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nandana1954
Member

Hidden applications of a Job

The Hidden Applicants feature is a very frustrating feature that oDesk has introduced recently. And I have experienced that it hides many talented applicants from the job applicants, and replace them with the new odeskers. And I hope that oDesk can offer their clients , a better service by introducing a filter system, to filter the applicants by their skills, hours, budget, etc. So it would be easier for the clients to choose the correct freelancers. Thanks.
59 REPLIES 59

The fact that we are all unsure of whether proposals are hidden or flagged as best fit or ordered using an Upwork algorithm. or whether the hidden folder has been retired, is absolutely disgraceful.

 

As a freelancer I should have no doubt at all that my proposal is always, initially, presented to the client ordered by date of application. Period.

 

If the client wants advice from Upwork as to who to select - eg. new clients with lack of knowledge in their job post field of expertise might want some help - then have a menu (not as prominent as the actual proposal list) on a single separate menu bar which would take them to another screen.

 

Then as a freelancer I can at least be sure that my proposal will appear on the page ordered fairly by date of application and the client would have to view that page before deciding to use Upwork's selection advice.

 

Some clients might go straight for the Upwork selection advice menu button but at least they will be presented with the list of applicants in a fair manner beforehand.

 

I would know that there has been NO interference from Upwork in the initial presentation of my proposal.

 

I have no objection for the client to be able to order by most recent or oldest.

 

Hi Chris,

 

As we confirmed before in the Community, applicants appear in a single expandable list sorted by “best match”, which is how well we think they fit with the job requirements based on their profile and work history. There is no other visual distinction between applicants, and there are no sub-folders that applicants are sorted into.

 

Hope this clarifies any confusion.

~ Vladimir
Upwork

Vladimir ,

With respect, as you say it is an expandable list, then by definition it must be a collapsed list, so obviously some parts of it are more visible than others, whether or not they are technically in folders or hidden. It has been shown time and time again that Upwork's algorithms are woefully bad at making decisions about good matches, so it 's an unwarranted interference IMHO. If I'm applying for a job proofreading a PhD in dentistry at expert rates, I  don't want some robot putting my application way down the list below a bunch of Japanese web scrapers charging $5 per hour. I don't mind being down the list based on time of application, but that is the only criterion that should be applied. Sorry  I don't sound more positive -I do try, but my overall experience with Upwork's various attempts at automatic matching is that it is ineffective and, at the end of the day, unwarranted.


@Vladimir G wrote:

Hi Chris,

 

As we confirmed before in the Community, applicants appear in a single expandable list sorted by “best match”, which is how well we think they fit with the job requirements based on their profile and work history. There is no other visual distinction between applicants, and there are no sub-folders that applicants are sorted into.

 

Hope this clarifies any confusion.


Hi Vladimir,

Thanks for the speedy reply.

 

Your reply clarifies the current way proposals are presented - thanks.

 

But... you are missing the point of my message.

 

You state '...how well we think they fit with the job requirements based on their profile and work history'

 

That is Upwork interfering with the way the proposals are displayed to the client. The list should have no interference - it should be listed by date of proposal.

 

Then, by all means, have a separate menu button leading to a separate window for Upwork's candidate selection advice where you can have your ordered by best fit list.

 

This is an important issue for fairness.

 

Why does Upwork interfere with the default way that proposals are presented?

 

The default display should by date of application with no flags or markers added to the proposals.

  

When Upwork interferes with the applicant list order it is effectively acting as Employment Agency would.

 

Upwork is NOT an Employment Agency. If Upwork was an Employment Agency I would not have joined.

 

Edited:

As far as I am aware - Employment Agencies have qualified recruitment experts who individually select candidates from their profiles and face to face interviews - to select the best fit employee for the client. Upwork is acting like an employment agency but without the expert recruiters and using a computer algorithm instead of face to face. A recipe for disaster - as is evident in the level of discontent and concern in the community discussions.

Vladimir = I echo what Chris M and everyone else says here. Upwork is NOT an employment agency, It is NOT Upwork's job of MATCHING contractors to job posts/clients. Upworks job is to be a platform where contractors and clients connect. Freelancing is a contractors business. We present proposals and the rate we want to be paid, and present that to the client who, on their own, will look at who they want. Clients will, on their own choose a contractor based on their rate, or work samples, or overall proposal. In any case it will be their choice, NOT Upworks choise of who's the best suited.

