Three suggestions for job postings
Thread poster: Ruxi

Ruxi
German to Romanian
+ ...
Jul 16, 2004

I would like to make two sugestions which would help all of us:

1. Eliminate "Platinum only" jobs and let all bid. Platinum members will not lose anything, jobposter will have the possibility to check more the person and its capacity and not a payed title and everybody will have the chance to bid.
That brings me to a third suggestion actually:
2. Sample test compulsory. Jobposters should learn to evaluate above all the real qualities of a translator and see : is she/he able to translate this kind of text or not.All other criteria are secundary.
3. Translators are entitled to respect: jobposters should answer to all bidders (even if automatically)confirming the receive of the bid and "thank you".

Thank you,
Ruxi


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Russell Gillis  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:16
Spanish to English
Happy with the current system Jul 16, 2004

My personal opinions on jobs:

1. I am only recently a Platinum member, and I think the current system is very fair. When I was a non-platinum member, I recognized that I was already receiving many benefits from the system. Both as a way of saying \"thanks\" and increasing my personal profile, I decided to start paying for my usage here.

I think when you compare what you get for free and what you get for paying, it is very well-balanced. With the exception of \"Platinum only\" jobs, non-paying members have access to nearly every part of the site (free profile, KudoZ, Forums, Blue Board with BrowniZ, etc.)

If you were to remove the \"Platinum only\" option, I think it would be a disincentive for some people to continue paying (although I think many people pay as a way of supporting the site).

2. Sample tests. I agree with this in principle, as I myself have won jobs requiring a sample test. However, many outsourcers simply do not have the time to check several test translations. If the translator has proven credentials and references, often this is all the outsourcer needs to make a decision. I don\'t think you will find many outsourcers in favour of this.

3. Once again, I refer to my above point about outsourcers\' time. I would love to get a reply to all of my bids, but it rarely happens. Outsourcers have limited time, especially when they receive 20+ bids for a job!

In summary, I think ProZ does a good job of encouraging outsourcers to post here. The more bureaucracy you add to the system, the less likely agencies are to post jobs. There needs to be a balance between the two sides, and I think current balance is sufficient.


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Yvette Arcelay  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
I agree with your suggestions. Jul 16, 2004

The agencies should answer back just as nice gesture. If it is a reliable agency they usually answer back with a yes or no.
Regarding the translation of a text or a test it should be the same text for everyone.
By this I mean a text that is shown at Proz and not by individual emails. And this is because I believe some agencies that send individual texts to be translated as a test are really getting the complete translation for free.
This week there was a job post where the agency was going to send a test via email for computer or websites phrases. If everyone translates a group of different phrases then the work is done for free. Thanks


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:16
English to German
+ ...
Contact the Jobs moderators if you suspect fraudulent use of test translations Jul 16, 2004

Hi Yvette,
This week there was a job post where the agency was going to send a test via email for computer or websites phrases. If everyone translates a group of different phrases then the work is done for free.


If you suspect someone is using 'test' translations as a way to obtain a job for free, please contact a Jobs moderator. We will follow up and remove a job or suspend the poster's rights if we find evidence to this effect.

Best regards, Ralf


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David Jessop  Identity Verified
Spain
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agencies should respond / Keep Platinum restrictions Jul 18, 2004

Hi Ruxi,

Thanks for your post.

I agree that agencies should respond whether or not they intend to use your services. To me, it seems like common courtesy. If I spent time editing a cover letter to match the job and filling in the bid page and sometimes even doing a test translation, it is my judgment that it is a matter of respect to receive a response, even if that response be "Sorry, not interested."

As for your idea regarding the abolition of jobs that are Restricted to Platinum members, I disagree. I am not a Platinum member but feel extremely grateful for this site and what it has granted me. I understand that the founder and staff of this site need to earn a profit and it seems fair to me that those who contribute financially should have a bit of a financial advantage in receiving jobs. I intend to become a Platinum member at some point; this moment is just not the right one.

As for compulsory sample tests, I am not so certain. At this moment, I do not have credentials as a translator. I am glad to prove myself through a sample test by demonstrating my abilities. However, there are people who have invested more energy in their translation skills through formal instruction, and it is understandable that an agency might accept those credentials rather than a test. This also is positive enforcement for me to pursue credentials with the knowledge that I will have a higher chance of getting jobs when I have my credentials!

Saludos de La Paz.

