suznee
Member

How to improve your Job success

 Not sure what happened here. Tried to delete.

79 REPLIES 79
sivavranagaro
Member

I'll tell you one thing. How not to ruin your succes score: don't click "Not sure"  to question "Did job end successfully?", especially if it's you the one ending job.

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sadanmasroor
Member

Suzzane,

               First of all My Stats page provides you the information based on your past 12 months on Odesk which means amount you earned in the past 12 months, clients you had in past 12 months, number of long term clients you had in past 12 months and policy violations in the past 3 months so oDesk is giving us the chance to improve them which is good. The bigger issue is with the way they are calculating it. I think they should not be considering clients who never started work with contractors or got refund for any reason as one factor in calculating the client success score. 

 

I agree that a client who never started work with you should not play any role in your future on oDesk. I have a lot of clients who at times never started working with me for 2 main reasons. Either after hiring me they found a cheaper alternative or the scope of the project changed and they decided to go with a different framework or language for developing there application which is not my forte. In both the cases it is not my fault because of which the project never started. I think oDesk did not consider a lot of possibilities when making this decision.

 

Thanks

Sadan Masroor. 


@Sadan M wrote:

Suzzane,

               First of all My Stats page provides you the information based on your past 12 months on Odesk which means amount you earned in the past 12 months, clients you had in past 12 months, number of long term clients you had in past 12 months and policy violations in the past 3 months so oDesk is giving us the chance to improve them which is good. The bigger issue is with the way they are calculating it. I think they should not be considering clients who never started work with contractors or got refund for any reason as one factor in calculating the client success score. 

 

I agree that a client who never started work with you should not play any role in your future on oDesk. I have a lot of clients who at times never started working with me for 2 main reasons. Either after hiring me they found a cheaper alternative or the scope of the project changed and they decided to go with a different framework or language for developing there application which is not my forte. In both the cases it is not my fault because of which the project never started. I think oDesk did not consider a lot of possibilities when making this decision.

 

Thanks

Sadan Masroor. 


Sadan,


Where did you get your information on it is based over the last year. The earnings in the stats are that but I have not seen anywhere it is based on the last years performance. In fact from my understanding it is all time performance it is based on.

 

Perhaps Garnor or someone else can clarify what it is based on? 

Suzzane,

               If that is the case than probably I think it is nearly impossible to make it to 70% for those whose score dips below this percentage.

Why should this be counted in Clients who would recommend you as you have not worked for them so how could they recommend you or not.

 

It’s unfair, I hope this changes.


@Natasha R wrote:

Why should this be counted in Clients who would recommend you as you have not worked for them so how could they recommend you or not.

 

It’s unfair, I hope this changes.


Natasha,

 

I have ask this in two threads now and no one seems to want to respond to it. I think it is really wrong it is included in clients who would recommended. 

garnorm
Member

Hi Susanne,

Thanks for the discussion. We're working on a blog post to update the community with more information on Job Success and why it's important. We'll also be beefing up our Help documentation with more details on this important metric. Look for this information in the next week. 

Garnor,

 

Thank you for your post, but questions still have not been answered and although you have said in several posts that a blog post is coming is it going to address the concern about why incomplete or unfinished or whatever you want to call it jobs are being factored in with the "Clients who would recommend you". These should not even be factored into this as they have nothing to do with someone recommending you. There should be a totally separate category if this is going to be figured into the stats.

 

You answer has been very generic, (copy and paste) and is not answering the quesiton that has been ask several times. If you don't have an answer please say so and state you are looking into it. But avoiding or pasting generic responses gets real old.

 

 

anne_ginger
Member

I have a client who hired me but has never given me a task despite my numerous follow ups. Every time I would suggest we simply end the contract since it has made me no money, he says he'll give me something soon (but that never happened).

 

Once I asked him frankly why not just end the contract and rehire me once they got something for me. He says he does not want to do that because I have the money back gurantee badge and if he closes this contract and rehires me, the next contract may not have that. All I see is oDesk trying to sabotage freelancers in every way possible. Althought that may not be their intention, IT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING.

 

For some reason, they can't differentiate between reality and theory. Nice theories does not equate to good reality once their ideas are implemented but nope, they'd rather turn a blind eye.



