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Tightening up restrictions on job posters, to match those placed on job bidders
Thread poster: writeaway

writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 02:47
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Apr 21, 2007

A Dutch-English job was just posted today, Saturday, and is due Monday morning. 2000 words, bottom end rate (not under discussion here) etc.
My complaint: there is not a single word about the SUBJECT of the text. Not one word. Just Dutch-English.
And yes, someone has actually bid.
I feel it's time to make job posters clearly state what field the job deals with. It is ludicrous just to state the language pair. Sure there are people who will bid without having a clue what they are bidding for (just like Kudoz questions that are answered without knowing the context) but job posters should be required to provide a minimum amount of information about the jobs posted.
If I see a message that I can't bid on a job because Word is required and I haven't listed that I have it (!! ), then how can someone be allowed to post a job without stating what the job actually is?

[Edited at 2007-04-21 15:28]


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Andrea Pinto  Identity Verified

Local time: 02:47
You took the words right out of my mouth… Apr 21, 2007

I totally agree. I happened to see the job offer and was wondering the same thing when I read it; how on earth can I bid on something of which I have no clue what it's about? Especially when you have to submit a quote, instead of sending a regular e-mail in which you can always ask what the subject (field) is.
The material shouldn't be that difficult though, considering the rate?!
Nevertheless, isn't there a specific (Proz) rule for these things? Meaning an outsourcer having to mention the field, or at least the subject? Food for thought.

Best,
Andrea

[Edited at 2007-04-21 15:46]


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:47
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Not the first time Apr 21, 2007

I couldn't agree more. It's very frustrating to read a job posting that does not provide the necessary details. And this is not the first time this topic has been brought up - see this previous posting http://www.proz.com/post/533290#533290 - but nothing has been done.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:47
English to French
+ ...
Just quickly Apr 21, 2007

If I have to tell the job poster about my experience, my studies, my cetifications, my software, and often even have expensive software (Quark Express, for example), then the least the job poster can do is tell me what the subject is, what type of document we are talking about, the wordcount and the deadline.

If a job poster can't answer these basic questions because s/he doesn't know the answer, then they really shouldn't be in business. This is a professional site, not a playground.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:47
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
They may not even know what language it is Apr 21, 2007

I have had Bulgarian and Ukrainian texts sent to me by agencies who thought they were Russian - not that surprising, since they all use some form of Cyrillic alphabet; but I have also had Greek, to which Russian does not bear much resemblance. And I have often been sent texts of which the agencies do not know the subject matter. I don't particularly object to this, from an agency phoning or emailing me; but I agree that before posting a job on the Web, they should at least do enough research to find out what field it is in.

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Andrea Pinto  Identity Verified

Local time: 02:47
Seriously… Apr 21, 2007

it's like Tina says… it occurs more often that job posters don't specify the field or subject that needs translating. Because Proz is a site for professionals, can't we ask Proz to seriously consider doing something about that? By adding a field/subject box or whatsoever? Or perhaps I'm asking too much…I don't have a clue how these things work, and/or whom to approach.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:47
English to French
+ ...
The most efficient way Apr 21, 2007

I think that complaining in a thread will not have much impact - this subject has been discussed time after time here, but nobody has done anything about it.

What we can do to eventually get from point A to point B is to use the little link at the bottom of job postings that says something along the lines of 'there is a problem with this job posting'. I think we are afraid to use the means at our disposal to discourage unacceptable behaviour, but the means are there, which means that site administration is aware that such problems can occur and is willing to give us a means to express our disapproval. However, since we are too 'shy' to voice our discontent, just like it is the case with the BlueBoard, the site doesn't get enough complaints and so they don't really have a reason to do anything. Job moderators don't scour the site for threads like this one and can't be held responsible for not taking action.

When they get an increasing number of complaints through the above mentioned feature, they will have to look after them on a case per case basis, and they will be overwhelmed. That's when our problem will become their problem and they will then be motivated to do something about it that will be much more definitive than leaving it all up to the job poster. That is when a solution to this nagging problem will be implemented. In the meantime, if we want to eventually reach such a solution, we will have to do our part.

Please, use the link at the bottom of job postings to make site administration and job moderators aware not only of the problem itself, but also about our serious dissatisfaction with it.

