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How not to get people for the job
Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 06:50
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
May 29, 2008

One thing is for sure: if you are an outsourcer and have a demanding translation job at hand into rare languages and require the use of rare software, you can be sure not to recieve too many bids. This agency today posted a job for translation a highly technical text into a lot of rare target languages and restricted the job to users of Across.

Regards
Heinrich


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:50
Member
English to French
What about Trados certified? May 29, 2008

I saw the first one in my language pairs restricting the job to translators who have Trados certification. The offer title looked promising, but I couldn't bid if I wanted to (I no longer was interested when I saw the rate offered), even though I have been using Trados daily (excluding Sundays) for the past 8 years.

I suppose that restricting jobs to members only yields too many replies in common languages; maybe outsourcers try to further restrict the response tidal wave with whatever deterring requirement that limits the amount of replies.

Regards,
Philippe


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 05:50
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
So... May 29, 2008

.... This agency today posted a job for translation a highly technical text into a lot of rare target languages and restricted the job to users of Across....


They for sure will have to face the reality, i.e. the buyer's market: tell us your price, Heinrich.

Regards

PS: hint: adding Accross to the DE <> SF would definitely not hurt, dont you think so?

[Edited at 2008-05-29 20:47]


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megane_wang  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:50
English to Spanish
+ ...
That's right, sometimes it makes no sense May 29, 2008

Philippe Etienne wrote:

I saw the first one in my language pairs restricting the job to translators who have Trados certification. The offer title looked promising, but I couldn't bid if I wanted to ....


I think we saw the same one. It was also for one of my pairs, and found quite **** that they required the Trados certification... (...and for such a rate¿?).

I think that Trados is just a tool, and this certification does not proof anything about your ability to translate. For sure, it does not proof that you are the right/wrong candidate for a translation job.

Hello? is anyone requiring a Windows, Word, Excel, typing or picking-up-the-phone certification??!

I'm sorry for SDL guys over there, who surely helped to include this option in the outsourcing request form, but tools should never be considered more important that people's knowledge/abilities.

Ruth @ MW


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:50
French to English
Restriction imposed May 29, 2008

Philippe Etienne wrote:
I suppose that restricting jobs to members only yields too many replies in common languages; maybe outsourcers try to further restrict the response tidal wave with whatever deterring requirement that limits the amount of replies.


Just for info, in common pairs, the "members only" restriction is imposed by the site. At least, it was when I last posted a job for Eng->French. I was quite annoyed.
There again, perhaps it is a restriction Proz imposes on non-paying members who post jobs?
Either way, it is worth mentioned that this particular restriction is not always actively selected by the job poster.


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:50
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Correction: the site doesn't impose anything May 29, 2008

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Just for info, in common pairs, the "members only" restriction is imposed by the site. At least, it was when I last posted a job for Eng->French. I was quite annoyed.
There again, perhaps it is a restriction Proz imposes on non-paying members who post jobs?
Either way, it is worth mentioned that this particular restriction is not always actively selected by the job poster.


Just to clarify the situation: the site does not impose anything. The job poster is solely responsible for the content of the post and need to make choices among available options. There is also a review screen (before publishing the post) to check if the selection is correct - unfortunately it happens that they don't review what they selected.

Magda
Jobs/BB moderator


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:50
French to English
Restriction May 30, 2008

OK, so I just went through the first stage of posting a job, Eng-Fr, as I did some time ago. I did it twice, just to make sure.
I deliberately selected the "allow non-members to express an interest" option.

On the next screen, where you check before actually posting the job, I got this:

Note: Because a large number of ProZ.com members meet your requirements, non-members will be restricted from submitting quotes on your job for 12 hours.

Which means that neither of us was quite right.
I had wrongly remembered it as a blanket restriction, whereas it is only for 12 hours.
You, with all due respect, are mistaken in asserting that the site does not apply any restrictions automatically, since it clearly does, albeit for only 12 hours.


