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Insight on how Job Success Score is calculated

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Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
1 of 317

Job Success Scores have been an active topic here in the forums. Many of you have asked for further clarification to reduce confusion and add some transparency to how the scores are calculated.

 

We have released this blog, article found here "Your Job Success Score on Upwork"

where we have shed some light on JSS and answered some frequently asked questions. Note, we aren't divulging the exact JSS calculation as that could leave room for users to abuse this measurement. We hope this helps answer most of your questions and better explain your scores.

 

Click here to visit our blog post,

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Ace Contributor
Anton C Member Since: Mar 26, 2015
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Hi. I have a question regarding the prase, "Contracts paused due to poor client behavior are not considered in your score." How can I know which contracts are paused due to poor client behavior, and which are due to some other reason? It is not specified anywhere. 

Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
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Hi Anton,

 

Thank you for your question. Hourly contracts are paused automatically after 30 days of inactivity and in that case you will see a notification "This contract has been paused by Upwork." If a contract is paused due to a suspension of the client's account, you will see a different notification next to it and a link to more information about reasons why it was put on hold.

~ Valeria
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Ace Contributor
Anton C Member Since: Mar 26, 2015
4 of 317

Valeria, hi. I certainly understand that there is a notification. But this notification does not explain in any way the reason of pausing. Meanwhile, in the article it says: "Contracts paused due to poor client behavior." So I'm still wondering: how can I know FOR WHICH REASON the contract is paused, be it poor behavior or something else? Only poor behavior-related pausing is not considered in my score, right? All the other types/reasons for pausing ARE considered. So what's the way to know why some contract is paused? 

Community Guru
Darrin O Member Since: Jan 20, 2015
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Thanks for sharing some of the JSS details, Lena, but you really should get people at Upwork to think more about whether or not your policies actually align with your corporate goals.  Quoting from the article:

 

"if one of your clients has a track record of poor experiences with freelancers, we’ll take action to exclude your contracts with that client"

 

Is Upwork's aim to further discourage freelancers from working with new clients?  I tend to be very receptive to new clients but, as a result, I have a "high percentage" (i.e., just one, but I don't yet have a long work history on Upwork) of contracts that were not successful because the client had no idea how to use Upwork.  If those sorts of interactions are going to have further negative impact on my JSS, I'm going to have to pass on more of those risky clients.

 

"Sometimes contracts start, but due to the client or freelancer, no activity takes place."

 

Why do you continue to fault freelancers for actions clients don't take?  I have many contracts that were started because a client wanted to get some software written, I wrote it, and it's working just fine for now, but there's always the possibility of future updates.  Stop lowering my JSS because I did my job so well in the first place that there's no need for activity on the contract right now.  Put the proper burden on the client to close contracts and/or stop penalizing freelancers if they end the contract.  We're damned if we do and damned if we don't!

 

"A pattern of contracts that end without feedback can reduce your score"

 

Again, why is this the freelancer's fault?  No feedback should be the null hypothesis.  It is unprofessional for me to bug clients to close contracts and leave feedback.  That should be Upwork's job to do if it matters so much to you.

 

Community Manager
Garnor M Community Manager Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
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Hi Darrin,

We've responded to a copule of these concerns previously, but here again is a reminder:

 

1. "Is Upwork's aim to further discourage freelancers from working with new clients?  I tend to be very receptive to new clients but, as a result, I have a "high percentage" (i.e., just one, but I don't yet have a long work history on Upwork) of contracts that were not successful because the client had no idea how to use Upwork.  If those sorts of interactions are going to have further negative impact on my JSS, I'm going to have to pass on more of those risky clients."

 

**We do not discourage you in any way from working with new clients. Instead, what we're saying is that clients who are regularly showing poor activity and experiences with their freelancers will be addressed and discounted from your JSS. That's actually the opposite of working with new clients who you ultimately have a good project with. Keep working with those new clients and keep delivering great experiences for them.

 

2. "Why do you continue to fault freelancers for actions clients don't take?  I have many contracts that were started because a client wanted to get some software written, I wrote it, and it's working just fine for now, but there's always the possibility of future updates.  Stop lowering my JSS because I did my job so well in the first place that there's no need for activity on the contract right now."

 

**You're most likely going to get positive credit for these jobs on your JSS because you have established long-term relationships with these clients, hopefully have received positive ratings on those initial jobs and ideally close any inactive jobs soon after they start. What is counted negatively towards a freelancer's JSS are those cases in which inactive jobs comprise a significant portion of their work history. 

 

3. ""A pattern of contracts that end without feedback can reduce your score" Again, why is this the freelancer's fault?  No feedback should be the null hypothesis."

