A few years ago I used your service to hire a sales guy who seemed very good. I noticed on his call log the calls were very short - between 1-10 seconds so I added a few seeds in the call list with my own numbers.
Eventually I was called and the guy on the phone could hardly speak a word of English, it was embarrassing - by the way the guy was called **Edited for Community Guidelines** - here's his profile **Edited for Community Guidelines**
Now I thought I'd give you another try looking for a web developer. A guy called **Edited for Community Guidelines** replied (this is his profile; **Edited for Community Guidelines**) and he listed a number of very high quality websites as his own,. I have been in touch with each of the agencies that made the examples he sent and no one has overheard of him!!!
Also, this is his original profile image: **Edited for Community Guidelines**
**Edited for Community Guidelines**
And now he is using this one; **Edited for Community Guidelines**
**Edited for Community Guidelines**
So I'd like to know how do you vet your freelancers. Surely if someone makes such an obvious profile image change it should alert you, and saying other work is your own is illegal.
What standards do you have that freelancers need to pass by?
I'm sorry to hear about your experience so far. I sent all this to the team for investigation so that appropriate actions can be taken according to our internal processes. You can always flag any suspicious activity by following the steps from this help article.
Please note that in general, we do not vet freelancers. In most cases, we do verify a freelancer’s identity. And in a few cases, freelancers with certain skills have been "Expert-Vetted", meaning their skills have been vetted by experts in their field, under a new Upwork initiative we are testing out. However, when selecting a freelancer, it’s best to carefully review their profile, the feedback they’ve received from other clients, and take the time to interview them to determine if they are the right person for your project.
As a client, I have hired over 100 freelancers.
I don't spend much time vetting freelancers. I don't interview freelancers prior to hiring them. I certainly don't call what I do "vetting," which to me implies a much more involved process than I use.
I will look at a freelancer's portfolio and hire based on that. Or if I am hiring quickly for a technical task, I will hire the first freelancer who applies. Or if I am hiring many freelancers for a task, I simply hire the first ones to apply.
I will briefly look at a freelancer's rate and skill set. For example, if I am hiring a graphic artist, I won't hire a person whose profile clearly identifies them as a blog writer and not a graphic artist.
But mostly... I think "vetting" is a waste of my time.
I prefer to hire freelancers quickly and then fire them quickly if I don't like their work.
Using hourly contracts, a client has infinite flexibility to fire a freelancer whenever he wants to. I can end the contract in five minutes if I don't think a freelancer is a good fit for the project.
I don't believe it is really possible to know for sure how a freelancer will work out before hiring him, so I don't try to make such a determination.
I am not advising all clients to hire the same way I do. What I am describing here lies outside of the standard recommendations we see offered. But I think it is valuable to know about an alternative viewpoint on this topic.
I think one of the biggest mistakes clients make is not ending the contract quickly when they encounter an underperforming or incompetent freelancer. If clients don't spend too much time hiring freelancers, then it is easier to fire a freelancer quickly if he isn't working out.
Sure sure don't check anything just hire whoever bids first. Great advice.
OP, the best way to filter out the frauds is to have a short phone call. The outsourcing, all you can do is ask if they outsource. They can still lie to you, but you can specifically say that you don't want outsourcing. I get that a lot.
re: "I think it depends on what your project is."
Yes. Completely agree.
re: "But the web project is a big project ($10,000+) so choosing someone from the outset who you can rely on & trust is important."
But a few points:
It is still not possible to know for certain if a freelancer will work out for the project. I believe a project of this size is too big and too important to hire only one freelancer. I believe you should hire multiple freelancers and then you will be able to do compare the work that they do. If they are all great, then that is fine. But usually you will find a few who are better or more affordable than the others. If you hire multiple people, it is easier to know who to get rid of and who to continue working with.