David


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:16
Member
English to Turkish
What you can control and what you cannot Jul 18, 2004

Hi Ruxi,

I believe the last two suggestions of yours are related to things that are beyond ProZ.com's control. Honestly, I cannot imagine a way that ProZ.com could enforce outsourcers to post sample tests and to pick their translators according to the test assesments. I also tend to disagree with you about the absolute value of a test: to be clearer, I agree that "all criteria other than the real qualities of someone as a translator" are secondary, even that they can have no place in the selection of translators, but I don't agree that a sample test would show for once and all the "real qualities of a translator".

As for "thank you"s, well, I see job postings that receive 50+ bids and I would not expect the outsourcers to mail a "thank you" back to every single one of the 50+ bidders. But even if I did, there's no way to enforce this on the part of ProZ.com. Would it not be a bit surreal to expect Proz to make an announcement like, "Outsourcers who won't be courteous enough to reply the bidders will be banned from posting jobs next time"? Or even if Proz made that announcement, how could it be possible to enforce and control this? I understand and share your frustration about such outsourcers (who seem to make up like 100% of the total), but even if a quick judgement like "impoliteness" is to be accepted, impoliteness is not against the law, unfortunately.

As for your first suggestion, I won't comment on that one as I don't have anything to add to what other colleagues say above, but still, do you perhaps have a suggestion about how to motivate Platinums to renew their memberships in that case?





[Edited at 2004-07-19 01:51]


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Ruxi
German to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I must explain Jul 19, 2004

I think I have to explain something, because you seem to did not understand.

1. I did not eliminate platinum membership, but only the word "only".
Many "platinum only" jobs don't even receive bids and any other members could be still interested.What then? I have seen a lot of such cases.
Why does it have to be so inflexible? Why are the platinum members scared? It is only a fair competition for everyone.
There are to many restrictions for a simple translation job, really."European only, machine only, white only, blond only..." where are we going to arrive?

2. For the sample test there is a line ( a case), it only has to become compulsory, meaning the job can not be displayed without that information.
Not many jobposters ask for credentials and I don't know if every credential is being accepted and recognised everywhere.
Besides, sample test can only help jobposters because many people bid without knowing the field and then keep asking questions on KudoZ.
If a translator can see a sample of the document, he can have an idea wether he is able to do it and for the specified term. Otherwise, refusing later on, is delicate for him and for the jobposter.
I don't know why some of you think agencies will not have time for such samples.It depends on hoy many jobs they receive and they really assure a quality so they should be interested in it. It only takes a few minutes.

3. Regarding the last point, if you don't need to be respected and don't feel like receiving a confirmation that someone somewhere has received your mail, then...no problem.
Do you think agencies have so much work? There would be thousands of jobs listed!
And where have you ever seen 50 bids for a job?

Thank you for your answers anywhere. I did my best to help many of you, but you don't seem to need it.


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Endre Both  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:16
Member (2002)
English to German
Flexibility and restrictions in ProZ Job System Jul 19, 2004

Ruxi wrote:
Many "platinum only" jobs don't even receive bids and any other members could be still interested.What then? I have seen a lot of such cases.
Why does it have to be so inflexible?

It is important to be aware that outsourcers are free to open their jobs a) to all members immediately (as requested by Ruxi), b) to all members after a time-limited restriction to Platinum members and c) to Platinum members only. The last option is selected by very few outsourcers.

So what we have now is in fact maximum flexibility for outsourcers.

There are to many restrictions for a simple translation job, really."European only, machine only, white only, blond only.

Translations jobs are rarely "simple". As professional translators we all know that depending on the job, there may be very good reasons to favour translators with specific sets of skills or indeed from a specific geographical area.

Also, it is at the outsourcer's discretion to use any criteria they believe is necessary; I for one prefer their being straightforward about them in the job description, allowing me to save time by staying away from jobs for which I don't meet the criteria anyway.

And where have you ever seen 50 bids for a job?

This is not as infrequent as one may believe. However, it obviously depends on the language pair and the type of job.

Endre

[Edited at 2004-07-19 14:16]


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:16
Member
English to Turkish
So must I Jul 19, 2004

Ruxi wrote:

I think I have to explain something, because you seem to did not understand.

1. I did not eliminate platinum membership, but only the word "only".
Many "platinum only" jobs don't even receive bids and any other members could be still interested.What then? I have seen a lot of such cases.
Why does it have to be so inflexible? Why are the platinum members scared? It is only a fair competition for everyone.
There are to many restrictions for a simple translation job, really."European only, machine only, white only, blond only..." where are we going to arrive?


You won't need to eliminate Platinum membership at all. Eliminating the advantages it brings would amount to eliminating it, as no one would choose to go Platinum without any advantages to it.

