Strange applicant selections by some clients

In my proposals that have been declined by the client I have started to look at the profile of the freelancer who was chosen. I am recently regularly surprised by the client's choice. Some of the chosen freelancers skills and experience don't seem to match the clients requirements at all. I'm finding this with very low budget projects.

 

One recent project which definitely required very very specific fomatting skills and experience was awarded to a freelancer whose profile was in a completely different field of expertise.

 

I understand that clients receive a 'suggested applicant' list of freelancers which Upwork recommends. I have read posts in here from clients who say that the majority of those Upwork recommended applicants are usually not a fit for the work required.

 

There are bound to be clients who are not very familiar with the areas of expertise / skills required for their projects and are using the recommended applicants list - trusting Upworks' algorithms.

 

I would be interested to hear from more Clients as to how good the Upwork recommended suggested applicants list is. And also if any other freelancers are noticing this apparent mis-match.

15 REPLIES 15
prestonhunter
Member

Chris, this question has the virtue of being one that has not been posted in the Forum before.

 

But I don't think you should think about this any further unless you are able to see the job proposals associated with these ostensibly mis-matched hires.

 

Without that half of the equation, I don't think this is an answerable question.

 

Moreover, to fully understand the dynamic, you would need to see a complete interview transcript as well as the finished work product.

 

I can assure you that my profile page does not present a complete picture of what I am capable of. I assume the same can be said of others.


@Preston H wrote:

 

 

I can assure you that my profile page does not present a complete picture of what I am capable of. I assume the same can be said of others.


 While this may be true, I also believe part of the blame lays on the client's lap. I've often wondered how many clients that invite me to a job have actually looked at my profile before sending me the invitation. All too often I've received invitations, then, before or after accepting the invitation, the client requests previous work samples - even though my portfolio has one or more samples of similar projects.

 

Of course, I think this is mostly done by newer clients who don't have as much experience on Upwork as others, but my point still remains. 

HI Preston,

Thanks for your wise words.

 

I am still concerned though. The Upwork suggested applicants list being trusted as effective and valid, being used by Clients when in fact it might be effectively useless, is, I feel, very important. I am surprised there has been so few responses in here.

 

I hope we can get more feedback from Clients as to whether the suggested applicants list is indeed giving bad matches. And if we got feedback from freelancers too, that would help.

 

If the suggested applicants algorithm is anything like as effective as the recommended jobs notifications that I get - which are mostly totally useless and irrelevant to my skill set - then we're in trouble!

 

Edited after original post:

I was wanting to post this thread in the Clients section too to get more feedback but no doubt I'd get suspended for duplicating a post.

Chris

 

a) Happy New Year (and to everyone else....)

 

b) I agree with all your concerns... but how do you know who got the job? Am I missing something?


@Stephen B wrote:

Chris

 

a) Happy New Year (and to everyone else....)

 

b) I agree with all your concerns... but how do you know who got the job? Am I missing something?


After someone has been hired and the job is closed, go to the job proposal. There is usually only one proposal showing. That's the person who was hired.

 

At least, that's how I've found out unless they changed it recently.


@David G wrote:

@Stephen B wrote:

Chris

 

a) Happy New Year (and to everyone else....)

 

b) I agree with all your concerns... but how do you know who got the job? Am I missing something?


After someone has been hired and the job is closed, go to the job proposal. There is usually only one proposal showing. That's the person who was hired.

 

At least, that's how I've found out unless they changed it recently.


Hi David,

Yes - that's exactly how I've been finding out the person who was hired.

 

I'd love to get more replies from Upworkers who have had a look at the profiles of the hired person to see if there are a fair few with definite skills mis-matches.

 

I need more feedback - but It seems to be happening mostly with clients who are new to Upwork with just 1 or 2 job posts.

 

 

 

Well, I have noticed this a few times, too. I do remember one particular case exactly, where lots of truly experienced applicants (read: 50-60+ completed jobs in general) applied for that job, but in the end, the client hired a freelancer, who 1, had got a fairly low JS score 2, had got only 3 completed jobs 3, and not in the field of expertise, demanded by the job (only very, very slightly).

Yup, they're gaming the system already.

