Continuous localization is the only way to meet the needs of a market that demands that a localized product be released at or near the same time as the core product.
Technology — automations — is often cited as the first thing to tackle when building a continuous localization program. Yet this challenge is not solved by technology alone. Yes, it’s a huge part of the continuous localization conundrum, but there is a second pillar: people. Specifically, a resourcing solution that scales.
What does agile resourcing look like? Here are the six things your Language Services Provider (LSP) should do to ensure your continuous localization model is just that: continuous.
1. Dedicate a team to recruiting
They need to have a strong recruiting, hiring, and onboarding system — ideally, a dedicated resourcing team. This team — perhaps with representatives in each region in which you operate — should have the tools, capability, and processes to make sure that the right number of resources (translators and reviewers), with the right qualifications, are available at the right time.
2. Constantly recruit and hire
They have to recruit, screen, and hire people continuously to localize continuously. As your market reach grows, so will your volumes, and so will your need for qualified translators. This means they need to keep job postings current, use all outlets possible — social media, LinkedIn, local job boards, their own website — provide referral bonuses…anything to keep those resumes coming in.
3. Screen efficiently
Now that there is a steady flow of resumes, how are they assessed quickly to avoid lengthy interviews? Online questionnaires can highlight certain qualifications used to weed out candidates. Items that might not show up in resumes, like expertise in certain verticals or hours of availability, can also be revealed through a questionnaire.
4. Provide easy-access training
Your LSP should create online, self-paced training materials so new team members can be quickly trained on technology and processes, and be assigned jobs quickly with minimal hands-on guidance. Trainings can even be created for client-specific requirements. Tests should be provided at the end so everyone can be sure they absorbed what they learned.
5. Use a nimble database
No LSP should be stuck in the world of Excel spreadsheets. (It’s hard, I know.) They will need a database that indexes linguists by facts like specialization, years’ experience, education, expertise, location, and availability. As the linguists gain experience with your content, the database should store feedback about their ability to meet deadlines and the quality of their work. It’s just not feasible to manage this manually; a mature localization program could have hundreds of translators across dozens of languages.
6. Establish a blended model
The most agile resourcing model has both dedicated and flexible resources. This mix helps manage surprise work, spikes within certain sprints, fast turnaround times, and fluctuating volumes.
Dedicated resources used for regular, predictable content give you continuity of linguists that retain program knowledge and gain experience handling your content.
The flexible resource model provides a large (often in the thousands) translator pool who can handle spikes in volumes and overflow work, yet do not sit around if work is slow. They can also provide last-minute, emergency staffing. Lastly, these people can cover holidays and weekends if dedicated translators cannot.
While technology is a crucial part of managing a continuous localization program that responds to the demands of agile development, supply chain management is equally important. Enterprises must focus on building a continuous recruiting strategy in order to handle the demands to release their products in other markets soon after (or at the same time as) the original market release.
If you have a continuous localization program, how do you manage resourcing?