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I recently completed one of my hourly job and now started again for searching new jobs. Connects system really disappointed me because I could apply on very specific number of jobs on monthly basis. I checked the upgrade system and came to know that Odesk is accepting Credit Cards and Paypal for upgrades. I think both are out of reach from Pakistani peoples who are already working on Odesk or trying to start new carier through Odesk.
I tried my best to set up profile to get better jobs to look after my family from my part time Odesk job but this system really disappointed me because my chances of getting hired on new jobs are just 5% now because I have only 162 hours and seen that Clients are only hiring high Profile members above than 500-1000 hours working experience.
According to my survery many new freelancers are now searching new sites similiar to Odesk who have no such policies.
All those members who were old on Odesk are simultaneously increased their rates because they know that there are 95% chance of hiring them.
If I was not hired untill all of my connects are used, I have to wait for a month to start applying on jobs.
Odesk team must look into this system for the favour of all those who are serious to work on Odesk.
What is the best way for new members like me to apply on jobs through connects?
My thoughts on the new system:
Clients wanting good quality freelancers for short-term jobs will not receive the quality of freelancers they want. I (and here I'm considering myself to be a decent freelancer) will no longer be applying to low-paying, short-term jobs (those offering under $12-15) using the 'connects' system, and I assume a few other freelancers will be the same.
Clients new to the online freelancer business will probably 'test the water' by first offering a low-paid, short-term job, in order to judge the quality of freelancers signed up to the site. The fact that many of the better freelancers will no longer apply to such jobs will give new clients a poorer experience, therefore reducing the number of clients signing up to oDesk.
I will also no longer be applying to jobs where a client's payment method is not yet verified, due to the value of the connects. Often new clients will post jobs before having fully completed their registration. However, I don't want to 'waste' my connects on someone who has potentially posted a 'spam' job posting. Again, genuine clients who have posted urgent jobs while in the process of verifying their payment method will miss out on serious freelancers, thus attracting poorer-quality freelancers and having a poorer first-time experience of oDesk as a result.
Let me break down how this change is a wrond direction for me personally.
All other sites use something similar to this, you have so many you can send and you pay for more/featured/etc.
I used oDesk to do those fill in the blank time, small price jobs, takes an hour or two, make 10-50 bucks get them done fast, occassionaly a decent job 200-300 bucks would come along I would hit those up of course. However I use the other sites, more carefully choosing which applications to send, to try to get big contracts. Now I have to use oDesk like those other sites. I do not feel this hurts freelancers that much, what it hurts is clients that needed a place to get fast work done. Now they have yet another site where freelancers will be choosing to spend their connects on bigger projects and ignoring the small fast jobs, because they are not going to spend their connects to apply for them.
As much as this system seems like it hurts freelancrers that are not used to it, the real victim here is the clients.
I am a new client... I have found it hard to find decent staff... Most of my applicants dont even read the breif.. They even copy and paste erelevent junk. This even includes the expert level.. This extends the hiring process and sometimes even makes me can the job and create a new one...
I have also had the horror of a designer saying that my questions are pointless and he just wants to do the work... Sorry but a long term job requires a getting to know you stage.
Also I have previously put a job for a freelancer virtual assitant direct and then the "wife" applied and then the agency husband poped onto my skype... sorry but NO!
I hope that as my payment level goes up that more people are wanting to apply for my jobs.
I ask lots of questions because bad hires waist my time and money... I think good performers should get more connects.
With 60 Connects a month giving us roughly one application per day (keep in mind, the old system allowed us 25 per week), the new Connects system is really hurting freelancers. What's more, it's also negatively impacting clients.
Because we now have to be extremely selective about our job applications, that means clients are getting less qualified freelancers for their jobs. Let me explain.
These are just a few instances where I won't bother to waste Connects on jobs that I would have previously considered applying to:
- If the client is new and has no feedback history
- If the client's payment method is not verified
- If the job post is unclear in any way (for instance, doesn't include the word count needed for a fixed rate writing project)
- If the client has too many questions included in the application/sounds like they might be a pain to deal with
- If the budget is unclear based on the job description
- If the budget is too low
- If the client consistently leaves low feedback for contractors (OK, I didn't apply to these posts before Connects, anyway)
Call me picky, but many of the high-quality freelancers on this site simply will not waste Connects on jobs that are unclear or ones they would normally have more room to offer bid explanations for. THIS IS HURTING CLIENTS!
I can't tell you how many jobs I've won where I bid more than the client's proposed budget because I could pair it with an explanation for why the work was worth more. That opportunity is gone now, because the Connects limitation is so strict that we have to be 10x more selective with our bids and can't afford to waste them on jobs that already require some convincing on our end (but in the end, could be the best fit for the client).
The client's job posting basically has to be perfect and include enough information for me to feel like I can safely bid on it, resulting in less quality freelancers for that client.
For a site that is so obviously biased towards its clients and their needs, its surprising to see that oDesk is going so far out of their way to hurt new clients by ensuring they receive less qualified candidates and driving off the more established, high-quality contractors. This business model further promotes an environment filled with low-wage jobs and low-quality contractors.
I started applying to work on two separate freelancing platforms, today. Once I establish a reputation on one of those sites, I am done with oDesk. The Connect limit is far too low and any site that has a free user model, but forces users to switch to a paid model in order to be successful is seriously flawed.
**edited for Community Guidelines**