Telephonic Interpretation in Human Resources Departments

Telephonic Interpretation (TI) services are used in a variety of industries from healthcare to the legal field, to emergency rooms and call centers, and even Human Resources (HR) departments in corporations.

The HR department helps provide an organization with structure and the ability to meet its business needs through managing the most important asset – its employees. There are a number of functions that fall to HR, including recruitment, workplace safety, employee relations, compensation and benefits, compliance, and training and development. Many HR Managers rely on professional interpretation, including the TI service, to assist in proper communications for each of these functions in order to comply with employment laws. Here are a few ways TI can help an organization’s HR department:

Recruitment: During the recruitment process, HR managers are responsible for everything from advertising the job to sourcing and screening applications, to conducting preliminary interviews and assisting with the final hiring decision. This includes jobs of all levels, and it wouldn’t be uncommon to have a need for professional interpretation. The TI service makes it easy to conduct telephone screenings and interviews with limited English proficient (LEP) job candidates.

Workplace Safety: Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers have an obligation to provide a safe and healthy working environment for employees. Workplace safety training and reporting often falls within HR’s responsibilities and includes HR benefits specialists to manage the company’s workers’ compensation issues. TI comes into play for the training aspect to ensure all employees – including LEP employees – are trained appropriately and understand protocols. TI can also be useful when handling workers’ compensation claims and issues involving an LEP employee.

Employee Relations: Employee relations focuses on the employer-employee relationships by measuring job satisfaction and employee engagement. TI is an easy solution to collecting survey responses from LEP employees.

Compensation and Benefits: Compensation and benefits are probably the business function most associated with an HR department. Clear communication of this information to all employees is essential. It isn’t always economical or efficient to have an in-person interpreter on-site for these meetings, so TI can be a useful service when communicating such details to LEP employees to ensure a mutual understanding.

Compliance: Compliance with labor and employment laws is a critical HR function. TI can help an organization remain compliant by ensuring LEP employees are not discriminated against and receive the same opportunity to understand necessary communications. TI allows both the employer and employee to exchange questions and important information. Noncompliance can result in negative employee relations and unsafe working conditions. HR staff must be cognizant of federal and state employment laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Fair Labor Standards Act.


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