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As a client, what really makes you hire a freelancer?

Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
21 of 33

Hi Carolina,


I'm sorry to hear about the bad experience you had with this client. Please report the job/client by submitting a Support request and listing all the details that would help us in reviewing the case and taking action against this client.

Community Guru
John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
22 of 33

Tony wrote, "My point is that there should be no difference between a home work environment than there is of an employee who is expected to be in the office. It takes even more dicipline to work professionally from home because no one is watching."


I beg to differ here. On an hourly job, the Upwork/oDesk time tracker is continuously monitoring the freelancer. I doubt many 'professional' work environments have that level of scrutiny. And as far as fixed rate jobs are concerned, the bottom line is whether the job was completed on or before the deadline. Freelancers don't get benefits that regular employees get, so they're entitled to a few perks like creating a work environment to their liking.

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Active Member
Chris N Member Since: Jun 10, 2015
23 of 33

Perhaps just another perspective... I don't do skype because it causes double the work...  Everything we discuss in skype, I have to note in a message to make part of the record for oDesk/upWork.  As a client, I rely on written communications with my freelancers.  1. they can refer back to it with no misunderstanding, 2. it becomes part of the record for oDesk, and 3. It provides accountability for both parties.


Community Guru
Mariska P Member Since: Apr 27, 2015
24 of 33

i can commiserate Caroline. on another site someone wanted to have a voice inteview for a text chat job over skype. i said we could text chat and he agreed. he was asking what i would say to a man that might say something like this ***adult chat*** and i told him i would say this ***non adult chat related*** and he kept asking me more and more adult related questions and because i was getting extremely creeped out, i said it sounds like THIS is the job you're posting and i'm not into sex chatting or voice sex chatting and good luck with your search.


as for the eating... well one of the rules i learned in the call center was to NOT be eating,  chewing gum or drinking liquids while on a call, so i have to side with him when he wanted you to stop eating.  i wouldn't even eat while on an in person interview or bring my coffee in with me so i definitely would make sure i'm free of food and drink while on a voice interview, and also for a text chat interview so that i'm focused. 

Active Member
Kristi K Member Since: Jun 23, 2015
25 of 33

I am both a client and a freelancer.


I hire based on what I can afford, so sometimes the lower bid wins out.  I do that with a full understanding that I get what I pay for, and I have gotten some work that wasn't up to par.  However, because it is something I suspected would happen if I went with a low bidder, I accepted the work gracefully and left positive feedback.  I then revised it to meet my standards.  A start to something still helps me even if I do have to clean it up.


If money were not an issue, I would definitely go with who seems the most experienced and the best fit for the job.  Right away I can tell by their application and their profile if I want to talk to them further or not.  The spelling mistakes and bad grammar turn me off.  English doesn't necessarily have to be your first language for me to hire you for some jobs, such as illustrations, but even then it helps because cultures are different and if you are illustrating my story it helps to be familiar with the culture.  For writing jobs, native English speaking is almost always required.  There are exceptions to every rule though.


For instance, I went with the low ball bid from a non native English speaker expecting bad work and got a remarkable piece.  Needless to say I rehired her and will keep using her, and paid her more than the original offer based on the quality of the work.


I also understand that many people apply to jobs using form letters and they don't even bother to read the description.  If they don't understand the job, I am not going to bother talking to them and will decline.


I have had a few that took too long to answer me back or seemed a bit abrupt.  If anything seems like a red flag I pass.


Now I want to speak as a freelancer. Having been on both sides, I have more problems with rude and disrespectful clients than I have ever had from a freelancer I have hired.  If clients want better applicants, start being better clients. 


- This involves closing a job once you have made your hires.


- Weed out the applicants as quickly as you can and DECLINE the ones you aren't interested in.


If clients do not ever answer an application (and they take a long time to fill out and pay proper attention to of I'm going to do it right) then that is rude to not even bother to tell them they're not hired  I want to be able to give my full attention to a job once I'm hired, so will try to wait a reasonable time to hear back from an application that I have submitted.  If I wait, I might miss out on other jobs.  So what freelancers have been forced to do is apply to as many as they can hoping that at least one of them will be interested.  Sometimes more than one job gets offered at a time and then this puts the freelancer in the awkward position of having to explain that yes, I was available immediately when I applied, but when you didn't answer my application in a week's time I applied to others and got hired.  Therefore I now would have to put your job at the end of the line behind the client who responded first."  I promise you that freelancers are not doing that to be unprofessional or disrespectful in any way.  They're taking on work because they need to.


