Hiring activity in the language industry continued its upward swing in October 2021. After a 10-point upsurge the month prior, in September 2021, the Slator Language Industry Job Index (LIJI) increased by another 3.8 points in September.
The October 2021 LIJI grew to 165.33 from 161.51 in September 2021. The index now stands at its highest-ever level, surpassing a previous high in September 2021, as well as pre-pandemic peaks in July 2019 and March 2020.
The index has climbed a total of 55 points in 2021, year to date; and more than 65 points since the LIJI launched three years ago in July 2018.
The LIJI was developed to track employment and hiring trends in the global language industry. The July 2018 baseline is the starting point from which expansion or contraction of employment and hiring activity across the industry is measured.
The growth in the October 2021 figure is linked to an increase in job ads across many of the platforms monitored by Slator. Observational data related to activity across the language industry in the month of September 2021 indicate that the translation, localization, and interpreting hiring environment has remained buoyant.
M&A and Funding
Language industry M&A and funding activity continued in September; albeit at a slower pace than in August when Slator covered a total of six transactions. September saw two M&A transactions and no funding rounds.
In mid-September, private equity firm Nazca Capital acquired a majority stake in Spain-headquartered SeproTec and its subsidiary, SHIP Global IP, which reportedly valued the language service provider (LSP) at EUR 75m.
Video game services provider Keywords Studios, whose offering includes a sizable game localization division, reported interim results for the six months to June 30, 2021. With group revenues totaling EUR 238.7m, Keywords’ localization-related revenues grew by around 20% during the period and accounted for almost 27% of the company’s top line in the first half.
Meanwhile, Australia-headquartered captioning, translation, and transcription provider Ai-Media hosted a virtual conference for investors (ASX Small and Mid-Cap Conference) on the one-year anniversary of its debut on the Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney.
Revenues grew by 87% to AUD 49.2m (USD 36m) in the company’s 2021 financial year, which closed on June 30, 2021. Despite having yet to report a full-year at break-even or above on an EBITDA level, Ai-Media noted that they had “achieved positive operating cash flow and profitability in Q4 FY21.”
In hiring news, Slator covered senior appointments at Boostlingo (Chief Revenue Officer), XTM (VP of Sales), Venga Global (Program Director), and Stillman Translations (Regional Sales Director for the UK).
Also in September, Keywords Studios appointed a new leader, Novartis exec Bertrand Bodson. Bodson will assume the CEO role in December, taking over from Jon Hauck (CFO) and Sonia Sedler (COO) who have served as joint interim CEOs since Andrew Day retired in June 2021.
Over at LocJobs, there were many new job postings in the month of September, as companies including Language Insight, Memsource, CyraCom, RWS, and others added their open vacancies for roles spanning vendor management, solutions architecture, sales, product management, and project management.
The Slator LIJI relies on LinkedIn for part of its underlying data. The social media site has some 500 million users, many of whom share data about their skills, experience, location, company, and job titles on their personal LinkedIn pages. There are over 600,000 profiles under the Translation and Localization category and a search using the keyword Localization also yields more than 600,000 profiles.
In addition to using data from LinkedIn, the Slator LIJI also culls data from a range of sources, including global job aggregation sites and additional direct company data collected from Slator LSPI companies.