This or inexperienced clients who are shopping for a price. With some luck they may get a good price and a good outcome. With less luck they may come back for a real pro, or throw in the towel.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless


Chris M wrote:

 

 

If the suggested applicants algorithm is anything like as effective as the recommended jobs notifications that I get - which are mostly totally useless and irrelevant to my skill set - then we're in trouble!

 

 

 

 Their whole push in advertising is that algorithm. They say you can hire a freelancer in 3 minutes.

 

The recommended list, an algorithm they paid $1 million for does not work at all. They've been told this from day 1. The algorithm was developed at Stanford University and sold to the company. The recommended list is dreadful although currently not as bad as six months ago. 

 

You would think that when you ask to be shown people from North America, that would be what you see. 8 of the ten freelancers I saw where not even remotely close to North America.


@Chris M wrote:

....Some of the chosen freelancers skills and experience don't seem to match the clients requirements at all. I'm finding this with very low budget projects....


Chris,

 

There ya go. The lower the budget, the likelier the posters are:

  • straight-up exploiters and/or schlockmeisters who don't care about the quality of the work or the expertise of the candidates
  • clueless about both the skills needed for their often overly-ambitious jobs/fantasies and the cost of those skills.

Best,

MIchael


@Douglas Michael M wrote:

@Chris M wrote:

....Some of the chosen freelancers skills and experience don't seem to match the clients requirements at all. I'm finding this with very low budget projects....


Chris,

 

There ya go. The lower the budget, the likelier the posters are:

  • straight-up exploiters and/or schlockmeisters who don't care about the quality of the work or the expertise of the candidates
  • clueless about both the skills needed for their often overly-ambitious jobs/fantasies and the cost of those skills.

Best,

MIchael


 Hi Douglas,

This is still a speculative issue because we don't don't have enough feedback from clients as to the effectiveness of the Upwork recommended freelancers list. And also we need more feedback from Freelancers who look at the profile of the selected applicant after the job was awarded, to see if the skills matched the job post.

 

But if the Upwork list IS very ineffective then yes - you're comments are vary valid. It means Clients who are new to Upwork  who need to use the recommended freelancers list will most likely have a bad experience and leave Upwork after just one or two job posts - and Upwork gathers a bad reputation each time that happens.

 

Edited:

Re ...'straight-up exploiters and/or schlockmeisters'

 

Some might fit that description but I am mailny talking about Clients new to Upwork who genuinely need some guidance as to the best freelancers for their job.

 

Edited again:

Here's a quote from the Upwork website which new clients will see;

 

"Start your job in hours, not weeks. Get a shortlist of skilled freelancers instantly, tapping into our hiring know-how and matching technology. Interview favorites online and hire with the click of a button."

 

The shortlist concept is also mentioned again on the website - so it's obviously an important aspect of the system that Upwork is pushing.

 

So - if that 'shortlist of skilled freelancers' is not 100% effective then we're all in trouble.

 

And I mean 100% effective. There can't be any room at all for bad recommendations.

 

Yes, Upwork rotates and favors random freelancers depending on the period. In this last month I have spent almost all my connects and I have 0 visits, which surprises me a lot. It has never happened before and I feel as if I were invisible. I think somehow my proposals are going to the hidden folder.

 

To be honest I notice that sometimes clients just choose freelancers with lower rates or a 100% JSS. But I think as you said that many clients follow recommendations. I hope to recover my “visibility” again.


@Maria C wrote:

Yes, Upwork rotates and favors random freelancers depending on the period. In this last month I have spent almost all my connects and I have 0 visits, which surprises me a lot. It has never happened before and I feel as if I were invisible. I think somehow my proposals are going to the hidden folder.

 

To be honest I notice that sometimes clients just choose freelancers with lower rates or a 100% JSS. But I think as you said that many clients follow recommendations. I hope to recover my “visibility” again.


Hi Maria,

I didn't say ' many clients follow recommendations '

 

I was worried that, specifically, some of the new clients might be following the Upwork recommendations, and if the Upwork recommendations are bad then the Client will have a bad experience and probably leave Upwork shortly after joining.

 

 

And yes, you are so right;  the matching system could be definitely improved if they want to provide a good service. Clients complain about this from time to time too. But it also affects to the way our proposals are treated, that’s what I pointed out.