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Dianne,

 

that's a new one--client won't close contract because of the money back guarantee. You have my sympathy. Maybe you have to take the risk of closing it yourself. But if you did that, I suppose the client could leave negative feedback, even though he never asked you to do any work. Cat Frustrated

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

>> Maybe you have to take the risk of closing it yourself. But if you did that, I suppose the client could leave negative feedback, even though he never asked you to do any work.

 

John,

When a contractor closes a contract herself, it DOES have negative consequences, and negatively impacts one's job success score.

 

But a client can NOT leave feedback if no money has exchanged hands.

 

Because Dianne's "client" has never paid her any money, the client can not leave feedback if Dianne closes the contract.

Preston, the client won't be able to leave me public feedback but can leave me a private one. Private feedbacks are part of the success score computation.  I have 93% right now but hey, I need to keep it above 90% just to be sure I am partly safe from robots here.

 

Oh, and private feedback is also a part of the % recommendation. I have 85% as of now and that is already too low for my own standards (always been a 90% and above person, straight As and all that ahaha).

 

Sad thing is, oDesk seems more cray cray than me 😄



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Diane,

Thank you for pointing out that distinction. I was thinking only of PUBLIC feedback.

 

You're right!

 

The PRIVATE feedback is ALSO important!

 

Okay, one thing I know for certain is that if the contract doesn't close, the client can not leave private or public feedback, and the contract counts in your favor as a long-term client. But only if the client pays you. Long-term clients that help your job success only count if the client is periodically paying the contractor.

That's right, its why I'm not going to close the contract. At least now it is not hurting me or my stats yet. If I close it, my scores would surely go down and that's why I've let it sit like that same with other paused contracts I have. 

 

The point is, things like this should not be taken against us. It really looks like oDesk is seeking more ways to make freelancing harder and messier. 



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Currently I am having 2 open contracts which were successfully completed and delivered to Client’s satisfaction (all evidences are within Message Center).

 

Since then Clients (unresponsive) have neither paid nor closed the contracts, and now CS is asking me to end those contracts.

 

I am not seeking to get paid, I only urge CS to get hold of such Clients who are still active on the platform.

 

Is this a fair practice for Clients to get their work done and leave the Contractor in distress of accusation?

1. File a dispute for payment.

2. Then close the contract after oDesk has resolved. If the client has not paid and you don't expect they ever will, simply close the contract. Who cares about accusations? No money exchanged hands, so no feedback will be provided.

3. If you don't want to file a dispute then close the job. 

 

It's a shame that clients that behave this way can stay on oDesk. But I am certain the oDesk moderators would confirm that oDesk does monitor clients and eventually this type of behavior will catch up with the client.

 

 

Thanks for the inputs, Jeri.

 

I am not at all concerned with payments, I need an official confirmation to close these contracts without adversely impacting my profile.

Hello John,

I really feel that I am being punished for being a good freelancer 😞

I have old contracts which I cannot close because freelancers ending the contract is viewed negatively by the robots here. This one client takes the cake, at least for the rest I made a bit of money but this one just keeps wasting my time and jeopardizing my oDesk stats.

oDesk shouldn't count contracts which made no money in the scores thing. Maybe if money was exchanged like in jobs wherein the freelancer refunded the client to get rid of a low rating that's okay. I just don't see why they keep punishing good freelancers recently.

I keep on getting invites to low paying jobs and then my stats scores goes down on marketing effectiveness because I was hired less than average although I was viewed and interviewed nearly full bar compared to other freelancers in my niche (hello, why would I take on a low-paying contract?). I'd rather watch TV than be paid a pittance! And FYI, I don't even have a TV at home! That's how much I am against jobs which pays so low. I will buy a TV just make a point.


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I am absolutely not going to give Dianne advice about what to do with this odd situation in which a client has never given her a task, yet won't close the contract.

 

I will point out, however, that if I was in this situation, and if this was an hourly contract, then I would be paid at least some money, and because I have been paid, the contract would count positively toward my job success score, as a long-term client.

 

Even if my client has not given me any task to do, I would still communicate with the client, and I would be paid for the time spent communicating with the client. I don't ALWAYS track time and thus charge my clients for the time I spend communicating with them. But I OFTEN do, and I have never had a complaint about doing so.

