Free tests - obligatory to mention them in job ads?
Thread poster: Lingua 5B

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 09:39
English to Croatian
+ ...
Jun 27, 2016

I was just wondering... shouldn't mentioning of free tests be obligatory in job posts?

Otherwise, for instance, I do not do free tests, and sometimes if I send my application I only come to find out they require tests (which I don't do). Now I wasted both mine and client's time sending an application without even having full insight into the requirements (not my fault at all).

Can this be prevented and what could be done? Could you make it obligatory that they mention this requirement in job description, and then if they don't, that we can somehow complain for our wasted time?

Thanks for any inputs.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:39
Member (2005)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Should make them obligatory Jun 27, 2016

I agree with you to the point that I also don't do free tests. I also understand your frustration, since I've been in the same situations many times.

If mentioning free tests become obligatory, this would greatly reduce wasting time on clients who tell you LATER that you need to take a free test before they assign you the job.

But I guess this would be difficult and we should rely on the clients' conscience.


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:39
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Why difficult? Jun 27, 2016

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:

But I guess this would be difficult and we should rely on the clients' conscience.


When posting a job/offer, the client/agency could be specifically asked to indicate whether they're going to require a free test or not... That actually seems pretty straightforward and easy to implement (and without "adverse effects" of sorts)...


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 09:39
English to Croatian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's right. Jun 27, 2016

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:

But I guess this would be difficult and we should rely on the clients' conscience.


When posting a job/offer, the client/agency could be specifically asked to indicate whether they're going to require a free test or not... That actually seems pretty straightforward and easy to implement (and without "adverse effects" of sorts)...


Just adding a field in the job form that says "will this job involve a free test - yes/no", and make this field obligatory field to fill in.

This could save a lot of time for everybody in the process.

There isn't even a question box where I could ask a question when I suspect (by how the post is worded) that I might be asked to do a free test, perhaps a question box would allow me to ask this question before I take my time to tailor the application?


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Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 02:39
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
sometimes only Jun 27, 2016

Regarding tests
1. only some companies ask for tests at the first interaction to evaluate the translator. Once the quality is confirmed future jobs start coming in, no hassles. I have 2 clients in the pipeline and have completed tests.
2. some companies add in addition to translation, other hoops like: back ground check, security clearance etc. when the work pertains to government related. I opt for their non govt jobs, instead of going through the hassles.

What bothers me is that the agencies ask you to finish formalities/ sign agreements and then let you know about 1.tests 2. 45 to 60 days payment 3. other such weird un-business like conditions.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
The solution Jun 27, 2016

Srini Venkataraman wrote:
Regarding tests
1. only some companies ask for tests at the first interaction to evaluate the translator. Once the quality is confirmed future jobs start coming in, no hassles. I have 2 clients in the pipeline and have completed tests.
2. some companies add in addition to translation, other hoops like: back ground check, security clearance etc. when the work pertains to government related. I opt for their non govt jobs, instead of going through the hassles.

What bothers me is that the agencies ask you to finish formalities/ sign agreements and then let you know about 1.tests 2. 45 to 60 days payment 3. other such weird un-business like conditions.

A set of boxes to tick, including an "other" to complete as necessary. As the OP says, it's a real time-waster to be asked to do tests/provide samples without even knowing if they're going to accept your rates and payment terms. And as for the multiple hoops, someone else can jump through them - at my age, my time is far too precious!


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:39
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Along the lines Sheila has suggested... Jun 27, 2016

A set of boxes/fields in which the poster indicates the following:

Free test required?
Length of free test (in words)?
Will content of free test be the same for all selected candidates?
Will paperwork be required of candidates in order to be considered for job?
When can translator expect payment following delivery of completed work (in days)?

I would take it a step further and advocate the inclusion of recommendations attached to each of these questions. For example:

Free test required?
[Note that many highly qualified translators are either unwilling or unable to do free tests to be considered for an individual project. We encourage that you carefully consider a translator's profile with respect to your project before imposing such a requirement.]
Length of free test?
[We strongly encourage that any unpaid test not exceed 250 words.]
etc.

This would be just one small way in which this site could help freelancers avoid wasting their time in the ways described in this thread.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:39
Member
English to French
Yes/no free tests Jun 27, 2016

I don't have a clear-cut view about free tests, as long as I don't spend excessive time on them.
If the "test" issue appears with a prospect, I usually decide whether it's "worth the candle" after a little interaction with them to probe waters. Agencies may also drop the "test" requirement depending on who is on the other side of the line.
A test box with a "yes" would mean that I could be tempted to offer them my services nevertheless, and after a few exchanges, decide that I can't be bothered. With my own logic, such a checkbox will waste my time all the same.
So from my point of view, it won't bring me any added insight.

On the other hand:
Srini Venkataraman wrote:
...45 to 60 days payment...

Robert Forstag wrote:
...When can translator expect payment following delivery of completed work (in days)?...

I rather like this one. A French agency with a 60-day end-of-month term (i.e. up a QUARTER betwen delivery and payment) went bankrupt in 2001, and I lost a double packet (EUR3700) instead of a single one had I been sensible enough to avoid such extended terms like the plague.
So no matter what, I no longer provide 2-month credit and what-not. Such a field would therefore be handy for me.
But then it's also based on my own logic and priorities, and some people will be happy to bet on the prospect forever-solvency.

Incidentally, agencies with reasonable payment terms are usually quite good in many other respects. I can't say the same of most agencies with extended terms.

Philippe


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Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 02:39
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
proz jobs Jun 27, 2016

When I mentioned earlier about tests, I was referring to those who contact me after seeing my profile thru proz etc. Per se I do not try for the advertised translation jobs.

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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 09:39
English to Croatian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It doesn't make any difference. Jun 27, 2016

Srini Venkataraman wrote:

When I mentioned earlier about tests, I was referring to those who contact me after seeing my profile thru proz etc. Per se I do not try for the advertised translation jobs.


A client may contact me saying how they have a job and if I can send my CV. I review the job and decide it may be for me, so I tailor a reply and send my CV and rate. Then they come back to me with an attached test. There are correspondence is over, as far as I am concerned. They do not even ask first if I do the tests at all, before attaching it for me and setting their deadline for it.


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Srini Venkataraman
United States
Local time: 02:39
Member (2012)
Tamil to English
+ ...
take it or leave it Jun 27, 2016

If a company wants to send me a test, I will weigh in the probability of future business. If positive, then I go ahead , if not I will stop communicating further. Cut you losses and move on.
A couple of UK based companies never asked for tests and started sending jobs- but the issue is their payment is 45+ days. So I stop working after the first job. Don't like them riding on my coat tails.


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