With the proliferation of technology and digital devices, the way companies work and do business has changed dramatically. Digital presence has become compulsory for success, with companies having to produce more online content and thus hire translators.

Even though many think that creating content only in English is enough, the fact is that only 35% Internet users speak English. Therefore, companies with their content available in other languages can create more business opportunities. Spanish and Chinese, for example, are the other two most spoken languages online.

By now you are probably considering having your company’s marketing materials translated into other languages. The next step is for you to determine whether it is more convenient to hire in-house translators or freelancers.

Advantages and Disadvantages of In-House Translators

Team of translators

Company team

·         Advantage: Cost Reduction in Certain Cases

In-house translators are the best option if you need a lot of content translated daily. Considering most freelancers charge by the word, the cost of outsourcing work when you create a lot of content might be very high. By hiring in-house translators and paying them a monthly salary, you could save up some money. On the other hand, as explained in an article by Onward Search, “many employers today don’t want to make a new hire to handle one-off projects because they simply won’t have more work for them once the original project is completed.”

·         Disadvantage: Cost Increase in Certain Cases

It is important to consider that translators typically translate into one language (their native tongue). Therefore, hiring one translator for each language into which you need your content translated might work out really expensive. Don’t forget that you will need to cover holidays, health care, pension, and much more! Not to mention training, software licenses, consumables, and maternity/paternity leaves. You would also need to hire someone to supervise your translators’ work (and cover benefits for supervisors as well).

·         Advantage: Availability and Productivity

One advantage of in-house translators is that they are always available to deal with your requests during their working hours. Conversely, with freelancers you need to make sure that you reach out to them in advance to “book” them beforehand. This is usually solved by hiring a team of freelancers (like Crisol Translation Services!) who will make sure there’s always someone available for you. In the words of Devan Cicarelli from AudienceOps, “you’ll be able to meet with them regularly to monitor how they’re managing their workload, provide instant feedback whenever necessary, and see when they’re ready to take on more work. Your projects won’t be delayed by having to wait long for a response or work around a time difference.”

·         Advantage: In-Depth Knowledge of Your Company

In-house translators are employees who are aware of everything happening inside your company; this is knowledge that they can take advantage of when translating marketing campaigns, for example, or when building relationships with clients. This also means that their degree of commitment to your company’s success is usually higher.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Freelance Translators

·         Advantage: Cost Reduction in Certain Cases

If you outsource translation work and have it done remotely, you also reduce the need for office space, software licenses, training, benefits, stationary and supplies, etc. Moreover, if you don’t create a lot of content regularly, paying only for what you need works out cheaper than covering all the costs of hiring a part-time or full-time employee.

·         Disadvantage: Cost Increase in Certain Cases

Because freelancers need to run their own business, which includes paying taxes, buying software licenses, covering costs such as office rent and supplies, etc., their rate (per hour, per page, or per word) will reflect these costs. You might be able to get a discount if you are a recurrent client, though.

·         Advantage: Quality

Freelancers have an interest in keeping you happy as a client and making you want to go back to them for your next project. While the performance of in-house employees might vary over time, freelancers know their quality is what will make you want to hire them again in the future.

·         Advantage: No Need to Worry about the Work Environment

When you hire freelancers to handle the translation of your company materials, you don’t need to worry about whether they get along or not with the rest of your employees. There’s also no need for you to foster a positive work environment to ensure satisfactory performance.

·         Advantage: Saving Time

In the same article mentioned above, the author has a good point when he says that hiring freelancers can double the hours of your business. In his words, “virtual employees afford you the luxury of having expertise that spans the globe. This also means you have employees working around the clock and after normal business hours, even if you’re not.”

How to Calculate and Compare Expenses

We thought you might find an online calculator useful in determining what type of translators will cost your company less money: click here.

If you decide freelancer translators will suit your needs best, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! Click here to send us a message.


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