Slator has been running the language industry hires column since the spring of 2016 and thought it a good idea to continue despite the widespread disruption caused by Covid-19. After all, the industry has indeed continued to hire key people in certain areas, albeit with changes in the way new hires are onboarded.
A new Head of Dubbing, for instance, shared how her onboarding was done completely online, although she will eventually report to her new company’s physical office in London. And, as proof of the language industry’s resilience, a new Regional Director of a Germany-based language service provider (LSP) said they are “actively hiring,” particularly in Sweden and the UK.
Other featured recruits also share updates on where they are hiring and how they continue to remain energized as they work from home. As one new hire put it, “We just need to be patient. It’s about people now.”
Johnny Kristensen – lengoo
Germany-based LSP lengoo appointed Johnny Kristensen Regional Director UK and Nordics on April 1, 2020. Based in Denmark, he reports to Chief Sales Officer Christoph Esser. Kristensen worked at Lionbridge in senior sales roles for a combined 20 years prior to joining the company.
Kristensen told Slator that his focus is to help accelerate international expansion and grow the business in Northern Europe and that he is currently “building a team of in-market representatives in both the Nordics and UK/I — so all countries from Finland over Scandinavia to Ireland and the UK. We are actively hiring, especially for the Swedish and the UK market.”
He said the pandemic has only accelerated lengoo’s expansion plans: “Even if we cannot meet with clients or colleagues in-person at the moment, it really hasn’t changed our business that much. As a digital company, we do most of our business online anyway. What has changed is the demand from our customers to find new solutions for their international communication needs. But I can’t wait for the day we can meet with clients and colleagues in ‘real life’ again.”
To help mitigate the impact of Covid-19, Kristensen said they are offering deferred payments of up to six months for clients in especially hard-hit industries, and up to 50% shorter payment times for their linguists.
They also launched an English blog with Covid-19 news specific to Germany. He explained, “Nearly three million people living in Germany cannot speak, read, or write German properly and simply do not have access to reliable and accurate information about the Covid-19 situation in Germany. Neglecting linguistic minorities during a pandemic poses huge threats to societies. Using custom NMT+PE, we’re able to (live) translate reliable information into English in realtime and have reached over 45,000 non-German speakers living in Germany in the past month.”
Katie Young – ZOO Digital
UK-based media localizer ZOO Digital named Katie Young Head of Dubbing and Media Services on April 6, 2020. “I joined ZOO remotely, and I will be based out of our Wardour Street facility in Soho,” Young told Slator. She reports to Raul Aldana, Vice President Dubbing, who heads global dubbing operations out of Los Angeles.
Young said hers is a brand new role for ZOO and she is responsible for the London team and EMEA dubbing and media services out of the UK: “There has been rapid increased demand for ZOO dubbing services, both before and during the pandemic, so this is a really exciting time to join in this role. We have achieved great success in Latin America and our next objective is to emulate that in [EMEA].”
Asked how containment measures have affected her joining the company, she replied, “Well, it’s certainly been a new experience being recruited, trained, and introduced to my new colleagues exclusively online!”
However, being used to working with international partners and clients after working at Disney for more than 11 years, she does not feel too strangely about being away from a physical office. She said, “We’re incredibly busy right now, and it’s testament to my colleagues and our systems that I have felt supported and able to hit the ground running.”
According to Young, aside from flexible hours and remote work, they also enjoy other benefits such as free training courses, staff discounts, and healthy snacks at work — “which are being donated to local causes while we’re not in the office. There’s a big social element too, so teams are organizing catch-ups and online quizzes to keep in touch and look out for each other outside of the day-to-day.”
“Obviously, this is an unprecedented situation, and both physical and mental health are a daily concern for us all; but I feel very fortunate to be joining a company that places so much importance on the wellbeing of its people. My hope is that — as an industry and a society — once we return to some semblance of normalcy, we can continue to foster the culture of flexibility, collaboration, and creativity that has been born out of necessity.”
