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Improving Client Quality

Community Guru
Garnor M Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
1 of 16

We’ve been keeping you informed of our efforts to improve quality in the oDesk marketplace. One item I’ve mentioned, but haven’t discussed much, is our initiative to improve client and job post quality. We’re in this together and we know the marketplace is at its best when we demand quality from all parties, freelancers and clients alike.


Some of you have asked for more details on what we’re doing to improve client quality. Here’s a recap of the progress we’ve made thus far and what’s next:


Identifying low-quality clients

First, we’ve done extensive review to identify low-performing clients. Thanks in part to input from freelancers, we’ve identified and flagged clients who display a poor track record of awarding jobs, paying freelancers and/or collaborating with their freelancers.


Taking action

In the past several months we’ve identified thousands of clients, big and small, with a record of poor work experiences and we’ve sent them warning messages with guidance and expectations on areas for improvement.


For those clients who’ve failed to improve, we’ve taken actions to restrict access and in some cases, suspended their accounts. This isn’t a decision we take lightly, but we place great  importance on the integrity of the marketplace and will do our best to preserve that.


What’s next

As with our management of freelancer performance and quality, we’ll continue to refine and improve this process. Our enforcement of client quality standards will get better and we expect you’ll eventually see this reflected in the quality of job posts as well.

And we know you want more. In the coming months there will also be  specific initiatives around job posts as we look to enhance the professionalism and expectations around all areas of the marketplace. We appreciate your support in this and look forward to continuing our partnership with you to elevate quality on oDesk.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 16

I think one of the top indicators of a LOW-quality client (if not THE top measure) is not spending money.

If a client is on oDesk regularly posting jobs, conducting interviews, or doing whatever else, but isn't spending $$$, then what are they doing here?


There ARE legitimate job postings that don't result in hiring a contractor because no qualified contractor applies.


But if this is happening repeatedly? Or if a client has a lot of interviews or even a lot of hiring activity but hasn't spent money... Then something is fishy...


And of course, there's the free work thing. Freelancers need to be POLITE, but firm about this. Clients shouldn't be asking for free work. IT IS OKAY to pay for a SMALL amount of work to get a feel for what a contractor can do. It doesn't have to be a life-time committment. Hire a contractor for just an hour. Just a half-hour, even.


But please be professional and pay for our time.

If you conduct an interview and it runs a little long and gets into project planning details (not just learning about the contractor, but discussing your own project should be handled), do the decent thing and send the contractor a fixed-price contract invite to cover the time. Especially if you don't actually hire the contractor to work on the project. It may only be a few dollars, but it shows respect.


But, hey, you know what? In my opinion, MOST clients on oDesk are great!

Community Guru
Garnor M Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
3 of 16

Agreed Preston, paying is critical. And this is a key factor in to how we review client "performance." 

Ace Contributor
Dejan H Member Since: Jan 29, 2015
4 of 16

It is great that oDesk is trying to improve its quality and I think that we all deserve that. We are still waiting for the most important thing -- implementing a time frame in which the client must make a decision (hire or close a job), and if he/she fails to do it, oDesk should close the job and return connects. This is for me the most important thing and without it, everything you have done so far will be useless. 


I believe that you'll accept my proposal and come up with some rule and make freelancers happy Smiley Happy 


Have a nice daySmiley Happy

Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
5 of 16

So this means my stats and public job success ratings for clients does it? That would be really good...

Ace Contributor
Mirna R Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
6 of 16

Employers should also clearly write the topics linked with the job offer.

"Administrative assistant" has a general meaning. 

Do they want me to describe pornographic items? Maybe I do not feel comfortable.

Do they want me to make videos or edit them? I'm not able and I can't accept.

Do they want me to describe a drug related article? I do not want and I can't. 

Sometimes, we start a contract and we find a "surprise".

Sometimes they make an interview and tell the job is mine, then they disappear and the contract remains.

This is the reason why I prefer long term jobs, with trustable people.

How will you solve?

Ace Contributor
Mirna R Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
7 of 16

Another point.

Some employers want the job done in 1 second, others have a project and ask to start later, maybe 1 week, 10 days, 1 month.

It could be helpful for freelancers to know this element. Why not opening a precise section for "quick jobs", or "urgent"? This is important.


Community Guru
Pandora H Member Since: May 11, 2010
8 of 16

It's great to finally hear about these iniitives. Thank's Garnor.


As some else in this thread says, a legimite client with a legimate job should be aware that hiring 30 days past the job post date is not acceptable. How will this sort of issue be addressed specifically?

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
9 of 16

One quick suggestion for Fixed Price jobs, assuming it's not how the system works now: once the 'Deliver By' date has passed with no one being hired, all applications should be voided and the 'Connects' returned to the applicants, if/when Connects are implemented.

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Ace Contributor
Sara P Member Since: Jul 22, 2010
10 of 16

I would like to see more information about clients.

The "About the Client" profiles that appear on the right side of job ads most of the times don't provide details.

Having the chance to understand who the client is would help me to screen out time-wasters in advance, to avoid lunatics that hide behind seemingly legitimate offers or pass by a user that claims to be some manager of a leading company, while it's just a kid writing from his room...


Clients' feedback and work history alone are not always very revealing.