Why, When And How To Test Candidates During The Localization Recruiting Process

by | Oct 26, 2023 | Localization Recruitment, Recruitment

Localization is complex and made up of countless moving parts. Professionals working within the sector must then have multifaceted and advanced skills and expertise to keep up. To source professionals during the localization recruiting process who have the right skills for the job, will be productive quickly and will be a great cultural fit, testing and assessment methodologies can be integrated into the general recruiting process for more targeted, thorough results.

This practice can be effective for several reasons, which we will explore further in this article.


Why do we, as localization recruiters, test candidates?


There are two primary goals of candidate testing: to identify the most suitable individuals for a specific job role based on their skills and experience and to assess their potential as a successful culture fit for the hiring company.

For example, for those interviewing for a translation-based role, language proficiency is key, since going global demands precise translation and keen cultural understanding. Language tests are used to evaluate candidates’ fluency and accuracy.

Cultural sensitivity tests can further qualify a candidate by gauging their ability to adapt content without inadvertently offending.

Also, it can be good to have candidates do translation or content adaptation tests to assess their attention to detail and quality control.

Additionally, evaluating project management skills can be beneficial, since localization projects often involve layered and complex strategies that need efficient coordination. This can incorporate assessments like job-based simulations or negotiation skills testing.

Given the localization industry’s increasing reliance on software tools and platforms for efficiency, assessing technical proficiency is also crucial. In this context, candidates are tested on their familiarity with industry-specific software and technologies.

These things are very difficult to assess in an interview. But, because it’s hard to test for ‘fit’, a candidate should also have in-person interviews, allowing localization recruitment specialists to get to know their personality and how it is likely to mesh with the existing team and overall company culture.


The pros and cons of candidate testing in localization recruiting


Testing candidates during the localization recruiting process offers several advantages, but there are certain drawbacks too. Both the pros and the cons influence the actions the hiring team would take, so it is important to be aware of them all.


The pros of candidate testing during localization recruiting


1. Objective evaluation – Testing provides an objective measure of a candidate’s skills and abilities, reducing subjectivity in the hiring process.

2. Skill assessment – It allows employers to assess whether candidates have the technical skills required for the job, making sure they are qualified for the role.

3. Predictive validity – personality type tests can predict job performance and cultural fit, increasing the likelihood of a successful hire.

4. Efficiency – Testing can save time and resources by quickly identifying unsuitable candidates and focusing on the most promising ones.

5. Quality assurance – It helps maintain high-quality standards, especially in industries where precision and expertise are critical, such as localization.


The cons of candidate testing during localization recruiting


1. Bias and fairness – If not designed and administered carefully, tests can introduce biases or unfairly disadvantage certain groups, leading to discrimination concerns.

2. Limited scope – Testing may not fully capture a candidate’s potential, soft skills or ability to adapt to new challenges, potentially causing you to overlook a good hire.

3. Candidate experience – Over-reliance on testing can lead to a poor candidate experience, deterring top talent from pursuing other roles, and causing them to not speak well of the company.

4. Cost and time – Developing and conducting tests can be expensive and time-consuming, making it impractical for small businesses or rapidly changing industries.


4 assessment models used by recruiters to screen candidates


To gauge candidates’ personality traits, practical skills, and industry knowledge and experience, several common testing methods are sometimes used. These can help to identify candidates who are technically capable and who will also align with the company culture, as well as those experienced enough to adapt to the dynamic demands of a growing business.


1. Personality assessments


Understanding a candidate’s personality traits and characteristics is helpful when figuring out if someone is going to be a good fit for the role and the company. Personality assessments, like the Myers-Briggs test and the Big Five, can help determine what roles a candidate might assume on a team. For example, a person with a high degree of conscientiousness may excel in quality control tasks, while someone with strong adaptability traits could thrive in the fast-paced localization environment.


2. Job knowledge tests


Depending on their area of expertise, localization professionals need a deep understanding of language, culture, and /or technical tools. Job knowledge tests, such as written or oral exams, can be tailored to test a candidate’s knowledge of linguistic nuances and localization software.


