It used to be the case that when a company needed a skill, they hired a member of staff. Contractors were used, but sparingly. Then along came the internet, globalisation and the freelance workforce. Suddenly, progressive companies who kept up with technology as it developed had an array of talented individuals at their disposal. This has had a huge impact on the way that we work and on the way that companies hire.
The wide freelance talent pool means that companies can now hire staff on an as-needed basis. This helps firms to cope with shifting priorities and to keep their costs down. They don’t need to worry about employers’ social security contributions, pensions, sick pay or any of the other costs associated with employing staff. Instead, they can hire highly skilled individuals for set projects.
Professional translation is one such example. Translation agencies can be hired in for specific tasks and projects. This avoids companies having to go to the expense of employing in-house translators. Instead, they can use agencies on an as-needed basis to provide the linguistic expertise required.
As cross-border trading increases, being able to pick and choose when to have access to translation services has become more important for many companies. The variety of languages available through an agency has also become more important. Companies are setting their sights ever higher in terms of international audiences. Employing a translator for each country that they deal with no longer makes financial sense, whereas using an agency with a global network of translators does.
A translation agency also has the advantage of being able to provide language experts with a range of specialist skills. A company might employ a French translator, for example, to work on their marketing materials, only to find out that they then need legal translation as well, which their in-house translator is entirely unqualified to undertake. Using an agency means that a company can specify the particular skills required for each translation project, as well as the language that they need. They can also buy in skills like desktop publishing in conjunction with translation skills by working with agencies that offer such services.
With convenience and cost reduction so high on many companies’ priority lists, it’s clear to see why business translation agencies have become so popular when compared with the employment of in-house translators.