Human resources (HR) have the job of managing employees working for an organization or business. This means recruiting them, training them, paying them, assessing their attributes and skills, and generally looking after their welfare and work output. One might wonder why human resources would need translators or interpreters – surely everyone recruited to work in a typical business is required to have a reasonable standard of literacy in the language of the country in which that business or organization is based? That is true for businesses and organizations that only exist in a single country, but is patently incorrect for multinational entities where hr translation services are essential.
Strategies for human resources translation
Every multinational business or organization is different, but where there are many separate agencies or branches, there is often an overriding HR that operates out from company or organizational headquarters and has the task of maintaining consistency across all the various international sectors of the business. For example, Honda has its headquarters in Japan, but over the last few decades has gradually built up local Honda companies in many countries and regions around the world.
It is not expected that Honda Australia or Honda Italy operates in Japanese. Each national branch of the multinational operates in the official language in the country where it is based. Human resources in Honda’s Sydney headquarters use English as the medium, while Honda Italia’s HQ in Milan uses Italian. However, the main base of Honda is in Japan, and this means that communication with and between all country-based sections of Honda must involve the translation of information and instructions. This applies to HR just as it does to advertising, manufacturing, and distribution. HR around the Honda empire is totally reliant on efficient, professional translation services.
What HR does that makes HR translation so important
Human resources are only one aspect of any large business or organization but are an essential one. Businesses and organizations of any size cannot adequately function without a professionally run HR department. HR in any multinational business or organization is infinitely more complex as it involves managing teams of employees that vary in their language, cultural norms, public holidays, time zones, work habits, currencies, and government labor laws.
It is normally impossible for the parent HR department to impose the same work conditions on all employees throughout a multinational organization. There is a delicate balance that needs to be maintained between ensuring consistency and allowing for regional variations. As far as language is concerned, there is an obvious need for a team of professional translators and interpreters in any multinational entity. This team may be in-house, i.e. employed as part of the company or organization, or outsourced to a professional translation agency that has experience in the languages required.
Some examples of what a multinational organization’s HR department’s role might be include tasks such as:
- advertising for staff;
- establishing policies and procedures;
- interviewing and recruiting staff;
- maintaining employee records;
- managing payroll;
- managing progress reviews and establishing goals;
- providing health and wellness tips;
- recoding incident reports and carrying out disciplinary actions;
- devising training programs.