I'm late to this thread but wow, I'm astonished to see the "update" from Steve as well as his response to all the brilliant posts by other freelancers here. Unfortunately, the OP's posts themselves give us a hint as to why the program completely misses the mark.
I'm one of those people who complain regularly about talent specialists and opted out a looooong time ago. I hope someone else from the team will carefully read through the posts on this thread and take the insights back to the team so that they can change (remove?) the program.
"They receive training related to our processes and procedures. We also give the agents training to help them understand different categories/skills. It's important to note that they rely heavily on the skills tagged in a freelancer's profile for guidance."
If they have received effective training, the invitations I've received must have been through malice rather than incompetence as I'd assumed. Because there is nothing on my profile that could vaguely suggest I would like to write anyone's academic papers - a frequent suggestion.
Hmmm, 27 Replies and 145 Kudos thus far on this March 1 edited version. Obviously this is a hot topic. Steve, if you're not the correct UW employee for us to share our concerns with the intention of improving this area for both Freelancers and Clients, who would the appropriate person be? If you're too busy or if it's inconvenient for you to share our very legitimate concerns with "the powers that be," one or more of us would be pleased to do so.
From an Upworks Talent Specialist:
"If you have 6 months - 2 years of experience within Accounts Payable Clerk, Sales Representative or other job categories this is a perfect project!"
I have been a CPA for more than 40 years and my Profile Hourly Rate is $177.00.
What a waste of Upwork money using this Talent Specialist and my time to read his invitation.
I'm gonna to play the devil's advocate here. I've seen TS invites that clearly missed the target by the length of a football field, but I have to admit that these seem to be more an exception than a rule, at least in my case.
For sure, many of the TS invites I'm seeing are to opportunities way below my rate, so I would decline them. However, I've seen totally decent and right on the mark invites. I'm currently happily working on one of these.
I totally agree with Rene on this.
So, please Upwork don't even think to get rid of TS, I simply love them and I have usually found a lot of very interesting jobs thanks to them.
Maybe you guys should give to freelancers the option to be or not to be visible to Talent Specialists, in this way who doesn't like them is not bothered anymore and who really appreciate their effort and work can be more visible to them and therefore get more invitations. A win-win conclusion.
Nicola and Rene,
You are both translators - therein lie the difference. It is a bit difficult for talent 'specialists' to mess up when a potential buyer requests help in finding an Eng>French or Eng>Italian translator and when they request a writer or graphic artist.
Your skills are front and center on your profiles and require little to no reading of beyond two words. For many of us, TS folks need to read either the first few sentences of profiles or glance at jobs completed.
And they don't.
Good point Wendy. Well, they can misread our profiles too, recently I was asked to translate into Italian :-)