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Are talent specialists still interfering with the bids?

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
11 of 45

Renata S wrote:

Tiffany S wrote:

I can definitely tell you from the client end that some candidates are relegated to a list (collapsed by default) called "other" and with intro text deeming the proposals irrelevant.

 

I think the only difference is that it's now done by algorithms and not talent specialists.


I think this is the scariest thing I've seen them do yet. Does this mean they're using AI under the hood to determine suitability and categorizing proposals on the client's behalf? I think this is worse than their other strategy of using inexpensive, poorly trained staff to find freelancers for clients (and I'm guessing the talent specialists had little or no previous HR knowledge or experience). Selecting an appropriate freelancer is a lot more nuanced than anything a machine can handle.

 

While I agree that this isn't a good thing and that it takes a human to select a freelancer, my experience with the actual feature is that the AI is light years more qualified to make these calls than the talent specialists and, to the limited degree I've seen it in action, is MUCH more accurate.

How does that relate to this?
(https://www.upwork.com/legal#relationshipwithupwork)

2.1 RELATIONSHIP WITH UPWORK
Upwork merely makes the Site and Site Services available to enable Freelancers and Clients to find and transact directly with each other. Upwork does not introduce Freelancers to Clients, find Projects for Freelancers, or find Freelancers for Clients. Through the Site and Site Services, Freelancers may be notified of Clients that may be seeking the services they offer, and Clients may be notified of Freelancers that may offer the services they seek; at all times, however, Users are responsible for evaluating and determining the suitability of any Project, Client or Freelancer on their own. If Users decide to enter into a Service Contract, the Service Contract is directly between the Users and Upwork is not a party to that Service Contract.


I don't think this feature really conflicts with this provision, since those proposals are delivered and the ultimate decision lies with the client. However, Upwork does a bunch of things that seem to me to be assuming a larger and more subjective role in the decision-making process. I'm not entirely sure about this, but I seem to recall that Upwork's recommendations were at issue in the LegalForce lawsuit (attorneys are prohibited from paying for referrals, and to avoid that classification, a listing site typically has to remain entirely neutral). 

Community Guru
Richard W Member Since: Jun 22, 2017
12 of 45

Based just on what I've read here in the forum, I don't think this is anything new.

 

The default sorting order of proposals is by "relevance". Clients can change the sorting criterion, but I would expect that very few do. Should the default sorting criterion be changed? I guess that depends on how bad Upwork's relevance algorithm is.

 

The other problem (which could be more easily fixed) is the text which apparently suggests that the hidden proposals are not relevant. (What exactly is the text?) It would be better if there was just a button labeled "More", with no other text.

Community Guru
Federico D Member Since: Sep 21, 2015
13 of 45

Tiffany S wrote:

I can definitely tell you from the client end that some candidates are relegated to a list (collapsed by default) called "other" and with intro text deeming the proposals irrelevant.

 

I think the only difference is that it's now done by algorithms and not talent specialists.


Jesus, that is even worse!

Active Member
Steve F Member Since: Feb 9, 2018
14 of 45

Just wow. 

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
15 of 45

Just as I said before. We do Not learn of these things until either a client or freelancer comes on here to ask about it. There will be silence now on this subject (or a canned response) for a few days. If I had the ability to correct just one thing concerning Upwork, it would be to get rid of either the talent specialists or the algorithm that INTERFERES with the ability of ALL freelancers and clients to connect. 

Community Manager
Lena E Community Manager Member Since: Apr 7, 2015
16 of 45

Hi Federico,

 

Talent Specialists do not interfere with the proposals that are sent to your client. Proposals are not being archived and there is not a list of "unsuitable candidates". Proposals are displayed in the default order of "best match however clients can change how they are displayed as they see fit. All proposals are visible to the client. There have been no changes to this proposal page and sorting. 

 

-Lena

 

Untitled
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
17 of 45

Lena E wrote:

 

Talent Specialists do not interfere with the proposals that are sent to your client. Proposals are not being archived and there is not a list of "unsuitable candidates". Proposals are displayed in the default order of "best match however clients can change how they are displayed as they see fit. All proposals are visible to the client. There have been no changes to this proposal page and sorting. 


