Localization project managers are quite literally the pin that holds the entire workflow together. That means that in order to execute localization projects successfully they need to be pretty good at what they do.
But what is it that they do exactly?
Well, they manage the entire process from start to finish, which involves everything from coordinating internal and external stakeholders, to balancing costs and keeping senior management up to date with what’s happening.
When it comes to multinational enterprises, they’ll most likely be asked to execute the localization strategy that has been put forward by those above them. That said, this is something that seems to be changing.
In fact, localization project managers are now being increasingly asked to contribute to the putting together of the company’s strategy, if not design it from scratch. In many cases, it’s easy to see why since their supposed cultural knowledge means they are allegedly better equipped to come up with a successful strategy.
So, with the role of localization project managers continuously evolving, how can you guarantee yourself a good hire?
Can they find their way around a problem?
Putting out fires left, right, and center is, unfortunately, par for the course when it comes to localization. With that in mind, you’ll need to find yourself someone who is able to solve problems as efficiently as possible all the while maintaining a level head.
We know, it’s not exactly easy to determine which candidate is the best problem solver. However, a little probing never hurt in an interview. You can always ask them to describe how they’ve got themselves out of sticky situations in the past or even present them with a problem to solve on the spot.
Their resume is also likely to give you a good idea of how well they work as a team and how good their communication skills are. After all, communication is key, right?
Eagerness to learn is a must
You’re never too old or too important to learn something new. That means that even localization project managers need to be open to working with new tools and platforms, although a good grounding in CAT tools and management systems is also a must.
This is because at the end of the day they are there to serve clients and not vice versa. Therefore, the assignments they are tasked with may not fit with their current skill sets. They should also be willing to share any knowledge they have with other members of their team.
Of course, languages are a plus
Oftentimes, language and translation skills are not a requirement for localization project manager positions. However, they are without a doubt a huge plus since this enables them to negotiate optimum terms and conditions with clients and other workflow stakeholders.
What’s more, they can better empathize and communicate with the linguists that form part of the team when issues arise and are well-placed to comment on possible workflow improvements that will serve to benefit these members of the team and therefore keep everyone smiling.
At first glance, it may seem impossible to find a localization project manager that ticks all these boxes, but trust us there are top candidates out there just waiting to be found.