Dave Ruane – XTM International
Dave Ruane joined TMS and CAT tool provider XTM International on April 1, 2020 as Digital Content and Partnership Manager. Based in Cádiz, Spain, he reports to Sales Director Shamus Dermody. Prior to XTM, he worked at such companies as LanguageWire and Vistatec.
Ruane has been tasked with building content, activities, and events for XTM clients and, as such, the copywriting team reports to him. “As you can imagine, it is a busy time for us right now as we increase content output through our online channels. We have seen a noticeable uptake in our online events and an appetite for higher value content.”
Originally meant to come to Poland and the UK to meet the teams, Ruane will work remotely in Spain and travel later when it is safer. He said the pandemic has brought the XTM team even closer together: “People are watching out for each other even more, and finding fun ways to get through confinement. Empathy and EQ has increased.”
Ruane added that the current health crisis has shown that, going forward, “we may have to rely more on virtual touchpoints to maintain these relationships. This tasks us to improve and evolve how we communicate via online channels; increasing empathy through channels which traditionally have lacked it.”
Sara Basile – XTM International
Sara Basile stepped into the role of Product Manager at XTM on March 1, 2020. She reports to Tomasz Lewandowski, Development Manager, and works “very closely with the entire Senior Leadership team, including Bob Willans, CEO, Shamus Dermody, SVP Sales and GM North America, and Andrzej Zydroń, CTO.”
She will work remotely out of Düsseldorf, Germany, where she lives, but will “regularly visit the Poznań (Poland) office to work closer with the development team.”
Basile said that, before becoming Product Manager, she was an XTM user for several years, which allows her to appreciate the product from the customer’s perspective. Prior to joining the company, she worked on the buy-side for such companies as Roche and digital printing company EFI.
According to Basile, she has spent the last three to six months onboarding in Poland: “I moved to Poznań in March to meet the team and spend the onboarding period to connect with different business groups. With the coronavirus outbreak and the resulting lockdown however, the onboarding process now has to be managed from home (still in Poznań). This is challenging, but I can count on amazing colleagues that support me in all possible ways. People do make the difference, always. This becomes even more evident in such exceptional circumstances.”
She said they reacted very quickly to government guidelines during the outbreak in Poland and arranged a company-wide home-office setup in a matter of days. “It was great to see people volunteering to take everything from the office, delivering it to your door in just one day. As a newcomer, I really valued this.”
Now, they use a network of applications to connect with customers and with each other — “even beyond office hours, when it’s time to relax and play video games together!”
Łukasz Gajewski – memoQ
Łukasz Gajewski took on the role of Senior Sales Executive at translation tech provider memoQ from March 1, 2020. Based in Warsaw, Poland, he reports to Bernardo Santos, Head of WEMEA, reporting into Judit Árvay, Sales Operations Manager.
Gajewski is tasked with finding new business from LSPs and Enterprise customers in WEMEA (Western Europe, Middle East, Africa). Prior to joining memoQ, he worked at Lionbridge for five years and, before that, as a legal translator, specializing in French and English.
According to Gajewski, given the current health crisis, “the challenge for many LSPs now is reduced business and taking care of their staff. Buying new technology may now have to come second unless absolutely necessary or urgent. However, we notice that prospects are always on the lookout for new and better technology. I am happy because, in my first weeks, I managed to build a good pipeline of potential clients regardless of the tough situation. We just need to be patient. It’s about people now.”
He said, at memoQ, they “gather together in daily care and support calls,” where they “exchange personal and work stories, jokes, energy, or talk about our families and loved ones. We are also in many group conversations where successes are shared in real-time. This keeps the team positive and energized. The spirits are high and we all work together and feel like we are next to each other despite being scattered all over the globe.”
They are “keeping the entire workforce and salary levels,” Gajewski said, and are “even hiring and onboarding new people” — eight new people in his team alone.
Moving forward, he said, “My tentative guess would be that our clients will see a rapid and sudden increase in work putting a large strain on their resources. Therefore we may need to approach clients with solutions for productivity, Q&A, collaboration, and managing large volumes of translation work.”