 

**We're not saying it's your fault and we're not saying each instance of non-Feedback is counted against you. Again, the occasional job without ratings will not be counted negatively towards your JSS. But, a pattern of this activity has proven to be a 'red flag' for many freelancers and as a result is something that can affect your JSS. Is it unprofessional to badger your clients for anything, including Feedback? Sure. But, that's not what we're advising. We recommend working with your clients to close jobs and reminding them to leave you final ratings. We'll also do the same (remind your clients) when those jobs close.

 

 

 

Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
7 of 317

So we can work with them to close contracts, but not badger them when they don't?? It all comes down to the same thing - a freelancer has to put in all the work to make sure every tiny administrative detail is covered, and the client has none of the responsibility. And the freelancer has to guide the client through doing things right, but has no recourse at all if the client doesn't follow that guidance. And all the while the freelancer has to walk a fine tightrope between "working with" and "badgering".

 

jeff Chen says: "It’s been great hearing about how the Job Success score has helped freelancers better promote their businesses and stand out in the Upwork marketplace"

 

Has it also been great hearing of how it's led to a whole feeling of unsettlement, nervousness, paranoia, low morale and suspicion among freelancers?? Or does he not read those bits??

Ace Contributor
Nikki G Member Since: Mar 20, 2015
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I completely agree.

Community Guru
Darrin O Member Since: Jan 20, 2015
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@Garnor M wrote:

We do not discourage you in any way from working with new clients.


This is simply untrue.  Your policies have direct implications that many freelancers and clients are all too aware of.  Putting the JSS burden on the freelancer makes it very easy for clients to abuse the imbalance of power they already have.


Instead, what we're saying is that clients who are regularly showing poor activity and experiences with their freelancers will be addressed and discounted from your JSS.


Then what are you going to say about clients who do a hit-and-run with their poor behavior, as increasingly seems to be the case on Upwork?  There is no "regularly" in their actions.  That is the point I'm making which Upwork seems unable or unwilling to address. It makes zero sense to hold a freelancer at fault just because they tried to do a good job for a new client when all that client was interested in was trying to scam the freelancer.  The "client" then vanishes thanks to Upwork keeping them anonymous, possibly even setting up a new account to try the same scam again and again.

 

It is terribly misguided to give clients the benefit of the doubt on issues like this, doubly insulting that it has a long-term impact on the freelancers they abuse, and triply insulting that Upwork doesn't acknowledge the issue and fix it.


You're most likely going to get positive credit for these jobs on your JSS because you have established long-term relationships with these clients


Not according to Upwork I haven't.  My "Long-term clients" stat sits at 0%.  Again, the nature of software makes it so that months can go by between feature sets updates.  If they even need to be updated at all!  Nobody is sure, so the easiest thing for clients to do is let things sit as they are.  That kind of job is a success, but Upwork apparently doesn't see it that way.


hopefully have received positive ratings on those initial jobs and ideally close any inactive jobs soon after they start.


Stop dealing in the realm of "hopefully" and "ideally" and "likely".  Set your policies based on how your system is actually used.  For the reasons given above, no, I'm not going to force my happy clients to close an idle contract just so we can play your statistical games.  I'm a professional and I like to work with professionals, and we're more interested in getting work done via Upwork, not doing silly administrative tasks for you, especially if they're ones that actually make it harder to do future work.  Please adjust your JSS calculations to reflect the reality of the way work gets done via your platform.


We're not saying it's your fault and we're not saying each instance of non-Feedback is counted against you. Again, the occasional job without ratings will not be counted negatively towards your JSS. But, a pattern of this activity has proven to be a 'red flag' for many freelancers and as a result is something that can affect your JSS.


Sound like a misuse of correlation as causation more than anything to me.  Again, it is completely outside the control of a freelancer which clients do and don't want to engage with Upwork's feedback system.  And, again, as I have mentioned above, other policies of Upwork encourage client behavior that is exactly the opposite of what you want when counting towards the JSS.  Please stop defending these errors and just fix them.

 

Lacking that, why do you not at least give us some use case examples of the right way we can handle common situations without it hurting our JSS?  Like I said, jobs finish with everyone happy, but the contract goes idle.  What can I do in that case so that it positively impacts my JSS?  Because all your convoluted rules make it sound like I'm just stuffed no matter what I do.

 

The other case: a bad (or just new) client comes in, makes it past my filters, but it quickly becomes obvious after I'm hired that they're a flake.  What can I do so that I'm not the one getting dinged for having given them a chance?  Without clear guidance on scenarios like these, the JSS seems just as hostile as it's always been.

 

 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
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As a contractor, I feel like am very aware of how job scores work, but I don't feel like I am dissuaded from working with new clients. New clients make up a large percentage of my clientele.