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Community Member

Why clients keep looking for proposal even they have 50+ already submitted

Hi Clients, 

         I have observed in many cases clients are not able to close on the hire even after receiving 50+ proposal submitted by them. Some may reason that client is scam and not looking to hire but than why someone will post job and invest time in reviewing the profiles.


I have seen client last reviewed and may keep reviewing the proposal but do not hire anyone even after 10-15 days or even 20+ days. 


This have become mystery to me and I look for your help in understanding the reason why this happen?




Sajal Sharma

Community Member

Hey Sajal, I only apply for Jobs with 15 or less applications and a maximum of 3 days old. Problem solved. Thanks!

That doesn't solve the problem. In many categories, there's simply no such thing as a project that has 15 or fewer bids; even if one hovers over the job feed hitting "refresh" every few seconds, by the time we write a customised bid and submit it, there will be at least 20-50 other bids. All we can do is try to stand out by convincing the client that we fit their needs more perfectly than the other bidders.

A good written proposal will definitely interest client. However point is when volume come in picture that 60% or more probablity that client will not be able review the proposal due to high volume. Only fair chance of getting noticed in this case may be for e.g. low rate as compared to other submitted bid.

Lowering rates is a terrible idea. If you have the skills, charge what you are worth. Being competitive in your rates is one thing. Dumping them in a desperate bid to get the job is never a good idea.

I believe there are 2 aspect for software delivery - 

1. Cost

2. Effort

You cannot reduce the effort as work is going to take that much for quality deliverable. However cost is something which can be competitive as customer get same level of service at lower price. For e.g. Walmart - "They always claim we offer the lowest price".  Another e.g. COSTO - Volume / bulk sale. 


I believe clients are price sensitive and cost is the variable which empowers client to get the value delivered at optimal price. However, Suppliers / contractor must consider a tiered model appraoch - Good-Better-Best Approach to Pricing to win the customer. 

Community Member

I recently asked my client why he hired someone over me, and he clearly said my rate is higher, but my portfolio and skills are amazing I ask another client on my list the same question I still get the same reply.


 I make some decisions based on their response.


Is not by rate to some clients but the quality of work you will deliver to them.

Perhaps we are using different terms In your previous post, you wrote, "Only fair chance of getting noticed in this case may be for e.g. low rate as compared to other submitted bid."


Getting noticed is different from being hired. Even if a client leaves a good review, it's still a bad idea. To be competitive, you might need to adjust your rates accordingly. However, any legitimate client will run at the first sight of a desperate freelancer. The only people who will work with a desperate freelancer are scammers and clients who will take advantage.


A client may look at a lower rate, but the quality has to be there. It also has to match your hourly rate. If I post a job for $100.00, and I have bids around that figure and someone bids $10.00, I am going to be highly suspicious and likely not hire the freelancer.

The margin between $100 and $10 is high, but some clients do look at the lowest bidding freelancer. It is also the benchmark some clients use to adjust their prices when posting new jobs.

When I am hiring freelancers, low prices suggest to me that the freelancer is either desperate for work or does not have confidence in their skills.

Not all clients necessarily looking to hire based on price. You've got to specifically look at the job posting to determine if the client values quality over quantity, or if the clients views price as a defining factor.

Firstly, you need to script a proposal which clearly responds to the client's job, clearly showing you understood the job and you've reviewed best approach to achieve it. Second, you offer a reasonable rate.

Thanks for your input, Jeanne H. can you justify the freelancer because of his/her low rate?


I am sure some freelancers set their rate low for reasons known to them, they are far better than some freelancers that charge higher

I believe all freelancers should charge a competitive going world market rate on platforms like Upwork. If you have the skills, charge for them. If you don't, don't dump your rates, get out of freelancing because you will never make any money.


Local or regional jobs may be different because you might have to charge the going rate for that location. Competitive bidding and rates are good; dumping rates to try and get a job is bad. If someone underbids me with the same skills, good for them if they want to work for a bit less. There are economic facts that are unalterable. Living in the U.S. I cannot work for the same money someone in a different country might, no matter how competitive I want to be.

Community Member

The volume of proposals sent to the client by freelancers is enough weight to make the client not see the customized proposal submitted.


The client should be ready to evaluate all proposal that was sent to them and select the best one that suits them, my best guess some client check only a few proposals.

Sound professional @Christina A.

So, you only apply for jobs that are not over 3 days, seems; like the probability for your proposal to be viewed is slim, what if the client has not hired any freelancer?

Community Member

 Hi William, I agree. I also follow the same strategy even I try to be in first 10 application. I observed the proposal growing from 10 to 50+ and still client not able to hire any freelancer. Moreover I do see that client regularly coming online and viewing the proposal.

A bit confusing strategy of client from freelnacer perspective.

Regards Sajal Sharma

Community Member

I see that often where clients don't come online to view the proposals.

