It has been exactly one week since Slator last published the language industry hires column, and the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases worldwide has nearly doubled (i.e., approaching two million from under one million just seven days ago).
Business continues for many language service providers (LSPs) around the globe. A Director of Production working out of Miami said they continue to pay, on time, for all work delivered by vendors because they know their company is the main source of income for many.
An Operations Director based in India said they had already reassured staff that, should they need it, they will receive sick pay and special assistance. They also issue financial updates on the health of the business to mitigate anxieties around job security.
Meanwhile, an Associate Director in New York said they continue to accept project requests 24/7, even if they had temporarily suspended on-site work. And a CMO based in Athens encourages stakeholders to not stop investing in marketing and recommends three “immediate and cost-effective actions to help keep the lights on.”
Chris Papandropoulos – Haymillian
Chris Papandropoulos stepped into his role as CMO of London-based subbing and dubbing specialist Haymillian on February 17, 2020. Based in Athens, he reports to Managing Director Aida Martirosyan. “My role as a CMO is to advise the MD on future actions, market requirements, and communications plans,” Papandropoulos told Slator.
He said the LSP had been monitoring the Covid-19 situation from January, “during which time we tested and fine-tuned our operations to [allow] working from home. All our systems and tools are in the cloud and we can continue operating with zero disruption to our subtitling and translation services from order to fulfilment.”
Papandropoulos added that they have already implemented new guidelines for production, editing, and mixing staff, as well as the freelancers who are required to be in Haymillian’s recording studios — which are “getting antibacterial treatment between recording sessions and team members have been asked to adhere to social distancing guidelines, while still being able to carry out their work.”
As a marketing expert, Papandropoulos recommends that brands see the current situation as an opportunity to get noticed, rather than just staying silent. He said, “Please don’t stop investing in marketing nowadays. You can take some immediate and cost-effective actions to help keep the lights on. The three very first actions to take: Don’t execute any fun campaigns around coronavirus; be realistic on your growth expectations; [make] direct investments toward marketing tactics that drive online sales.”
Yonel Enriquez – CQ fluency
Yonel Enriquez joined CQ fluency as Director of Production on February 17, 2020. Enriquez had spent over eight years at Protranslating, serving as Senior Director of Translation Solutions, prior to joining CQ fluency. He works remotely out of Miami for the New Jersey-based healthcare and life sciences specialist and reports to Michael Marsan, SVP of Operations.
The majority of the company’s global production teams report to him. Enriquez told Slator. “I will be engaging a diverse team that services healthcare companies with complex requirements, making sure we achieve the service and delivery expectations of our clients.”
According to Enriquez, CQ fluency had “always been prepared for fully remote operations, so we never skipped a beat.” Their Covid-19 task force has been producing corona-related communications for all their healthcare clients and “we are working 24/7.”
While CQ fluency had always been structured to support client growth and seasonal spikes, they have since scaled up production resources to prepare for the increase in demand. “We also have off-hour and weekend personnel in place to help with emergencies,” Enriquez said.
To address corona-related issues, he said they sent out a survey to employees “to uncover any issues, concerns, and what our organization can do to help them transition effectively. Our employees who are parents currently have their children full time and were struggling with remote learning.” The company now allows flex time “as long as we continue to stay productive and meet deadlines.”
“We understand that CQ fluency is the main source of income for vendors and we will continue to pay on time for all work that they continue to produce. Keeping our CQ fluency family intact is what is important to our leadership team. We will do all we can during these difficult times to do just that,” he concluded.
Nikhil Shetty – Vistatec
On March 2, 2020, Nikhil Shetty joined Dublin-based Vistatec as Operations Director. Based in India, he reports to Heather Cunningham, Program Director. Prior to joining the company, he spent more than seven years at SDL in Mumbai and, before that, over four years at Lionbridge.
Shetty leads a team of managers and his role includes account and project management responsibilities, such as ensuring delivery within budget and to the agreed level of quality, as well as resource and supply chain management to meet client requirements. He said it is business as usual at Vistatec and “all assigned tasks are remotely managed successfully.”
According to Shetty, their corona response includes having content libraries for staff to share daily life tips, online coffee breaks, sick pay reassurances should people fall ill, financial updates on the health of the business to mitigate any anxieties around job security, special assistance for employees struggling with corona-related challenges, and the creation of very individual solutions for employees — “for example, giving some the choice to work weekends, to give more flexibility during the week when work and home-schooling commitments may conflict more.”
Shetty concluded, “We will continue to communicate further developments until such time that the Irish government, the World Health Organization, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deem it appropriate to step back from pandemic precautionary measures. Remaining proactive in this scenario is a priority for Vistatec to help protect our global workforce and the wider communities in which we live and operate.”
Andrea Di Camillo – Morningside
Andrea Di Camillo took on the role of Associate Director at New York-based patent and life sciences specialist Morningside Translations back in January 2020. Prior to joining the LSP, she had spent over nine years at TransPerfect. She reports to Emma Moorman, Director of Strategic Account Management, and works out of the head office.
Di Camillo is responsible for the company’s VIP accounts as well as being involved in developing systems, infrastructure, and language assets to strengthen these accounts. She said it was a challenge to start at a new company amid the pandemic, “meet new people, experience such an amazing office culture, and establish a lovely camaraderie with my coworkers, and then have an extended period where we all need to work remotely.”
According to Di Camillo, she does not anticipate coronavirus to negatively impact business as “our goal has always been to meet our clients’ needs, and that is precisely what we at Morningside have been doing, even during this pandemic.”
She continued, “We instituted a lot more face time through webcams and holding company-wide calls. We have more team meetings and spend the first few minutes just saying hi and catching up. Our HR department is proactive in making sure we are doing OK. My colleagues and I share workout tips […] we are miles apart, yet I still feel very connected to everyone, even if I am a new hire.”
She added that their client platform for submitting translation and project requests is accessible 24/7. And, while requests for interpretation services are accommodated, they do not, temporarily, offer on-site interpretation, only over the phone and video remote.