Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Filling out forms...
Thread poster: Alison High

Alison High  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 06:41
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Nov 24, 2011

Hi, I find myself having to fill out forms for agencies which ask for the information I have already given them... for the most part anyway. It would appear that they want it in their standardised format and I'm the one, it appears that has to do this monotonous administrative task for them.

Is it actually OK that they ask me to do this? It most definitely is not one of my favourite jobs.

I'm fairly computer-minded, but their standardised in-house formats they want me to enter my details into are so NOT standardised with any other agency (web-based, .xls or .doc, order, layout, you name it) that I doubt a macro or anything similar could do it for me.

So what are your thoughts on the matter?


 

Paula Hernández
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:41
English to Spanish
+ ...
As I was told recently Nov 24, 2011

I asked a similar question a few weeks ago and I was given very good advice.
You could tell them that you'll fill in the forms when they have a job for you, because in my own experience, the more documents you fill in is inversely proportional to the amount of jobs you will get from those agencies.
On the other hand, I have loads of work form other agencies that only asked me to complete their documentation once they had a job ready for me.

Hope this helps.


 

David Turnbull
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:41
Italian to English
Worth the time? Nov 24, 2011

Hi Alison,

I sympathise; it is a boring task. However the agencies are obviously free to act as they wish (so it is "OK" for them to do it) and you are not under duress to fill in their forms if you don't want to.

It depends, in the individual circumstances, whether its worth your time.

If it's an on-spec "add to our database" thing for a possible job sometime in the future (but maybe never) I probably wouldn't bother. Plenty more fish in the sea.

On the other hand, if it's a matter of 10 minutes copying and pasting in return for a secure (and worthwhile) project or a good long-term client then it's well worth it.

Non?

David


 

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 06:41
English to Russian
+ ...
I'm with Paula Nov 24, 2011

My personal experience confirms Paula's opinion - the more questionnaires you get to fill, the less is your change of getting any decent work from that outsourcer. Also, sometimes it's just the matter of obtaining consistent and standardized information, but sometimes these questinnaires are huge and downright ludicrous.

 

Claudia Brauer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:41
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
100 to 1 Nov 24, 2011

Hello, Allison. They say that when you are looking for a job (a permanent one), you have to send 100 resumes to have one HR person even read yours, and that is not even a real chance to be called in for an interview. That means that you have 1 in 100 chances to even get to an HR's attention. A huge amount of resumes end up in the trash "automatically", i.e., it is "software" that does the pre-screening for the humans. The same happens with agency work. The amount of information these agencies receive is such that no human ever review your information UNTIL they need a specific translator for a specific job, and then, there is no one who sits down to sift through thousands of resumes to see who fits, it is a software program with a very complex algorithm that picks and chooses for them. That is why you have to be REGISTERED with the agency, in their database, if you want them to ever call you. HOWEVER, because these agencies receive such a huge amount of resumes from all over the world, usually the first item of selection becomes "price". Thus, the computer takes the information provided by thousands of translators, chooses the language pair, then the specialty, now it may have several hundred left. Then the next criteria is price and only then the computer sends to a human a handful of possible candidates. With this in mind, my recommendation is that you should only fill out your information for databases of agencies that have posted jobs specific for your language pair. Otherwise, I am afraid, you are waisting your time. I really like ProZ system, where you can register yourself in ProZ database for your language pair and then you receive info on those that meet your criteria. That way, you can set your prices at the level you seem fair, and you will only get advised of those jobs that are within your specifications. Likewise, Translator's Cafe and others have similar search possibilities, which allow you to register with a large pool and have the agencies come and search at YOUR criteria. That way, when the computer provides a potential job, you know that agency is ready to meet YOUR standards and therefore you will not be wasting your time filling out their database info. The reason for databases is the same as with other things in our automated world: you are competing against millions of people out there. Most of the preliminary sorting is done by software, not humans.

 

Alison High  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 06:41
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
deviating a little I think Nov 24, 2011

Thanks everyone for your input, but I think this thread is going off-topic.

My question is not should I or should I not have to register with an agency or not and when I should if I do, but rather, why am I expected to do their administrative work for them?

