A Human Resources Challenge

Delivering 50 qualified interpreters within two weeks

Our client is a world-leading recruitment consultancy.

They contacted Asian Absolute in order to source a large number of experienced English to Japanese and Japanese to English liaison interpreters for a Japan Food event.

The event was set to occur within two and a half weeks of their engaging us.

What challenge did we take on?

  • The very short timeframe was the major challenge – as was the number of linguists required. The client needed to provide fifty experienced interpreters for the exhibitors. This would allow the native Japanese-speaking exhibitors to communicate with local customers.
  • Given Asian Absolute’s extensive network of interpreters, locating the number of linguists seemed possible. But quality assurance would need to be a particular focus.
  • The allocation of interpreters to each exhibitor would not be finalised until the day of the event. Only then would the total number of interpreters required be confirmed by our client.
  • Since the budget was tight and the style of the event relatively informal, the client asked for liaison interpreting. This is a less highly-skilled task than consecutive interpreting – and the budget reflected that.

How did we select the right team?

To meet the deadline, we adopted a multi-channel approach to locating and quality testing the required interpreters:

  1. Reaching out to the extensive pool of qualified interpreters who we had previously screened and worked with.
  2. Reaching out to previous contacts for referrals – our vast network was a significant resource to draw upon here.
  3. Job posting throughout professional websites and directories, universities and language schools.
  4. Directly contacting language schools, universities and other institutions.
  5. Job posting in local e-papers and interpreting websites.
  6. Using Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms to advertise for interpreters – likewise utilising Asian Absolute’s pre-existing contact network.

What did we do?

By utilising several different teams working in different time zones, we were able to work round-the-clock on recruitment and Quality Assurance for the project.

Proven and tested daily communication is already built into our globally integrated production team’s processes. This allows information to be shared in real time and regular progress reviews to take place.

Having a local office allowed us to have a representative meet the prospective interpreters in person. It also allowed for faster and more accurate responses to be received from local universities and language schools.

By the end of week one of the limited timeframe, more than twenty interpreters had already been selected. By the end of week two, we had over forty. Finally, we achieved the target within the deadline.

Because of the short timeframe, we knew that timely, flexible and easy communication with the client would be required – even more so than usual. Part of this involved the selection of an on-site project manager to make sure everything ran smoothly on the day.

What was the outcome?

Thanks to our existing relationships with interpreting experts across the world, we were able to locate the required linguists at rates which were more competitive than the client expected.

Our on-site project manager made sure every interpreter turned up at the correct exhibition stand ahead of schedule (and even managed to find time to extend her knowledge of the Japanese gastronomic delights on offer).

The client now regularly uses Asian Absolute to supply interpreters for their events targeting international customers in Singapore.
(They’ve promised we’ll be given a little more advance warning of the date of the next Japan Food event!)

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