The role of translation and interpreting in human resources

Most companies have a human resources person or department, although very small companies can survive without one. Human resources is defined as the part of an organization dedicated to managing and optimizing the workforce, and the people who work in that department. HR protects the company from false claims and the employee from abuse, while ensuring that company policies are followed and that everyone’s interests are known and represented. Many HR departments are in-house, but some are outsourced.

Some of the tasks of the HR department include recruiting, benefits administration, employee training and orientation, policy compliance, and assistance with injury claims. HR communicates with employees, executives, staffing agencies and supervisory agencies every day. This crucial function must have ready access to translation services and interpretation services to do their job effectively when communicating with employees in their native language or reaching out to employees around the world.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways translation and interpretation impact HR.

why translation for HR?

None of HR’s activities can be done well without professional translation and interpretation services for multilingual environments. From employee handbooks to sexual harassment training – you need everyone involved to get clear, accurate information and a thorough understanding of the issues.

There is no part of HR’s job that language services can’t help with. With language services, companies and job seekers are found faster, people’s rights are respected, workflow is improved and the government is satisfied.

Hiring around the world

Globalization means that more and more languages are entering the workforce. Companies eagerly seek multilingual talent as they interact with foreign buyers, investors and governments, online and by phone. The Internet enables millisecond communication, faster delivery services and more diverse resources than ever before, creating a need for translation and interpretation inside and outside of companies.

Perhaps a company is moving to an area where the local dialect of Spanish is different from their own, opening a branch office in another Spanish-speaking country or doing business abroad in Spanish. Multilingual employees add new ideas and perspectives to companies, and the way to treat them with respect and comply with the law is to proactively provide language services and then review the translated content to ensure that the local vocabulary and culture are properly incorporated. Vocabulary usage and spelling can change from one Spanish-speaking country to another, so you need a translation company with the resources and expertise to help address these details during the Spanish translation process.

The right resources for Human Resources

Translation for Human Resources is unique because it combines its own terminology with that of each industry it serves. The responsibility for translation should not be left to multilingual employees or left to a machine translation program without quality analysis by expert linguists. Only professional translators can ensure that the translated material is correct and appropriate to the specific industry jargon.

A professional translator will be able to adapt the wording if there is no exact translation for a word or phrase, keeping the meaning and ideas clear.

Human Resources translation in action

how is HR translation and interpretation applied when dealing with actual materials and practices?

Translation of internal documents

Documents for internal use range from company policies, codes of conduct, mission statements and onboarding checklists. People need to know what is expected of them, what to expect from the organization and what will happen next.

Employees will be more confident, feel included and be more optimistic about their new position when they are provided with internal documents in their language.

Legal document translation

Every company must inform its employees of their rights or they could face lawsuits and severe penalties. Every employee and contractor should be provided with the legal material that they and the company must comply with in a language they can clearly understand. Translation of legal documents protects everyone involved. Some of the legal documents for human resources management include contracts, confidentiality agreements and insurance documents.

Our translation company has translated numerous documents to assist in legal disputes between companies and employees. Examples include the translation of documents such as performance reviews, letters and statements.

Security translation

A company must ensure that its employees can do their jobs safely. If someone gets hurt, the business loses that person’s productivity during the time he or she must leave work. The employee’s finances may be affected, or the injury may be so severe that it hinders his or her ability to work. As with contracts, poorly translated (or untranslated) safety information can get a company into trouble with organizations such as OSHA. Every employee should have safety instructions professionally translated and localized to their dialect and industry.

Interpretation for Human Resources

Not all important HR communication is written. Multilingual interviews, phone calls and conversations should be conducted through the services of a professional interpreter. An employee may be working remotely, or a company may be interviewing someone who will need to travel many miles to work for them. Sensitive and nuanced information is communicated during these discussions, and a professional interpreter will be able to interpret the words spoken in another language without losing the nuances of the language.

Interpretation Services: A Resource for Humans

ABC Translations Translation provides you with access to professional interpreters from around the world for over-the-phone or on-site interpreting services.

Our translation agency also provides interpreting equipment for consecutive conferences or training programs. We will support you as we define and create the best setup for your HR meeting. We will help you select the best interpreters based on your needs and the content of the conference. If you need equipment, you will have the right equipment and technicians to successfully complete the bilingual or multilingual training.

HR is all about clear communication, so be prepared in case your company needs translation for HR content.

Open your company to multilingual talent by entering into a relationship with our translation and interpretation agency. By providing language services to your employees, you’ll be better equipped to communicate effectively with your multilingual clients and partners. Call us today to start the conversation.

Nathan Woods

About the author

ABC Translations