 

This was also apparant on Elance too. No one knew about it, but for the fact that one contractor wrote about it in the Water Cooler. She was also a client and she had short listed 2 potential contractors. Going back the next day to hire one of them, she noticed that their proposals were gone from her list. After searching around she found that Elance had decided they weren't a good match for her job, and had moved them to a "hidden" folder. Had it not been for the fact that she was both an established client and contractor who knew her way around the site, she would never have even thought of searching for the proposal that SHE decided to hire. A new client who doesn't know their way around the site and doesn't know about hidden folders would never have thought of looking for any kind of "out of the way" or hidden folders.

 

I have personally interviews employment and temp agencies. In doing so, I was personally interviewd, asked questions, made sure I was appropriately attired, presentable, and had the quelifications in my applications. I was then matched according to that, by a "live" person, experience in recruiting, to a job tha best fit my skills. For this, I had to pay a fee upfront or a portion of my earnings for a period of time was taken out by the agency. In fact in some circumstances my pay would come from the agency itself and not from the company I worked at.

 

What is the mission and purpose of this site Vladmir? Is it a site where clients/contractors connect? If so, NO robot should make the decisions on who's right and who's not for a job and hide, yes, hide because putting proposals into a seperate folder is hiding. And if it's really a sort of agency, then please announce that fact. and we can then understand the reasoning behind the choosing.

 

ALL proposals should be presented to a client either in ascending or descending order based on the date and time it was submitted. And the client should be able to see ALL IN ONE PLACE the proposals and be able to choose who they want.

suznee
Member

If you all think the hidden folder was bad, wait till you see the new page which is being tested. 30 recommended which are not qualified for the job. And confusing on how to get past the recommended page without hitting the job tab again to go back to the job.

 

The system still cannot determine when the job is specific for a recommendation for JSS value or country. When asking for a specific country and ranking I was presented with 30 candidates mostly new to Upwork with no JSS and all from countries I did not ask for.

 

It would be nice if they would work on making the whole process easier for the client rather then more confusing. Why clients are sending an invite to 30 different freelancers who may or may not have the skills for the job is because they are being presented before they see your application with 30 applications and a link to invite them all.


@Suzanne N wrote:

If you all think the hidden folder was bad, wait till you see the new page which is being tested. 30 recommended which are not qualified for the job. And confusing on how to get past the recommended page without hitting the job tab again to go back to the job.

 

The system still cannot determine when the job is specific for a recommendation for JSS value or country. When asking for a specific country and ranking I was presented with 30 candidates mostly new to Upwork with no JSS and all from countries I did not ask for.

 

It would be nice if they would work on making the whole process easier for the client rather then more confusing. Why clients are sending an invite to 30 different freelancers who may or may not have the skills for the job is because they are being presented before they see your application with 30 applications and a link to invite them all.


Hi Suzanne,

Sounds like the Upwork developers are on a suicide mission! Upwork will fail if this situation isn't resolved soon.

 

I don't understand why Upwork doesn't just present in order of date of application, remove the current recommended best fit process, and then work on the algorithms until they are 100% effective.

 

In my opinion - it appears Upwork is skewing the results towards new freelancers to get revenue from wasted connects, with the excuse that they are 'giving new freelancers a chance'.

 

That's me being cynical.

Chris,

 

I am not sure what their logic is but for a new client they may never look at your application with the list of recommended. Which I feel is wrong. 

 

I wanted someone for a job for US/CA with a specific score because I had a need for this and not one of the recommended would have fit what I was looking for. I am not opposed to hiring someone new but that said I would like to be able to view freelancers that have applied. 

 

Not a list of recommended and making it difficult to navigate away from the recommended list. New clients are not going to know that there is a whole group applying past that recommended list if they have to hit the job link to get back to the applicants.

 

This seems deliberate to me to hire someone from that recommended list. And why on earth does someone need 30 freelancers recommended to them?

Chris and Kathy,

 

We appreciate your feedback. However, currently there are no plans to sort proposals by time they were submitted. Please, refer to my earlier post on this thread for more information.

 

Thank you.

~ Valeria
Upwork


@Valeria K wrote:

Chris and Kathy,

 

We appreciate your feedback. However, currently there are no plans to sort proposals by time they were submitted. Please, refer to my earlier post on this thread for more information.

 

Thank you.


Hi Valeria,

Thanks for your reply. But your earlier post does not address the point I was trying to make.

 

Upwork appears to be acting as an employment agency.

 

I joined Upwork to make contact with potential Clients and negotiate contracts. I really appreciate The Upwork platform for giving me that opportunity.

 

However -  I did not want to join a platform that interferes with the way that my proposal is presented to the client - as you are doing with 'best fit' and 'recommended' ordering of proposals.

 

I fully expected to have my proposals presented to the client fairly with no interference from Upwork. And if Upwork does wnat to give selection advice then it should be via a separate menu.

 

I'm going to examine your Terms and Conditions over the next few days to find out if I missed something.

