We also work proactively to meet society’s growing or urgent needs for interpreters – before these needs arise. When we anticipate that the demand for a particular language will become greater, we step up our efforts to find interpreters with the right language skills. Our Vendor Team monitors the Swedish Migration Board’s statistics and forecasts relating to asylum seekers and refugees, and we also review our customers’ enquiries and needs in order to map the languages within which additional recruitment may be needed. New customer agreements can also mean that we need more interpreters in certain locations.
When looking for interpreters with specific language skills or in a particular part of Sweden, our first port of call is Kammarkollegiet’s list of authorised interpreters and interpreters with basic training to check whether this includes interpreters that are not yet part of our network. We sometimes advertise through the Swedish Public Employment Service or in the local press, and we also have a large pool of potential talent in the form of expressions of interest received via our website.
Contact with trainers
Semantix maintains close contact with the various interpreter trainers around Sweden. We visit folk high schools and other education providers regularly to inform students about our interpreting services and to form valuable relationships with future interpreters.
Semantix’s recruitment process
Our basic requirements
So who can become an interpreter and work for Semantix? Are good knowledge of Swedish and the interpreting language enough? Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple. One basic requirement is being authorised by Kammarkollegiet or having completed full face-to-face interpreting training, which is overseen by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education. (Note that different rules apply in order to work as a conference interpreter.)
Interpreter training currently consists of six courses: introductory course, social interpreting, medical interpreting, legal aspects for interpreters, migration interpreting and interpreting ethics and technology. In some cases, Semantix may approve interpreters who have completed four of these courses, for example in certain languages or certain parts of Sweden where there is a particular shortage of interpreters.
Under certain circumstances, Semantix offers its own introductory training remotely, which may lead to recruitment. This applies, for example, to minority languages that are not covered by training or authorisation – Semantix currently has interpreters in 184 languages and dialects, while authorisation tests are only held in around 40 languages.
Interviews and agreements
The applicants who proceed to the interview stage should send us their CV, certification of authorisation and/or training, a photo for their interpreter’s ID and evidence of a criminal records check (which is a requirement in certain customer agreements). In connection with the interview, we also carry out a suitability assessment which includes checking that the applicant has adequate Swedish language skills. Applicants who pass the interview must sign a confidentiality agreement and our policy agreement, which includes committing to working in accordance with good interpreting practice at all times. These agreements and the criminal records check must be renewed every three years.
Ready for registration
Once we have received the documents we need, the new interpreters are ready for registration. As soon as they are registered in our database, we inform our interpreting coordinators around the country. They can then offer the new interpreters assignments – often that same day. After a while we contact the interpreters to check that they have started receiving assignments and that our cooperation is working as it should.
What does Semantix offer?
Interpreters who choose to work for Semantix enjoy a number of benefits. We offer insurance for assignments, as well as any guidance or psychological help that may be needed following a particularly difficult interpreting situation. We hold advanced courses and further training, and make grants available to cover fees associated with authorisation or validation. We also arrange regular interpreter gatherings and cafés at those locations where we have offices.