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a_lipsey
Community Member

Boosted Proposals Negatively Impacting My Ability to Filter and Vet Freelancers

As a client this feature is not helping me find the most qualified freelancers. It is really just negatively impacting my ability to adjust the filtering to show me the most recent applicants or to sort by other categories. When I try to filter by newest so I can see and respond to the most recent ones, it keeps the boosted proposals on top, even though I've already both shortlisted those two and responded, and so I have to scroll down even further to see new proposals. I don't care who has boosted their post. I am looking for the best fit, not who paid to annoy me in my filtering ability. 

 

I understand why freelancers would think this would be useful, but whether or not the proposal is boosted is not going to impact my vetting and selection of a consultant. I look at each of the proposals and vet them based on specific criteria. And where they show up in the list is not part of that criteria. I think most discerning clients would agree. When you force these boosted proposals on top, it means I have to scroll more and makes it harder for me to organize who I've looked at and who I haven't.

 

Please remove this feature and just let me select freelancers based on how I want to select them. Also, the best match is ridiculous still. I posted for a health coach, and I didn't select any skills related to business coaching, but none of the health coaches are best matches, and all of the business coaches are best matches. 

151 REPLIES 151

If a Freelancer has paid, via connects, to submit a proposal, has also paid a percentage of earnings that you say denotes a self-employed relationship how do you justify expecting a fee from an empoyer who decides, after working with afreelancer to offer him an employed position?

 

If you mean taking a client outside of Upwork, after two years it is $1.00 with some minor qualifiers. Upwork does not want to lose money, and they charge to keep the client here.

 

If, as younow want to say, the freelancer is a self-employed contractor the freelancer is entitled to take any position offered after the freelance contract has ended.

 

I have been saying the same thing. Freelancers are independent contractors/self-employed/freelancer or however each person is established. You are not "entitled." Whether you read it, you agreed to follow the Terms of Service and any amendments, additions, inclusions, addendums, etc. Within that document, you agreed to follow all of Upwork's rules, or suffer the consequences. If you didn't read it, that's on you. If you didn't understand it, you should have contacted Upwork. I believe some freelancers don't understand the language, because it could be written better, especially considering many freelancers on the platform don't speak English as a first language.

 

UpWork is trying to act on the one hand as a channel between a freelance and a client but hen extending that into a service as a recruitment agence for employees.

 

So? If they want to be a recruitment agency, those businesses often charge as well.

Most contracts have some stipulation regarding leaving the platform or agency with a client.

 

I have stated, in other posts, what Upwork is doing, so I won't go into that here. Though I have issues with Upwork management, I recognize what is accurate. Upwork can change their direction, no matter how harmful to freelancers. The choice is to use the platform, or not.

Actually, Adrian, in the US all temporary employment agencies provide for an additional fee from the employer of temporary workers and/from the workers themselves if the worker is hired permanently by the employer. 

My point exactly. These are Employment Agencies. You try to say that
UpWork is for Freelancers who are self-employed not employees. As I said
you can't have it both ways.

I'm not having anything both ways, Adrian H.

 

Upwork is an employment agency - it links workers looking for work with employers who need work done, resulting in some of those workers being employed by some of those employers. Whether or not the work is permanent or involves any sort of benefits beyond pre-agreed pay is irrelevant.

 

In your definition, you're making a false distinction without a difference between traditional "employees" and "freelancers who are looking for limited employment" with employers. 

Sorry, but you are. On the one hand, there are those responding to
complaints about the cost of connects and the system saying that
Freelancers are "self-employed" and should accept these costs as equivalent
to any business advertising its services.

Now you are saying Upwork is an employment agency with " workers being
employed by employers. There is a very clear legal difference between an
employer-employee relationship and a "self-employed" or "contractor"
relationship.

If I apply for a "job" with an employer I do not need to pay a fee to make
an application nor do I if that position is advertised via a recruitment
agency where if an applicant is hired the employer pays the agency their
fee. Nor, in that situation, would the employee pay a percentage of the
salary to the recruitment agency as is the case with work found via Upwork

A similar situation applies if an "Employment Agency" is involved. In that
situation, the employer is the Agency that employs the worker and contracts
the worker out to clients. The agency earns a profit on the difference
between the salary paid to the worker and the rate charged to the client.
The worker does not pay a fee to the employment agency to find work. The
agency finds the work and places the worker with a suitable client.

It is for these reasons I am saying Upwork cannot have it both ways. It is
either a conduit where self-employed freelancers can find clients or is an
employment agency that should, therefore, employ freelancers, or a
recruitment agency where the employer should be the fee payer.

