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Talent Specialists (AGAIN)

Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
21 of 48

Hate to jump late onto a moving train especially when I have posted before on this general topic. However, another aspect that has to be examined is the criteria by which UW decides a client is worthy to get this extra attention. Just the other day I received one from a talent specialist with a description that was 3 or 4 generic words. That's it. What in the world made a specialist think this person was a serious client worthy of being pushed by UW to it's top freelancers? So on top of all the other reasons that have been stated many times, please add the notion of selection to the list. As it stands now, I think it's done with a Magic 8-ball. 

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
22 of 48

In a different (unrelated) thread last week, a client mentioned in passing that he had paid for Talent Specialist support in seeking freelancers. (It was the guy who was trying to get endorsement for the idea of a $20k contract with a single milestone payable only after 100% of the work was completed.) Could htat possibly be right? Doesn't make any sense. (At the same time, it makes just as much sense as some of the invitations the TS's have facilitated for me.)

Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
23 of 48

Jess wrote "This is a SYSTEMIC problem, not an individual one. When you only look at case-by-case data, you miss the overall pattern." 

10,000 YESES!

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
24 of 48

Goran, I think the problem is that your comments here and those of other moderators in the past seem to treat the issue as one of "this individual talent specialist did something wrong in this particular case," and are prepared to address that specific problem. But, that is not a useful way to view a global problem.

 

Once you have seen hundreds of complaints about talent specialists sending random jobs, jobs in the wrong field entirely, jobs that pay less than 10% of the freelancer's rate, etc., it should become clear that the problem isn't a specific talent agent or a specific job or a specific email, but the fact that the program is not working. And, the problem expressed by every single freelancer has been exactly the same: the talent specialists appear to be choosing us at random. They are either not competent to do the job or have not been provided with adequate guidance or are relying on a broken algorithm, but for whatever reason, the program flat out doesn't work. You can escalate 10 or 100 or 150,000 individual issues and it won't change the fact that it's all one big, consistent issue repeating many times each day.

Active Member
Royce F Member Since: Apr 27, 2016
25 of 48

From all of the comments about the programs flaws, it looks to me like the algorithm used to match clients to a "Talent Specialist" is flawed, or non existent.  As a result, you have people trying to find freelancers for skill areas that they know little or nothing about. 

 

The problem is complicated when clients post jobs where they don't have a clue as to what skills are really needed to do the job.  So the client adds Tags that may or may not be accurate descriptions of the needed skills.  Furthermore, I've seen several job postings that left out key details that significantly affect the job. 

 

The net result is a clueless client being matched with a clueless talent specialist, who is probably doing little more than finding freelancers with the same tags as the Job Posting.  (On the other hand, even a clueless Talent Specialist is probably doing a better job  than the "Microsoft Virtual Agent".)

 

Finally, while I do get invites to poor matches, the Talent Specialists have pointed me to a few jobs that were actually good matches, and ones that I did not find when searching with "Find Work".

 

Are Talent Specialists specialists at finding "talent" or are they specialists in a particular "Set of talents".  I suspect the major flaw in the program is they are not "specialists in a set of talents", and thus never really learn what skills are needed to do what the client wants. 

 

Perhaps the program could be significantly improved if each Talent Specialist had a set of "skill tags" and they only matched clients for Jobs requiring the skills in their own skill set.

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
26 of 48

The invitations I get don't even entail matches between what the client says (or hints) they are looking for and what my profile indicates I can do. Occasionally, I can look at it and see how someone with every little English and no grasp of the client's business, my business, or freelancing in general, could have thought there might be some shred of commonality. And sometimes, they're kinda sorta superficially similar but the client wants to pay the equivalent of 1/50 of my standard rate.

Active Member
Davinder K Member Since: Oct 20, 2017
27 of 48

I have gotten many invitations from Upwork Talent Specialist but they akways failed to connect with client or client cannot reply on their invitation. I don't know what is the benifit of this invitation. I didn't get any reply on their invitations

 

Thank you

Community Guru
Charles K Member Since: Mar 6, 2017
28 of 48

The things Phyllis suggests are good in and of themselves, but I do think there's a place for this sort of program -- IFF it is done properly. Which this most certainly is not.

 

I have never reported any of these invites to Upwork. Nor will I. They waste enough of my time already.

 

In all honesty, while I'm happy to contribute to improving a platform that is pretty important to me, I find it disappointing that every response to consistent reported problems is to try to push the work back on the freelancers.

 

You've already received tons of feedback on the problems with this program. It's not isolated incidents, and it's not the fault of the agents.

 

Isn't asking for free work against TOS here? Yet this is basically what we get in reply to every well-documented, long-term problem here: you push it off on the freelancers to waste time with emails and screenshots. Even when it's been done hundreds of times already.

 

You need a manager with some smarts and some authority to take a look at it holistically and overhaul it. Not try to apply bandaids based on reports from freelancers who have already had their time wasted once by receiving the invite in the first place (which we are basically obligated to reply to, both because it affects our stats and out of common courtesy.)

 

I'll bet dollars to donuts that the real reason why this program doesn't work properly is simply that you do not offer enough pay to get the managers and specialists required for it to work properly. Only you (collectively) can change that.

 

To be clear: I don't blame the mods here, who are among the best people on the platform IMO. And I value Upwork as a platform. But you guys really need to take a step back on some of this stuff.

Community Guru
Steven E. L Member Since: May 5, 2015
29 of 48

@Goran V wrote:

Hi Charles,

I`m sorry to hear about the bad experience you had with our Talent Specialists.
Feel free to send us (moderators) a PM with more details about this so that we can escalate it further, review and improve the process.


This isn't new information. It's been discussed ad nausea many many times for many many years.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
30 of 48

@Steven E. L wrote:

@Goran V wrote:

Hi Charles,

I`m sorry to hear about the bad experience you had with our Talent Specialists.
Feel free to send us (moderators) a PM with more details about this so that we can escalate it further, review and improve the process.


This isn't new information. It's been discussed ad nausea many many times for many many years.


 It's definitely been discussed quite a bit. But, I'm pretty sure "talent specialists" have been around for less than a year.

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