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mwatson1982
Member

Connects application rates -- Thoughts

My Upwork acct has just rolled over into the new "pay to play" connects system. While I am unconvinced of Upwork's statements on why these will be "improvements", I am trying to give things a chance. While I complete some jobs, I am looking through my job stream and seeing what kind of rates (of the connects) are being applied to what kinds of jobs. 

 

As suspected, Im definitely seeing some ads that still are getting bombarded with 20-50 applications within a short time.  These same jobs, before the new connect system, definitely gave advantage to the freelancers in countries with a lower cost of living.  Definitely goes against the result that Upwork staff purported during its town hall and explanation of the new system.  While I am taking a more conservative stance on what jobs I apply for, I have felt more liberal in marking more ads as "Budget Too Low" when compared to how often I would do that in the old connects system.  Unfortunatley, between the available flags the "Budget Too Low" designation is the closest choice to apply to this situation.  Really, I figure that for a while, there are going to be mistakes in the connect rate that Upwork staff assesses for jobs.  It would be nice to have a more direct flag to just say "hey, this advert might be requiring an incorrect number of connects for the circumstances and description of this ad" . Again, trying to be patient here and see how things look a month from now.

 

Update: Here is a rundown of the types of sectors my job search and skill set fall into

 

  • 3D Modeling (and some crossover into CAD)
  • Web Design (and specifics to E-commerce websites)
  • Content Management (and related, Data Entry)
  •  *** Between those types of searches and concentration, I also get a bit of product copy writing, and customer service falling into my feed (even If I dont take too many of these jobs on)

One respondant to this thread was correct in that "what I am seeing" may highly depend on what Upwork job categories Im working in.

 

Simply put, I dont think that the analysis of "how many connects to charge" is effective.  Still seeing the same amount of low ball jobs, and the same amount of jobs submitted by those who havent verified payment. I already was disinclined to apply for those before this new system, but Ill tell you... how can they charge 4 connects for such low pay jobs, or for the jobs that have no guarantee of follow through (because payment is not verified).  If there was a "Charging Too Many Connects" flag for ads, I would use that instead.

141 REPLIES 141


Taha A wrote:

Then the freelancers (or should I say victims) who have been enrolled to the new Connects system are in disadvantage compared to the rest of freelancers as they have to spend more Connects to apply for the exact same jobs. I believe Upwork should compensate them by adding free Connects to their accounts.


What do you mean newbies have to spend more connects? How many connects you need for a specific job is the same for everyone.

Is it?  I don't know.

 

Before I was switched jobs that now cost 6 connects cost 2.  It is possible the new pricing only kicks in when people are moved over so there could well be a 2 tier structure.

Martina,

I think my message wast not clear. By new freelancers, I was referring to freelancers that joined around 2-3 months back when the old Connect system was in place.

Some of the existing freelancers (who joined prior to implementing the new Connects system) were enrolled to the new Connects system while other freelancers are still under the old Connects system. So these freelancers who were enrolled to the new Connect system have to spend more Connects now compared to the freelancers which are still under the old Connect system for the same job (6 Connects vs 2 Connects in some occasions).

Upwork could (easily) fix that by making all jobs for all freelancers 2 connects until everyone has been moved to the new system, because as it is currently, it *is* unfair that some people apply with 2 connects while others apply with 6, for the same jobs


Taha A wrote:

Martina,

I think my message wast not clear. By new freelancers, I was referring to freelancers that joined around 2-3 months back when the old Connect system was in place.

Some of the existing freelancers (who joined prior to implementing the new Connects system) were enrolled to the new Connects system while other freelancers are still under the old Connects system. So these freelancers who were enrolled to the new Connect system have to spend more Connects now compared to the freelancers which are still under the old Connect system for the same job (6 Connects vs 2 Connects in some occasions).


You are misinformed. The "old" freelancers are spending 6 connects on a job that requires 6 connects, just like everybody else. 

Yeah, that's unfair. 

Not all freelancers are spending the same amount of Connects currently. Some are still spending 2 Connects per job as Upwork is gradually enrolling freelancers to the new system.

