The Complexities of Recruitment
Recruitment for agencies and companies looking for translation workers is the same as anywhere else – complex, and difficult.
In my career I’ve seen recruitment, hiring, and firing largely from the point of view of an employee. Although I now run my own business, it’s a freelance concern, and I am my own sole employee as well as the boss. That certainly makes retaining employees easier! And if I am plotting to leave for a better job, it certainly doesn’t come as a surprise to management.
All joking aside, I still have plenty of colleagues and friends in companies that offer translation services or in translation agencies, so the issue of finding and keeping jobs from both the workers’ and employers’ points of view is very much a topic of conversation. While my experience and thoughts on the matter may not be universal, they are based on quite a lengthy career – and I think they would apply equally to most other industries. Some things are universal, and employment issues are one of those things, I think.
As an Employee
When you’re working a job, it’s natural to go through a series of stages: The Honeymoon Period, the Rut, and then Dissatisfaction. Eventually, every job becomes a boring rut if you don’t get promoted or find other ways to keep things fresh. Of course, keep in mind that the ability to consider your career in terms of stimulation or interest is quite a luxury – most people in the world don’t get to choose what they do to survive in this life.
Still, most of us can choose, and so it behooves us to choose well. The key for anyone in the modern age is networking. Many jobs are filled before they are posted publicly, and knowing people who can alert you to and recommend you for jobs as they open up will guarantee you always have options, no matter how happy or unhappy you are in your current job.
Networking isn’t just glad-handing and slipping people business cards. If people feel like you’re talking to them just because you hope someday they can get you a better job, you won’t get far. Instead, concentrate on forging relationships, and look for ways to do other people favours as well!
As a Hiring Manager
I can’t imagine how hard it is to be a hiring manager in today’s world. It’s not like the old days when people stayed at companies forever. These days every week someone new has resigned, and new positions are created, and it must simply be an endless uphill climb to keep places staffed!
In my limited experience on this side of things, my best advice to hiring managers is to be very, very specific in your job descriptions. Nothing is more wasteful than showing up to interview for a job that is totally unsuited for my skills and experience – something that could be very easily cured if you would simply think more carefully about your ideal candidate, beyond degrees and years of experience.
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The translation industry is a relatively small one but it’s also a highly competitive one. Basically, do your research on a translation agency prior to making initial contact and it will certainly pay off; perhaps not immediately because there may not be any work available at the time, so just be patient. Your application must stand out above the rest, and by following these simple steps you should have no problem whatsoever in achieving your translation goals.