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Clients who just post ads but don't hire

Active Member
Krunal C Member Since: Jan 18, 2018
1 of 17

Off the late I have noticed that most of the jobs to whom I respond to, don't result in successful hire of the candidate. Each post to which I respond have multiple responses from freelancers (in the range of 20 - 50 mostly). Clients mostly selects none or very few (1-2) applications for interview and after that client doesn't take any action at all i.e. hiring the final candidate. After a while, same client posts some other requirement and again same result. In some cases, I have seen client profiles where they have put more that 10+ jobs without hiring any freelancers.

Freelancers put lot of efforts to respond to client's post (in my case I put my customized offer each and every time after going through client's requirements, reading documents, etc.) and on the contrary client is simply not interested in hiring any candidate. To me, it seems like client is only putting up the post to firm up requirements, technologies to be used in project, get competitive pricing (which later on they can put forward to their preferred vendor for further negotiation), etc. It is quiet apperant that such clients don't value the time and effort of the freelancers and they are not operating in the right spirit of Upwork platform.

Does upwork sees my observation as potential issue and planning to deal with such errant clients with stricter action?


Community Leader
Mike W Member Since: Sep 28, 2016
2 of 17

Hi Krunal,


While it may seem like clients are not hiring, they may also be hiring on another website.  Keep in mind that a lot of clients will post jobs to multiple sites and hire the best talent the feel is applicable to the job.  If you feel you're putting too much effort in to each and every proposal maybe you should generalize your proposals a little bit.  Obviously paying attention to the clients needs but also not feeling like you're going out of your way to please each and every client.  I can see how this can be frustrating.

Active Member
Krunal C Member Since: Jan 18, 2018
3 of 17

I'm being advised that I should not pay attention to details in the job post because client may not have intention to hire. Better resolution would be to regularize such errant clients (who are habitual offenders) and ban them on the platform.

Community Leader
Kristo H Member Since: May 6, 2017
4 of 17

I think it is only fair to expect response for a proposal, and also unfair to expect 50 well proposals with many hours put into them as preliminary effort.


For clients who seemingly are not hiring, or who are just asking for freebies, I usually go and report them, if not just flag. That, of course, just takes my time and gives nothing. In minimum, I typically contact them and ask them to properly cancel the job if they are not hiring anyone, as that would give the Connects back to freelancers who used the time to apply. I think returning the Connects is least what should be done in the case client wont hire anyone.


Some clients might legitimately not hire, and that is okay. There is a good way to cancel a job. Some clients, however, just collect freebies or some other information, and have no plans whatsoever to hire in the first place. That is strictly against policy here, if I have it wrong. Posting a job without real intention of hiring is a violation. Of course, like it tends to be, the reality is not that clear. What is intention, and anyone can say they have had intention.


I think UpWork has done good job too, because now they are offering a paid job posting, for clients who are maybe more serious than others. And paying for that, for sure, is an indication of some level of commitment. Personally, I have not yet been hired for such a job, but if I would see one, I would treat it as distinctive and specific case, and perhaps give it some special attention too.


This being said, UpWork is a market place, and in any market place there are bad and good ones. As freelancer, I think what UpWork also promotes, we should be less hesitant to abandon a job posting that does not look profitable or even reasonable at all. Silence is good response for them too. If they want to hire, they will soon realise that they need to change their posting. Sad thing, howver, that many of them might not.


But, posting a job, and not hiring, at least when it comes in patterns, is a good case to be reported. I have reported quite may 0% hire customers, since it must be quite obvious what they are doing, at least when they have had hundreds of jobs posted and years on platform. Of course, reporting these takes time, to collect evidence and anything – and it is completely goodwill, nobody will pay for that work.


Best regards and have good. 



Active Member
Krunal C Member Since: Jan 18, 2018
5 of 17

Upwork should bring in the policy where they should ask each client the reason why they haven't hired on Upwork. Unless client responds to such feedback from upwork he/she should not be allowed to post next job. Don't ban the clients from platform but atleast make them realise the importance of giving the feedback.


