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Upwork removed message dialog to invite freelancers to a job with a personalized note

Community Leader
Alan H Member Since: Nov 23, 2014
1 of 20

Upwork has removed the option to write a personal note in a job invitation when you click "Invite to Job" from the "post a job" or "saved freelancers" areas. Now, when you click "Invite to Job," it just sends the standard note and tells you they have been invited. Not sure how recently this happened.

 

This of course cripples our ability to connect with freelancers in a thoughtful way, and makes every job invite look like spam. Support explained this decision to me as a means to accelerate the invitation process. I'm sure that it does result in x% faster throughput, but it caused me to waste two invitations to top freelancers who will likely never answer me, plus 20 minutes with Support. Happily, I found this...

 

WORKAROUND: save the freelancer's profile link elsewhere and open it in a new window. From the freelancer's profile page, the "Invite to Job" button behaves as it used to, opening a message window that allows you to write your own note explaining why you selected this person, and what next steps to plan for.

Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
2 of 20

Well, as a freelancer who gets a number of invites, I rarely see that field actually used for a specialized message. I would really love it if it clients explain WHY they want me to submit a proposal to their job. Especially when their job posts tend to not say very much about the exact project. 

Community Leader
Alan H Member Since: Nov 23, 2014
3 of 20

Amanda L wrote:

Well, as a freelancer who gets a number of invites, I rarely see that field actually used for a specialized message. I would really love it if it clients explain WHY they want me to submit a proposal to their job. Especially when their job posts tend to not say very much about the exact project. 


Hi Amanda,

I receive between two and four invitations per week, and I have received over a thousand invitations since 2011 when I began here. I always, always respond when someone has taken the time to single me out in an invitation. So naturally, we a hiring manager here, and when hiring with my own client account, I give myself the advantage of personalizing the invitations I send.

As a freelancer interviewing, there is a very strong correlation between that kind of client and  success in the interview and on the job. On the client side, sending a standard note to a busy freelancer squanders your opportunity to connect with him or her.

 

Wishing you continued success, Amanda,

 

-Alan

Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
4 of 20

Hi Alan,

 

As a follow-up on your report and earlier conversation, I can confirm the message box within the specific invite flow you mentioned is no longer displaying by design. In the past, this process took several steps and clients were prompted to add a personalized note or use the one we provided. We removed the message box as part of the invite flow to streamline the process. I know this may not be ideal in your situation given how you structure your hiring within your team. You should still be able to send a personalized invite message from Freelancer Search or from freelancer profile. We do want and appreciate your feedback and have shared it with our product team. Thanks!

~ Valeria
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Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
BEST ANSWER
5 of 20

Faced with a baffling Upwork initiative, one often finds the answer to the riddle in what is known in labor politics as a speedup. There is a dismaying correlation between Upwork's obsession with speed and its treatment of the contracting process as some kind of assembly line, to be tweaked at the whim of management. Their official position on this change is a virtual endorsement of the analogy.

Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
6 of 20

Douglas Michael M wrote:

Faced with a baffling Upwork initiative, one often finds the answer to the riddle in what is known in labor politics as a speedup. There is a dismaying correlation between Upwork's obsession with speed and its treatment of the contracting process as some kind of assembly line, to be tweaked at the whim of management. Their official position on this change is a virtual endorsement of the analogy.


I'd say more than a silent kudo, but having recently been reprimanded, I'll just say thanks for putting things into words in a nicer way than I would. I'm going to learn how to be critical in a more polite way. Smiley Wink

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
7 of 20

I assume the boilerplate message continues to use that cloyingly breezy language about a "personal" invitation?

Community Leader
Alan H Member Since: Nov 23, 2014
8 of 20

I believe you are referring to this intriguingly vague missive, Douglas?

 

Hello!

I'd like to invite you to take a look at the job I've posted. Please submit a proposal if you're available and interested.

Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
9 of 20

Hi Alan, 


I wanted to check if you were trying to do it through this route? I tried it from search, and from the Saved Freelancers option, and clicked on the "Invite to Job" button, and I was redirected to this page. Are you able to access this page when you try to invite freelancers?

Create job post.png

 

 


-Avery
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Community Leader
Alan H Member Since: Nov 23, 2014
10 of 20

Hi Avery,

 

Thanks for stepping in. No, not I nor any of my clients use this path, to create a job based on liking one freelancer. This is not how we think or work.

 

Typically we first discuss the need, see if anyone internal can fill it and if not, we discuss scope and budget. Then we create, review and approve a job requisition. Then we search Upwork for talent that may match our need, and we save any strong profiles into our Saved Freelancers with notes. If it looks like there is a pool of viable candidates, we post the job in Upwork as invite-only, then we begin to invite candidates from among our Saved freelancers.

 

This is where we hit the snag. I went to my Saved Freelancers to invite our top choice. Where previously, that opened the dialog to message the candidate, yesterday there was nothing. The system just sent an invite. There has never been a way to send an invitee a follow up message before they accept, so we were stuck having sent an impersonal, turn-off invitation.

 

I let this happen once that way, then once from another screen, before I contacted Support. They transferred me to a client specialist who told me Upwork took away ALL means to write an invitation message to any freelancer and offered the dubious explanation that it was in my interest. Fortunately, he was mistaken, as I found out by chance because I had not saved every top candidate into Saved Freelancers.

 

I had saved all freelancer profile URLs in Slack, where the client and I had been discussing them. Pasting the freelancer profile URL into a browser resulted in the old expected invitation window becoming available, so I wrote the remaining freelancers personal notes.

 

Let me share how this played out, within the first hour: 

  • the two freelancers who were invited with the standard message immediately declined the invitation
  • two out of three who received the personal invitations immediately accepted

Our two top choices gave us no consideration, and we correlate this experience with Upwork having crippled our ability to message them thoughtfully.

 

My client also uses a competing talent service that operates on a different business model, so he has choices. He spends less than half his contractor budget with Upwork.

 

I can understand that the analytics team told Upwork management that removing the option would result in a 1% increase in profits due to accelerating the hiring cycle, but client satisfaction in a world of choice also impacts the bottom line. I would appreciate you escalating my concern to someone who can revert this decision, Avery.

 

Thanks! -Alan

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