I see. 

How is it like an employer charging an applicant when Upwork is not the employer/client? It's more like the postal service charging you to overnight mail an application.

Exactly right.

As you point out it is all about PROFIT and shareholders and Upwork Directors making money.  Have a look here to see what Freelancers are funding: https://www.salary.com/tools/executive-compensation-calculator/upwork-inc-executive-salaries?year=20...

While the 8 + million includes insurance, and other benefits, it is a huge number, but it doesn't surprise me. Many CEOs make obscene amounts of money. I'm not tilting at that windmill. I pick my battles, and attempting to get CEOs to accept a reasonable salary is not one of them.

kellen16
Community Member

As a freelancer, I can't tell you how much I dislike this feature! I think Upwork introduced it just to earn money from freelancers buying more and more connects. It is purely to benefit UW's bottom line, not the client or the freelancer.

Why are they promoting boosting as a brand new feature? It's a carbon copy of what already existed.

They aren't. They are promoting profile boosting, which is a different feature.

They are promoting anything that results in Freelancers wasting connects so that they earn more money from freelancers who have to purchase more connects to apply for jobs that don't even exist.

kim_wong
Community Member

Jeremiah well well-thought-out and thorough response. 

 

I disagree with something you mentioned.  I think Upwork’s primary business model WAS the derivation of profit and revenue from clientele HIRING freelancers.  Now, its business model seems more skewed to CONNECTING clientele to freelancers.  The introduction of the purchase of Connects to boost profiles and job applications has injected another, perhaps more potentially lucrative and consistent source of profit and revenue.  It used to be that not until a client hired a freelancer that Upwork would begin to generate its core revenue.  Now, with Connects, any freelancer, experienced or unexperienced, qualified, or unqualified, is a revenue source for Upwork.  The actual hiring and the revenue that comes from their share of the payment is still there but there is now the added motivation to onboard as many job applicants as possible without any regard to what is best for the client. 

 

The number of applicants for each job seems to have jumped immensely.  Application views have declined (from personal experience).  Job invitations are going extinct.

 

I would think that a platform matching clients with freelancers would jump over backwards to ensure an outstanding client experience.  Pinning boosted profiles to the top of the client’s Proposal Manager and boosting job applications without ensuring that the profile is qualified and matched to their requirements make the vetting process more difficult for clients.  From the client’s perspective, seeing profiles pinned to the top that do not meet their job requirements may do more harm than good.  Does Upwork want these boosted profiles to represent what the client might perceive as Upwork’s hand-selected and approved freelancer recommendations?  Clients may not understand that freelancers paid to have their profiles boosted but rather, they are freelancers chosen by Upwork to be best suited to their job. 

 

Anything that can lead to client frustration, a more difficult vetting and hiring process, and a sense that Upwork is not truly interested in helping them find the right candidate does not bode well for the future of the platform.

Lucrative but not consistent. It lead to fail. You can provide service not so expensive but consistent. Or can scam someone once, it is profitable but single incoming.

Yes, that was their business model. And it consistently lost them money for 7 years--millions of dollars/month. 

 

They introduced this stuff everyone hates, and now they're profitable for the first time ever.

So you effectively admit that the current business model has nothing to do with the "better" payment structure and all the other comments made but purely to enable making a profit at the freelancer's expense. 

 

Why not be honest and say that when introducing the new format instead of dressing it up as improved service or any of the other excuses that have been given?

1cac6772
Community Member

I used to make over 100k on Upwork and was Top Rated Plus. As soon as "boosted" proposals came out, my work completely stopped. I went from having anywhere from 5-10 clients per month to zero. My weeky profile views went to zero. I was paying Upwork close 2k-4k per month just in commissions. Now I pay them nothing as I get zero jobs. I personally know that I'm not the only one that has experienced this. If you read the Upwork forums, everyone is complaining about this. Yet, Upwork does not seem to care. Their reputation has been tarnished as clients and freelancers have left in droves and Upwork has become just another Fiver. Their algorithm is completey broke. What they've done is taken Googles model of PPC where they only reward the people who pay for clicks. The problem is you have no idea what to bid or if you're even going to get clicks. I'm starting to wonder if Upwork even has legitimate job posts anymore. Every now and then I'll see what looks like a good job and it will have 50+ invites. I love how Upwork doesn't give you an exact number of people who applied. For example, why just list 50+ instead of the actual number? It's because they know it will discourage more applicants. 50 is already way too many and the chance of landing the job is slim. If it's say 200-300......you have no chance of landing that job. Also how many of these job posts are even real? When I do apply, I don't even get a follow up or response. It makes you wonder if these posts are even real. I will be leaving Upwork for good as it is no longer a viable source of jobs.

