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Clients who post job listings but then never respond to proposals

classysnobbb
Community Leader
Gabrielle S Member Since: Jan 29, 2017
1 of 12

I'm not sure if any other freelancers have had this issue, but I've noticed that certain clients will place job listings on Upwork and then never hire or even interview anyone. I find that to be especially problematic, particularly since freelancers can be penalized upon submitting too many proposals and not being hired. 

 

I know this happens because after submitting a proposal, I can click on "see original job listing," scroll to the bottom of the page, and see when the client last viewed the listing and how many people they are interviewing or have hired. This doesn't apply to all clients, of course, but it's something that I've noticed a lot lately and I find it to be problematic. 

 

I think it would be nice if Upwork stepped in and placed some restrictions and penalties against clients who ongoingly put out listings and never hire.  It's not good and it's a waste of freelancers' connects to apply for these jobs. 

 

Looking forward to hearing people's thoughts. I hope the responses can be respectful. 

rolludesig
Community Guru
Rahul V Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
2 of 12

yes totally agree on this Smiley Happy upwork need to come forward and have few things sorted since as i have posted in morning too things are not looking good at the moment...

 

low value projects, client unresponsiveness need to be looked into and why not verify payment method of each client before posting projects..

versailles
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
3 of 12

I did that once. Posted a job, had to rethink the budget and days turned into weeks, which turned into months. Still no hire. I made the job private at some point.

 

The applicants are still in my client dashboard. I'm waiting to get the budget before reaching out to one of them. Should I be penalized? I certainly would be POed if I was and I would probably go buy elsewhere.

 

Now I realize that it's a PITA, but there are reasons. Clients hire on more than one site, their needs change and they don't always bother to cancel job postings.

 

But then, if you spend some time and money to market yourself off Upwork, how is it different? The money and the time are gone, even if you never hear back from your prospects. This is a part of the cost of running a business.

 

You wouldn't penalize clients who visit your shop, ask questions and walk out empty-handed. It's a waste of your time, but it would reflect poorly on your shop if you did and you never know when they may return.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
classysnobbb
Community Leader
Gabrielle S Member Since: Jan 29, 2017
4 of 12
If you consistently post job listings and never respond to ANY applicants (I've seen the straight zeroes on the interviewing/hired segment), then yes, I think clients like that should be penalized.
petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 12

@gabrielle S wrote:
If you consistently post job listings and never respond to ANY applicants (I've seen the straight zeroes on the interviewing/hired segment), then yes, I think clients like that should be penalized.

 Think about it this way: Unless such clients actually hireoutside the platform, they cost Upwork absolutely nothing.

Any client who is removed or "penalized" or turned off posting their job on which they WOULD have hired someone, DOES cost the company (and the freelancers) money.

 

Sure at some point if clients keep posting jobs and not hiring it becomes a bit of a joke, but that is why you are given the chance to **SEE** a client's history and if you don't like it, don't bid on their jobs. Problem solved.

 

If I go into 5 shoe shops and finally decide not to buy any shoes at all I don't expect to be chased down the High Street and "punished!"

 

Plus you have no idea if those clients didn't post theirjobs on a number of platforms and HAVE hired, just not here...

 

 

 

 

classysnobbb
Community Leader
Gabrielle S Member Since: Jan 29, 2017
6 of 12

Fair enough. That makes sense. Can you tell me which safeguards Upwork puts in place to work against client abuse/malpractice of freelancers and the platform?

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 12

@gabrielle S wrote:

Fair enough. That makes sense. Can you tell me which safeguards Upwork puts in place to work against client abuse/malpractice of freelancers and the platform?


 I am not sure what kind of "abuse" or "malpractice" you mean but there are terms of service which apply to freelancers and clients alike.

Upwork doesn't generally get too involved in petty "that client was mean to me..." or "that freelancer didn't bla bla" stuff. Ultimately it is up to freelancers and clients to sort it out.

 

You are free to report out and out violations of the  terms of service to Upwork but frankly if you choose your clients carefully and manage both your projects and your contracts intelligently and professionally it should rarely or never be necessary.

 

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
8 of 12

This suggestion crops up multiple times a year. It's never going to be implemented because the last thing UW would ever do is introduce inconvenience for clients. And if you think about the business model here, that makes sense. Clients bring the money. Without them, none of us would be here. We FLs are a critical element, too, collectively. Individually, we are completely expendable. Those who can figure out how to prosper on the platform as it is are welcome. Those who can't or don't want to, will never be missed.

 

There is no upside in trying to force clients to invest/engage more in the platform. It's inherently lopsided that way--FLs must invest heavily in time, energy, and attention while clients can come and go casually. Erecting barriers to client participation will not make them behave in certain ways, it will simply discourage them from using the platform.

 

In any case, the worst consequence of letting them come and go at will is not clients who post jobs and never close the loop by either hiring or taking down their posts. The worst is that some are encouraged to take a cavalier attitude toward the FLs they do hire. But it is what it is, and part of operating successfully here as a FL is learning how to navigate that dynamic (as one among many conditions that challenge us).

classysnobbb
Community Leader
Gabrielle S Member Since: Jan 29, 2017
9 of 12

Just out of curiosity, what steps does Upwork take to combat client abuse/malpractice on the platform?

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
10 of 12

@gabrielle S wrote:

Just out of curiosity, what steps does Upwork take to combat client abuse/malpractice on the platform?


 How do you define "client abuse/malpractice on the platform"? In any case, would start by reviewing the ToS.

 

Beyond ToS violations, UW will go to bat for FLs in certain situations, on a case-by-case basis when a contract is in place. When push comes to shove, though, a client usually has the advantage in a dispute and this is true in the B&M world as well as on UW (and every other platform). Several years ago, the Freelancers Union based in NYC invited freelancers to submit unpaid invoices. The resulting document, The World's Longest Invoice, now has its own website and the total balance is now over $4 million in increments ranging from $20 to tens of thousands.

 

There is a power imbalance baked into the contractor-client relationship. As contractors, aka freelancers, a big part of our job is to minimize that imbalance by choosing good clients and delivering above their expectations. That takes us only part of the way. For the rest, we have to value--and learn to leverage--the independence and self-governance that is ours in the equation.

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