"Given the many issues with Upwork, is there any change they will change course and continue elance?"
I agree with your comments. After just completing the client-side Elance-to-Upwork migration, I am very disappointed to see so many key Elance features missing.
Can anyone answer these questions:
1) Where is my reputation and spend history as a client? This is the most critical feature for clients, because we are often taken more seriously based on the amount of money we spend and the number of jobs we award. I've done two chat sessions here, and all the team tells me is the same "it's not Elance" response. But if you are making happy customers migrate from an existing platform, and you wish to keep them happy, wouldn't you take this simple, critical database item into consideration?
2) I can't make a job private when posting it, like on Elance. I have many jobs that are continuations with existing freelancers. Why do I need the entire Upwork community to see every job?
3) I think it is terribly baiting for Upwork to divide it's freelancers into "Entry Level", "Intermediate", and "Advanced" based on price. You are assuming every country in the world has uniform work rates. I can tell you as a client that I have hired EXCELLENT freelancers for "Entry Level" rates, and I vetted them based on ratings and feedback. It's insulting to the freelancers to say that someone is Entry Level because maybe they work in a country where $12/hour is actually really useful.
This is supposed to be a win for both sides. But Upworks baits you into paying more by misleading clients into thinking higher-rate equals better quality. This is most certainly not the case in my experience, which is why so many companies DON'T hire overpriced Americans and Europeans. Because someone can do it better for less.
Please advise. I simply want to continue my work flow and create jobs.
@Nick S wrote:
....I think it is terribly baiting for Upwork to divide it's freelancers into "Entry Level", "Intermediate", and "Advanced" based on price. You are assuming every country in the world has uniform work rates. I can tell you as a client that I have hired EXCELLENT freelancers for "Entry Level" rates, and I vetted them based on ratings and feedback. It's insulting to the freelancers to say that someone is Entry Level because maybe they work in a country where $12/hour is actually really useful.
Upwork doesn't divide its freelancers based on price (or locality). We choose our own level of expertise, and Upwork tacks on the dollar signs.
It's insulting to freelancers anywhere to want to pay them entry level wages for expert service. I have worked for less than $12/hour embarrassingly recently in my life, and yes, it was "really useful" compared to not having food or a place to live. That has nothing to do with the value of what I offer on Upwork. Lucky you for having found satisfactory services from providers who were satisfied by, or at least accepted, "entry level" wages. That doesn't mean whatever wage you agreed on is normal or sustainable for professional services even in an overall poorer economy, where—surprise!—professionals have expenses, debts, a commensurate standard of living to maintain, and families to support.
Best of luck in your work flow and job creation,
Thank you for your response. You'll have to forgive my tone in my initial post, I am simultaneously super-experienced with Elance and brand new to Upwork, so there is admittedly some frustration while I learn a new system. I'm referring to the experience levels in the attached image.
That said, I respectfully disagree with your assertion that professionals in all countries have approximately the same cost of living, or that it is my problem as a client that a freelancer has "a family to take care of". I'm here to pay a fair rate to a competent contractor to complete a job. Someone's personal life decisions are not my concern; perhaps some people don't have families and will charge me less. I don't see how I can be held accountable for the disparity in rates, but there is no question you can find skilled professionals for rates that many Westerners consider "Entry Level."
I also understand that your definition of a fair rate may be higher than mine, and it should be. A company is always looking for the best deal, so it is unlikely that we would agree on what is fair. But I will guess based on your profile photo that you don't live in India, Nepal, Pakistan, or Bangladesh, so to say that $12/hour can't be a good rate for some people is just not accurate. I've hired more than 200 freelancers, I've visited our contractors overseas, and we regularly award 5-star feedback so freelancers can leverage their positions and advance their own careers. I've also hired Americans and Europeans at double or triple that rate and often have to contend with massive egos, which no employer wants to deal with. It makes no difference to me what anybody thinks they deserve, no one has to take the job or my money.
Once again, I do sincerely appreciate your thoughts, and I'm certainly not expecting everyone to be a match for our company. I'm just here to provide jobs for professionals who want them.