I've been moved onto the new system and haven't seen any projects posted that cost less than 6 connects. I think I'll just hoard my 60 freebies until the dust settles.

 


Christine A wrote:

I've been moved onto the new system and haven't seen any projects posted that cost less than 6 connects. I think I'll just hoard my 60 freebies until the dust settles.

 


Are you serious?  Six???  Unbelievable.  That's just ridiculous.

I suspected from the get-go that charging for connects is like putting a bandaid on a gaping wound.  The problem is the sheer number of freelancers that Upwork carries and continues to accept on a daily basis.  This whole platform is flooded with excess baggage, including tire-kicking clients, and Upwork's only solution is to mop the floor with the remaining successful freelancers.  I don't see anywhere for Upwork to go but down.

 

I've had a recent and significant death in my family so it's been pretty easy for me to lay low here and try the invite only method for projects.  Even that sucks because after 21 days, I got not even one invite.  On day 22, which is today, I received an invite which was one of 1,000 invites sent by the client, had absolutely nothing at all to do with my skill set, and had an average hourly USD pay of $4.23.  I kid you not.  

 

Clearly, I'm quite discusted.

Anonymous-User
Not applicable

With the number of people not seeing an invite in months, something is way off.

No single client should be allowed to spam freelancers. That's ridiculous.

Anonymous-User
Not applicable


Christine A wrote:

I've been moved onto the new system and haven't seen any projects posted that cost less than 6 connects. I think I'll just hoard my 60 freebies until the dust settles.

 


Agreed. Gonna sit back, monitor the forums and watch to see how it shakes out over the summer.

I think they kind of did that related to rolling over connects. On the old system, I was on the "free tier" and thus, they normally didnt roll over remaining connects into the new month.  When my acct was changed over to the new system (5/20/19), I noticed that I still had my unused connects.  At that itme, it was around 56*.  So, right now, Im doing okay and I think it gives me some time to try and weather the change and so I can give the remaining weeks chance on this new  system.

 

*On the old system, my connects would roll back to 60 on the 17th of every month.  This is important to note as I am seeing other respondants with a different answer as to how many connects they had upon switchover.  Between 5/17 and 5/20 (when the acct rolled over to the new system), I had applied for two jobs.  From my job feed those 3 days, i was still seeing each job posting requiring the old amount of 2-connects so thats why I got to have 56 total connects coming into this new system.

 

 

@Taha A: I don't think the freelancers who are on the new system should get free connects while some are still on the old system. I do, however, think it's a bit unfair to have only some freelancers on the new system and some on the old. In this day and age of computers it should be possible to switch everyone at once, surely?

 

As for disadvantages to new freelancers - I don't think that the 20 free connects on sign up "to get people started" are enough, especially given that some contracts are going to be more than 2 connects under the new system. I feel that all in all the whole changeover and new pricing structure could have been handled better. Even switching everyone to only recieve 10 or 20 free connects per month instead of 60 would have gone a long wjay towards having the same effect.

 

I can completely understand where they're coming from with the overall intent of the new system, trying to reduce the numbr of applicants per job. I can't help feeling that there may have been other, albeit less profitable ways to go about achieving the intended effect.

 

Maybe we'll find that there are a lot more invites coming from clients if they are getting far fewer applications. If so, this is another point where established freelancers are going to come out on top.

 

It's a real shame, as getting started on Upwork has really helped me both in building my confidence as a freelancer, and in the quality of my porposals. The money/proposals/rates/etc side of freelancing was something that I really struggled with when I was new to the game, and it's a real shame that this end of things will be far more difficult for new freelancers on the platform.

 

 

Four connects for 50 $ job, listed as 'one time project'.

I placed a 200 dollars bid to justify the connects waste :).

Sigh.

The client's average 6.50 $ rate is not promising though.




I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.


Filip K wrote:

Four connects for 50 $ job, listed as 'one time project'.

I placed a 200 dollars bid to justify the connects waste :).

Sigh.

The client's average 6.50 $ rate is not promising though.


You added $150 to your bid to make up for the fact that you were spending sixty cents?

No, I added 150 to my bid because I think that is the fair price for the job listed.

I hope it's more clear now. 🙂 

 

 




I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.


