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Questions You Need to Ask Before Hiring a Transcriptionist

Hiring a transcription service to transcribe audio or video files is a cost-effective technique that can serve a number of purposes for your business. There are a lot of uses of transcription services ranging from making text records of interviews, meetings, podcasts, video productions to training speech recognition systems. But what is exactly transcription? It refers to a transcriber listening to the audio/video and typing the speech in text form in a document which can be later stored, archived or emailed and shared.

Transcription services are used all over the world for transcribing seminars, webinars, court hearings, meetings and lectures. There is a growing need for this service which is why well-established translation agencies like Contentech have a pool of competent transcriptionists on board. But how do you choose the best transcriptionist for a job? There are certain questions that you can ask which will help you determine whether or not the transcriptionist is suitable for medical transcription services or legal transcription services. These questions and guidelines are followed by Contentech to pick the cream of transcriptionists out of a huge pool of candidates. The transcriptionists can be experts of different fields like legal, medical or general.

Hiring a General Transcriptionist

A general transcriptionist has expertise in transcribing content from different fields. He is not required to have special expertise in a particular field and can work for general transcription tasks for example, transcribing interviews, meetings or podcasts. Since a general transcriptionist does not have particular expertise of a niche field, here are some questions you can ask in order to determine whether he is fit for the task.

What Is Your Work Experience?

Asking the transcriptionist about his work experience and portfolio will give you a very fair idea about his skills. You will get to know what kind of transcription jobs he has done before and whether he will be able to handle yours.

What Tools Do You Use for Transcription?

A transcriptionist can make notes by hand which he can later type or he can simply use a laptop to type in the first place. Some transcriptionists may also use a typewriter. Asking what equipment he uses can give you an idea of the amount of work the transcriptionist can handle. If your audio files need to be tuned a bit, then the transcriptionist needs to have software that can edit the audio files to increase the sound quality before he begins transcribing.

How Do You Handle Changes in Workload?

Sometimes the workload can change in a transcription job. Meetings, courtroom procedures and conferences can be lengthier than what was anticipated. Similarly, audio files may not be clear and need to be worked on using different software before they are good enough to listen to and understand in order to transcribe. Asking a transcriptionist how he will handle extra workload will give you a good idea of his work ethic and attitude.

How Do You Determine Your KPIs?

Setting a deadline, formats of delivery, type of transcription and discussing all other KPIs for a transcription project before it begins is a wise idea. If your transcriptionist has a list of KPIs that he can share, it will clear the path to communication and expectations ensuring a smooth service.

Hiring a Medical Transcriptionist

A medical transcriptionist needs to have specific expertise and a thorough knowledge of the field. There are a lot of terms and phrases in the field of medicine which may be difficult for a layman to understand. A transcriptionist offering professional medical transcription services and has a thorough knowledge of such technical terms will be able to identify them and transcribe more accurately. There can be no room for ambiguity or errors in medical transcription as it is a sensitive field and errors can lead to dire consequences.  Here are the questions you can ask to identify a competent medical transcriptionist from medical transcription companies.

What Sort of Certification Do You Have?

A competent medical transcriptionist is bound to have formal training or certification. Since they need to have an in-depth knowledge of anatomy, medical terminology, medical procedures/treatments and pharmacology – medical transcriptionists need to be aware of the legal requirements and standards that are applied to health records. Medical transcriptionists usually go through a certified medical transcription training program for either 6 months or for 2 years. They can have a certificate, diploma or an associate’s degree. The level of their certification will give a good insight into their qualification.

Which Reference Materials Do You Use?

It can be difficult for a transcriptionist to memorize all medical terminology. If they have a list of glossary or back up references to look at every time they get stuck on a term while transcribing, it will show you that they are serious about their work’s accuracy.

How Do You Manage Errors and Inaccuracies in the File?

All humans can make errors. But how one handles those errors makes a difference. Asking the transcriptionist if he has a process to lower or rectify errors and inaccuracies in the file is a good idea. Having a review process or back up plan to handle discrepancies in a file will save time, money and effort and shows that the transcriptionist is well prepared for such incidents.

Hiring a Legal Transcriptionist

A legal transcriptionist has a very important job to do. Making records of legal procedures in courtrooms or transcribing documents for attorneys, judges, paralegals and magistrates is a very responsible task. Here are the questions you should ask before hiring a legal transcriptionist.

Do You Have a Certification?

Legal transcriptionists like medical transcriptionists need to know technical terms of their field. Misunderstanding those terms can lead to disastrous consequences. A competent legal transcriptionist usually has a diploma, certificate or associate degree in a legal program in addition to work experience from legal transcription companies.

How Do You Ensure Confidentiality?

Legal transcription services can involve very confidential information that the transcriptionist will have access to. This information needs to be protected to avoid legal actions and violation of confidentiality. Asking the transcriptionist what he does to ensure this confidentiality is an important question. Ideally, you would want to work with a professional transcriptionist who is ready to sign a non-disclosure agreement and takes responsibility of confidentiality.

Contentech always asks these questions before hiring transcriptionists which is why we are able to ensure the most competent transcriptionist in the medical, legal and other fields. We also have tests in place for each field that the transcriptionist has to pass before we could hire them. We always pass our customer’s expectations when it comes to high-quality transcription services.  If you have a transcription project, we are the perfect fit. Let’s talk about a custom quote just for you!

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