 

Here's a quote from part of the Upwork User Agreement (Legal Pages)

 

10. RELATIONSHIP WITH UPWORK

Upwork is not a party to the dealings between Client and Freelancer, including posts, proposals, screening selection, contracting, and performance of Freelancer Services. Upwork does not introduce Freelancers to Clients or help Freelancers find Engagements. Upwork merely makes the Site Services available to enable Freelancers to identify and determine the suitability of Clients for themselves and to enable Clients to identify and determine the suitability of Freelancers for themselves.

 

-------

 

Upwork states that they do not 'introduce Freelancers to Clients or help Freelancers find Engagements. Upwork merely makes the Site Services available...'

 

'...enable Clients to identify and determine the suitability of Freelancers for themselves.'

 

The crucial words are 'for themselves'.

 

Upwork is violating the user agreement surely? - by inserting a best fit algorithm between freelancer and client to push selected freelancers to the top of the list. They are promoting and demoting freelancers. So a Client is NOT determining the suitability of Freelancers for themselves are they.

 

Moderator please.

 

 

 

 

I can't believe this thread has died again - ...well appears to have.

 

The hidden folder is on the way out but Upwork still interferes with the way proposals are presented to the client. I think they are violating the User Agreement - please see my previous message.

Hi Chris,

 

Upwork does not introduce freelancers to clients or help freelancers find engagements. Instead, we provide choices to clients and provide opportunities to freelancers to be exposed to clients. This is our same goal for every area of our marketplace, whether a freelancer is submitting a proposal or searching through job posts or a client is searching for freelancers or reviewing client feedback on freelancer profiles. Displaying a freelancer as a result of a search is not the same thing as introducing that freelancer to the client.

 

-Lena

Untitled


@Lena E wrote:

 

....Upwork does not introduce freelancers to clients or help freelancers find engagements. Instead, we provide choices to clients and provide opportunities to freelancers to be exposed to clients. This is our same goal for every area of our marketplace, whether a freelancer is submitting a proposal or searching through job posts or a client is searching for freelancers or reviewing client feedback on freelancer profiles. Displaying a freelancer as a result of a search is not the same thing as introducing that freelancer to the client.


"Upwork does not introduce freelancers to clients or help freelancers find engagements."

 

Oh really? I could probably find better uses for my commission money, then.

 

"Displaying a freelancer as a result of a search is not the same thing as introducing that freelancer to the client."

 

Neither is it quite the same thing as displaying a freelancer as a result of a search, when Upwork introduces "return/display" criteria that differ from the client's specifications (e.g. JSS or an exposure rotation scheme).

 

Best,

Michael

 

 


@Lena E wrote:

Hi Chris,

 

Upwork does not introduce freelancers to clients or help freelancers find engagements. Instead, we provide choices to clients and provide opportunities to freelancers to be exposed to clients. This is our same goal for every area of our marketplace, whether a freelancer is submitting a proposal or searching through job posts or a client is searching for freelancers or reviewing client feedback on freelancer profiles. Displaying a freelancer as a result of a search is not the same thing as introducing that freelancer to the client.

 

-Lena


Hi Lena,

Thanks for replying, but, respectfully, as happens frequently, the point of the argument has not been fully addressed.

 

You will notice that I stressed the words 'for themselves' in my original post..

 

So - Please also address the following paragraph from my post:

---

'Upwork is violating the user agreement surely? - by inserting a best fit algorithm between freelancer and client to push selected freelancers to the top of the list. They are promoting and demoting freelancers. So a Client is NOT determining the suitability of Freelancers for themselves are they.'

---

 

I included the sentences about introduction just to lead up to the main point - ie the fact that Upwork states that the Client determines suitability for themselves. But it's plain to see that when Upwork presents the proposals to the client they are promoting or demoting freelancers.

 

If proposals were ordered by date of application with no promotion or demotion by Upwork then the Clients could determine the suitability for themselves in which case I would not have an argument.

 

 

 

 

Chris, not sure if you've seen the following response. It represents the official Upwork position on this issue. Business as usual: broom, meet rug. Best regards, Bruno

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Why-Employers-do-NOT-see-your-Proposal/td-p/115079/page/...

 

Garnor M

Community Manager

Member Since:

‎10-30-2014

952 Posts

‎09-13-2015 07:10 PM

Hi Vadivelan and others,

 

I can confirm, and this is after speaking with our Legal team, that we are in compliance with our Terms of Service.

 

I will also confirm again that our systems/processes are built so that we can help clients and freelancers be successful here. It is in all of our best interests to help clients and freelancers find eachother so they can engage together and work together. When you succeed, and clients succeed, we succeed. We're going to continue doing what we can to foster that and that includes improving our systems (and algorithms).

