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New "Client" searching for feedback from Freelancers.

cissell-russell
Active Member
Russell C Member Since: Jan 25, 2014
1 of 23
I only recently discovered oDesk and began using the service. I took some time to read many of the posts in the Freelancer's section. My goal of course is to understand the concerns from a freelancers point of view. Basically I have come to the conclusion we all share the same concerns. We all just want to deal with straight operators, who communicate clearly and deliver on their end of the bargain. That being said, I invite you to review a recent job posting of mine. I am looking for bold criticism and feedback. So long as oDesk continues to deliver a favorable experience, my intention is to use the service as often as possible. As such I brush up on my communication skills so I know I am coming at potential Freelancers the right way. You can find the posting under: Blog writer for construction company I thank you in advance for your time and comments. Russell
marciamalory
Community Guru
Marcia M Member Since: Apr 3, 2013
2 of 23
To be honest, I find the post confusing. I don't understand what you want the applicant to do. What do you mean by a paid interview? Do you mean a test job? If you want to pay someone, you will have to agree to an interview and then hire them for a test job. It is good that you are clarifying that you are paying for the interview/test, as it shows that you are not trying to scam the freelancer for free work.
cissell-russell
Active Member
Russell C Member Since: Jan 25, 2014
3 of 23
Thank you for your feedback Yes, this would be very much a test job. As a writer,I would expect my work to be published. I want to be clear that we may or may not actually use the submission. The total compensation with be the fixed price and a fair review. If we do actually publish the material the authors By Line would be a bonus. It is my intention to hire each qualified applicant based on the terms of the offer. Then I will simply re-post a similar job description for the next applicant. In this way applicants will be compensated for their time, we will all build our oDesk reputations accordingly and we may find the perfect person to be our new "go-to" writer. Is "Test-Job" the standard vernacular? Would that draw better response than "paid interview?"
coffman-robin
Active Member
Robin C Member Since: Jan 10, 2012
4 of 23
It seems like all your back-end stuff is in the job post, and all the relevant information is missing. In other words, you only discuss the process as it pertains to interviewees, but you are not at that stage yet. You are looking for someone to fill this job (which I hope has a higher budget than $15), not for someone to interview for the job. The difference is that the post reflects qualities, budgets, and factors that only pertain to the interview process. It will only attract freelancers based on those, not the attributes needed for the actual job. It can't attract the right freelancer for the job because it hardly discusses it. I would not apply, mainly based on the low budget; $15 for a 600 word article. That includes research, which basically means you want your writer to work at a rate that is below min. wage in your area, so you start off indicating you have a level of disrespect for the profession. The budget is not the only problem, though. Your post includes many key indicators that tell me to look away. For one thing, you say, "We will hire a permanent writer based on the best value," which sounds very similar to the loathsome, "lowest rate gets the job." I don't want to know you are looking for value. That is generally a given and stating it reflects an idea that the rate is more important than quality. But, speaking of quality, you state that the work will be scrutinized and should be ready to publish. Those characteristics are indicative of quality, professional writing, so the budget and the wording of the job post should speak to a quality, professional writer. Your job post appears to be the type we see all the time from low ball clients who make a habit of "interviewing" freelancers, often scamming them and treating them with little respect. Not many of us are interested in that. Write a job post for the job, not the interview process. It is great that you have an idea in mind of how you want the process to go, especially considering that you plan to do some paid test jobs to find the right person. The job post, however, should reflect the actual job you are interviewing for, not that process. EDIT: I understand that your budget is for the test job, which is often offered at a lower rate than the freelancer generally receives. Your $15 is probably reasonable (although, 300 words for that rate would be more fair). My point is that the budget for the interview should not be listed as the budget for the ongoing job (the position you are trying to fill), unless this $15 for 600 words truly does reflect the rate you are willing to pay for the full time position.