[Edited at 2007-04-21 18:30]


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Andrea Pinto  Identity Verified

Local time: 02:47
Good idea! Apr 21, 2007

Exactly what I meant to say…complaining won't get us far (enough), we should try and do something about it. What you mentioned, is a good idea. As I said before, I wouldn't know how to deal with this matter , so this could be a great option. Good thinking!

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:47
English to German
+ ...
Moderators *are* aware of this Apr 21, 2007

Viktoria,
I'm afraid you're advocating putting pressure on the wrong people.

Job moderators don't scour the site for threads like this one and can't be held responsible for not taking action.

With all due respect, but this is simply not true. Personally, I have set this forum to receive a notification for each individual posting. We have been following up, but we do not have direct control over development resources.

You are, of course, not aware of those jobs where moderators ask outsourcers to add more details. (Yes, this doeshappen, but we don't go and post in the forum about it...)


When they get an increasing number of complaints through the above mentioned feature, they will have to look after them on a case per case basis, and they will be overwhelmed.

Let me get this straight - you would like to "overwhelm" volunteer moderators, so we no longer have time to check non-payment complaints, for example?

If you wish to contact ProZ.com site staff, the route to take is to submit a Support Request.

We certainly have no problem if people use the "link at the bottom of job postings" to make us aware of problems with individual job postings. (In fact, it would have been helpful if writeaway had used that link this morning.) When you contact Jobs moderators, please contact one at a time.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 03:47
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
We are aware of the problem Apr 21, 2007

and we are doing what we can to improve the situation.

Please note that jobs' moderators, like all moderators of the site, are volunteers- we do our job at expense of our personal business and family life- please do not intentionally make life harder for us.

However, please also note that jobs posted by outsourcers matching definite BB record marks' level does not require vetting- we do look at all posted jobs, but it takes time- there are not so few jobs posted on ProZ.com daily.

Thank you,

Uldis



Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
Job moderators don't scour the site for threads like this one and can't be held responsible for not taking action.

When they get an increasing number of complaints through the above mentioned feature, they will have to look after them on a case per case basis, and they will be overwhelmed. That's when our problem will become their problem and they will then be motivated to do something about it that will be much more definitive than leaving it all up to the job poster.


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Andrea Pinto  Identity Verified

Local time: 02:47
Maybe not such a good idea after all… Apr 21, 2007

…sorry about that, Ralf and Uldis. Thanks for your feedback, at least the uninitiated like me now know what to do in a case like this… submit a support request.

[Edited at 2007-04-21 19:07]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 03:47
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Chunk of text would be required Apr 21, 2007

If the poster does not know the subject, they should copy a chunk of text (few hundred words) along. There is a field for it already. This should be obligatory for jobs of more than 1000 words.
Cheers
Heinrich


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Jim Tucker  Identity Verified
United States
Hungarian to English
+ ...
Agree with Heinrich: encourage sample text Apr 21, 2007

It's of enormous advantage for both parties when a sample text is there in the job description: we can bid so much more intelligently, and the poster is more likely to land a translator decently suited to the job.

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Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Italy
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
Excellent idea! Apr 21, 2007

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

If the poster does not know the subject, they should copy a chunk of text (few hundred words) along. There is a field for it already. This should be obligatory for jobs of more than 1000 words.
Cheers
Heinrich


It should made be compulsory anyway (not to be translated but just to get an idea what the text is about). So often we are only told: legal, commercial, technical... still too vague, in my opinion.


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 02:47
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Job moderators don't set the policy Apr 21, 2007

I don't see how anyone can expect job moderators to jump in and take action if there is no clear policy from somewhere higher up the chain.
Clearly there is NO requirement at all on job posters to state what their jobs are about.
I feel this has to be introduced because it's ridiculous to post jobs without this information.
Just as translators are stopped from bidding when they don't meet a 'requirement' mentioned by a job poster, the job posters themselves should be stopped from posting if they don't provide vital information.
And that's not up to the job moderators-the job posters should be shown the same sort of automatic messages and blocks as those shown to bidders.
All that depends on the Proz policy makers and their paid staff. Job moderators aren't the ones to complain to.
Also agree with Heinrich's suggestion. The main thing though is for something be done to make it or any other measure a requirement.

ps: @ Ralf-(just saw your comment): this is not a specific complaint about one job posting-this is about the general issue of information-free jobs being posted. That's why I never even considered contacting anyone. Not all complaints or moans are aimed at Mods....


[Edited at 2007-04-21 21:02]


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