I have never seen any such restrictions as blonde, white, etc. Where have you ever seen them? If what you mean by "machine" is "CAT tools", or what you mean by "European only" is something like "incountry" or "European Portuguese only" or "native speaker only", a client might well have their justifications for such prerequisites - so would I, were I to outsource jobs. An attempt to present the basic quality standards in a profession as a sort of "discrimination" is a fatal mistake.

2. For the sample test there is a line ( a case), it only has to become compulsory, meaning the job can not be displayed without that information.
Not many jobposters ask for credentials and I don't know if every credential is being accepted and recognised everywhere.
Besides, sample test can only help jobposters because many people bid without knowing the field and then keep asking questions on KudoZ.
If a translator can see a sample of the document, he can have an idea wether he is able to do it and for the specified term. Otherwise, refusing later on, is delicate for him and for the jobposter.
I don't know why some of you think agencies will not have time for such samples.It depends on hoy many jobs they receive and they really assure a quality so they should be interested in it. It only takes a few minutes.


You are absolutely right at your point that for a healthier bidding process, it would be better for us to be informed about the specifics of a job, with a representative sample of the source text where possible. But this is one thing, suggesting to enforce outsourcers to choose their translators through tests is something entirely different. As Endre points out above this is something totally at the discretion of the client, and to come back to my main point in my previous posting, there happens to be no way on the part of Proz to have an enforcing, controlling, or sanctioning power in an outsourcer's translator choosing process. A discussion on the value and virtue of translation tests aside (or their lack of them), what is your suggestion then to make sure that agencies accept to choose translators through a testing process?

3. Regarding the last point, if you don't need to be respected and don't feel like receiving a confirmation that someone somewhere has received your mail, then...no problem.
Do you think agencies have so much work? There would be thousands of jobs listed!
And where have you ever seen 50 bids for a job?

Thank you for your answers anywhere. I did my best to help many of you, but you don't seem to need it.


I do not have a problem such as a need for respect. I respect my profession, and hence am respected back by the clients.

Yes, agencies have so much work, I believe, and for an example of where I might have ever seen this, check the posting below with 63 bids as of today:

http://www.proz.com/job/58628

Thank you for doing your best to help us, anyway, Ruxi.

Best regards.

[Edited at 2004-07-19 19:32]


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Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 09:16
English to Czech
+ ...
Suggestions Jul 19, 2004

Ruxi wrote:

1. I did not eliminate platinum membership, but only the word "only".


Proz.com is a business, not a charity. Platinum-only jobs are one of the incentives for users to become Platinum. You are suggesting that Proz.com gives up this incentive and gets less paying members.

Many "platinum only" jobs don't even receive bids and any other members could be still interested.What then?


The "platinum only" restriction is usually valid only until a certain date. Then all members can bid. And even if there is no time limit and the job receives no bids, the client can repost the job without the platinum-only restriction.

Why are the platinum members scared? It is only a fair competition for everyone.


See above. I think "scared" is a bit strong word. Do you blame platinum members for having advantages they have paid for? (My personal note: I became Platinum as a way of supporting this site, which has been very useful to me. I have received some nice jobs via Proz.com, but I can't rely on it as my only source of work.)

There are to many restrictions for a simple translation job, really."European only, machine only, white only, blond only..." where are we going to arrive?


I believe these restrictions are usually client's decision and/or they arise from the job, such as file format or subject area.

2. For the sample test there is a line ( a case), it only has to become compulsory, meaning the job can not be displayed without that information.


I don't agree. If I should do a sample translation for every job I bid, I wouldn't be doing anything else.

If a translator can see a sample of the document, he can have an idea wether he is able to do it and for the specified term. Otherwise, refusing later on, is delicate for him and for the jobposter.


Agree, sample is always useful. But a sample of the document and compulsory sample translation are two very different things.

I don't know why some of you think agencies will not have time for such samples.


As far as I know, agencies (at least the successful ones) are usually very busy.

3. Regarding the last point, if you don't need to be respected and don't feel like receiving a confirmation that someone somewhere has received your mail, then...no problem.


I agree with what Xola said. Personally, I am pretty happy with just the confirmation message that my bid has been recorded. It's an automated system, after all, and not a direct person-to-person communication. But you can have a different opinion, of course.

And where have you ever seen 50 bids for a job?


More than 60 bids: http://www.proz.com/job/58628

P.S.: While I was cobbling together my post, Endre and Xola expressed the same points much more aptly. Ruxi, thanks for taking those concerns, but from this and other threads I think you are putting too much emphasis on Proz.com as the only source of jobs.

[Edited at 2004-07-19 15:20]


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