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The Problem with job success rate

Ace Contributor
Muhammad Arslan R Member Since: Jan 1, 2016
1 of 107

Last week I noticed that my job success rate declined without any reason. I contacted upworj support but they were unable to satisfy me. They did not give any specific answer. Instead they kept sending me generic mails. They also said that they couldnot share exact calculations with me as they were confidential. After doing soem research I realised that plenty of freelancers are facing issues with job success. I have no problem with upwork's policy regarding job success. However, it would be great if they make the calculations available to freelancers so that we can know where the problem is. That way, freelancer would try to overcome their weaknesses in order to improve their job success. Eventually, it will improve upwork as a whole. Please share our weaknesses with us so that we can overcome them. At the moment, most of us are in dark reagrding our weaknesses. 

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
2 of 107

@Muhammad Arslan R wrote:

I have no problem with upwork's policy regarding job success. However, it would be great if they make the calculations available to freelancers so that we can know where the problem is.


That way, freelancer would try to overcome their weaknesses  game the system.

 My guess.

"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Active Member
Jonathan O Member Since: Dec 24, 2015
3 of 107

I have exactly the same problem with the job success score. I got 5 stars in almost all my contracts (except one contract with only 4.80) and suddenly my score dropped from 98% to 93% without explanation, due to a hidden parameter that nobody wanted to tell me.


It is really not about "gaming the system", it is only about common sense. Everybody wants to earn his life and to be top rated. To do so, you need a calculation of the job success score that uses common sense. If you use common sense, then nobody will be able to game the system: if the client is unhappy he will tell that he is unhappy and you have a bad score, if the client is happy he will tell that he is happy and you have a good score. Keep the customer happy, the rest will follow.


For the time being you see that the customer is happy and gives you 5 stars and on the other side you see you job success score dropping constantly. Where is the logic and the common sense?


It is like a boss telling his employees that they are great and then giving a hidden bad feedback of the employees to the human resources. How can the employees and the company make progress in this case?


Transparency and trust is one of the pillars of a successful collaboration. At the moment I feel that Upwork is not trusting the freelancers who do their part to make Upwork successful and one day it will fire back looking at the number of posts of this kind in the general forum but also in the TOP RATED forum.


Upwork has many qualities but transparency and trust are not one of them at the moment. I hope for an improvement in this area.

View solution in original post

Ace Contributor
Muhammad Arslan R Member Since: Jan 1, 2016
4 of 107

I think your guess is wrong. Freelencers cannot game the system. If freelancers knows his job success rate has gone down because of too many cancellations, he would try to avoid cancellations going forward. I dont think someone can call it gaming the system. 

Active Member
Kushagra M Member Since: Sep 28, 2017
5 of 107

There is nothing wrong in keeping the algorithms hidden, but Upwork should improve it to ensure that its members are not discouraged from doing right things. For example, my score is dropping because of the following reasons:

1. I am on a long-term hourly contract since the last two months, which effectively means I am having zero completed projects every week. Basic common sense suggests that the client will continue to fund the contract only when he/she is happy with the same, and the score should obviously go up irrespective of feedback, but it does not happen here.

2. The customer care people told me that the score drops when the client does not leave a feedback. A client hired me for around 10 projects within a span of less than a year, but obviously he doesn't leave a feedback after every project. From the client point of view, it makes no sense writing 'excellent person','professional services' after every piece of project. However, the fact that he is re-hiring 10 times proves that he is extremely happy with my work. Unfortunately, Upwork scoring system feels otherwise.


I understand it is not an easy task to design a scoring system, but there is always a scope of improvement. Once freelancers start realizing that their score truly reflects client experience, they will not ask for the algorithm to become public / transparent, plus it will be impossible to game the system if it's good enough.

Active Member
Dained V Member Since: Jun 28, 2018
6 of 107

So, after reading about your experience, I am going to start to break the projects on weekly or biweekly steps instead to wait until the end.

Community Guru
Javier M Member Since: Sep 16, 2015
7 of 107
Active Member
Sardar Atif H Member Since: Oct 27, 2015
8 of 107

I'm new on Upwork.

I have spent almost thee months on Upwork. I found it an excellent forum.

I have worked about 135 hours, 6 jobs in three months with almost an earning of $ 900.

I've got the "Rising Talent" and "24 hrs responce time "badge but Freelance Success Score is not visible, anywhere.

Can anybody tell me when my freelance success rate will be shown?

Upwork is giving me generic results. 

How much time it will take to display my Success rate from the date of 1st project or date of activation of the account?

Looking forward *~*

atif habib
Community Guru
Dawn L Member Since: Sep 3, 2015
9 of 107

As much as I agree that there should be more transparency with the JS, it's nieve to think that it can't be gamed. I think that's the primary reason they started using the JS instead of the star feedback.


I had a discussion once with a client of mine about the star system vs. JSS. What he told me totally shocked me.  He said he's had freelancers beg for good public feedback, coming up with every excuse for him to provide 5-star public feedback including "this is how I feed my kids". The unprofessionalism of those types of freelancers is utterly sickening, and can leave a bad taste in a client's mouth for a long time.


Being the kind heart that he is, he'd leave them decent public feedback but leave more truthful private feedback. 


Now we know why Upwork keeps so much behind closed doors. 


Of course, being the type of freelancer that I am, I told my client that he should have left honest private and public feedback. That our feedback is how we can determine how well we are doing, and where we need to improve.


Some clients just want to be nice. Either way, this type of freelancer behavior is why Upwork keeps so much from us. I don't agree with the lack of transparency, by any means, but I understand why they had to go this route.


I for one do use the feedback to evaluate my services to determine where I need to improve. Any time I've received less than 5-star feedback, I did ask the client what they felt I could have done better in the areas that they marked less than perfect. It helps me to learn and improve. 


No matter how much we gripe and moan about the JS, we all need to face the fact that it's here, it's not going anywhere, and figure out what we need to do to be successful on the platform. Griping and moaning about it hasn't gotten us anywhere so far, it surely won't get us anywhere by continuing.

Ace Contributor
Muhammad Arslan R Member Since: Jan 1, 2016
10 of 107

Dear Dawn,


I am not gripping or maoning about Job success. I have very high Job success rate and I am Top Rated. However, I still believe there should be some transparency in JS. We should know at least how can we improve or sustain our JS rate. There is no disagreement with upwork's policies. But they should define their methodology and make it public just like leading credit ratings do (S&P AND Moody's). The audience must know the methodology behind the score.