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Quality of freelancers

Active Member
Carlo P Member Since: Sep 12, 2015
1 of 14



In my recent job postings I have noticed a decline in both the Quality and Availability of freelancers applying to my jobs (not just a problem in the performance of the site).


Have been on this platform for more than 1 year? Have you also noticed something similar?

Does it have to do with the bilateral review system by chance?





PS. Quality is so bad recently that I am pondering to pull the postings completely from here!

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 14

Carlo, the quality of freelancers on Upwork varies widely, and average quality differs depending on job skill type, experience level, and geographical region.


You need to be more specific. Were you hiring illustrators? Voice artists? Mobile app programmers? CSS designers?


Entry level? Intermediate? Expert?


Give us additional details and we can provide you with tips and proven strategies for getting the work done you need at the level of quality you're looking for.

Active Member
Carlo P Member Since: Sep 12, 2015
3 of 14

Dear Preston,


I am a member since March 2012.


I have posted already 110 jobs on oDesk/Upwork (plus the ones on Elance), hired over 150 freelancers, spent well over $10k and bille over 2,600 hours, so I do not accept any views on job posting and interviewing, as I do that all the time. The type of jobs we post is the same: market reasearch analysis.


My point is different: youwr review systems SUCKS! and every time I hire someone I need to figure it out from scratch, because of this 360 degrees valuation you have in place.


The quality of applicants is declining, despite the fact that I am rated a 5 star employer with 107 reviews.


So you'd better do something about it or I will re-start to recruit outside and pay them on Paypal.


The whole point of working with you "peace of mind" and quality of job, but if neither is fulfilled I will restart recruiting directly.


Needless to say that the whole slow site and downtime is an additional concern. 

As I am not happy with your reply, I have also sent this to Stephane, the CEO of oDesk. 


Looking forward to a reply with some concrete next steps **edited for Community Guidelines**.





PS. Please remember that I am the customer and you are the SUPPLIER



Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
4 of 14

Carlo, - Although I disagree with many of Preston’s posts/replies on this site because of the way he comes across (sorry Preston) I see nothing wrong with his reply to you in this case. There is no reason for you to take that attitude towards what he has said to you and to threaten to send his reply to the CEO of Upwork. That’s NO threat because there’s nothing wrong with what he said. And just because you are a 5 star client with 107 reviews that doesn’t give you the right to be so condescending.


Having said that, there are a lot of factors on why the quality of freelancer are declining. Many good, skilled professional freelancers are leaving this site because of certain features not available, such as Upwork hiding freelancers proposals, algarythms between native and fluent language selections with proposal submissions, company accounts not being able to register here as a company, message system being broken for days, abundance of extreme low budgets for hours of work, holding of payment, high service fees and all the bugs that have been plaguing this site. Also consider that freelancers from Elance have been transferred/migrated to this site. So now there are double the amount of unskilled freelancers producing low quality work.

Just as it’s hard for freelancers to find good quality jobs since the merger of Elance and the upgrade of Odesk to Upwork, it’s just as hard for clients to find freelancers.


And as for you the customer and we the supplier. Sorry, freelancing is a BUSINESS. YOU are the client and we are the contractors. If the client is a not a good fit, is demanding, is trying to get more work then what is stated on the contract without paying for it, is unresponsive etc, we can choose to not to work with them, essentially firing the client.

Active Member
Ingrid G Member Since: Sep 13, 2015
5 of 14



I'm not sure I should or I am allowed to reply on your post, as you're a client an I'm a freelancer, and we have distinct Forum categories to post on, but I think this post (see link below) and the whole thread, with other Freelancer and Clients replies, may be the answer to your question.


I, myself, came today on Forum to look for some possible answers (although I've never checked the Forum until today) on the fact that the system/platform looks screwed and I am not getting any answers to my proposals for 2 weeks now. This total silence began 2 weeks ago, I think, and it keeps going, along with Upwork website being down for many hours, many times a day.


This post I found on Freelancers' Forum is explaining everything. Unfortunatly, I see that Upwork members did NOT offer any reply yet, to such a serious complaint from both freelancers AND clients (as shown in the post above).


I understand that this is a difficut time for them, but they should take care of the clients and freelancer and do BETTER than what they do now.