 

Any time I spend working on behalf of a client with whom I have an hourly contract can be billed to the client, and that includes time I spend communicating with them to report on work I have done, ask about new work that needs to be done, answer questions about what I have done, or making suggestions about what the client should do next (or ask me to do next) in order to optimize the success of the project.

Preston, if I charge the client for emails, he can hit me back with the money back guarantee thing. More ways to punish me.

 

Besides, since it has been more than a month or so since we last communicated, the contract has been paused by oDesk. Come to think of it, I think it has been paused for like 3 months now. ODesk should punish clients for hiring but not giving a task, why should freelancers bear all the negative stuff?

 

Another suggestion, maybe oDesk can charge clients 1 hour for new hourly contracts so even if the project didn't come to fruitition, the freelancer gets a bit of money (because we will be punished in the stats thing anyway). That one hour should not be computed as part of the public ratings but rather some sort of hiring fee.



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Dianne,

Yeah, this is something of a Catch-22 situation that oDesk has put you in.

 

Honestly, I've never heard of anybody else in a situation quite like this.

 

Some of the standard advice and techniques are simply inadequate.

There is a simple solution Preston.

 

ODesk should stop including the private feedback score for jobs where no money was paid or exchanged in any form as part of the computation for %recommendation and job success score. That is the root off the problem. Take that off and things would go back to being okay just like before these things were started.

 

Oh, and just in case an oDesk rep comments here that a good freelancer is very discerning when it comes to taking on new contracts, this client interviewed and hired me lighting fast. They gave me the impression that they need someone to do something urgent and that they need me because I am the only one who can do it (they have a good history too).

 

This is why its so baffling that they didn't ask me to start on the project after hire but instead asked me to wait til further notice. I suspect they liked the money back badge and that's just it. Maybe there was no job to begin with or it has been cancelled but they like the idea of having someone who can do what they want when needed, best part, she's got the money back badge on!



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Something like that happened to me as well Suzanne, quite a few times in fact!

 

My policy for clients who mentioned working off the platform is to report them no matter if they decided to pay me here or went to hire someone else.

 

One such client became one of my long term clients in this site and I know for a fact that I did the right thing reporting him because I see his other contracts only making $20 for the whole duration of the project although the freelancers he hired there are making active contributions to his website up to this day. Yes, he is paying me via oDesk but he is paying others outside the site (I think). In case he gets investigated, that's fine with me but I want to ensure he won't drag me with him.

 

I would suggest you still report that client no matter how long ago was this to help keep the community safe. We all know oDesk is very lenient towards clients anyway so its not like they are gonna kick your client out. That is just another layer of insurance so if he gets caught for real and they investigate stuff, you'll not be a part of the guilty party.



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@Preston H wrote:

 

 I don't ALWAYS track time and thus charge my clients for the time I spend communicating with them. But I OFTEN do, and I have never had a complaint about doing so.


 Preston,

 

a good point as usual. I also charge clients for time spent in communication, but judiciously. If a client skypes me, for instance, and I happen to be working on the client's job at that time, I'm not going to stop the timer while the skype chat goes on. If they contact me on skype while the timer is off, I may or may not bother turning it on right away, but if it drags on then I will turn it on. But in any event, the discussion has to be about the job. In Dianne's case, the only discussion would be about the lack of a job, and given this client's attitude, any time charged on discussion might be disputed by the client using the money back guarantee.

 

While I wrote all that, Dianne herself responded in a similar fashion. I'm not a fast enough typist. And yes, it's a catch-22 and let's hope against hope that oDesk support will remedy it in some fashion.

__________________________________________________
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kugrin
Member

Sorry for the rant in advance, but this overregulation in a poor attempt to drive quality is doing the exact opposite (as it usually does). It just encourages fraud and ensures that both the freelancer and the client have a really poor experience. Instead of providing us with a marketplace that helps us facilitate and carry out our business, I feel thrown back to third grade where permission is needed for the most basic of things, like using the bathroom.

 

These changes and weird policies and metrics now let freelancers second guess on whether they could close an inactive contract or not, or whether or not to work with a certain client - which is a complete waste of time, because either option will be used against them at some point in time! I've really been trying... but fail to understand how oDesk thinks this could possibly be justified. We win our clients, we work with them, and we ensure they come back for more, since that's what's in a freelancer's best interest. oDesk does absolutely 0 in this, they simply provide the infrastructure and get their 10% in return. You (oDesk) are not helping me to win the business, and you're not helping me to grow the business, so how could you possibly have any say in how I should carry out my business?


