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Please for the love of god...

jaliu
Ace Contributor

Can someone **Edited for Community Guidelines** I've hired so many and have wasted more time than you could imagine. Each and every one had some serious issue related to ethics or reliability -- a freelancer I was about to hire, changed the "ballpark" price after much discussion the very next day by nearly 100% (not cheap projects) without explanation, and just assumed I'd work outside of upwork like he wanted. Then the person I hired a day later seemed too good to be true and I knew that I was going to be disappointed. Sure enough, the work submitted, which took awhile, had barely any changes and did not incorporate any of the notes I made. I could tell that the quality of the work was not the same as the portfolio and I just knew that I had been fooled again. This is after I tried everything I possibly could to vet the freelancer and verify that the samples provided were original work. Well, they promised a redesign and guess what... today I see the design and it is the exact same thing stolen from a theme that I know of.... and of course still without any of the changes I noted. I could not believe that they literally took the same thing and just presented it to me. They didn't even bother changing the font type!

 

I spent over 50 hours during this hiring process (again) -- I went through hundreds of freelancers in my filter and talked to only top or nearly top rated freelancers with hundreds to thousands of jobs completed. And they are no different from the poorly rated cheap talent on the platform. I might get whipped by upwork for saying this but they don't seem to care at all or don't have any effective way of maintaining the quality of this platform, and I have no faith in hiring here at all. 

45 REPLIES 45
jaliu
Ace Contributor

Sorry, looks like someone edited my original post and hid the field that I hired in. I apologize if I offended you, I was speaking in hyperbole when I made the generalization that "top rated" are no better than the cheapos. I'm sure it isn't this way and that freelancers of a certain geographic region(s) may have different practices. I'd ask for recommendations for other sites, but no doubt it will get flagged by upwork. The problem itself isn't upwork, it's bad freelancers, but there just isn't a way of effectively vetting them before hiring them, and if it's found that one is in breach of a major violation, upwork does nothing anyway so naturally the platform will be full of these anti-talents. I can't even leave feedback for the next client that my freelancer just used someone else's design, and that could be the single most useful feedback for clients to have. Instead, all they will see is the same top rated, great feedback. 

re: "The problem itself isn't upwork, it's bad freelancers, but there just isn't a way of effectively vetting them before hiring them"

 

I think that realizing this is a key to successful hiring.

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Jonathan,

 

I've checked with our team and it looks like unfortunately you declined they assistance when they reached out to you. In case you change your mind, feel free to follow up and our team will gladly help you find the right candidate for your job.

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jaliu
Ace Contributor

 


Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Jonathan,

 

I've checked with our team and it looks like unfortunately you declined they assistance when they reached out to you. In case you change your mind, feel free to follow up and our team will gladly help you find the right candidate for your job.


 

 

 

 

Please elaborate how this will be any different from the recruitment consulting service and if your team has any background in the related fields.

cupidmedia
Community Guru

Jonathan, I'm a client in a different field to you (I only hire translators), but I have *never* had any problems like what you're describing. Preston is a freelancer who is also sometimes a client, and he *has* hired in your field, and he hasn't seen those problems either.

 

Honestly, if you are doing the same thing and getting the same results, I'm not sure what you expect. If you are only finding terrible freelancers, then here's some possible reasons:

 

1) Your budget is too low

2) Your job description is too vague

3) Your communication to freelancers is too vague

 

Note that these are only possible problems, there could certainly be other things going on, and I'm not accusing you of anything. All I'm suggesting is that you a take a good long look at your hiring practices and see if there might be something that you're doing that isn't working.

 

Like someone else suggested, you may want to hire an experienced project manager if you're having this much difficulty yourself.

An elementary school student could handle "change font type to X" and "change picture to X," and not slap my logo on a different theme and present it as a redesign. If you and others think (although sounds like just you so far) the things been done by these "top rated" are acceptable and worthy of the status, maybe this is the wrong place for me. The system is obviously broken and no offense, your solutions sound like you haven't paid attention to any of the details.

 

It sounds like Preston has had these problems otherwise he wouldn't be hiring multiple people for the same job. 

gerrys
Community Guru

Perhaps they felt you were stifling their "creativity" and were determined to show you what they could do.

