If you need regular transcription services or your in-house team is getting bogged down in transcribing content themselves, it is best to look at hiring a professional transcription agency to handle the work for you. Modern companies are handling an increasing amount of transcription work, whether it is for: content marketing, internal documentation, publishing or for a growing list of other purposes.
In this article, we explore the pros and cons you need to know before choosing a transcription agency so you can decide whether this is the right approach for your business, and if so, choose the right agency to work with.
A transcription agency is a company that specialises in providing transcription services for businesses and organisations. In most cases, this will be a language agency that also provides other services, including: translation, subtitling, interpretation and more.
Some agencies may have their own in-house team of professional transcribers, but most network with a pool of language professionals with different specialisms and experience. The key benefit of this is that an agency can find the ideal transcriber for your project, whether you need a specialist in transcribing medical content, foreign-language videos, interviews or something else entirely.
A transcription agency will connect you with the expert you need for your project, whatever your requirements.
When it comes to the pros and cons of hiring a transcription agency, the most common alternatives would be hiring a freelance transcriber or using a tool like Google Speech Recognition for online transcription.
- Quality: You are guaranteed to receive consistent quality, as these agencies work to uphold their reputation and qualification standards.
- Talent: Transcription agencies tailor their services to meet your needs, and can therefore connect you with the right transcribers and other expert linguists.
- Speed: With more personnel and greater access to resources, transcription agencies can complete your projects with a quick turnaround.
- Security: Your content and data is better protected, as these agencies are subject to privacy and security regulations.
- Convenience: These agencies handle complete project workflows on your behalf so you can better concentrate on your business.
- Flexibility: A transcription agency can adapt their services to your needs as and when they change.
- Reliability: Agencies have the personnel and resources to deliver even if individual transcribers are unavailable.
- Consistency: Power of resources; with access to the best linguists in the industry and working with refined transcription processes, agencies can produce consistent quality.
- Technology: Transcription agencies can afford industry-grade technology. Some, also develop their own in-house solutions so they can adapt to meet your needs.
- Specialist services: If you need specialist services, which go beyond standard transcription (e.g. subtitling, legal transcription or language services), agencies can work to meet your needs, no matter how niche.
- Project management: These agencies can provide project management services to handle other tasks besides transcription. For example: project planning, team management, software integration, consultancy, and much more.
- Finding the right agency: While finding the right agency can be challenging, it is still likely to be easier than sourcing transcribers and other language experts yourself.
- Switching: The right agency will deliver results for years to come, but choosing the wrong provider and having to switch to another (or multiple) is a waste of time and costs.
- Trust: You typically place more trust in an agency than a freelance transcriber.
- Cost: Agencies may charge a higher up-front fee than freelance transcribers. However, they also provide more than just transcription services (i.e. proofreading) which can result in being a more cost-effective option overall.
Essentially, a transcription agency has a network of experts to find the ideal transcribers for your project, no matter how niche or advanced your needs may be. They also have the personnel and resources to produce consistent results, adapt to a project’s changing needs and overcome any issues, including, finding a replacement transcriber quickly if someone becomes unavailable.
As a general rule, if you only have a small volume of content that requires transcription, hiring a freelancer transcriber could be a viable option, provided you have the capacity to discuss your project with freelancers and choose the right transcriber with confidence; independent transcribers shouldn’t have any problems managing smaller projects.
Things start to get more difficult on large-scale projects with higher volumes of content and workloads that involve more than transcription (content management, video optimisation, audio cleaning, etc.). This is the most common scenario where you will benefit from hiring a transcription agency that can bring together multiple transcribers and manage your project from start to finish.
Likewise, if you are dealing with specialist content (legal, financial, medical, etc.) or highly technical content (life sciences, engineering, technology, etc.), it will become more difficult to source transcribers with the right industry expertise. In this case, a transcription agency can quickly pull together the experts you need with the required qualifications, experience and knowledge.
If you think your business might benefit from hiring a transcription agency, get in touch with us. We have extensive experience providing professional transcription services.