If you’re a Language Services Provider or language organization of a corporate entity, and you’ve tried to do any hiring this year, you’ve probably noticed how difficult it is to find strong GILT candidates. It’s always been tougher in our industry, than in the general marketplace, but it’s gotten even more so in the last few years, with salaries increasing under the pressure. This is not altogether a bad thing, as it also means the economy is continuing to grow, corporations continue to understand the importance of doing business in a country’s native language, and your business is growing…..if only you could hire! So, what can you do to find good candidates, and get them to accept your offer, in today’s candidate-driven market environment? Here’s a short primer that might help.
Some roles are harder to fill than others. Knowledge-based I18N or L10N Sales or Engineering roles are particularly tough, but even Project Management roles are getting tougher, in today’s highly competitive market. If you think you’ll be hiring at some point in the year, start looking; it’s probably going to take you a lot longer than you think it will.
- Interviewing starts now. If you find a candidate that’s right, change you hiring plans, and hire them now. I know that might sound extreme to some of you, but you might not find another candidate for quite some time. Don’t let the opportunity slip by.
- Never stop looking for good people. I’m not suggesting you should be in full blown hiring mode at all times, but smart companies are always looking, albeit sometimes this is a background task. This allows you to put step 1 in play, if you happen to find a great person. If you choose not to hire this person now, continue to network with the person, letting them know that you will contact them as soon as the time is right.
- Build a relationship with an agency who knows your company, the types of candidates you might be looking for, and your agenda. An agency is another set of eyes for you. Whether you have an HR department or not, this extra set of eyes can let you know when a great candidate hits the market or is passively searching for an opportunity that matches your company’s culture. And you’re only paying for the service IF you hire a (great) candidate. WIN-WIN
Accepting YOUR Offer:
Once you’ve found the right candidate, getting them to accept YOUR offer is another matter. Most candidates have multiple offers, so putting your best foot forward is important.
- Remember: It’s personal. Have an extra phone call, not an ‘interview’ call, but a ‘we love you’ call from an executive. Everyone loves to be flattered and this type of call might be just the extra lovin’ that your candidate needs to know that your company is the one that cares most about them.
- Be a little flexible, if you can. Consider the base, the commission plan, a bonus, or the benefits you offer. Consider a sign-on bonus, a six month bonus based on meeting objectives, a few extra PTO days – anything to differentiate yourself from ‘the standard plan’ your competition is offering. And, consider doing this for the employees you have today.
- Ask the question. Don’t be afraid to ask them what it would take to make a difference. If you don’t ask the question, you’ll never know the answer. Granted, candidates can’t always answer the question, but ask them to think about it and get back you. If nothing else, it shows ‘the love’ and could make all the difference. It might also be something to consider with your existing employees…..in order to hold on to them.
Hiring GILT staff in today’s market environment is particularly challenging, regardless of corporate size, reputation or structure. The resource pool is small and the competition is only getting tougher. Always looking, differentiating yourself from the competition, and making it personal is one way to find and successfully hire great candidates.
Claire started in the Staffing and Recruiting industry in 1995. She believes a portion of her success comes from her 13 years in high tech developing and running Marketing, Sales and Translation programs. She strives to be the recruiting resource she always wanted to speak with when she was either hiring or looking for a job; the consummate professional, focused on her clients’ needs. Claire is bilingual in French and now has very rusty Russian and Spanish. When not working, Claire spends time with her family and watches her kids’ soccer games and swim meets. If it’s winter, you can find them all on the slopes.