re: "wouldn't a paid test be a risky business as well? What happens if you fail to be the candidate of choice? Negative feedback on the contract?"
This is a valid question.
The purpose of a test job is NOT to give negative feedback to freelancers who participate in the process in an honest, straightforward manner. The purpose of a test job is to evalute whether freelancers will be a good fit for continued participation in the project. A client can hire freelancers on a test basis, evalute them, and then close the contract WITHOUT written feedback, and WITHOUT taking time to evaluate each freelancer in each of the six star ranking categories. A client can simply click 5 stars for each category without thinking about it. This IS an honest, acceptable practice. This is the moral equivalent of "not providing feedback."
If the client desires to be even more transparent and helpful to possible future clients, she may type "test job only" as her written feedback.
If I am a freelancer who has been asked to take part in paid testing, I can look at the client's feedback history.
If it is clear that this client hires freelancers for fairly small, short jobs (which I can see are test jobs) and gives them all good feedback... Then I don't think I would be worried at all.
But to address Deborah's specific question about whether or not is risky for a freelancer to get hired to do a test job, because the feedback could be negative?
IF there is no prior feedback history to look at for that client... Then yes, I suppose this could be a risk. But if the freelancer is confident in her abilities to do this type of work, I think there is very little risk. If the freelancer is not confident that she can do this type of work, then she should not accept a contract of any type (test or otherwise) for the project.
Could you please click on my name and send me a PM with more information about your report? I'll check it and escalate accordingly.
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