Based on the responses/feedback from the client, Upwork can form the opinion whether the response from the client for not hiring is due to genuine reason or not. If client doesn't hire after posting for say 3-5 times consecutively then upwork should consider banning the account of client. Most importantly, in such cases upwork should return back the credits as well to freelancer's account. 

There are lots of restrictions/policies put/enforced by Upwork on the freelancers and time has come now to do some clean up with regards to clients as well.



Community Leader
Sharon L Member Since: Jun 14, 2015
6 of 17

I usually think that clients who don't hire are just cautious about their choice of freelancer. If this happens frequently to a job type that you are skilled in, it may result in a quick hire for you, if you are the only suitable candidate.

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
7 of 17

You are over-thinking this.  Clients may hire from within the local community, assign the task to someone they've worked with before, decide not to hire and/or hire from another website.  Send the very best proposal you can and then let it go. Fretting about it is counter-productive.  If the client gets back to you, great!  If not, keep on moving forward.


There is no requirement for a client posting a job on Upwork to hire on Upwork.  It's a free market.

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

The best way to stay sane is to apply and forget about it unless / until the client contacts you. I never look at my proposals list. It is of no interest to me at all.

Community Leader
Kristo H Member Since: May 6, 2017
9 of 17

I accept, and that is really like showing most of the UpWork freelancers to go away. I am sure that is not the official policy either.


The key question here is that whether there is room to discuss on systemic level or not. In many regimes systemic critique is categorically blocked – no reason to fight the system. And with my short experience here, I have to admit, it has been doing quite well too.  The system is pretty good, and if there are any flaws, they are not too visible and not too pressing either.


Clearly, the resoning to just to bid and forget does not comply with the general idea to aim to build better strategies, that is not to bid to job posts that are not likely to be successful. After all, that is what UpWork also promotes, to not to have freelancers to just hit to the bushes.


I am sure there is no definitive answer for this. However, just forgetting your dropouts is no business whatsover. One of the best ways to increase business is to evaluate the reasons why someone did NOT purchase. And the biggest wins come when you get those to buy anyway, when you turn a piece of poison into a medicine.



Community Guru
Bill H Member Since: Aug 18, 2017
10 of 17

Clients post on many boards, and can hire elsewhere. I used to post jobs to see if I could obtain the expertise needed to respond to a complex job requiring multiple people. If I could, I would bid on highly-complex jobs. If I didn't win, I'd cancel the job postings. Sometimes, I couldn't learn that I wasn't given the job until my own posts expired.


Buyers get sticker shock. Upwork and all the rest of the boards promote the idea of top experts at rock bottom prices. "Expert management consultant to restructure my seven companies, $25/hour." "20,000 word book ghostwriter, $5." Those are real examples. My price for the restructuring would be $150/hour, and it would be similar for anyone else qualified to do the work. My price for the book would be minimum $300.


Buyers collect market data through job postings. I want to know how much to charge for my developer work in Druid Incantations, so I post a job for a DI developer, and have my answer. If I want data to negotiate a contract renewal for MS Stack Developer, I post a job.


Projects get cancelled or delayed. Some projects require, say, eleven areas of expertise, and eleven jobs are posted. Someone responds with a team and a set of qualifications to do all eleven, and ten jobs go unawarded. I've responded with teams, and if the jobs are ever awarded, I usually win. I just responded to a job post on g*** needing four areas of expertise. Between me and my freelance book cover designer, we have all four.


I require clients to explore a fit with a chat before I accept any work. In one case, during the chat, I identified the real issue and its solution for a client, and recommended someone far more qualified than I to implement the solution. I got $200 from the client, the other consultant got $15K. In a recent case, for a three-month full-time expert management consultant, I identified the issue and resolution during the chat. The client offered to pay me for my hour, which was reasonable. So, job was "awarded," but most of the work didn't need to be done.