- My next pet peeve with clients is that most don't give enough description for the freelancer to be able to make a good decision on whether or not this is a good job for them.  So give better descriptions in your post and you will get applicants who are more suited to what you need.


I don't want to see "I need someone to edit my book what will you charge me?"  For one, the bad sentence structure tells me right there that your book is probably in bad shape and will need a lot of work.  The clients who get my application are the ones who post a small sample of their writing so I can see the quality. 


Clients also need to tell what the subject matter is about.  If you want a content editor for your psychology textbook then you need to be hiring someone with a degree in that if you want them to be able to do anything with the content. 


I don't know if I want to do your job if you can't tell me the word count either. 


I can't even begin to tel if I am appropriate for your job if you can't give me those details I listed before.  So I usually skip applying and go on to a client who took the time to more thoroughly describe what they need.  But if I do apply to the job, I'm one of hundreds that are applying.  THe client has a lot of very unqualified applicants to weed through and answer each one with more description.  After hearing that you want to pay me $!0.00 to edit your 100,000 word badly written novel about football, I realize I have wasted my time and my Connects applying to something that if you would have given details in the beginning i would've passed and saved us both some time.  (I hate football).


- Let your freelancer take credit for their work.  You will get better quality work if their name is on it.  Otherwise, they're rushing through it so they can get a paycheck and move on to the next job.

Community Leader
Scott E Member Since: Feb 24, 2015
26 of 33

Value for money. That doesn't mean the cheapest, but the best person for the job at a reasonable rate. They need to demonstrate they know what it is I need and have the skills to succesfully complete the project to a high standard. 


Anything other than that is not of much use to me. Sponsoring posts, attaching samples or directing me to links that have nothign to do with the project at hand... not a fan. 


The main thing that would make me not hire a freelancer, is if there's nothing in their cover letter that indicates they understand what I need. "I can do this" "ready to work" and "pick me!" aren't going to cut it!

Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
27 of 33

Because of the spam applications on here the first thing I do in the job description is insert a question to be answered. The last job I posted, not one person answered the question. I gave up after that and went somewhere else. I was offering a good rate for an expert and all I got were foreign applications with bad English and grammar and low ball offers. Good native English was need for the job.

Community Guru
Darrin O Member Since: Jan 20, 2015
28 of 33

@Jean S wrote:

Because of the spam applications on here the first thing I do in the job description is insert a question to be answered. The last job I posted, not one person answered the question. I gave up after that and went somewhere else. I was offering a good rate for an expert and all I got were foreign applications with bad English and grammar and low ball offers. Good native English was need for the job.

It might also be the case that a true expert isn't eager to work with a client whose first interaction is a demand to jerk them around like a puppet on a string.  I've pretty much stopped applying to jobs that do what you ask.  I'll certainly reference the meat of a job in my cover letter, but unless you're hiring someone to act like a human parrot, please don't demean them by asking them to ape you.



Community Guru
Jean S Member Since: Oct 22, 2007
29 of 33

I'm not that stupid Darrin. The question I use is related to something to do with the specific job and would not be unusual to be seen in a job description. You seem to have a real chip on your shoulder. Lose it. It's very unattractive.


You should try being an employer having to sift through 60-100 applications. 

Community Guru
Krisztina U Member Since: Aug 7, 2009
30 of 33

@Jean S wrote:


You should try being an employer having to sift through 60-100 applications. You've worked a grand total of 7 jobs. You really don't know or understand this system very well.

Jean, it really has nothing to do with the amount of jobs someone worked on Upwork, but dignity. I would never apply to a job that asks me to put the color of the sky or something equally nonsensical as the 1st, 38th or last word of my application, and I have been here since 2009 with nearly 6000 hours clocked. It's rude, plain and simple.


I understand your hiring pains, I've had them too, but there are other ways to weed out the spammers and test people's attention span. Custom questions are perfect for it. Would you seriously not hire the most qualified person, just because they were too focused on their application and forgot to put whatever code word into the requested word count slot in their application?