I have already sent them the info, why should it be down to me to insert the info I have already given them in a clear and readable format into a format that is standard only to their agency? And I'm expected to do that for free?

I've done it and I've done it for 12 years now, but I don't like doing it and want to know if I'm alone in having this bug me.

If they entered the info and asked me to check it... or fill in the gaps left, that would be another story, more reasonable... after all isn't adminstration part and parcel of what agencies are for?


 

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 06:41
English to Russian
+ ...
Nobody wanted to say it bluntly... Nov 24, 2011

...but it's simple: you are not supposed to. You can do them a favour if they are nice and you feel like doing it. If it's a sweatshop described by Claudia, they aren't worth your attention. Fortunately, one can more or less distinguish the formers from the latters by looking at their questionnaires.

 

XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:41
Portuguese to English
+ ...
It depends on the size of the agency Nov 24, 2011

Alison High wrote:

I've done it and I've done it for 12 years now, but I don't like doing it and want to know if I'm alone in having this bug me.



There is a part of me that writes off admin as 'marketing time' although logically it makes no sense for our time to be spent on admin tasks that could and should be performed by an administrator in an agency. Then again, if the agency is small, it certainly doesn't warrant hiring an administrator, so you can understand why they may need you to do the work for them so they can access your information swiftly and get on with the task of finding you work.

[Edited at 2011-11-24 16:28 GMT]


 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:41
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Formats are too restrictive Nov 24, 2011

I usually try to complete these forms, but they are often not designed to allow you to tell the agency what you want them to know. For example, I am often asked about my university degrees. I don't in fact have any. I have other excellent qualifications, but the form does not allow me to say anything about them. I always send my own CV and ask the agencies to look at that too, but I doubt if they do, they just look for someone who ticks the right boxes on their forms.

 

3ADE shadab
Local time: 10:11
Hindi to English
+ ...
Formats should get changed Nov 25, 2011

You are absolutely right Jack. The format really misses out people who do not hold the same universities and school degrees. Infact such format really fails to notice the degrees that can buy a good reputation for the company or even go for a big amount project for the same. So if degree is the only criterion then I think anyone can get entry holding a good mark on the subjects. But if anybody wants to run a successful business then the format should be changed.

Regards
Shadab


[Edited at 2011-11-27 05:31 GMT]


 

gad
United States
Local time: 00:41
Member
French to English
I don't like forms Nov 26, 2011

Sometimes I fill them out, but most of the time I end up forgetting about them. I have other paperwork - and work - to do in the meantime.

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:41
English to German
+ ...
Break the format Nov 26, 2011

Try to figure out if there is a limited number of characters for each field. If not, write a novel.
It will certainly draw attention, it will leave an impression and I did this to two prospective customers who are now both regular clients.


 

nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:41
English to French
+ ...
feel fre to ask for your hourly rate ... Nov 27, 2011

Alison High wrote:

My question is {...} t rather, why am I expected to do their administrative work for them?

I have already sent them the info, why should it be down to me to insert the info I have already given them in a clear and readable format into a format that is standard only to their agency? And I'm expected to do that for free?



Well, the agency prefer you to it for free ... so that they don't have to pay an administrative officer or PM for such a non productive taskicon_wink.gif

[Edited at 2011-11-27 08:33 GMT]


 

xxxinge van dri
Local time: 06:41
German to Dutch
+ ...
Is the format you gave them searchable? Nov 27, 2011

Alison High wrote:

My question is {...} t rather, why am I expected to do their administrative work for them?

I have already sent them the info, why should it be down to me to insert the info I have already given them in a clear and readable format into a format that is standard only to their agency? And I'm expected to do that for free?



and can they, on their side, add other information (for accounting, for instance)?

And yes, you are expected to do that for free. When in the past you sent out cv's by snail mail, you also paid the stamps.


 

XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:41
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Perhaps this could be something on ProZ? Nov 28, 2011

Perhaps a standard form could be designed that is downloadable from ProZ and we could convince agencies to accept this format? If they then had any further questions or need for clarification they would then be free to email us... or is that just a pipe dream?

 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Filling out forms...

Advanced search







BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search