**Update - starting the week of 5/18, we’ll be expanding this test to include some existing clients from the US. Please read our detailed reply here for more detail.**
For some projects, clients have told us they want to work with a freelancer within their country. Maybe these projects require localized knowledge (like legal or marketing projects), the possibility of on-site coordination, or specific compliance needs that make it easier to work with someone in their own country.
Unfortunately, doing this today on Upwork can be tricky. Clients have some ability to select regional preferences, but many have said this isn’t good enough. To meet this need, we’re rolling out enhanced location selection with new clients in the coming weeks.
We’ll be testing this initially with new clients in the U.S. and based on the results will consider expanding to other areas.
Here’s how it’ll work:
New clients who prefer the flexibility of hiring freelancers in any location will have the option to set their hiring preference accordingly, and it will work for them just like it does today.
New clients who prefer to hire within their country will have the option of setting their freelancer search and job post visibility to freelancers in the U.S. only, with the ability to refine their search further by time zone or state. And, only freelancers with a U.S. location in their profile settings (verified by bank account or other means) will see these job posts and be able to submit proposals. Keep in mind if a client changes their mind or chooses to invite a freelancer outside of the U.S., they can do so at any time.
What this means for you:
If you’re a freelancer based in the U.S., you may start seeing some jobs with a location requirement in your job search results, indicated like this:
You may be asked to verify your location the first time you submit a proposal for a project with a location requirement.
For all freelancers and clients on Upwork today, be assured that this test will not impact your existing contracts or relationships.
We’ll share an update on our progress here in the Community in the coming months. We hope to report back that these enhanced features attract new clients to try Upwork, creating more opportunities for freelancers to build their business.
Great to hear about the future improvements, however I wonder what would be the default value? I mean if the client do not care, he/she would not bother to mess with options too much. Which means that a lot of us (freelancers) will lose a lot of potential clients if US (or other country) filter is turned on by default.
Neither option would be set by default when the client first searches for freelancers or posts a job. They'll have to choose if they want to use a location requirement on their job post or not. They will also be able to toggle between the two options in the freelancer search. Whichever option they select for their freelancer search will be pre-selected for any future job posting from then on, but can be changed at any time.
While I understand the reasoning behind this I do feel a definitive line has to be established - in simple and correct English - to advise clients that simply residing in the US or a specific state - does not and never will guarantee mastery of the language.
Far too many RFPs reference wanting only US providers because "they speak English". We all know this is rubbish. Native English speakers reside around the world - beginning w/ UK, AU, Canada, NZ, India, SA, etc.
Potential buyers must be educated to fully comprehend residence in the US does nothing more than possibly put them in the same time zone.
Garnor, I understand that. My comment was not directed to freelancers understanding the purpose and intent; it was very much intended to draw attention to the fact that potential buyers might not.
Because this is an international freelance platform - freelance gigs v B&M positions - the 'location' element can cause confusion unless simple and correct English is used in the instructions area. Without that - confusion will be rampant.
@Garnor M wrote:
Maybe these projects require localized knowledge (like legal or marketing projects), the possibility of on-site coordination, or specific compliance needs that make it easier to work with someone in their own country.
I'm sure a lot of clients will choose this filter because they've had bad experiences with freelancers from other countries. So fair enough, I get why clients would want this - but can't help feeling a little sad about it.
I've applied for several jobs where they listed North America / Europe as their preferred region, but I ended up getting hired anyway. Unfortunately for me, this hiring feature has the potential to limit the pool of decent clients even further (they're already becoming increasingly scarce on the site).
One look at Isabelle's profile confirms every word I wrote, Garnor.
U. has a tendency to garble instructions. It really is imperative that this feature be explained clearly, succinctly and in proper basic English.
They are a plethora of editors and writers on site; please - on bended knees - utilize their services before taking this live - even as a test.