I'm not saying there are no poor qualified freelancers here, but I don't think this is your problem, it's that one described in the Post above. An algorithm that supposedly "selects" and "recommends" the freelancers, in your place. An algorithm that only lets you see SOME applicants, and NOT all of them.


Anyway, whatever it is, Upwork should better fix it soon, otherwise clients and freelancers will migrate from their platform, if it keeps going unsatisfactory, like that. Clients are not getting their jobs done properly and Freelancer don't get their proposals answered, hence, no jobs. Clients and Freelancers are loosing money.


I hope it helps.





Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 14


I have no argument with anything you've said here.


I don't work for Upwork, in case that's what you thought. I was just trying to be helpful, but in doing so I clearly misinterpreted where you were coming from and what your main concern was.


Your initial post simply didn't have much information in it. It sounded like you were new and unsure about how to find quality contractors, but you're clearly not a new client and your real concern seems to be with the review system and the decline in the quality of applicants in a specific field that is of vital importance to you.


Your hypothesis, hinted at but not clearly stated in your initial post, is that the review system is directly related to the decline in the quality of job applicants in the field of market reasearch analysis.


I don't think this is 100% the cause, but I think this is a big part of it. Upwork is aware of the problem of low-quality contractors and low-quality client-contractor outcomes. Upwork is making a major change that they hope will address this: moving to show only Job Success Scores at the top of profile pages, instead of average feedback scores (star ratings). This is a controversial move among contractors and some clients, and there is much debate about whether it will have any positive impact, or even make things worse.


Another thing Upwork is doing is becoming increasingly particular about new contractors, which includes more carefully screening new contractors doing more to block new contractors whose profile pages are inadequate, and also requiring more identity authentication for contractors from some regions (government-issued ID, phone number verification).


Whether or not any of this will be of any benefit to you, I have no way of knowing.


But one thing is certain: Upwork KNOWS that there is a contractor quality issue and they're trying some new things to try to address this.


Upwork is also aware of the disastrous impact that technical problems are causing when clients and contractors can't even access the site because it is unavailable online, or when it is interminably slow.

If you have more effective avenues for recruiting the contractors you need, you should certainly use them. Even an Upwork representative (which I am not) would understand the need for clients to use the best tools available to you to accomplish your goals. They don't want you recruit people here and pay them elsewhere, but you didn't say you're going to do that. There are no rules against using other resources to recruit and pay people, and with the trouble you've been having lately it sounds like you should (at the very least) be exploring other options and trying them out for comparison.

Ace Contributor
Todor V Member Since: Aug 19, 2015
7 of 14

@Ingrid G wrote:



I'm not sure I should or I am allowed to reply on your post, as you're a client an I'm a freelancer, and we have distinct Forum categories to post on, but I think this post (see link below) and the whole thread, with other Freelancer and Clients replies, may be the answer to your question.



Thank you, Ingrid,


Very useful link!!! Great postings!! Worth reading by both freelancers and clients!

Community Leader
Gabriel B Member Since: Nov 25, 2014
8 of 14

Over $10 000 spent, billed over 2 600 hours?


10 000 USD/ 2 600 hours = $3.84/hour

19 000 USD/ 2 600 hours = $7.30/hour


Anyone knowing they're good (at an international level) and working for less than $15/hour, please, raise your hand.

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
9 of 14

I agree 100% with Kathy.


Carlo, your reply to Preston, was rude, arrogant and inaccurate as well as being extremely unprofessional.


Preston's second reply to you was polite, professional and remarkably restrained.


I am quite sure if you  write to the CEO you will probably get an equally polite letter in return. However,this will not make the slightest difference to Preston's standing on this site either as a freelancer or as a client. 


Threatening to take freelancers off-site and paying them through Paypal, is one step short of having your account terminated.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
10 of 14

@Gabriel B wrote:

Over $10 000 spent, billed over 2 600 hours?


10 000 USD/ 2 600 hours = $3.84/hour

 Well spotted.


Looks like this could easily be evidence that slowly but surely freelancers are realizing that they don't need to work for peanuts, so the lowballing job posts get only applied for by those who have no choice but to apply for the monkey jobs.


So maybe the quality of the freelancers isn't declining, but the quality freelancers aren't applying for the peanut jobs....