I get it, at least two thirds of your freelancer base is unskilled labor, and at least half of the clients you attract are highly unprofitable ones, both groups are of equally low quality and it's causing problems. Get rid of them. You won't get rid of them by scrutinizing your top performers and treating them like toddlers. Your top performers know how to run their business without your metrics which is how they became top performers to begin with.


If you want to put us under this level of scrutiny and regulation, you should really start guaranteeing us a steady flow of new, highly profitable, business. You're not. While there is an unlimited pool of unskilled labor, you have an acute shortage of "stars". This why oDesk just like other serious clients that need a large pool of talent have to go to Jobvite and other sites to find them.


At the end of the day job success is nothing more than a dollar value. If someone consistently makes a certain amount of money, who is oDesk to rate their job success taking into account irrelevant metrics like how quickly a freelancer replies to a job invite that's neither here nor there and has nothing to do with a freelancers skill set? If someone consistently grows their client relationships, which in turn makes oDesk more money, why does it matter on whether the client ended their contract or the freelancer. oDesk calls us independent freelancers, but wants to regulate us more than any employer ever could dream of doing. The bottom line of my rant is: Give us a break already and focus on what you're in business for - which is providing a stable platform that lets us carry out our business. Thank you. Rant over.

Well said Krisztina! I totally agree with you!!

Krisztina - well said, the best rant I've read in ages. I worked for thirty years in the public service as a children's dentist. The last fifteen were in clinical admin. I was justly proud of my work both clinically and in admin, but more and more as the years went by the spectre of management from above got more and more oppressive. Instead of being allowed to run a chlidren's health service as we knew how, we were forever chasing targets and made to bend over backwards to collect figures that had been initially collected for some other service and were pointless and irrelevant to dental health; and worst of all, the ones above collecting the figures often had no idea what they meant or what their significance was - they just knew that they had to be collected to keep everyone in line with the corporate vision (and at the end of the day, to cover up for the poor performers).

 

So, fast forward to today. Two years after retiring (young...) I found the need to boost my income, and oDesk was at first a godsend - the joy of working with stuff I like doing (and am very good at) with no boss, no targets to meet, totally in control - and the only KPI that matters is client satisfaction as measured by clients coming back to me, and me making money.

 

It was good ... until now. Now we're being treated like employees, being told to jump through hoops to meet ridiculous targets and generate meaningless figures for people who don't understand them and don't know what they mean (at the end of the day, to cover up for the poor performers) and prevented from concentrating on doing what we do best for the benefit of everyone. Life has come full circle, and I don't like it one bit.

Looks like I'm not the only one feeling harrassed and trapped by all the new features. This is why I've decided to focus on other freelancing sites and oh boy, I wish I did it sooner!



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Stephen, I hear you - I quit my 9 to 5 many moons ago for similar reasons, and I even quit oDesk jobs that wanted me to chase and meet metrics that were nothing more than meaningless figures, but surely no indicator of success. I call that the missing the forest for the trees syndrome.

 

I think it's important to measure and track the business in a meaningful way, but frankly, how often I reply to interviews does not fall into overly meaningful category. Most people do or produce whatever is being tracked, and because the emphasis on the My Stats page is on not so important metrics, that's what oDesk will see. oDesk's focus just like the freelancer's focus should be on consistently growing the business. Neither of the My Stats page stats encourage or enable either. I like the page because I understand it's what oDesk looks at, so it's helpful for me to see it, and I like that oDesk finally figured out how to create a dashboard, but everything on it tracks quantity not quality. And freelancer's continue to be just one big contract with a subpar final rating away from having their oDesk career (job success score) crushed.

 

If someone made $10k, $25k or $100k over a period of x months or years, it doesn't really matter what the client (or oDesk for that matter) thinks at the end of the contract - surely the freelancer knows what they're doing and delivered or else they wouldn't have gotten paid over extended periods of time. This is what oDesk should measure and reward. We used to be called contractors, but aren't allowed to close contracts anymore. Why? The professional thing to do when dealing with an inactive contract is to close it. (Clean business and all.) If freelancer Jane Doe comes with a Money Back Guarantee (MBG) for job X, the client should not be allowed to keep them around because while they don't want to hire them now, Jane and her MBG might come in handy for job Y. Forcing freelancer's to deal with this by designing the metrics the way they have been designed, is unhealthy and will just encourage more fraud.