It sounds like you are stereotyping americans from what you said. You say that we have higher egos and perhaps you have encountered some who do, but that doesn't mean that all of us North Americans have this and it certainly doesn't mean we provide bad services. You get what you pay for in my opinion, not to say that all people who charge less are bad, because it is where they live that makes a difference, and if they are doing an expert job and are really good at it, they should be paid better than $12/hr.
Sure, you don't have to care that we have a family to feed, but we charge the rates we do because it is not substainable to be paid less, we are experts who do a lot of work for clients and I for one believe that no matter where you are, if you are an expert, you should be paid a fair wage rather than a poor one. I can go to walmart, burger king, or any other job like that and get paid less than 12/hr, so why should I provide my expert level services that I spent money going to school with for the same price as I get flipping a burger? I am sure you don't do that in your career. Think about this, if someone from India or elsewhere moved to North America and became a citizen, they will be paid a fair wage, and if they are not, then they are being discriminated against.
Money shouldn't only be made just because it's sustainable, but rather you should be paid based on your expert level skills and because you are doing an amazing job.
I have seen Indians, etc who are actually quite good and they want to be paid an equal wage that I am paid, so really rates should be good for everyone. $5 for a job that takes hours and requires an expert for anyone in the world is far too low.
Those are my thoughts, and someone can try to pick it apart, but the fact is that there is no competition or fairness when everyone is just having a low bidding war and people are just taking the lowest amount simply because it is so low.
You are absolutely right, I am stereotyping Western workers, and for that I apologize. However, like with most stereotypes, I have formed a bias based on my personal experience.
It was not my intent to insult you or any good, hard-working, non-whining American workers. I also work in America, and I have witnessed the decline of pay and of our middle class, which is why I stopped being a freelancer, started a business and now hire affordable labor from (mostly) outside the US.
I am not Google or Tesla, I am a small business owner. And I don't think you do get what you pay for in every case. There is most certainly an entitlement element that many American workers still cling to, myself included. But the fact is, we are now competing with a global workforce that DOES often do the same work for cheaper. Maybe they don't speak English as well, but the jobs I am hiring for do not require fluent English other than to communicate my job goals. Furthermore, when I hire American coders or developers, I find that often much of their premium is due to outsourcing some portion to Indian developers anyway.
I am simply trying to keep my costs affordable. I am surprised by the adversarial approach so many people have taken to my honest discussion about why and who we hire, as it is not my intent to make enemies. But then again, I have been on both sides, and I understand that this economy is no fun for anyone. We're all just trying to survive, and from the client side, paying top dollar is almost always a losing proposition.
I wish you the best.
Thank you for your thoughtful response, which was perhaps more than my judgmental sniping deserved. Thanks also for the screenshot, which certainly helps explain your initial complaint. I understand the rationale behind Upwork's presenting the expertise-rate correlation, and why you would find it rankling based on your experience.
In any event, as I pointed out, contractors set their own level of expertise. As Preston points out, our choices are independent of our rates, Upwork's boilerplate notwithstanding, and you are free to continue to find the best talent at the best rate for your business.
Sincerely yours—well, maybe not in a contracty sort of way ;^)
No worries, Michael, I clearly drew out your snipey-ness with my original gut-reaction post.
As an American who grew up in the 1980s, I attribute the frustration on both sides to a stalled or declining middle-class economy. Most of us grew up post-war or Reagan-era thinking the sky was the limit. I don't know about you, but I'm still trying to get there, and I imagine so is everyone else here.
I just want to clarify that I never said $12/hr was a great rate in the US—I have my bad days but I'm not *that* delusional. Nothing would make me happier than to hire an American workforce and do my part to kick this economy back in gear. But it's currently an unsustainable model for our small business, and I do sincerely hope that changes sooner rather than later.
Power to the people.
That is true, and I am glad you acknowledge that $12/hr is a low rate. It is hard for everyone today for sure. I do think that minimum rates on Upworks are too low still though and should be improved. $1-$3 hr and $5 fixed rate, that is the cost of a coffee, and I know it is probably subtainable for some, but even small businesses can afford to pay more than this no matter who they are working with.