cissell-russell
Active Member
Russell C Member Since: Jan 25, 2014
5 of 23
Thank you for your excellent feedback. I understand that I need to be more descriptive when it comes to the actual job itself. I felt that "Professional Writer for Construction Blog", accompanied by the tasks that were outlined as part of the test submission more or less spelled out the performance demands. As a writer, what additional details would you like to see? Would you be more inclined to respond if for example I had listed some of the topics you would cover in the future if you were selected? I know I was vague when I said that if selected you would be offered a minimum of 5 projects per week. At this point I am not sure if we will settle on one writer for all projects or work with a few based on their interest and inclinations. Would you suggest including this information in the posting? I hear you loud and clear on the budget issue. I posted the budget for the test article at $15.00 based on it being 150% of the typical job rate for a blog article as published by oDesk. I was trying to send the message "I am willing to pay you more than the average rate just to apply for the job." This is why I asked for the applicants standard article rate. I can see that my message is at the very least, not perfectly clear. I will have to rethink my approach. While we are on the topic, I realize one article might require much more extensive research than another article. How do we address this issue? Is it normal to split rate between research (possibly hourly) and writing based on a per project fee? I assure you if it were my intention to scam people and low ball them, I would not open myself to the criticism of every person I interview and do not hire. By paying each person who applies that is exactly what I am doing, and I don't mind that. Even if you are not selected for future projects you will be treated with professionalism and respect. In addition, I feel that if you ask a person to complete a complex interview process which includes a task, it is only fair that you should leave positive feedback based on their understanding of the task and timely completion, even if my opinion is that they are not the best fit overall. That being said, if this approach is not typical and it causes confusion, I must rethink my strategy. Thanks again for your very helpful feedback.
coffman-robin
Active Member
Robin C Member Since: Jan 10, 2012
6 of 23
[quote=Russell C.]I hear you loud and clear on the budget issue. I posted the budget for the test article at $15.00 based on it being 150% of the typical job rate for a blog article as published by oDesk. I was trying to send the message "I am willing to pay you more than the average rate just to apply for the job." This is why I asked for the applicants standard article rate.[/quote] Hmm. If you are referring to what is currently advertised on oDesks front page, where it states that you can have an article written for $10, or something like that, I appreciate hearing from you here in the forum! Many people are very offended by what oDesk has done there and what it says about our value and worth, so you have proven the point by stating that $15 for 600 words is 150% of the "typical" job rate. You show your (understandable) naivety on the subject but more importantly, you prove oDesks ineptitude in educating the naive. $10 gets you some interesting writing, that is for sure. From what else I have heard you say here, I suspect that is not the kind of writing you are in the market for. After all, you probably don't want hassles from the search engines for plagiarized content, nor do you want content that is so low quality it turns away every one of your readers. If we took me for an example, I regularly earn at least $75 for 1000 words, and many people still consider that low. I write the kind of quality content that it sounds like you are looking for. Some people who have reasonably the same skills charge a bit less, but rarely in the $15 range. Some people who have difficulty with basic writing concepts (such as the use of the correct tenses or other issues. Understandably, we all have weaknesses. Hopefully, though, they don't make it through to the final cut) still charge around my price range. That is where it gets difficult for clients like you, and that is the place for the paid test you describe. Not every applicant can provide work that is even worth paying $15 for, so I recommend against that. On that note, most quality writers are too busy to read the job posts. We generally only respond to invitations to interview, which is why most serious clients peruse freelancer profiles to choose the freelancers they want to hear from and invite them. [quote=Russell C.]While we are on the topic, I realize one article might require much more extensive research than another article. How do we address this issue? Is it normal to split rate between research (possibly hourly) and writing based on a per project fee?[/quote] Most writers charge enough to cover any necessary research in a fixed-price job, or charge hourly for the whole process. It is unusual and unnecessarily confusing to try to combine the two, but I guess you could. [quote=Russell C.]I assure you if it were my intention to scam people and low ball them, I would not open myself to the criticism of every person I interview and do not hire. By paying each person who applies that is exactly what I am doing, and I don't mind that.[/quote] Right, that is why I am replying to you here whereas I might not if I had only read your job post. I get the impression that you are trying to figure things out and have no intention of being a low-baller or scammer. I just want to warn you that I think some people get sucked into those roles thinking that the way they are doing things is just fine. It is easy to do.
cissell-russell
Active Member
Russell C Member Since: Jan 25, 2014
7 of 23
I do not fault oDesk entirely for putting the idea in my head that I might find someone here who would and could afford to write for less than what I might expect to pay in a closed market. That being said, I have gleaned enough pricing information from a few of the posts here to have an idea of what I need to have in the offer to attract the right applicants in the future. I also agree that I should be hunting for writers and inviting them to review a detailed description, rather than trying to draw them in with an ad.