Filip K wrote:

No, I added 150 to my bid because I think that is the fair price for the job listed.

I hope it's more clear now. 🙂 

 

 


It is. In your original post you tied it directly to "making it worthwhile" after mentioning the connects price, so it was quite misleading. Perhaps intentionally, to dramatize what you saw as a too-high number of connects?

r_satta
Member

I already made a previous post about how tons of offers (translation field) really need to be more accurate. But how does Upwork calculate the number of connects needed to send a proposal? 

Some realistic example:
Offer number 1 - 6 connects (let's say 1$) and we don't know the number of words, the project tipe, topics, the budget. Basically we don't know anything;
Offer number 2 - 2 connects, 12$ for a transcription but we don't even know how many minutes it is;
Offer number 3 - 2 connect, 5$ for what? 
Offer number 4 - 6 connects, again, everything is missing.

 

**Edited for community guidelines**


And I can keep going on and on, since it seems so hard for the clients to write the fundamental informations about their posted job, how about implementing a system where the freelancer can ask questions about the job without having to spend anything? It may be an anonymous system and the freelancer cannot give personal info or rates or anything else or it will be banned, or it may be a system with pre-defined questions. By the way, I'm sure the staff here on Upwork is already thinking about something, the fact is that, at the moment, a freelancer has to take a (connects-paid) leap of faith into the unknown since the majority of the offers lack everything.

2nd Edit from me: well, my post has been edited and it seems I can't link actual offers from the site. To see what I mean just search for "Italian translation" or believe me blindly.


Roberto S wrote:

I already made a previous post about how tons of offers (translation field) really need to be more accurate. But how does Upwork calculate the number of connects needed to send a proposal? 

Some realistic example:
Offer number 1 - 6 connects (let's say 1$) and we don't know the number of words, the project tipe, topics, the budget. Basically we don't know anything;
Offer number 2 - 2 connects, 12$ for a transcription but we don't even know how many minutes it is;
Offer number 3 - 2 connect, 5$ for what? 
Offer number 4 - 6 connects, again, everything is missing.



I agree that this is a problem that should be addressed; however, they used to have a system on Elance where you could ask questions before placing bids, and it was abused by dozens of freelancers harrassing the clients and begging for work. I very much doubt that Upwork is going to bring back this feature.

Yeah well, that wasn't a  definitive solution, it is not my job to look for solutions after all. The question stands still though: "Why should I pay 1$ to try to being chosen for a job without details?"

Let's not talk about the "flag the offer system" or the "just skip those offers" system, they are not a solution since the clients won't be notified about what they forgot to mention in their offer and they are more likely to keep making mistakes.


Roberto S wrote:

Yeah well, that wasn't a  definitive solution, it is not my job to look for solutions after all. The question stands still though: "Why should I pay 1$ to try to being chosen for a job without details?"

 

You shouldn't. You should ignore those jobs.

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi All,

 

I'd like to address a couple of points brought up on this thread. 

 

Regarding freelancers who have been moved to the new system and those who haven't yet been moved having to apply for the same job with same number of connects, please note that the rollout is based on categories and see Lena's post on this thread for more information

 

Lena E. wrote:

This could happen if you are submitting a proposal for a job thats not in your category, but freelancers in the same category or similar ones would be enrolled in the new Connects system at the same time. The rollout is based on categories. Several categories rolled out at once that encompassed categories with similar skills. This was done so that there is minimal overlap. 


 

As for the amount of connects required to apply for jobs, while we won't be able to comment on specific jobs, in general the number of Connects needed is calculated based on the projected job duration, budget amount as well as marketplace demand. If a job isn’t getting sufficient interest, the Connects required may be lowered. Similarly, if demand is too great, we may increase the number of Connects needed.

~ Valeria
Upwork


Valeria K wrote:

Hi All,

 

I'd like to address a couple of points brought up on this thread. 

 

Regarding freelancers who have been moved to the new system and those who haven't yet been moved having to apply for the same job with same number of connects, please note that the rollout is based on categories and see Lena's post on this thread for more information

 

Lena E. wrote:

This could happen if you are submitting a proposal for a job thats not in your category, but freelancers in the same category or similar ones would be enrolled in the new Connects system at the same time. The rollout is based on categories. Several categories rolled out at once that encompassed categories with similar skills. This was done so that there is minimal overlap. 