At least 50% of the job success score should consist of a dollar amount. For every $500, $1000, $5000 (make the number whatever you want it to be) paid, a freelancer should get points that count towards the job success score. This would actually encourage freelancers to work more to improve their score, and stop clients from being able to single-handedly end a career by giving a low rating after many tens of thousands of dollars paid and working with the freelancer for years on end.

 

The oDesk policy is public and should be well known, so why are policy violations kept a secret? oDesk interest should be that the userbase does not violate any policies, which it can't accomplish if they're unwilling to communicate which policies have been violated... I could go on and on and on.

We could all go on and on and on, Krisztina. But the problem is, it seems like everything we write looks to the "powers that be" exactly like the coffee break section looks today.

Good one, Stephen LOL! Wish someone did a 3 tiled comic strip. Image one showing a gigantic roll of user complaints written in English, image two showing the "powers that be" looking at the roll and only seeing strange characters with question marks coming out of their heads, image 3 showing a group of marketing, quality control, and product folks where one is asking "what is this?!", and the rest of the group is echoing "I don't know, but they must be happy, because unhappy clients don't leave feedback". The end.

Despite what Stephen wrote, I'm going to raise an objection to something Valeria wrote under a different topic. She confirmed that 'Long-term clients' is a component of 'Job success'. Why is that? As a web developer, I'm typically required to accomplish some specific tasks for a web site. If I do my job properly, there's necessarily no reason the client would need additional work from me, unless it's for site maintenance, adding new site features, or the client wants me to work on a different site. The way I see it, a long-term client is a bonus, but it seems hardly fair to penalize a freelancer if his clients are mainly short-term.

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

I agree with you, John - same is true for freelancer's with long term clients who get the short end of the stick with the % of clients who would recommend you. It would be better to track it by contract size or monetary value since that's the ultimate metric of success anyway.

 Krisztina, as far as monetary value goes. I've long thought that 250 hours at $20/hr should count the same as 500 hours at $10/hr, but it doesn't when bidding on jobs specifying 'At least 500 hours'. It was never a perfect system, but improvement would be nice.

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

Hi John,

 

I would like to note that Long term clients metric also includes repeat clients, or basically clients who are so happy with the freelancer's work that they re-hire him or her repeatedly. We believe that that is a very important sign for Job Success.

~ Valeria
Upwork


@Valeria K wrote:

Hi John,

 

I would like to note that Long term clients metric also includes repeat clients, or basically clients who are so happy with the freelancer's work that they re-hire him or her repeatedly. We believe that that is a very important sign for Job Success.


Valeria,

 

Thank you for responding. I understand that a repeat client is a happy client. However, some clients only need one job done and when it's finished, they don't repeat because they don't need your services any longer. For example, I sometimes move a site from one server to another. After it's moved, the client isn't going to move it again for a long time, if ever. Or another client needs malware removed from the site. Once it's removed, there's no other work needed. And so on. The point is, a repeat client is a happy client, but a one-time client is not necessarily an unhappy client. 'Job success' is biased toward Long term clients and that shortchanges me somewhat. If a client gives me 5 star public and a 10 for the hidden recommendation, it's a 'successful' job even it the client doesn't rehire me.

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

With all due respect, it doesn't actually include repeat clients. For example, I had 41 jobs that were completed and out of that 13 or 14 jobs with one client (over a period of 8 months), 6 jobs with other  (over a period of one month and a half), 3 jobs then (in May, June and just now) and 2 small ones  (in one month.) So that is 25 jobs with repeat clients out of 41 or at least 50% (even with cancelled jobs included ), however my long-term client score is measly 4%. So no-this long-term client score as it is defined now definitely doesn't include repeat clients.

And again even if it did-the argument stands that a lot of clients need just a brief, one-time project.I don't understand why freelancers should be sanctioned for it.

 

anne_ginger
Member

How about they simply stop all their new improvements and let us do what we do best (which is handling our own business)?

 

I was making wayyyyy more money when I was a newbie at oDesk; you know, before the mad robots and all the meddling.



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sivavranagaro
Member

I should stay off from getting hired and earning. It has a bad impact on my job succes. 

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