Outsourcers who ask you to perform 1 million things and you never hear of them again
Thread poster: CristinaPereira

CristinaPereira  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:14
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
May 10, 2007

Hi everyone,

Just something I'm curious about. I've been freelancing for about an year and I'm regularly approached by outsourcers asking me to submit my resumé, fill forms, print and scan NDA's and other documents... They can spend some days, weeks, doing this, I send them all those things and then I never hear of them again. I know that I may hear, some day, but I'm talking about months...

So, if they don't want to work with me, what's the point of exchanging all these documents? What do they do with it, if, as I suspect, there's something wrong with this?

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

Cristina


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Elizabeth Adams  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:14
Member (2002)
Russian to English
+ ...
You probably will hear from them... May 10, 2007

...evetually! I currently work with two agencies that both wanted loads of paperwork and only came up with jobs 6 months to a year down the road. The only reason I did the paperwork was that they both have good reputations.

Here's a hint: scan a copy of your signature and save it as a .jpg. Then you can save a pdf NDA as a jpg and insert your signature, size it to fit, etc. No printing, no trips to the post office!



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Сергей Лузан
Russian Federation
Local time: 05:14
German to Russian
+ ...
Probably May 10, 2007

Probably it allows to show for a manager of an agency (or for a project manager somentimes) a very huge volume of the work he performs - can't see any other reasonable explanation.

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Hayley Goodstein  Identity Verified
Spanish to English
+ ...
necessary paperwork or a waste of time... May 10, 2007

Cristina,

Having been on both sides of the equation, there's a few things to consider when analyzing your situation.

1. Usually PMs have "favorite" translators who they use regularly, and won't go searching for new "blood" unless they find themselves in a jam.

2. Agencies that have Vendor Managers may do regular or periodic searches for people to add to their vendor lists/databases. In this case, it is likely your paperwork will sit there until situation #1 occurs. Replying to this type of general search does not usually bear fruit.

3. Larger agencies tend to require more documentation than smaller ones, usually because they have ISO, or some other type of certification, that requires them to keep huge paper trails.

[quote]CristinaPereira wrote:

So, if they don't want to work with me, what's the point of exchanging all these documents? What do they do with it, if, as I suspect, there's something wrong with this?

While it may seem like a pain to go through all this effort, I believe it may be somewhat necessary as you build up your client portfolio. I find it unlikely that they would go through all this trouble with some sort of ilicit purpose, but it never hurts to be cautious and research the agency on the BlueBoard or their website to make sure they are legit. And I'm certain that NO project manager has enough time to justify their workload by having vendors fill out unnecessary paperwork, as Sergei suggests, most are just plain SWAMPED.

Where does this leave you? In order to perhaps minimize the amount of forms you fill out, look at the title of the person asking for the info; determine if its a potential or certain project, and only fill out forms for projects that have definitely been awarded to the client (quite often agencies will search for potential vendors for a contract they are bidding on - if they don't get it, then neither will you.); if rates are made available, don't bother for clients who are paying less than you are willing to accept, similarly for small, minimum charge projects, filling out tons of paperwork before you've been given the go-ahead (and sometimes even after) can be an unnecessary headache. That said, most agencies are looking for people with experience that is directly relevant to the project at hand. Try applying for jobs primarily in your field of expertise. As you freelance more, I'm sure the amount of work that comes from these random, paper-laden encounters will increase.

Best of Luck!


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Rui de Carvalho  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 02:14
English to Portuguese
+ ...
I agree with Sergei May 10, 2007

When all those things come before any real job proposal I use to say thanks but I'm too busy to use time in paperwork. Anyway, why a NDA, it's not covered within the ethics of any translator?

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Claudia Krysztofiak  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:14
English to German
+ ...
I only send my details for real job offers May 10, 2007

There are lots of agencies who believe in the size of their contact databases. Once in a while they go fishing for new translators and send out mailings asking the new contacts they collected from the Internet for information they can then put into their database. If your prices are not at the lowest end it is unlikely they will ever contact you again, unless you have a very special language pair or field of expertise.

I never send my details to agencies who just wish to have them. If there is a company or agency I am interested in, I apply for co-operation. But otherwise I only send my details, if they at least talk precisely about a very real project.

I do not know if this is always the best decision, but it saves a lot of quality time I can use for real work.


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CristinaPereira  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:14
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good advice May 11, 2007

Thank you all for sharing your experiences even if I still feel lost. These people usually contact me directly and say they have a project which will come soon, but need all that paperwork done in order to. And then, you know.

Quoting Hayley,

"determine if its a potential or certain project, and only fill out forms for projects that have definitely been awarded to the client"

How? They just say they have a project coming! Or they will need my expertise sometime...

I was trying to figure out if there was a pattern, but apparently there isn't

Thanks again,

Cristina


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:14
French to English
A pattern May 11, 2007

CristinaPereira wrote:
I was trying to figure out if there was a pattern, but apparently there isn't


Someone wiser than me once posted a reply to a similar thread long ago, saying, roughly, that the amount of hoops agencies want you to jump through tends to be inversely proportional to the amount of work you will get.

This tends to fit with my own experience.


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:14
Member (2004)
German to English
5 years May 11, 2007

I was suddenly contacted the other day by an agency that I registered with 5 years ago! So you never know, the day might come when you say "those hoops were worth jumping through"
Gillian


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:44
English to Tamil
+ ...
Some agencies do respond late May 11, 2007

In my case, there was this agency, to whom I sent a feeler letter, way back in 1991. They replied within a week and asked me my rates and all that. I complied. Then nothing.

They again contacted me in 1997 and offered work with x word count, which when multiplied by my earlier quoted rate of y per word, should result in a bill of xy.

I politely told them that a lot of water had flown under the bridge in the intervening 6 years and my rate had gone up to 3y (I had gained in confidence and had a sizeable client list by that time, hence my rate revision).

The would be client was indignant. I wonder why.

Regards,
N.Raghavan


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 03:14
German
+ ...
Sorry May 11, 2007

Rui de Carvalho wrote:

Anyway, why a NDA, it's not covered within the ethics of any translator?

Unfortunately, it is not.

Regards,
Benjamin


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