Staffing for Off-Site Localization and Testing Programs 

welocalize December 10, 2016

In the first of three in our series of Welocalize blogs on localization staffing and recruiting, Welocalize Staffing Account Manager Lauren Nemec highlights at key components involved in setting up an off-site testing program for global brands looking to test localized products and services to enter new markets.

Welocalize specializes in full-service global staffing and recruiting solutions, in addition to providing complete off-site QA and testing services. We refer to these offerings as Quality Validation Services.

Every day, the Welocalize Global Staffing team helps clients save money, reduce risk, improve operational efficiencies, and meet faster time-to-market demands by providing top linguistic talent and managing off-site testing and quality validation programs.

There are many reasons why global brands set up off-site testing programs, essentially outsourcing their localization staffing requirements to specialized language service providers like Welocalize.  Some of criteria include:

  • Quick access to vetted resources qualified by languages and testing experience.
  • Ability to place linguistic talent urgently to meet immediate business needs.
  • Recruiting efficiencies and expertise to add headcount at scale.
  • Savings in outsourcing, as some locales can be too expensive to hire on-site and utilizing an LSP secure location dramatically reduces costs.
  • The legal department is concerned about co-employment risks with on-site contractors and wants to mitigate risk.

Three success factors for implementing such a program are the type of work, the testing lab facility and the talent.

The Type of Work

The nature of the work itself will often determine the best solution. It is important to define the workflow and process. What tasks will you outsource to your localization staffing partner? How will you assign tasks, transfer files and track deliverables? How will you measure the quality of the results and the success of the off-site program?

Most localization tasks are well-suited to be conducted off-site, including linguistic quality assurance (LQA), linguistic and functional (device) testing, transcription, localization, project management and voiceover.

Having a tool that can automate the transfer of tasks to off-site talent and track deliverables helps drive greater efficiency in the workflow. The best providers will help organizations if they want to use in-house translation management tools or work with a provider’s tools.

Language service staffing providers should be able to track performance of the off-site talent and back-up their work with meaningful metrics and data that will help demonstrate the success and ROI for the program.

The Testing Lab Facility

The off-site testing lab must provide the necessary security to meet the program’s needs, as well as adequate space for scalability and the necessary equipment to complete the work. Here are some considerations for evaluating a testing lab:

What security features do you need to maintain confidentiality?

  • Unique badge or key fob access to the lab
  • Privacy screens
  • Partitions
  • Frosted glass
  • Security cameras
  • Restrictions on personal devices in the lab
  • Windowless lab, or monitors set-up to face away from windows/doors
  • VPN

How much space do you need? 

How many seats are needed initially and how will this change over time? Drafting a seating plan will help staffing providers design a lab space that will accommodate needs immediately and as the program grows.

What equipment is required to complete the work? Who is responsible for providing it?

  • PC or Mac work stations
  • Devices for testing – smartphones, tablets, smart TV’s, gaming consoles

The Talent

Sourcing the right talent is crucial for success. To ensure the best talent for specific products, content types and tasks, organizations must work closely together with providers to determine the ideal candidate profile. What essential skills and experience will the ideal candidate have?

Vetting talent is also a key component to any successful outsourcing service. In addition to interviews, linguistic talent should take an entrance exam to test their linguistic capabilities, quality control ability and other relevant skills. This may be followed by an optional tryout.

Determine the level of client involvement required for selecting off-site talent. Some clients prefer to be as hands-off as possible, either to avoid co-employment risks or simply for lack of time. Others prefer to be very engaged in the hiring process to ensure the right fit.

Another critical component of a successful off-site program is the support role. A strong Project Manager or Project Lead is key to ensuring successful relationships between the staffing partner, client, and testers, by providing training, facilitating communication, collaborating with client contacts to ensure accuracy and timely delivery, manage the needs of the lab space and testers, and other resources.

In the second post in this series, we will explore meaningful metrics and how your staffing partner can add value to your off-site testing program with analytics. Stay tuned!


Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Lauren Nemec is Staffing Account Manager at Welocalize. 

For more information on Welocalize Staffing, click here.

For more information on Welocalize QA & Testing services, click here.