 

Then again, a (rough) picture is worth 1000 words.

jaliu
Ace Contributor

am i not allowed to ask for recommendations on the forum?

re: "It sounds like Preston has had these problems otherwise he wouldn't be hiring multiple people for the same job."

 

My hiring style is based on these assumptions:

 

1) There are great freelancers on Upwork.

2) There are mediocre freelancers on Upwork.

3) There are freelancers on Upwork whose work is useless, or who are ouright scoundrels or scammers

4) For some types of work, there is no effective way to differentiate between these prior to actually hiring them

5) My time is valuable. Interviewing prospective freelancers, and reading their profile pages or proposal letters is a waste of my time.

 

For some types of work I look at portfolios and work history.

 

For other types of work, I provide a detailed description of what needs to be done and then I hire the first person who applies, and I'm ready to close the contract on them if they're not right for the job. But usually they're great.

 

For other types of work, I hire multiple people simultaneously to do the same job, because I don't believe it is possible to pick the best person prior to hiring them.

 

I have hired over 50 freelancers. I have hired people to do extremely technical networking and server infrastructure work. I have hired people to do graphic design, illustration, cartooning, web design, content writing, script writing.

 

I have saved tremendous amounts of time and money by hiring people on Upwork. I feel like I have had a very successful experience in hiring freelancers here.

 

I do not believe that the same techniques for hiring result in the same levels of success for all job niches.

re: "am i not allowed to ask for recommendations on the forum?"

 

You are very welcome to ask for recommendations.

 

The problem is that you are describing your experiences, and some of what you are describing is very frustrating.

 

Because it paints a picture of an Upwork that just isn't working for you as a client.

 

The worst part of what you are saying here is that it is true. Your experiences are not made up and you have no axe to grind or ideological objective.

 

It means that you have not perfected a technique for hiring the types of freelancers you need.

But it also means that there are defects in the system.

 

Some of the other Upwork clients who have weighed in here in this thread have had very different experiences than yours, but they have also been hiring in other job niches.

 

Budget is a serious factor. But budget and pay rate does not completely explain the difficulties in finding the right people to hire. You have tried hiring people at hiring pay rates, and this has not necessarily produced positive results.

 

I have successfully hired Upwork freelancers to do web design work, while also using lower pay rates. But I have done so by hiring multiple people at a time with the assumption that only some of them will produce usable work.

Thanks for the great feedback. Are there any special questions you ask in your cover letter or do you mention that there will be some sort of "testing phase" to weed out the bad ones?

jaliu
Ace Contributor

Case in point: 

 

Upwork knows that this freelancer presented someone else's work, yet has done nothing and this freelancer is still asking me how to proceed. They are literally destroying the quality of their own platform and contributing to IP infringement. I am speechless.


@Jonathan L wrote:

Case in point: 

 

Upwork knows that this freelancer presented someone else's work, yet has done nothing and this freelancer is still asking me how to proceed. They are literally destroying the quality of their own platform and contributing to IP infringement. I am speechless.


I can tell you that we, freelancers, are sometimes speechless too when we see who is allowed to work on this platform. Many of us report bogus freelancers, but we don't always know what actions are taken by Upwork.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

re: "Are there any special questions you ask in your cover letter or do you mention that there will be some sort of "testing phase" to weed out the bad ones?"

 

I don't think there are any special questions that I ask.

 

Mostly I don't ask questions. I often block the "cover letter" portion.

 

If I want work done immediately, sometimes I ask a single question like "Are you ready to start working on this now?"

 

The main thing I try to do is to provide concise, complete information. I try to create a job posting that contains ALL information and input files necessary in order to do the work. That way I do not need to communicate with the freelancers any further. I just hire them and let them do the work. Of course, that won't work for all types of projects.

 

I never discuss a testing phase in a job posting. I don't want freelancers to think I'm just "testing" them or asking for free work from them.

 

If I hire somebody to create some icons, I really hire them to create icons.

And I pay them to do so.

I'm not obligated to tell them I want 40 icons and I'm hiring 6 people to see whose initial icons I like the best. I might mention the complete scope of the work, or I might not.

Either way, whether somebody is paid to create 1 icon or 5 icons or 40 icons... it's real work and I pay them real money and I don't see any reason i should refer to it as "testing."

jadt65
Community Leader

@Jonathan L wrote:

Case in point: 

 

Upwork knows that this freelancer presented someone else's work, yet has done nothing and this freelancer is still asking me how to proceed. They are literally destroying the quality of their own platform and contributing to IP infringement. I am speechless.