 

Here's a bit more information in response to your feedback in this discussion thread:

 

Again, our top priority in freelancer search is the needs of our freelancers and our clients that use our marketplace and we must balance many competing priorities.

 

  • We want clients to be in complete control of their search results but we also want to help them along by suggesting refinements and anticipating their preferences.
  • We want to help clients find freelancers who have very relevant experience but we also want them to be able to find freelancers who are likely to respond to inquiries.
  • We want to deliver the best possible set of freelancers for any given query but we also want to deliver diverse results that give clients choices and give many freelancers an opportunity to be discovered.

 

In order to satisfy these dueling priorities, we have developed many technologies that help us to understand client needs, predict client choices, identify the most relevant freelancers, and give all of those freelancers a shot at landing on the first page of search results. This is far from an exhaustive list but here’s a peek at how we do it:

 

  • In order to understand the needs of a client, we study their project descriptions. These descriptions are often very detailed. We can use these descriptions to augment our understanding of the queries submitted by individual clients.
  • In order to predict client choices, we study how clients have selected freelancers in the past and use machine learning to anticipate their choices in the future.
  • In order to find the most relevant talent, we look at more than just a freelancer’s skills and profile. Again, we turn to the project descriptions posted by clients. We use those descriptions to better understand the freelancers who bid on and win those contracts.
  • In order to give every freelancer a fair shot, we construct many features which describe the availability of freelancers and use those features to train machine learning models which can predict whether an individual freelancer will accept a particular invitation at a specific time.

 

By using these processes, Upwork does not introduce freelancers to clients or help freelancers find engagements.   Instead, our algorithms further our priority in running our marketplace:  to provide choices to clients and to provide opportunities to freelancers to be exposed to clients.  This is our same goal for every area of our marketplace, whether a freelancer is submitting a proposal or searching through job posts or a client is searching for freelancers or reviewing client feedback on freelancer profiles.   Displaying a freelancer as a result of a search is not the same thing as introducing that freelancer to the client. 

 

Regardless of all of our efforts to make the process easier, freelancers remain completely responsible for finding their own clients and choosing and submitting proposals for projects in which they are interested.  Likewise, clients remain completely responsible for vetting, screening, and choosing their own freelancers.  We’re honored to provide the platform to make this happen.  

Hi Bruno,

Thanks for that. A classic example of 'Legalese'. 'Terms of Service' are mentioned but I was referring to the 'User Agreement' - are they different in Legal terms I wonder.

 

In my opinion the reply from Garnor is convoluted, contradictory and confusing to say the least.

 

There is one major thing about Garnors response - it answers my concern from another post - that Upwork is acting as an Employment Agency would.

 

There is massive interference with the way that proposals are presented to the Client. As far as I am concerned Upwork is acting as an Employment Agency would.

 

If I wanted to join an Employment Agency I would have gone elsewhere, not joined Upwork.

 

Here's an example of why I think the reply was contradictory:

 

---'We want clients to be in complete control of their search results but we also want to help them along by suggesting refinements and anticipating their preferences.'---

 

So - the clients are NOT in complete control are they. And Upwork is doing a bit of mind reading! 'anticipating their preferences'.

 

Any interference with the way proposals are presented to the client should be via a menu option leading to another window.

 

The default presentation of proposals to the Client should be by date of application so that the client can choose completely for themselves who is suitable. Then if the Client wants to see Upwork's recommendations or their best fit ordering then they can use the menu option.

 

Upwork should assure us that the default display of proposals is devoid of any interference.

 

On the Freelancer side if I look at the list of applicants they are ordered by date. Why can't that be implemented on the Client side I wonder.

 

"Broom , meet rug"

 

Head, meet wall...

rkrzak
Member

The more I learn about how this site actually works, the more I am frusterated by its lack of transparency.

It would be one thing if Upwork simply showed certain applications above others, they have the right to run the site however they want. What makes this truly egregious is the fact that I had no way of knowing this was happening. People are using this site under false pretenses if they assume their applications are being treated the same as the others.

 

If my applications are being filtered to the bottom of the pile, how am I even supposed to know how to improve? I get no message on my end saying "your application may not be a good match because x." I want to be able to use this site effectively but it's hard to do when I don't even know what the rules are.

 

If this is happening to people with lots of jobs and feedback built up, how does someone new to the site like me stand a chance? Does anyone know if things have changed at all between from the time this thread was made until now?

Hi Ryan,

 

Currently, no proposals are automatically hidden. While by default proposals are sorted by best match, the client can easily sort them by other categories. 

 

When you apply, you will see a notification if you don't meet any of the preferences the client specified in their job posting.

~ Valeria
Upwork