Although I disagree that the boosting is directly responsible, I certainly understand your feelings. The big problem is allowing anyone to be a freelancer, removing platform and category limits, and removing every skill test. Once the clients began to receive 50 or hundreds of garbage proposals, they left.

 

I'm starting to wonder if Upwork even has legitimate job posts anymore.

 

Well, not in my field, and not for over a year. The same is not true for the physical world, or with other platforms with strict rules, limits and skills tests.

 

Every now and then I'll see what looks like a good job and it will have 50+ invites. I love how Upwork doesn't give you an exact number of people who applied. For example, why just list 50+ instead of the actual number? It's because they know it will discourage more applicants. 50 is already way too many and the chance of landing the job is slim. If it's say 200-300......you have no chance of landing that job.

 

Hundreds...

 

I will be leaving Upwork for good as it is no longer a viable source of jobs.

 

That's truly unfortunate. Perhaps, not so much for you, because no doubt others will appreciate your skills. However, for the platform and for clients, it's a loss. Upwork doesn't seem to mind top rated freelancers who have earned Upwork a lot of money leaving because they have the unskilled throwing connects.

 

 

This is not the only way their algorithm is completey broken. Today I received one of their "5 new Upwork opportunities" emails.  So I looked at what was supposed to be on offer.  4 out of the 5 were shown as looking for Freelancers out of my area, so were of no use at all and the 5th had already receved 50+ proposals and had not been viewd by the client for 5 days.

These are supposed to be "

Featured Jobs

Clients have paid to feature these jobs to valuable freelancers like you

 

Really? I don't think so.

90100cb4
Community Member

How can I get more organic jobs contracts, my account had started picking up before the introduction of this feature but know I merely get any jobs even after I have optimized my freelancer account? For the Boosted Proposals, it's extra expensive with no jobs, any insights.

Courage,

 

Continue to upgrade your Skills to hot in-demand client needs. This works very well.

edisonvdp
Community Member

I’m a freelancer and believe me, the only one who likes this system is Upwork. 

What started at a rate of 2. 4 or 6 connects to apply is now a minimum of 16 and goes easily to 50 connects... It will destroy Upwork in no time, I am looking for other platforms after being comfortable getting clients here for 7 years... its bs

No, the minimum is not 16 connects. The range is 4 to 16.
I find everything in my feed.

No, its not a hard minimum but it is the minimum I find for anything that´s worth applying for...   The 4 and 6 that I see are 20 and 30 USD jobs... 

 

A sincere question. Why are you applying to very cheap jobs?

I am not, that’s why I have been spending 16 connects minimum ...  

 

Did I misunderstand? I thought you were speaking of $20 and $30 jobs?

If you read my first reply I said : "What started at a rate of 2. 4 or 6 connects to apply is now a minimum of 16 and goes easily to 50 connects..." to which someone replied : "No, the minimum is not 16 connects. The range is 4 to 16. I find everything in my feed."   So I clarified "No, its not a hard minimum but it is the minimum I find for anything that´s worth applying for...   The 4 and 6 that I see are 20 and 30 USD jobs..."

So, yes I was speaking about 20 and 30 USD jobs... but I said it´s not worth applying for!   I hope this breakdown helps out, let me know if you have any other questions, have a great day!

According to Upwork, boosting only increases the chances of submitting a winning proposal by six percent on average, which means one additional winning proposal for every 16.5 proposals a freelancer boosts.


Assuming an average boost of 30 connects per proposal, that's a total connects cost of $74.25 (30 x 16.5 x $0.15) per winning proposal.


Assuming Upwork takes 10% of payments the freelancer receives on their "winning" proposal, the freelancer would need to make $82.50 just to break even.


Every freelancer who works in lower value jobs should do this calculation for themselves. I’d guess that clients with low value jobs are the most likely to focus on the Top 4 boosted proposals, thinking that it isn’t worth the trouble for them to go through the other 10 – 50+ proposals they receive, meaning low value freelancers have to pay a higher proportion of their income to boost their proposals in order to win such projects.

wlyonsatl
Community Member

I'm seeing 6's and above. Based on my estimated value of these projects the number of connects required to submit a proposal reflects no consistent relationship between the two.

 

I have tested boosting across a number of proposals, but have seen no discernible improvement in the number of successful proposals. 

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