Lionbridge Review: Why I Am Glad I Failed as an Internet Assessor
Lionbridge Technologies was founded in 1996, and defines itself as a leading provider of globalisation solutions. The headquarters are in Waltham, MA, United States.
Services offered include:
In its 2014 Annual Report Lionbridge stated that it has a database of more than 100,000 independent workers in 100+ countries providing crowdsourcing services including translation, online marketing, global content management, and testing solutions.
Lionbridge reported a total revenue of $490.6 million in 2014. Main clients that year were Microsoft (21% of revenue) and Google (12%). Lionbridge generated approximately $20.5 million in cash flow from operations during 2014.
Lionbridge is a publicly listed company trading on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “LIOX”.
I wrote this article in 2015 after attempting the selection test with Lionbridge once. This is the account of my failed attempt and I hope you find it useful. Please note that I never worked with Lionbridge because I decided not to try the test again. However, there are quite a few things I learned in the process and that's why I decided to share my experience.
Online Jobs and the Internet Assessor Role
Lionbridge will make different types of online jobs available for crowdsourcing. You need to check the website for available vacancies in your region (jobs are location-dependent).
Lionbridge will make vacancies available from time to time depending on client demand. One of the most popular roles advertised is that of Internet Assessor.
The reason why I joined Lionbridge was to get some more freelance writing work. As there were no other opportunities available but an Internet Assessor vacancy, I applied for it.
Social Media Channels
The Application Process
Considering this company has been operating for 20 years I had expected a sleeker recruitment process and user interface. The workers database is hosted on a SAP platform: it looks dated and could do with a bit of sprucing up. Aesthetic considerations aside, creating a profile is like uploading your CV on a traditional job search engine site: you need to list your qualifications, past experience, skills and upload your updated CV.
Lead time to review applications is two weeks.
A few days after submitting your application you receive an email with your confirmed hourly rate (company confidential) and documents you need to digitally sign to agree to start contract work.
You need to sign a non disclosure agreement – the company will take action against you if you leak information.
You then need to wait another 8-10 days to receive the information about the exam you need to pass to become an assessor.
The Exam and Why I Failed
All information about the exam is company confidential. There are three exams you need to pass, one of which is a multiple choice questionnaire based on the exam guidelines you are given beforehand (at the time of writing, the guidelines were 157 pages long and the recommendation is for you to set aside a few hours to study them in detail).
I started reading the guidelines and had to stop half way through. I was having doubts on whether this type of role suited me – detail work is not my forte. Against better wisdom, I attempted the multiple choice questionnaire (open book) testing you on your knowledge of the guidelines. I obviously failed, but I wanted to fail as I realised that being an assessor would bore me to tears.
However, I am sure other people would find the role quite fascinating as it gives you an excellent insight on how good websites are supposed to provide information and meet users' needs.
The Black Market for Exam Papers
While researching information for this article I found out that there is a black market for exam papers results. While I did not look into this further, I saw websites gathering email addresses with the view to email documents to candidates at a price to help them pass the selection process.
Pros and Cons
- flexible work
- working between 10 and 20 hours a week
- first payment after 60 days
- low to medium hourly rate of pay
- some jobs can be tedious so you need a lot of discipline and self-motivation
- workers in internet forums said that response by email from the support team and team leaders is slow
I will make a more informed assessment once I try applying for other roles (if I feel inclined to, as the application process is too time consuming in my view). Having looked at ratings of the company in the public domain, it seems that there is a 50/50 split between happy and disgruntled workers.
2016 UPDATE: no other roles became available - no writing jobs, no translation jobs, just mechanical jobs paying pennies/cents.
I'm happy to hear about your experiences so feel free to add your comment.