Community Member

True. And this is point - If client is not hiring on the position or not coming online than there must a cap to that for closure. In case hiring required than job must be renewed post that. Will be very beneficial for the freelancer as well as clients.

A cap would prevent me and many other freelancers from getting jobs. I have been hired for jobs where the client didn't like any proposals they received and hired me well after your cap would have closed the job. Making a client re-post is not a solution because that will hinder clients.


Just don't apply for jobs you don't want. Why penalize everyone else? Don't apply for jobs you are not comfortable with, and let the rest of us do our work.

Community Member

Sajal S wrote:

This have become mystery to me and I look for your help in understanding the reason why this happen?

There are many reasons why this happens. It's possible that a client reads 10-15 bids and they're all so terrible, they give up and go elsewhere (there are lots of other freelancing websites, so many clients will post a project in multiple places). In your category, it's also possible that other bidders are giving away the solution to the problem within their proposals, so the client doesn't need to hire anybody (in my category, sometimes a client will post details of their project, and some freelancers will just go ahead and do the whole job and give it away). Or, maybe their needs change; their project gets cancelled or delayed, or their budget was reduced, or they become busy with other projects and don't have time to manage the one that they posted. Things happen, and we as freelancers have no control over it. You just have to accept that only a small percentage of your bids will result in being hired. 

That should not be if the client stops reading between 10-15 and then give up, out of about 50 proposals, when you are looking for something the last place you check is where the something is, meaning you will stop searching after finding what you are in search of, the client  should go an extra mile in trying to read up all proposals and make there choice

Clients should not have to "go an extra mile." Any obstacle, hassle, deterrent, or pain in the rear, is going to deter clients.

I believe the it must be a win win scenario. Client is posting job but at same time client is also geting talent pool of 15 million+ diversified resources on the paltform.


The point to emphasize is that there must a way for freelancer to know that client is not hiring on the job before freelancer consume connects in submitting the proposal. In case proposal is submitted than client can be given a option to accept or reject the proposal.

No action from client on submitted proposal will be deterant to Freelancer too,

There is no way to know the client's intentions when they post. Sure, I don't like it when no one is hired for a job. But all of your suggestions are hindrances to the client. Spending connects, time and energy on a job you won't get it, is part of freelancing.

When 90% of the 1st 10 or 20 proposals you go through are garbage, it is easy to draw conclusions about the talent pool that is available and decide upwork is just not the right place to find a freelancer.

Community Member

Closing a job requires effort. What incentive does a client have to close their job when ignoring it works just as well?

Community Member

I believe job getting auto closed after finite time of inaction say 2 week sound good  cap. 

Community Member

I agree with you.... And please client should always reach back to the ones the feel is good for the job.

I have been hired for jobs that sometimes take a while to hire. All of your suggestions are designed to make things easy for the freelancers. The freelancers are not the object in Upwork, it is clients. Those connects are nice income, especially from unskilled freelancers who are duped into believing they can make lots of money. However, if those people were actually hired for jobs, Upwork would make a lot more money.


I understand you don't feel Upwork helps the freelancers enough. They do provide a ton of "how to" information. The reasoning is simple; there are literally approximately 18-20 million freelancers on the platform. The amount of clients is a tiny fraction of that amount. If it was your business, who would you focus on?

I believe every freelancer / person has quality skills in his or her field. Connects are mechanism for upwork to have sincere freelancer bidding for the job. Also I believe bidding is competing and not gambling so it is all about having skills and marketting those skills effectively. How does it matter if some get more and some get less as this is constinous cycle with ups and down for everyone.


If upwork makes money by selling connects or charging fees than that's why we have upwork and no one is here for charity.


However I agree with your point that upwork need to look into adding more clients / client jobs as effectiveness of platform is there when there is topline growth in terms of end client revenue. Upwork earns 60% revenue from freelancer.

"I believe every freelancer / person has quality skills in his or her field."


You may believe that, but it is far from the truth. The majority of freelancers do not have skills in any field. I have seen proposals, profiles, and worked with many new or struggling freelancers and I know the business. Most freelancers jump in because they think they have skills. Just look at profiles, it is disgusting. No profiles, wild exaggerated claims about what they can do, and no skills...that is the reality for most of the freelancers on this platform.


"Connects are mechanism for upwork to have sincere freelancer bidding for the job"


Connects are a mechanism for Upwork to make some money from freelancers that will never, ever land a job. Using connects to try and get a job will never work. It is best used by freelancers with skills to position themselves for a job they have excellent skills and qualifications for and can complete. The new or desperate freelancers throw connects at clients without bothering to even create a profile.

Freelancer Skill - 

Freelancer can be a lateral or fresher in the area he is looking for freelancing. Fresher or minimal experience in the area of bidding / competing are looking to gain experience by getting opportunity to work in that specifc area. It depends on client whether they want to give that opportunity. However I believe it will be better for the fresher to look for opportunity in agency as they will be well overlap with lateral. We all have learned skills over the period of time while being in industry.