 

As for the amount of connects required to apply for jobs, while we won't be able to comment on specific jobs,  If a job isn’t getting sufficient interest, the Connects required may be lowered. Similarly, if demand is too great, we may increase the number of Connects needed.

 

__________________________________

 

Valeria,

I know you are not responsible for Upwork’s MO, but this is simply absurd.  

 

From what I understand from your post:

Upwork will slap on extra connects, for example, for a data entry job, because there are (or likely to be) multiple proposals, regardless of the quality of  the job offered or the time required to complete it?

 

On the other hand, Upwork is going to encourage FLs to buy connects by reducing the number of connects for some offers because Upwork is all touchy feely about the client in mom's basement who is not getting the offers they expected for their $3.00 per hour?

 

General:     

 

How can Upwork judge how expensive a job is going to be if the placeholder is $5.00? Or when a client puts a $15,000 carrot in his or her offer that boils down to less than $2.00 per hour?

 

How does Upwork judge those ridiculous job offers that say, "This will only take one hour of your time"?  

 

How does Upwork know how long it may take to edit or proofread a thesis or novel? How does Upwork judge the work to be done qualitatively?

 

How does Upwork judge how long a translation will take or how much it should cost? How does Upwork judge the work to be done qualitatively?

 

While paying for connects is not a bad idea. Upwork has simply not done its homework as to how this system should operate. Most importantly, it has not put in place how clients should present their offers, which if anything, have become even worse than usual.  

 

I am now in the new system, but I certainly will not be applying for any jobs, or buying any connects while I’m at an unfair disadvantage with those freelancers whose connects are still being renewed.


10,000 Kudos & Thumbs Up @ Nichola's words ...

 

I'm all in favor of the 'pay to play' approach ... but no one with a modicum of intelligence is going to play when the system has not been thought out properly; has not been tested thoroughly; is ridden with bugs and glitches ... and the rules change on a whim.  


Valeria K wrote:

 

As for the amount of connects required to apply for jobs, while we won't be able to comment on specific jobs, in general the number of Connects needed is calculated based on the projected job duration, budget amount as well as marketplace demand. If a job isn’t getting sufficient interest, the Connects required may be lowered. Similarly, if demand is too great, we may increase the number of Connects needed.


Valeria, why not allow the client to change the number of Connects needed? Who else can better judge if there are too few or too many proposals? Also, won't it be too late to increase the number of Connects needed by the time you decide demand is too great? Lastly, lowering the Connects needed would be more effective in my opinion if freelancers had the option to filter jobs by number of Connects needed.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

Valeria, you say jobs that don't have sufficient interest may have their connects lowered. What about those freelancers that bid on the job when the connects were higher? Why would you allow some freelancers to bid on the job at a higher connect rate than others? How is that fair and equitable?

 

Why was my post erased (about the general tone of some USA based freelancers)? 

I didn't offend anybody. 

I still think a bit of empathy is needed in this world. That's all. 

 

To get back on topic, I actually think paying for connects is not that bad. After all, less low bidding freelancers will apply, and that can only be a good thing as the market was saturated. 

And I agree. If you can't pay 20 or 30 per month to earn more than four digits, than you are really not needed on the number one online Marketplace.

While this is certainly tough on new and low bidding freelancers, it's actually favoring established freelancers. Since I see me in the second category, I don't mind.

It's obvious too many applications are lowering the fair price for work. In Serbia you won't get a Windows OS installed for less than 20-30 dollars, and some Upwork clients think it's appropriate to pay 30 $ for fixing their entire IT infrastructure. 

Maybe the final effect will be that the clients will pay better wages.

We'll see anyway.




I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.


Catherine M wrote:

How is that fair and equitable?

 


People keep asking this question about various decisions Upwork makes. It seems to rest on a presumption that Upwork's goal is to be fair and equitable. Has Upwork ever made such a claim? 

