Saturday, July 11, 2009

Way with Words

Way with words is hiring for transcription:

What an applying typist should know.

Thank you for your interest in Way With Words as a transcription typist.

Way With Words is a transcription company serving clients worldwide. We are based in London, Seattle and Cape Town, and also contract a network of qualified independent contractors (home-based) across various countries.

Types of material we transcribe include radio and TV programmes, market research interviews, legal and medical transcription, meetings, conferences, and various others.

Working for Way With Words

Way With Words is currently recruiting motivated and competent people to assist with our transcription work.

You must have an excellent command of English. We emphasize that "excellent command of English" means exactly that. Being a native speaker of English does not by any means imply that your standard is adequate. For example, you should have a vocabulary wide enough to read and understand a classic Dickens novel comfortably. You should be aware of the rules of English punctuation, for example regarding apostrophes. As a further example, we would expect applicants to be able, if asked during the recruitment process, to explain to us the difference between pairs of words such as the following, without recourse to a dictionary:

  • complement, compliment
  • principle, principal
  • born, borne
  • allude, elude
  • moral, morale
  • counsel, council
  • local, locale
  • stationery, stationary

If you do not already know the difference between these pairs of words it means that your English is not of the required standard, and you are kindly requested not to apply.

You must be familiar with word processing and computers in general, although no in-depth expertise is required.

You should be a reasonably fast typist, e.g. minimum 50 words per minute. If you are not, it will not be worth you doing this work. You should be able to transcribe an hour of clear recording in four hours or less.

Independent contractors must have a home computer with an Internet connection and Microsoft Word. You are responsible for maintaining your computer. We do not reimburse typists for work lost due to computer problems. You are not required to have, or purchase, any other equipment such as foot pedals or dictaphones.

Independent contractors are also required to download and use MSN Messenger (Microsoft downloads) to keep in touch with our office for work. You are expected to make contact with our managers daily, or as available, so that work can be allocated accordingly.

You need to be able to commit to at least 20 hours of work per week, and preferably more.

You must have sufficient self-discipline to work from home and meet deadlines. Transcribing for Way With Words is a serious job that requires concentration and commitment. It is most definitely not a job that you can do as a casual sideline to another job or to full-time academic studies.

If you have previously applied to Way With Words and been unsuccessful, please do not reapply. Our recruitment criteria have not changed, and checking duplicate applications is simply an administrative burden for us.


Payment is effectively by the hour of work. Workflow is allocated on an "as and when" basis.

New independent contractors start on an hourly billable rate of US$7.50. This can go up over time depending on ability and performance.

Our expectations

The following is expected of independent contractors:

  • adherence to deadlines
  • high-quality work
  • good daily availability
  • a dedicated and accommodating attitude

Please note that we do not give out our office phone numbers to applicants until they have passed our initial entrance tests. This is because in the past when we have done so we have received enormous numbers of speculative phone calls from applicants, mostly asking questions that are already answered on this page.

If you pass our grammar test, you will receive an email with a link so you can download some trial transcription work from the Internet. This requires an efficient Internet connection. Unfortunately, we are unable to assist with individual PC or software issues, due to the difficulty of resolving these from off-site.

If you have trouble downloading files from the links that we send you, please consult a specialist such as your Internet service provider.

Please note that we are not able to provide individual feedback regarding your test results beyond a "pass" or a "fail". For obvious reasons, we do not give out the correct answers to test questions.

If you successfully pass through the training process, and if you have applied to work from home, you will become an "independent contractor" for Way With Words, and a contract will be sent to you to sign.

WARNING: We are aware that there are certain "scam" schemes operating whereby applicants are asked to pay a sum of money up front to apply, or to obtain more information about the job. Way With Words is not one of these companies; we are a legitimate venture capital-backed entity and we never at any point require applicants to pay money to us. Any company which asks an applicant for money up front should be regarded as highly suspect, and you are strongly advised to avoid such companies or to report your concerns to the police if you feel you have been the victim of a scam. The only expense you will ever be put to in applying to Way With Words is your normal telephone cost for the time you spend online downloading our test work via the Internet. Please only apply to Way With Words if you accept this cost with the possibility that your application may not be successful.

Taking it Further

Applicants are required to take an entrance test in two parts. Part 1 consists of questions regarding your understanding of the English language, and will take 10-15 minutes. You can take this part of the test at any time. If you pass, we will notify you by email and invite you to take Part 2, which consists of a transcription task and will take 20-30 minutes. If you pass Part 2, you will be informed of this by email and contacted by our Training Department within a week.

To apply to transcribe for Way With Words, please click Continue to start the test.

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