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Insider Secrets of Setting Up Globally Distributed Localization Staff

This article, written by Caroline Cox of Acclaro, was originally posted on the industry newsletter “The Globalization Insider” in November 2009.

Managing a localization team in Delhi and Dubai from Deluth is no picnic. But, with these tips your far-flung team will fly across the finish line.

By Caroline Cox, Acclaro Inc.

In today’s global economy, organizations increasingly rely on short- and long-term localization resources for a wide variety of positions — both at home and abroad. From linguists (i.e. translators and editors) in London to localization engineers in Egypt and project managers in Mumbai, many companies are expanding abroad and need expert resources to add to their international project teams. At the same time, U.S.-based companies often find that hiring resources abroad opens their pool of qualified resources, enabling better interaction with local markets and providing economical staffing solutions.

Yet, localization staffing needs to be handled wisely to ensure quality outcomes. Here are a handful of tips that businesses would do well to consider before hiring and managing temporary or full-time staff overseas.

1. Getting started

If hiring localization or other international resources abroad seems like the right direction for your project or company, consider these five questions:

2. Hiring 101 (revisited)

Once you’ve thought through the process of getting started, it’s worth re-thinking some basic but critical aspects of the hiring process:

3. Building your team overseas

Once you determine whom you wish to hire, you will need to decide how and where to employ them. Although each project requires its own approach, here are three areas to consider:

4. Maintaining a successful international team

Keeping your international staff focused and productive requires a fresh look at teamwork for the global age of business. Here are two tips to keep in mind:

No matter how complex your localization staffing needs may be, the right solution, employee and contractor are out there, just waiting to contribute to your success. Balancing your business objectives with a sure-footed approach to process is the best way to take your team and project from the starting line to the finish line — with budget to spare.

Caroline Cox has been in the localization industry for more than 10 years, both on the vendor side as well as the client side. She has primarily worked in operations and is currently a staffing program manager at Acclaro (

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