There is a section with "freelancers who may not be as suitable" or whatever it is called - the name is ultimately not so important, it's a list where Upwork tells the client that Upwork does not consider those freelancers to be such a good match. Those proposals may not be visible to the client unless the client clicks to show them.

 

 

Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
18 of 45

Petra R wrote:


There is a section with "freelancers who may not be as suitable" or whatever it is called - the name is ultimately not so important, it's a list where Upwork tells the client that Upwork does not consider those freelancers to be such a good match. Those proposals may not be visible to the client unless the client clicks to show them.

 


In some ways, this is not a bad idea. I sometimes use a platform that shows who else has anwered a job offer, and it's amazing, people that have no link whatsoever with the job offered wil make a bid. It's even pretty freaky, you really wonder why these people bother to contact the client. However, if this job is done by algorythms, it should be supervised by humans!

Community Guru
Miriam H Member Since: May 16, 2017
19 of 45

Petra R wrote:

Lena E wrote:

 

Talent Specialists do not interfere with the proposals that are sent to your client. Proposals are not being archived and there is not a list of "unsuitable candidates". Proposals are displayed in the default order of "best match however clients can change how they are displayed as they see fit. All proposals are visible to the client. There have been no changes to this proposal page and sorting. 


There is a section with "freelancers who may not be as suitable" or whatever it is called - the name is ultimately not so important, it's a list where Upwork tells the client that Upwork does not consider those freelancers to be such a good match. Those proposals may not be visible to the client unless the client clicks to show them.

 

 


Yes, this is where I would be curious to know whether a legal expert considers the use of this "filter" as somehow shifting Upwork's stance from nuetral, to involved.  Which would be a violation of their TOS.

 

I understand the value of providing clients with the tools to filter proposals, but I guess the issue for me is Upwork's AI creates those filters, not the client. I know applicant tracking systems do something similiar, however I would suspect those filters are based on the job description and parameters set up by the recruiter. If Upwork is NOT a recruiter, than I recommend the client set up the filters.

 

Disclaimer: I don't know much about the client side of Upwork, so perhaps I am wrong about how it works. I also understand it's always been this way, but as FL's are paying, then Upwork should take a less active role (IMHO) be that role computer or human.

Community Leader
Jonathan H Member Since: Jun 19, 2019
20 of 45

Miriam H wrote:

Petra R wrote:

Lena E wrote:

 

Talent Specialists do not interfere with the proposals that are sent to your client. Proposals are not being archived and there is not a list of "unsuitable candidates". Proposals are displayed in the default order of "best match however clients can change how they are displayed as they see fit. All proposals are visible to the client. There have been no changes to this proposal page and sorting. 


There is a section with "freelancers who may not be as suitable" or whatever it is called - the name is ultimately not so important, it's a list where Upwork tells the client that Upwork does not consider those freelancers to be such a good match. Those proposals may not be visible to the client unless the client clicks to show them.

 

 


Yes, this is where I would be curious to know whether a legal expert considers the use of this "filter" as somehow shifting Upwork's stance from nuetral, to involved.  Which would be a violation of their TOS.

 

I understand the value of providing clients with the tools to filter proposals, but I guess the issue for me is Upwork's AI creates those filters, not the client. I know applicant tracking systems do something similiar, however I would suspect those filters are based on the job description and parameters set up by the recruiter. If Upwork is NOT a recruiter, than I recommend the client set up the filters.

 

Disclaimer: I don't know much about the client side of Upwork, so perhaps I am wrong about how it works. I also understand it's always been this way, but as FL's are paying, then Upwork should take a less active role (IMHO) be that role computer or human.


However this is dressed up by upwork, surely if they are "ordering as per "best match"" then how do they decide who is at the top of the list? surely if Upwork are deciding then they are all of a sudden INVOLVED as they are telling the client who the best match for the job is???

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