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N.M. Eklund  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:50
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
Not so easy May 30, 2008

For the first time I decided to post a job yesterday, because I'm overbooked.
I thought it'd be easy, since I'm not looking for anything very special.
The document isn't hard; I didn't want to impose rates on people (I hate it when job posters do that), or CAT software; and the deadline is not short.
The problem was, the system wouldn't let me send it out since it said too many people qualified.
I was forced to add restricting parameters, like CAT software, locality and rates, in order to get the system to accept it.
Turns out, the job only shows under Connect jobs, not the other jobs list. Since I'm so busy, I couldn't take an extra half hour to figure out the mess between one jobs posting list and another.
Honestly, I use Proz for the forums and to ask questions, I've never quoted before. But, I really had expected the posting jobs part to be a bit simpler.

And guess what, 24hrs later, I only have 1 quote!


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 06:50
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Didn't know that May 30, 2008

N.M. Eklund wrote:

I was forced to add restricting parameters, like CAT software, locality and rates, in order to get the system to accept it.
Turns out, the job only shows under Connect jobs, not the other jobs list. Since I'm so busy, I couldn't take an extra half hour to figure out the mess between one jobs posting list and another.
Honestly, I use Proz for the forums and to ask questions, I've never quoted before. But, I really had expected the posting jobs part to be a bit simpler.

And guess what, 24hrs later, I only have 1 quote!


When I used to outsource, I never did it here, but there (you know)...

I wonder if that outsourcer also had to choose Across in order to get the message through. Have you tried to get in touch with the staff?


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Kemal Mustajbegovic  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:50
English to Croatian
+ ...
When talking job posting... May 30, 2008

I came across another interesting thing that left me puzzled.

The other day I posted a job on proZ because of my overload and selected the option that the job should not be posted elsewhere. But one of the bidders who responded in a matter of minutes said he/she had found this job posted on the other site (the "watery" one, you know what I mean).

Can someone explain me how that happened. I must say that I didn't check that site for job postings.

Cheers!

[Edited at 2008-05-30 10:48]


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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:50
English to Dutch
+ ...
Did you check that? May 30, 2008

Kemal Mustajbegovic wrote:

I came across another interesting thing that left me puzzled.

The other day I posted a job on proZ because of my overload and selected the option that the job should not be posted elsewhere. But one of the bidders who responded in a matter of minutes said he/she had found this job posted on the other site (the "watery" one, you know what I mean).

Can someone explain me how that happened. I must say that I didn't check that site for job postings.

Cheers!

[Edited at 2008-05-30 10:48]


Perhaps the bidder made a mistake in his response? Did you check whether is was reposted?

By the way, I've only done a few job postings via the bidding system here (I prefer to search the directory of freelancers), but I found it really rather simple. But then, maybe my requirements already served to restrict the job to a limited number of people....


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:50
English to Portuguese
+ ...
AH-HAAAA !!! May 30, 2008

N.M. Eklund wrote:
For the first time I decided to post a job yesterday, because I'm overbooked.
I thought it'd be easy, since I'm not looking for anything very special.
The document isn't hard; I didn't want to impose rates on people (I hate it when job posters do that), or CAT software; and the deadline is not short.

The problem was, the system wouldn't let me send it out since it said too many people qualified.
I was forced to add restricting parameters, like CAT software, locality and rates, in order to get the system to accept it.


Turns out, the job only shows under Connect jobs, not the other jobs list. Since I'm so busy, I couldn't take an extra half hour to figure out the mess between one jobs posting list and another.
Honestly, I use Proz for the forums and to ask questions, I've never quoted before. But, I really had expected the posting jobs part to be a bit simpler.

And guess what, 24hrs later, I only have 1 quote!


I had a negative view of SDL as a result of the overwhelming number of jobs on Proz and elsewhere demanding sine qua non translators who have Trados, even when this is thoroughly unjustified, such as in interpreting and video-for-dubbing translation gigs. My impression was that they were offering month-long cruises on the Caribbean to the PMs who required these most often. I thought that weren't it for that, a Trados license would cost about as much as a WordFast one. Maybe I was wrong, maybe not.

So this brings up a questionable issue about Proz itself: it forces an outsourcer like Ms. Eklund here to include more restrictive requirements than she'd like to. On the other hand, bidders are supposedly shown to the outsourcer in order of paying members first, and then sorted by Kudoz ranking. If paying Proz members are precluded from bidding because of unreasonable and/or unjustified requirements the outsourcer was forced by the system to impose, something is definitely wrong here.

Okay, the system sorts candidates using a publicly-known, sensible criterion. As it checks the number of candidates to decide upon allowing or not the job posting, it would be quite easy to inform the outsourcer that number.