anne_ginger
Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
8 of 23
That's what sprung to my mind when I've seen your post, and I agree with Marcia that it is indeed confusing. Another thing that I've thought of is you may not be aware of how things are done here. I've even considered applying to the 'job' just so I can send you a message with a link to the client guidelines and policies. I'm both a client and a freelancer here at oDesk, and I agree with Robin that your post lacks the correct details (the one about the job, not about the interview). As a freelancer, it looks to me that it was posted by someone who does not know what he wants and is after a freelancer who might be able to somehow telepathically know what it is for the lowest fee possible. I'm surprised some people applied to it at all, considering how vague and confusing it is. You said you want a straight contractor who will deliver his/her end of the bargain, but that is very difficult to do, considering how vague you are with what you want. When posting a writing job, please include the following: -Your budget per article and for the whole job (so you will not waste the time of those who commands a higher fee than you are willing to pay) -Topic/Niche (so you do not waste the time of those who may not be adept at your topic) -Tone to use -Purpose -The website where you will use it (so the writer can adjust the writing style accordingly, you can state this during the interview as well) -Expected number of words -Other guidelines -Keywords to be used (this can be mentioned during interview, not necessarily on the job posting) -turn around time (your deadline) PLEASE, please, please edit your job post. It will save you time in the hiring process as well. Welcome to oDesk!


❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
cissell-russell
Active Member
Russell C Member Since: Jan 25, 2014
9 of 23
Thank you for your time and your comments. I addressed a few items in a prior post, so I will move onto the new items you have given me to think about. The whole job is the single submission. I have not established a budget per article yet as I do not know what the market will bare. I am open to negotiating on future contracts based on each applicants abilities. We both live in the same world. I don't want to tell you the maximum amount I believe I can afford any more than you want to tell me the lowest price you would work for in an emergency. On top of that I am still confused how a Freelancer can charge based on number of words alone. What happens if you are asked to write on a topic you know little about and you have to do a lot of research? In my mind, the interview is the job. As such the job was spelled out clearly. 1. You are to write a test article for a company that has a blog that is related to the construction industry. 2. You will be given a topic that will require at least some research. (Now, I did not list the topic of the test article because it will be different based on the applicant. If someone tells me they have 5 years experience writing articles for a concrete company I am going to choose a topic related to wood siding or something they are not likely to be so familiar with that they can hammer out 600 word with no research) 3. You will not be asked to do a re-write (one and done) and you will be paid. 4. You will recieve a review for your oDesk profile. I never considered mentioning tone. I will keep that in mind. Purpose is to evaluate your skills as a potential writer for a construction blog. I mentioned the submission may or may not actually be used. -The website where you will use it (so the writer can adjust the writing style accordingly, you can state this during the interview as well) I am simply not comfortable enough with oDesk to provide this information in a public posting. We expend great effort to combat hacker and spammers. Listing information like that just seems a little risky to me. Your other notes do not require comment, I understand completely. I clearly need to edit my post as it is not at all attracting the caliber of applicant I require for the ongoing project. Thanks again for your helpful comments.
anne_ginger
Community Guru
Dianne M Member Since: Jul 25, 2013
10 of 23
I'm glad you are really taking our comments seriously. A well structured job post will save you time. At the end of the day, as a client, I'd rather just have 3 qualified people applying for my job than to have 30 which would be a waste of my time if I were to read all and not find the freelancer I am looking for. Including the niche is helpful because it can save you money and time if you can find a freelancer who is already well-versed in the subject. Example, a generic writer can take 2-4 hours to write a 500 word article if they still need to do some research and study the material, and even then, it might not be the caliber you are looking for. An expert will only take 1-2 hours to write the same, and you will be sure they do know what they are talking about. I've done an experiment in the past hiring someone for $10 an hr (generic writer) and someone for $35 an hour (expert in the subject). Guess what, the expert writer produced exactly what I wanted in only 50 minutes, whereas it took the generic writer 4 hours and 10 minutes to produce something which I might like on a nice day 😛 To be fair, I gave both of them a 5 stars feedback, even if the other writer didn't produce what I wanted because he was honest right from the beginning that it is a difficult topic for him. If you are unsure how much to pay, hire someone on a per hour basis (you can limit the number of hours, to say, 3 hours max for the test job) and invest on someone who really knows what they are doing. After you already know how much time it takes someone to write what you want, you can negotiate on a per article payment basis. As a client, I would suggest you hire per hour if hiring an expert, they do save time and money in the long run. As for the website where you will post the article, you can mention that once you have already handpicked someone. Btw, I don't know how anyone can hack a website by just it being mentioned (because your website is publicly listed anyway) but I understand if you are looking for a ghostwriter that you don't want the public to know you are not the one writing your blogs/content. Good luck finding that writer 🙂


❄❄❄ Just A Forum Contributor --- This isn't against forum guidelines ❄❄❄
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