and foremost, a clear and concise CV is still a must. When applying for a specific project, it is important to highlight the skills and experience that show the applicant is indeed a good fit for the project at hand. A tailored CV and application will allow for the vendor manager to better assess the candidate. Try to avoid long CVs with cluttered formatting and a lot of irrelevant information. The CV can, however, be accompanied by a portfolio which lists the most relevant projects sorted by subject matter (unless any of the information is protected by NDAs of course).
✔️In the case of new collaborators on a project, we appreciate their willingness to take a
translation test so we can assess their suitability the project. It is also very important for them to send us their latest CV so we can assess whether their profile fits the specialist area. We also highly appreciate smooth communication: if they have any doubts regarding the workflow of the project or the text that they are translating.
❌We do not recommend that translations of texts should be accepted if they are not in the translator's area of expertise. Neither do we accept translations into a language other than the translator's native one.
✔️In general, we highly appreciate good communication with the manager and translators with relevant areas of expertise to each project.
- What are some common mistakes freelancers make when contacting you and what advice can you give them?
Ivana Barišić Oharek: I really appreciate every CV that I receive – it means that someone has already put a certain effort into checking out who we are and into offering his or her services, which is great. The most useful CVs are the ones that include a few references and information on the fields the applicant specialises in – this gives me a good initial idea of where the applicant might fit within our organisation. Writing a good CV may take time and can be seen as time-consuming for a linguist, but speaking from the position of a vendor manager, it is really worth it, believe me.
Marko Hozjan: It is surprising how many CVs lack information on educational backgrounds. Since we are operating under ISO certification, we have to make sure our linguists meet certain criteria in this aspect as well. Besides inadequate CVs, our vendor managers have reported many communication issues, including applicants missing CVs altogether.. My main piece of advice would be to tailor the application and CV and be mindful about communication. Answering any questions vendor managers may raise in a clear and concise manner is equally as important as raising questions about anything that may be unclear in order to ensure a smooth onboarding process.
Dorothee Orf: We sometimes come across potential collaborators who don't read our emails or job orders carefully enough, which leads to a series of messages being exchanged that can cause unnecessary delays (if they don’t read the message carefully or make too many mistakes, will they do the same with their work?). There are other cases where they give us overly brief or incomplete answers that suggest little interest in taking the necessary time to answer.
When INTERTEXT contacts a potential collaborator, their commitment and time taken to answer questions properly are highly appreciated. Communication, friendliness and humanity are elements that we very much take into account, and as a company we are very proud of that.
We hope that you found these insights useful and that their advice will help you when you are applying for your next project. Register to meet Ivana, Sara, Dorothee and more businesses' representatives!
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