Hiring activity in the language industry was back in a big way in July 2021. After a four-point dip in June interrupted a continuous upsurge from January 2021, the Slator Language Industry Job Index (LIJI) increased by 9.9 points in July.
The July 2021 LIJI grew to 144.74 from 134.85 in June 2021. The index now stands at its highest-ever level, surpassing pre-pandemic peaks in July 2019 and March 2020.
The index has climbed a total of 36 points in 2021 year to date, and 44 points since its launch 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 July 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 June 2021 indicate that the translation, localization, and interpreting hiring environment has remained buoyant.
M&A and Funding
Language industry M&A and funding continued at a rapid clip in June, with Slator covering a total of eight transactions during the month.
Israel-based language service provider BLEND announced the acquisition of GM Voices, a US-based recorded-voice and audio localization provider; and video-conferencing heavyweight Zoom bought MT and speech translation provider Kites — just its second acquisition since the company launched in 2011.
Meanwhile, remote interpreting provider Cloudbreak completed its SPAC as newly-listed company UpHealth; New Zealand-based Straker Translations announced its planned capital raise; and language service provider Propio secured growth equity from US healthcare investor Triple Tree Capital Partners.
In startup funding, subtitle SaaS company Subly raised USD 1m in a seed round, Chinese machine translation and NLP provider Zhongke Fanyu completed a series A — raising anywhere between USD 1.5m and USD 15m — and transcription and captioning company Verbit raised USD 157m in a unicorn-making series D.
Elsewhere, there were big changes at the top of two major players in the language industry, as Super Agency RWS announced the appointment of a new CEO, Ian El-Mokadem, who will take over from Richard Thompson in July 2021. Keywords Studios announced that Andrew Day had stepped down from his role as CEO following a leave of absence due to health reasons. Jon Hauck (CFO) and Sonia Sedler (COO) are serving as joint interim CEOs while the game localization provider searches for its next leader.
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In more hiring news, a new employer emerged in the language industry as market entrant Toppan Digital Language announced no less than four senior appointments in June 2021. Among them were three former SDL execs — Christophe Djaouani, who joined as President, Anna Gargiulo (Chief Sales Officer), and Alex Jarvis (Chief Strategy Officer) — and former GSK / Deloitte Digital professional Kenny Yeo (Global Marketing Director).
Slator covered news of additional senior hires during the month including XTM’s appointments of a Chief Financial Officer and a Senior Director of Marketing, and Acolad Group’s hiring of a Chief Sales Officer and a Chief Revenue Officer.
Over at LocJobs, there were lots of new job listings in June 2021, and 24 companies are currently hiring for language industry professionals. Eriksen Translations is looking for a Project Manager, Lengoo has an opening for a Senior Product Manager, Altagram is hiring a Localization Engineer and other roles, and there are opportunities for Business Developers at both Haymillian and AMPLEXOR.
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.