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antorix
Member

Job Success is not "punishing freelancers for things outside of their control"

I often read rants about some aspects of the new Job Success (JS) score and how they "punish freelancers for things outside of their control" or "things they cannot affect," feedback for example. This is misleading.

 

Imagine a pre-JS situation (and a situation on virtually all other freelance sites) with freelancer John and freelancer Bob. John accomplished 10 tasks and got 10 good feedbacks. Bob accomplished 10 tasks and got 5 feedbacks. Whom of them will clients choose for their next project, all other things being equal? Any reasonable client will choose John, since his good record is better evidenced. The lack of 50% of feedback in Bob's case is strange at least. A client may reason this way: why didn't they leave any feedback, perhaps Bob wasn't so good and they didn't want to offend him by bad feedback? Perhaps this is not the case, and perhaps Bob is even better than John, but a client can't know it for sure, and he wants more surety.

 

The lack of feedback plays against a freelancer, it's an objective drawback. So Bob is evidently "punished," and punished for things completely outside of his control. We may say that Upwork "punished" Bob by revealing his zero feedback record to clients and putting him into unfavourable conditions against other freelancers. But can we reasonably blame Upwork - or any other site - for doing this? No, because this is exactly what they are supposed to do: showing freelancers' stats. If Bob is punished, he is punished by bad clients, bad lack or, well, life.

Now enters the JS. What's the fundamental difference (I simplify here) between "JS 50%" and "FB 5/10"? These are essentially the same, but shown differently (again, I am simplifying: the JS has much more about it than just feedback). The feedback issue is just one of its aspects. The JS conveys basically the same raw data, the same hard facts about freelancers that matter to clients, but wrapping it all into a beautifully simple and easy to understand number from 0 to 100. Upwork may do it well or not, and this is another question.

But speaking about the JS in terms of "punishing freelancers for the things outside their control" is totally missing the point. The JS does not devise any new metrics, it tries to adequately reflect the existing metrics in an easy way. It tries to give clients a tool to quickly estimate hordes of freelancers at a glance without diving deep into their profiles and studying all the stats. Clients may get tens and tens of applications in a single posting, and Upwork wants to help them save time, which is extremely reasonable. I think the main idea behind the JS is basically saving clients' time. Everything that is good for clients is eventually good for freelancers.

 

Having said that, I agree that the JS may need improvement, that its formulas are not perfect. They need tuning. But the essential idea behind the JS is very smart: saving clients' time by replacing a host of various (often confusing and hard to understand) metrics with a single, elegant, and yet informative number (and still without hiding the underlying raw metrics from those who need them). This is really smart and ambitious. In theory, it may give Upwork a chance to differentiate very strongly from competition - from a client's viewpoint. And this is why Upwork deserves our support as they do this.

14 REPLIES 14
fergusm1970
Member

"The lack of 50% of feedback in Bob's case is strange at least."

 

Not really. What if six of Bob's jobs were for one client, who rightly couldn't be bothered leaving feedback every single time? Around 35% of my completed jobs don't have any feedback, because they're for repeat clients.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.โ€• George Orwell
noirre
Member

The main problem I see with the JSS is that current method of calculating it does indeed punish freelancers for client(s) not leaving feedback. It is somewhat strange that UpWork counts jobs with no feedback as not completed succesfully, as there are several scenarios where the client just can't be bothered with it (Fergus'  scenario included), and these situatiotions are not an indication of the freelancer not having done a good job. If UpWork insists on deducting points from the freelancer for things out of their control, then leaving feedback should be made mandatory.

 

What I think would make more sense however, is that if the client leaves no feedback, then that is exactly how it is factored in - as nothing. No deductions, no additions. Client didn't want to rate the freelancer and that's fine. Just add another job to the freelancer's job history, but keep the job success score the same, since there's no new info on it.

I agree with Hanna. If Upwork uses feedback as a parameter to judge a yardstick to judge a freelancer's competance, feedback should be made mandatory.


@Hanna N wrote:

 

What I think would make more sense however, is that if the client leaves no feedback, then that is exactly how it is factored in - as nothing. No deductions, no additions. Client didn't want to rate the freelancer and that's fine. Just add another job to the freelancer's job history, but keep the job success score the same, since there's no new info on it.


 I agree. A very simple suggestion that would solve most of the unfair situations that I can think of.

The idea is to admit that an unsatisfied client would rush to give his negative feedback. He would never omit sending his feedback. And for sure a lack of feedback on its own is not an objective proof of a bad freelancer services.

lysis10
Member

"John accomplished 10 tasks and got 10 good feedbacks. Bob accomplished 10 tasks and got 5 feedbacks. Whom of them will clients choose for their next project, all other things being equal? Any reasonable client will choose John, since his good record is better evidenced. "

 

LOL WAT? No. What if the last 10 projects were from the same guy who left feedback once and didn't want to bother afterward? Wouldn't it stand to reason that actually dude with 5 feedback comments is actually better because he has repeat business?

 

Also, proposal will weigh heavily, qualificiations, time zone, etc. Too many factors.

mark8979
Member

I think that your opinion may be coloured by the fact that you have, at present, a 100% JSS.

 

Imagine, though, that in some of your 18 jobs in progress the client disappears and does not leave you any feedback.

 

Is that your fault?

 

The client, that you have worked a total of less than 1 hour for since March 2015, may move on and not leave you any feedback. 