 While I don't hire on this platform, if a writer handed in work that they plagiarized to me, I would immediately call the person on it with evidence, close the contract, and report with evidence to support.

 

As far as screening freelancers,

 

  • Ask the freelancer who apply to your posting to outline their approach to your specific project... use this to identify the applicants that seem to share your vision about the project. This is also an indicator of work ethic, attention to detail, ect.  
  • Give a "quick and dirty" test ( like 15 minutes of work) to your shortlist candidates and pay them at an agreed rate for their effort and give them a deadline of 45 minutes.  
  • When making your final selection, identify one or two runners-up to act as a backup if your first choice does not perform as you expected.    
jaliu
Ace Contributor

@Julie T wrote:

@Jonathan L wrote:

Case in point: 

 

Upwork knows that this freelancer presented someone else's work, yet has done nothing and this freelancer is still asking me how to proceed. They are literally destroying the quality of their own platform and contributing to IP infringement. I am speechless.


 While I don't hire on this platform, if a writer handed in work that they plagiarized to me, I would immediately call the person on it with evidence, close the contract, and report with evidence to support.

 

As far as screening freelancers,

 

  • Ask the freelancer who apply to your posting to outline their approach to your specific project... use this to identify the applicants that seem to share your vision about the project. This is also an indicator of work ethic, attention to detail, ect.  
  • Give a "quick and dirty" test ( like 15 minutes of work) to your shortlist candidates and pay them at an agreed rate for their effort and give them a deadline of 45 minutes.  
  • When making your final selection, identify one or two runners-up to act as a backup if your first choice does not perform as you expected.    

 

 

I did all the things you would have done. Isn't it nice to know that upwork does nothing and these people are allowed to parade their top rated statuses and take business away from the other freelancers?

 

And of course after I call her out she makes excuses again, plays dumb and tells me she can show me how she actually did the work in her history. I ask her how and she literally doesn't respond and I find out she cancelled the job 10 minutes later. Reason cited? "Client did not give instructions on how to proceed."

jadt65
Community Leader

And of course after I call her out she makes excuses again, plays dumb and tells me she can show me how she actually did the work in her history. I ask her how and she literally doesn't respond and I find out she cancelled the job 10 minutes later. Reason cited? "Client did not give instructions on how to proceed."


 If you have proof she engaged in IP theft, all you needed to do show evidence that she presented someone else's work as her own, inform her that you cannot work with someone who is not trustworthy,  cancel the project, and file a complaint with support. If you paid her any type of retainer, file a dispute.

 

There are too many top-notch web developers/ front-end types looking for work to waste your time with someone who wants to get paid to do essentially nothing. 

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Jonathan,

 

I see our agent responded on your ticket on Monday and confirmed that our team will review the case and take action against the freelancer who you reported. It's our policy not to share the details of our findings or subsequent actions with other users, and that's probably why you have the impression that our team hasn't taken any action in regards to your report.

 

 

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jaliu
Ace Contributor

@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Jonathan,

 

I see our agent responded on your ticket on Monday and confirmed that our team will review the case and take action against the freelancer who you reported. It's our policy not to share the details of our findings or subsequent actions with other users, and that's probably why you have the impression that our team hasn't taken any action in regards to your report.

 

 


 No one said any action would be taken and I doubt anything will be done. Maybe a "warning," just like how you "warned" the other freelancer to not bait and switch the proposal amount anymore. This is after he intentionally tried to circumvent upwork and cheat even upwork out of their cut! And apparently they've let all this slide. Gosh, maybe we should all start breaking the rules. What's the point of upwork anyway? Just to take 20% of the contract amount? 

jaliu
Ace Contributor

"It's our policy not to share the details of our findings or subsequent actions with other users."

 

I love hearing this response all the time they should make it their motto.

jaliu
Ace Contributor

So will i get penalized or suspended for all these cancelled contracts? I guess I'm willing to try out some more that I've already interviewed before maybe increasing the budget and increasing the likelihood of better results. Seems like finding someone capable of producing work similar to their portfolio is like finding a needle in a haystack at the lower rates.

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