Growth and development of all companies should be accompanied by improvement of internal organizational processes, in terms of both technology and human resources. Considering the growth of Sinonim over the last year, the company has successfully adapted to changes in the market, as well as to wishes and needs of its clients. Making sure that everything is running smoothly within the company and that its people have a pleasant working environment is the job of our Chief Operating Officer Siniša Bućan.
We've talked to Siniša about the everyday challenges of doing business on the global market, but also about what he is looking for in potential Sinonim employees as well as what bothers him the most in job applications. Let's get started.
What makes a good translation agency
Commitment to work, constant improvement of business operations and quality of services are some of the principal characteristics of a good translation agency. But what truly makes a difference is the relationship we have with clients.
"Good communication with clients is of utmost importance. Our approach is to be professional, but friendly. Our clients don't wait for a quote for longer than 30 minutes, and more often than not, we're available outside office hours. It is always good to keep up with the global trends and be aware of new technologies, both in our line of work (CAT tools) and outside of it. Also, employees should be given good working conditions since this, in addition to directly impacting service quality, impacts the business operations a whole," says Siniša.
When it comes to the greatest work challenges, he points out projects with short deadlines, which are very frequent in this industry, but also that a happy client is the biggest reward there is. "Organizing such projects without jeopardizing the quality of service, especially when managing a project with multiple language pairs, requires a lot of hard work and usually causes quite a bit of stress. On the other hand, the best part of this business is successfully completing a project and getting praise from our clients. This gives meaning to what we do here."
Adapting to the global market
Constantly cooperating with foreign companies and agencies is a challenge in itself, so it is important to know how to provide a solution adapted to the client at any given moment. Furthermore, there is a difference in how international companies work compared to domestic ones. Siniša explains that our experience allows us to find optimal solutions for clients who are expanding their business.
"Foreign clients are used to the way of doing business that is not yet common practice on the domestic market. They are better acquainted with what language services are all about. Expectations in terms of quality and translation process are high (knowledge of various CAT tools, OCR apps, QA tools, etc. is a must), but deadlines are more realistic on the other hand. They have a better idea of how demanding this work actually is. Our experience allows us to help our clients expand to foreign markets and we are familiar with the challenges they encounter. We're here to find the best solution in line with their needs and goals. In today's world, doing business on foreign markets is not only desirable, it is essential."
The whole company needs to be prepared for everyday changes and learning because this is the only way to survive on the market. "We've changed the processes within our company over the last several years until we've reached a very high, global level. And the story doesn't stop here. In business, we always have to be prepared to change and improve in order to remain competitive. We constantly keep up with latest technological trends and implement new processes. Also, our translators make progress every day and develop their skills through work and mentorship of more experienced translators, with Mario, our Chief Translations Officer at the helm," Siniša points out.
"I personally believe organizational culture is of paramount importance. I've worked in many companies where I've learned what company culture should NOT look like because it leads not only to employee dissatisfaction, but to poor business performance as well. That's why we try to create a pleasant atmosphere in which everyone feels good and comfortable so nobody feels nauseous when they think about coming back to work tomorrow," says Siniša and adds that it's important to create a culture of togetherness, "We have a Movie Club and a Book Club, and nearly every day we take a break together during which we don't talk about work for twenty or so minutes, but about our personal lives. Sometimes we play board games, and our favorites are Alias and Pictionary (Ivona and Mateja are always killing it). I believe creating a culture of togetherness is very beneficial – a company where we all have a shared perception that employees also make a successful company. Because this is the truth."
Translator's job at Sinonim
Although we frequently hear about the lack of job opportunities for local youth, Sinonim is always in search of ambitious and proactive people to round out our translation team. For all those who plan on applying for a job of a translation at Sinonim in the future, here's some advice.
"When it comes to translator jobs at Sinonim, we're primarily looking for language mastery in Croatian and in the foreign language you've completed education for. We want employees that see language more than just a profession, they need be passionate and set high standards for themselves, as well as take pride in what they do. We want people who are committed and proactive. They should have a good sense of humor, that is definitely one the cultural backbones in this company," said Siniša. A surprising fact is that most people are not even considered after going through their first email.
"Pay a lot of attention when writing your first email. I can't tolerate errors in emails, CVs or applications. Make yourself stand out. We get many applications and you have to be different in some way. Don't write cookie-cutter emails. Get rid of anything not relevant for the job. Don't wait until you graduate to start translating. There are many projects looking for volunteer translators. Create subtitles for online videos. Get your favorite book or any other reading material and translate it. Get to know CAT tools, there are many free ones. Don't let yourself get into a situation where you come to a job interview and you have no experience whatsoever. In this branch, you do not need to be employed to gain experience. Show initiative."
And what does the future have in store for us...
"In five years, Sinonim will be the leader in language services in this part of Europe. We will be the first choice of international clients for all languages in the region and the first pick of domestic clients for European and global languages. We will advance the translation industry in Croatia and beyond, and bring it to a global level," the COO announced.