3. Work sample tests


Work sample tests in the form of translation requests, writing samples, or design projects, provide recruiters with tangible evidence of a candidate’s practical skills. For instance, a translation sample can showcase a linguist’s precision and cultural dexterity. It’s a best practice to pay a candidate fair market value so there is no perception that you are asking for ‘free work’.


4. Prompts and presentations


In this type of testing, candidates are provided a prompt for response. That response can sometimes take the form of a presentation. It would be a description of a real-life situation, including specific issues, and the request that they describe how they would approach or handle it. Again, it’s important to take care when asking a candidate to spend a lot of time building and presenting a plan to resolve a challenge; it can be seen as free work.

Also, recruiters can add a business case to test how a candidate would interact with clients and stakeholders during a real-life project.


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How does International Achievers Group approach candidate testing?


Many years of experience as recruitment specialists for the localization industry have equipped us with a clear outlook on what works and what doesn’t in terms of candidate testing. Because of this, we have been able to create a successful recruitment process; one that is fair to the candidates we screen and that reaps the best rewards for the companies we work for. But testing is not always needed or valuable – we advise our clients on when/how testing is most effective.

First and foremost, we prioritize technical ability because it’s hard to gauge technical ability through an interview alone. Translation testing is a common example. We tend to carry out at least two different translation tests over a couple of days, to to make sure that a successful test isn’t just a one-off.

With technical testing, we believe (as we already touched on) that professional candidates should be paid for their time so that it’s not considered “work for free”. This allows the interviewing company to set the bar in terms of their employer brand and leaves promising candidates with a good impression of the hiring organization.

We are more careful with psychometric testing. Instead, we often assess compatibility with the company culture through interviews because this type of testing may not give an in-depth view of a candidate’s personality in terms of their collaborative abilities in a team setting. A comprehensive interview utilizing a strategic list of questions allows us to truly assess a person’s level of skill and experience, and their ability to assimilate into an existing company infrastructure.


6 best practices we use for testing localization talent


When testing localization candidates, we have a very specific approach, which includes sticking to a selection of tried and tested best practices:


1. Customized assessments


Tests should be customized to match the specific requirements of the position. Examples of this include testing the linguistic proficiency and cultural sensitivity of translators and evaluating the coordination and organizational skills of project managers.


2. Standardized processes


Consistent evaluation criteria and testing methodologies should be established to ensure fairness and objectivity. This helps in comparing candidates objectively and maintaining compliance with labor laws.


3. Asking for realistic work samples


When using work sample tests, it’s imperative to design tasks that closely resemble real-world job responsibilities to allow a candidate to demonstrate their skills in a context relevant to the position.


4. Diversity and inclusion considerations


When it comes to modern recruitment, diversity hiring matters. This can be achieved by relying on tests that are free from bias; ones that accommodate diverse candidates regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity and other criteria.


5. Feedback and communication


A winning recruitment strategy impresses both employers and potential candidates. Offering constructive feedback to candidates, whether they succeed or not, will pay off in the long run, allowing hiring companies to maintain a positive employer brand while helping candidates to improve for future opportunities.


6. Continuous improvement


We believe that testing methodologies should be regularly reviewed and updated to align with industry advancements and changing job requirements, increasing their relevance and effectiveness.


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Leave your localization recruiting to us


International Achievers Group is a trusted leader in localization recruitment services, and we are renowned for our unmatched expertise and tailor-made solutions. With a deep understanding of the localization industry, we offer customized recruiting services designed to meet the unique needs of each of our clients.

Better still, initiating a consultation with International Achievers Group is a straightforward process. Whether you’re seeking top-notch localization talent or looking to advance your career in this field, we are your partner of choice.

Contact us today to experience a streamlined and efficient recruiting process that ensures the perfect match between candidates and companies. Don’t miss the opportunity to tap into our expertise by checking out our blog and resources for the latest news and insights from the world of localization.