I am not in view of spending connects by boosting or positioning ahead will lead result alone. Definitely this has to be clubbed with skills and could be a differetiator in that case. Every freelancer has the right to apply for the job if spends connects. However it is on client to have a mechanism to select the right profile for their requirement. I have observed that client hired top rated freelancer and the delivery and quality have big impact due to delay or incorrect understanding of the freelancer.


In general, prime responsbility lies with client to select the right profile for his or her requirement. From my epxerience of 20k+ screened profile and ramp up of 100 plus team member for my projects with my previous companies - 

1. Resume is first step to screen and shortlist the suitable profile for project

2. You can also have a quick test or directly have brief discussion with short listed candidate to understand skills and experience

3. Have the first round technical discussion to evaluate skills. Filter candidate not meeting requirement

4. Have second round with first round cleared candidate

5. Have general discussion on culture fit 

6. You are all set with the right fit candidate


However even after following the above process, you may have issue with candidate & than you might have to take corrective action but chances are less may 1 /1000. I believe if you take shortcut in selection than there are more chances of concerns / issues.

"Freelancer can be a lateral or fresher in the area he is looking for freelancing. Fresher or minimal experience in the area of bidding / competing are looking to gain experience by getting opportunity to work in that specifc area. It depends on client whether they want to give that opportunity. However I believe it will be better for the fresher to look for opportunity in agency as they will be well overlap with lateral. We all have learned skills over the period of time while being in industry."


It's one thing to hone your skills over time. I certainly hope I never stop learning about my field or life. However, if the freelancer does not have the skills, an agency is still not an acceptable place. Open a school outside of Upwork, but this is not a training ground. That is where, so many make their mistake. They believe they can throw up a profile and start making money with no marketable skills. I'm no elitist, I hate to see people who are desperate or misled, lose money and hope because they were manipulated.


If someone sets up an agency, and follows the rules, that is fine. There are others who do not, and the client has no clue who is doing the work. And no one knows the person doing the work is being disgustingly underpaid.


"However it is on client to have a mechanism to select the right profile for their requirement."


The client has no way to filter out a great proposal in the midst of 50+.


Regarding client tests. I understand clients want the best freelancer, but I am not doing tests again. If clients want to hire me, they should hire me. If they want to hire multiple freelancers, that's great, but these little tests don't bring in much money for the time, and even with clients with long records through Upwork will still not hire.


Legitimate agencies are fine. The freelancers who are using others to do their work are in violation of the Terms of Service (until told otherwise) and should be treated as such. I do not understand why we can't get a definitive yes or nor on this important subject.


The whole essence of Upwork is to drastically shorten time-to-hire.


If you've been having to interview lots of candidates before making one hire, you've been wasting everybody's time.


Indeed, many seasoned freelancers will not bother to put serious effort into an interview if they see "Interviews: 10 or more" on your job post.


If you're a client with a hiring process that arduous, you must rid yourself of the view that you're screening, and vetting, and meeting HR and procurement protocols as though this were a "job" in the traditional sense if the word". Cos it isn't.


In short, "Shred" is what I blurted after reading your suggested hiring steps.

You do not need a resume; free tests are a no-no, and many freelancers won't even do paid ones; you will not have a first and second-round interview with me and I may not have time for a drawn-out discussion on "cultural fit"

I'd also not do any fancy "technical discussion" until I'm hired.


And if the above position is a deal breaker for you, then I may not be the right fit for you.

I'm curious about why you have assigned that "essence" to upwork. It is certainly not my objective as either a freelancer or a client on the site. The same appears to be true for my clients, since many of them take a few weeks to a few months to get a project rolling. My goal is to make money. Theirs is to get quality work. Nothing about rushing and taking shortcuts enhances either of those goals.

Community Member

Agreed.  There should be a sunset timer.

I thought there was one at the 1-month mark, but now I can't find any publications stating so.

Community Member

I also did not find any publication stating the same. However 1 month will be a too long time. I believe 15 days must be good and also the number of proposal cap must be there for any job posted.


In case client is not able to find the suitable freelancer in that period too than the job must require to be renewed. I believe this way there will be transparency to all and it will help client to voice his concern too, if any.

I don't understand the problem if the client never closes the job and hires no one. Yes, it's frustrating, when you want the job, are qualified, and send a great proposal, but that is part of freelancing. The rule is you will apply to more jobs than you will receive. We will never know why someone doesn't hire. They could be sick, the money for the project could disappear, etc. It doesn't matter. Apply and let it go. Continue to apply for jobs and do not wait to see if you are hired for one job.


And on top of the other burdensome rules for clients, you want to demand they re-post the job if they didn't hire? All of your suggestions may sound good to you, but they will drive away every real client and leave only an ocean of scammers and desperate freelancers with no skills.

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