I've noticed an increased hostility in posts of USA based freelancers. I understand we (on the other side of the big water) are generally seen as **Edited for Community Guidelines**, but it's still amusing.

Seems empathy is evaporating very fast in States :).

Not like they ever had it, though. 

We'll try to keep it our thing here, in Europe.




I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.


Filip K wrote:

I've noticed an increased hostility in posts of USA based freelancers. I understand we (on the other side of the big water) are generally seen as **Edited for Community Guidelines**, but it's still amusing.

Seems empathy is evaporating very fast in States :).

Not like they ever had it, though. 

We'll try to keep it our thing here, in Europe.


Making sweeping statements about people in other countries means that you're xenophobic, not empathetic. (I'm not an American, by the way.)

 

Back on topic... hearing that the number of connects required per job might fluctuate with demand - rather like Uber's "surge pricing" model - is worrisome. I think that if a job sounds terrible and low-paying, it should rightfully receive fewer bids - the number of connects required shouldn't be dropped to encourage such clients. I'm already worried that crappy jobs will get way more bids than good jobs - because newbies will be more willing to take their chances if fewer connects are required - and this additional policy will make things worse.

Christine nailed it. 

"if a job sounds terrible and low-paying, it should rightfully receive fewer bids - the number of connects required shouldn't be dropped to encourage such client."

 

If U wants the program to work to their benefit ALL proposals should be valued at 2 or 3 connects each. Consistently. Never fluctuating.

 

 

 

I know my reasoning for the statement I made. 🙂

I give you it's maybe subjective, but there are people here that are constantly bashing others. I'm sure many know exactly what I'm talking about. Sometimes it's ugly to watch. And it somehow ususally comes from people from across the ocean. But maybe it's just me. On the other hand and in my experience, American clients are usually much better than EU clients. 

Upwork forums are obviously not for the faint of heart. 🙂

 




I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

Hah, I can't agree with you about US clients, though. I personally love non-Anglo-American European clients and also Australians. I think we have similar work ethics and mentality. 

I am afraid, Christine, that he is simply attentive... 

Dear Filip,

 

Let's be honest, these rude freelancers (or advisers) have been rude since the beginning. I remember how these ladies were suggesting that I am not a "freelance material" when 4 years ago I asked questions here and also were surprised about this platform being very unfair. It was very discouraging. They also tend to support Upwork's decisions, therefore, sometimes I wonder if they are not simply Upwork "ambassadors". It seems like that also because their posts are never deleted, despite of them often being disrespectful, however, the posts of those who find these posts intolerable, they are punished by moderators. 

 

I am not sure though that it is something to do with geography..

 

Thanks for bringing it up though 🙂 I totally support you.

 

Kristine

PS. The toughest "girl" of the forum, though, comes from Europe, if I am not wrong

Wow, amazing, I just wanted to buy some connects and it turns out that they add +27% VAT!!! So, as all of my jobs are 6 connects, I will have to pay 1+ USD per one application. 

Let me kindly remind you that 20% of our income is also taken by Upwork + (guess what!) VAT

 

VAT +27%!!!VAT +27%!!!


Kristine S wrote:

Wow, amazing, I just wanted to buy some connects and it turns out that they add +27% VAT!!! So, as all of my jobs are 6 connects, I will have to pay 1+ USD per one application. 

Let me kindly remind you that 20% of our income is also taken by Upwork + (guess what!) VAT

 

VAT +27%!!!VAT +27%!!!


So we've reached the point of holding Upwork responsible for international tax laws?

Haha, Tiffany as always have a very constructive comment. I guess you don't know such thing as fair practice when businesses provide the final price, right?
How come that PPH for example do not use the same practice?


Kristine S wrote:
Haha, Tiffany as always have a very constructive comment. I guess you don't know such thing as fair practice when businesses provide the final price, right?
How come that PPH for example do not use the same practice?

It would be difficult for Upwork to do that, since different countries pay different amounts (I pay 20% here in the UK), and some pay none at all.

Kristine, VAT is an EU thingie.

Hungary wanted to be in EU. Now you goltta pay the VAT 🙂

But hey, you have Europian Union to back you up. 🙂




I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.