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why some agencies ask for references?
Thread poster: Ata Arif

Ata Arif  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:04
Member (2009)
Kurdish to English
+ ...
May 17, 2015

An agency asked me for references and I explained that I have been a translator for so many years so my Proz.com WWA feedback and my membership of professional bodies should be alright but still they insist that their protocol is such and they ask for 2 references. I do not mind providing professional bodies with references but I usually do not like to ask an agency to provide reference for me for another similar agency.
what do you think?


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:04
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Tell them what to do with their protocol May 17, 2015

They clearly have no understanding of their business so you're better off not working with them. Those WWA entries ARE references/testimonials anyway! If they want employer references then they'll need to employ an employee.

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xxxbrg
Netherlands
Ask them for their references May 17, 2015

Name + phone number.

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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:04
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Give references, lose clients May 17, 2015

Ata Arif wrote:
An agency asked me for references

Consider what would happen if you apply to 20 agencies - on the assumption that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find even a few princes - and those agencies all ask for references from existing clients, which you give them.

If all those agencies follow up those references, your existing clients are going to get bombarded with emails for references to one person: you. That's a complete waste of your clients' time and likely a major irritant for them, with YOU being the locus of that annoyance.

How long do you think they will remain your clients?

It's hard to pass on potential work, but a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Keep your existing clients well away from potential new ones. As somebody else said, we don't ask agencies for references and they shouldn't be asking us for them either. That's what tests are for.

Regards
Dan


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:04
English to German
+ ...
I can't recommend tests May 17, 2015

Dan Lucas wrote:

Ata Arif wrote:
An agency asked me for references

Consider what would happen if you apply to 20 agencies - on the assumption that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find even a few princes - and those agencies all ask for references from existing clients, which you give them.

If all those agencies follow up those references, your existing clients are going to get bombarded with emails for references to one person: you. That's a complete waste of your clients' time and likely a major irritant for them, with YOU being the locus of that annoyance.

How long do you think they will remain your clients?

It's hard to pass on potential work, but a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Keep your existing clients well away from potential new ones. As somebody else said, we don't ask agencies for references and they shouldn't be asking us for them either. That's what tests are for.

Regards
Dan


I agree, Dan, except for the last point about tests. Tests can be misused and many times they are.

[Edited at 2015-05-17 15:54 GMT]


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Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:04
French to German
+ ...
WWA + sample translations May 17, 2015

I would not provide any. A WWA feedback is already a reference and your clients really have something else to do!

I normally do not propose test translations neither but provide some samples.


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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It's a no no May 17, 2015

I do not know if the client is a king, but they certainly needn't be bothered on the part of their competitors.

Explain the prospective customer the state of the art of the industry, and if they insist on recommendations/references (whatever this is called), move on.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 21:04
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Membership of a professional association May 17, 2015

Membership of a professional association is a possible substitute for references.
I had to send references from colleagues when I applied to the CIoL, and I certainly asked two clients for references when I applied for Chartered Linguist status.

They were happy to provide references for that purpose. However, I lost one good client by asking for references for a competitor, and I have never given references to clients since then.

If professional associations do not ask for references, they check applicants' credentials in other ways, and membership is a reference in itself.

As there is so little regulation of the profession, and anyone can set up as a translator, I can understand why agencies want to check that translators are suitably qualified before sending work. There are alternatives to references, however, which should be perfectly adequate.


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Ata Arif  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:04
Member (2009)
Kurdish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all May 18, 2015

Thank you all for your recommendations
I shall send this link to the [potential] client


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Natasha Ziada  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 05:04
English to Dutch
+ ...
Sending the link May 18, 2015

Shouldn't you check that with all that participated before sending? I personally wouldn't appreciate having my contributions to the forums forwarded to a third party.

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Ata Arif  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:04
Member (2009)
Kurdish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I consider this as a public forum May 18, 2015

Hi Natasha
Sorry if that is not something you like but I considered this as a public forum not a private communication so obviously any proz.com member (paid or not) can access these forums and read what you said regardless of whether somebody was informed of it through a link or not.
If that is the case you may consider not participating in such public forums and send your views and opinions in a private communication.
you can also send the link to whoever you want look at the bottom of the forum as it says [tell a friend]!





[Edited at 2015-05-18 10:37 GMT]


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
gibberish May 18, 2015

It really looks like an ol'dirty headhunting: come along and bring at least two naive 'friends', who also need to bring two or more slow 'friends' each and ask them to do the same... ad infinitum.

I'd rather not.

[Edited at 2015-05-18 11:55 GMT]


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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It is public May 18, 2015

I agree, it is a public forum. After all, our posts are "googleable" (sorry, just made up the word).

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Ata Arif  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:04
Member (2009)
Kurdish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Merab May 18, 2015

just to add one may share it on Facebook too!

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Natasha Ziada  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 05:04
English to Dutch
+ ...
You are right May 18, 2015

I hadn't noticed that link. A bit weird actually, to have that option, for me it should be more like 'whatever happens on Proz stays on Proz' to ensure confidentiality.

Regardless of the option being there and the forum being public, I'd still consider it common courtesy to ask before sending. But maybe that's just me being old-fashioned 😊


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