For instance, the outsourcer writes the ad, and submits it. Before it goes through, a screen would tell them, e. g. "These requirements match 8,602 members and 26,515 users on Proz. Do you want to go ahead with it as it is? Y/N". If they do, it's their game. If they don't, they may add some additional requirements and check again.

Just to illustrate, I work EN-PT, speak IT-FR-ES, but don't translate these last three. No DE at all, gar nichts. Yesterday I had a technical EN-PT translation from a frequent local outsourcer. It had been previously translated DE-EN, probably by some poetry-loving fraulein who wouldn't know how to replace a flat tire on her Opel. To give an idea, apart from the worse-than-MT terminology, the verbs had been left at the end of the phrases in EN. If they had the same pub decently translated into any of my three "secondary" languages, it would have helped A LOT. I had to imagine what the original German writer meant there. Had it been a job post on Proz, the outsourcer could easily require an EN-PT translator with knowledge of DE.

On the other hand, the same system would warn the outsourcer that there are too few candidates - or none at all - that match such requirements. Of course it wouldn't make them change it from Uzbek-into-Latin to English-into-Spanish, but maybe giving them PDF instead of Interleaf files would help increasing the number of possibilities.

The logic of this system is similar to, however simpler than, the one used for "My directory ranking".

Food for thought, Proz folks.


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N.M. Eklund  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:50
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
You WILL be flooded with replies May 30, 2008

I think it's funny. When the warning message said that over 1000 people qualified and I should modify my requirements, the wording was particularly forefoding...
'Change it or you WILL be flooded with replies' or something like that. I remember specifically the WILL in caps.

So, like a good girl, I did what I was told, and as a result: still only 1 quote.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:50
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Flooded with replies May 30, 2008

N.M. Eklund wrote:
'Change it or you WILL be flooded with replies' or something like that. I remember specifically the WILL in caps.
So, like a good girl, I did what I was told, and as a result: still only 1 quote.


My outsourcing style is somewhat different. I do a lot of things on top of translating: DTP, subtitling, DVD authoring, etc. But if a client or prospect asks me for something I don't do, or that can't do at that time, I usually give them the name and phone/e-mail of someone I know that does it. Postmortem feedback from both is always welcome.

So I never posted a job on Proz. As a bidder, I see two ways of getting applications: via e-mail, or via the Proz system (which I prefer). The latter shows how many applications have been sent for that job so far. In the majority of cases, I see a few dozen at most. Only when they advertise for half a dozen language pairs, then I see at most a couple hundred bids, no more. My spam-catcher (and therefore my e-mail server) handles more than that every single day.

Anyway, I guess the Proz system will show you a page with all these listed, paying members first, sorted by Kudoz. This is how they say it works; otherwise how could Proz sort the mail inside your maulbox? Therefore, if you choose this option, you won't be flooded with messages, unless I'm missing something here.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:50
Member
English to French
Maybe a potential reason for having to restrict translators qualifying May 30, 2008

This is all new to me, I never posted a job and I find this thread very interesting. Thank you Heinrich and the contributors.

And a bit disturbing: I find it strange that a job poster HAS to restrict qualifying translators is order to be published, even if there is no ground for them to do so. I can understand the member-first default setting because when you pay you get benefits. Fair enough.
But if paying members are cast out of the bidding process simply because the job poster HAD to add some requirement to post his offer, then it does a disservice to paying members (nor users for that matter).

But there may be reasons that call for some kind of restriction on qualifying translators:
What if all users/paying members opted in for receiving job alerts?
The system would have to send a lot of emails for every blanket job (no restrictions, several languages) posted. The max possible is the number of members/users (300 000?).
There may be physical sizing issues taken into the equation to prevent a vanilla job from posting without restrictions.
But I am supputating. Probably only a few users/members opt in for job alerts.

As for response, the largest amount of applications on a single job I have seen was a few hundred. This shouldn't be an issue indeed, both for the system AND the outsourcer.

In a worst-case scenario, I would think that a plain vanilla job in several common language combinations in a "common" specialties and without specifics may hit quite heavily on proz physical resources in terms of mail-sending within a decent time frame.
Now, how likely is such scenario?

Bon week-end,
Philippe


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