 

Or the client that you have carried out a fixed price job for totalling $68 since November 2014, has what he needs and can't be bothered to leave you feedback.

 

If this were the case, and as they are over 6 months old and not closed they must still be active, does that mean that you did a bad job on them?  

 

Is it fair that your JSS should be dramatically reduced because of this?

 

Wouldn't that be punishing you for things outside your control?

suznee
Member

Funny Thread for someone who has a large amount of Jobs with no feedback.

 

So I would like to ask since you have a large amount of no feedback was that your choice?

c0ded
Member

What happens if person A has 10 small tasks, and person B has 10 large projects?  2 completely different scenarios.  Quite often people jump on here to get single tasks or single project's completed.  However, a very large issue with many is that once the project is completed, the client doesn't bother closing it out and certainly doesn't bother providing any feedback.  In that case, the freelancer is left either closing out the project or leaving it open - in both scenario's your rating is hurt regardless of how well (or not) you completed the project.

 

In reality, the largest issue is not the system but the fact that it's parameter are secretive with only a vague description providing of what it is.  Everyone has assumptions and a vague understanding.  However, no one knows what the exact parameters are in order to keep your rating at 100%.

 

Or...if you take a time contract and the client want's to wait a week before giving you more work, BUT doesn't want to close out the current on-going contract.  YES, this does hurt you as well.

 

If you would like to test it out...go ahead and get a timed contract, after the project is completed then close it out yourself....wait 2 weeks, and then watch your rating drop.

 

The whole point is that it's a poor system that doesn't explain anything beyond giving the potential client an assumption of whether you are legitamite and trustworthy regardless of the circumstances or providing the measurement is which the score is based on.

 

 


@Jennifer M wrote:

 

In reality, the largest issue is not the system but the fact that it's parameter are secretive with only a vague description providing of what it is.  Everyone has assumptions and a vague understanding.  However, no one knows what the exact parameters are in order to keep your rating at 100%.

 


 I completly agree with this point.  the problem is that we cannot understand the fluctions in JS and it is based on private score that frelancers don't know. Leave the 100% rating. I don't understand why JS drops without having any new contracts.

c0ded
Member

a client by the name of "Keith" just posted this on another board:

 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Unfair-Rules-in-Sending-Proposals/m-p/115124#U115124

 

"I recently switched from elance and have posted 2 projects on upwork.  When I looked at the proposals, you bet I noticed the freelancer's job success %.  To be honest, I didn't know what that meant and did not spend much time on the proposals with a lower job success %, even though they had good customer ratings.  I looked for something to click to tell me what a low job success % meant but didn't find anything.

 

I was surprised to read your post that job success relates to feedback given.  There were multiple times on elance where I didn't leave feedback on a project for a reason.  I agree that job success % isn't a good measurement to have. Customer reviews are what counts to me."

Here is another example:

**edited for Community Guidelines**

 

The guy is obviously highly skilled and yet has dropped to a 78%.  What a shame.

m_pymek
Member

To keep things in perspective: I, too, have a 100% JS in my contractor account.

 

Unfortunately, it serves no purpose for me, since I don't pay much attention to job invitations. Why?

 

I just feel any client desperate enough to start sending out invites is not worth my time.  I find it extremely

rare for high budget clients to start sending out invites, and when they do, you find out on interview that

there are strings attached.

 

As for the job score / feedback's effect on applications, smart clients are too shrewd to be swayed by these metrics.  

 

If anything else, and this is just a giveaway tip for new clients:

 

You really want to hire the freelancers that are just close enough to be "top-rated" but somehow missed the cut with some missing feedback.  At this point you're in a perfect position to determine whether they eventually become top-rated or not.  

 

Translate:  You've just hired a true top-rated freelancer with a very strong initiative to create a great impression from you.

 

And that's the story of how my partner and I do business with the best value freelancers and best budget clients.

 

Of course, my advise only works if you're really a very good freelancer or a very good client, in which case, you probably figured it out for yourself.

As a very new freelancer, I can confirm that I definitely have a strong drive to succeed, and I am willing to do whatever it takes for that strong feedback right now. (It's in my nature anyway, but especially now while I feel that I have something to prove.) I will admit that I am pretty anxious about receiving my first feedback score, and I'm hoping that the client wasn't simply humoring me with the one-on-one feedback I was given between proofs!

- Barbara Herrera -
nagorop
Member


@Anton C wrote:

I often read rants about some aspects of the new Job Success (JS) score and how they "punish freelancers for things outside of their control" or "things they cannot affect," feedback for example. This is misleading.

 

Imagine a pre-JS situation (and a situation on virtually all other freelance sites) with freelancer John and freelancer Bob. John accomplished 10 tasks and got 10 good feedbacks. Bob accomplished 10 tasks and got 5 feedbacks. Whom of them will clients choose for their next project, all other things being equal? Any reasonable client will choose John, since his good record is better evidenced. The lack of 50% of feedback in Bob's case is strange at least. A client may reason this way: why didn't they leave any feedback, perhaps Bob wasn't so good and they didn't want to offend him by bad feedback? Perhaps this is not the case, and perhaps Bob is even better than John, but a client can't know it for sure, and he wants more surety.

 


 Your example of Bob & John is very simplified and has nothing to do with "punish freelancers" complaints.

The Upwork system does not take into account irresponsible clients' behaviors at all and this is where "things outside of the freelancer's control" corresponds to.

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