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Upwork needs to be FAIR to all freelancers

xalixo
Active Member
Isaac S Member Since: Sep 15, 2015
1 of 34

I am one of many "newcomers" from Elance. So many complaints have been made. So many suggestions have been offered. I am not going to repeat them all. I just want to request Upwork to make this system as FAIR and OPEN for EVERYONE as Elance was. They say you dont know what you have until it's gone. Elance was so simple and straightforward its unbelievable! In hindsight, as a web developer, I salute the developers behind Elance. It was not "fancy" in any way. It just worked.

 

In Elance things were done in the open. Search for jobs, select one, place a bid and immediately see your bid in ONE LIST. Thats right, ONE LIST. Sponsored and recommened bids appeared at the top but still in one open list. And you could see who had placed these other bids without having to click any button. When a job was awarded you could see who it was awarded to and compare and contrast and learn something. On Upwork there seems to be alot of SECRECY and INTRIGUE surrounding everything! Why is it like this? I understand there is a "hidden" folder where our bids go or something like that? Really? And its a machine that determines if something is worth being hidden? You have to click a button to see who else has applied for the job? A machine can "recommend" proposals to the client? You cant see the client's profile? You also cant see the person who was awarded the job to get an idea or two? The system is too constrained! I think Upwork gets too involved in the selection process making it unfair. It makes the system seem rigged. The odds are stacked against you from the begining! I dont have a client account so am basing all this on what I have read here.

 

Ever since I came to Upwork, I have never got a job from a direct application. None. And I have made very many applications by the way. And in the same way I used to do in Elance and get interviewed and hired most times. The only jobs I have done on Upwork are from my clients from Elance who I told to come to Upwork, create the job and then invite me directly. Those are the only jobs I seem to do on Upwork! Is there something I am missing? Perhaps its the "hours worked" thing since I only do fixed jobs and hence have zero hours worked? And as for invites, I used to get so many invites on Elance that for some months I would never even use my connects. I have never gotten a single invite on Upwork! And yet I am always "top rated". How does being top rated help? Granted I dont have great stats but they are descent.

 

So many people have complained and ranted it has become boring. So I am just thinking out loud here. Does anyone else think the Upwork system is not FAIR to all? Or its me who is missing something? If so, what?

 

Happy 2016 all Upworkers

vincentjames
Ace Contributor
Vincent E Member Since: Nov 10, 2015
2 of 34

While I agree with you on some of the issues and key points you made in your post, I don't think these things make Upwork "unfair", I think it's just slightly less convenient than the prior system you are used to.

 

In my honest opinion, the Upwork platform is great, with the exception of Job Success score bar being incorrectly calculated.  

 

I think the core problems with Upwork are

 

- Low quality cut-and-paste response support

- Slow support (but it's actually quite fast to talk to a human, just slow to recieve functioning support)

- Too much penalty on freelancers who are the one's generating Upwork's income, and too much freedom for clients.

 

Other then that, especially when compared to other platforms, Upwork is A+ - if it wasn't, I don't believe you'd be here, as there are other platforms that accomplish the same thing (but let's be honest, they are not nearly as good or 'fair' as upwork).

 

xalixo
Active Member
Isaac S Member Since: Sep 15, 2015
3 of 34

Thanx for the reply vincent. My argument about fairness is based on the way in which the system handles the applications made by the freelancers, not the platform as a whole. I would liken it to a secretary in a company that advertises an open postion and invites ALL people to apply for $2 each application. But after putting in the applications, this secretary (upwork) picks out the ones she "thinks" the boss will like and hands them to the boss and then the rest she shows him only if he asks if there were any others. Is that fair in your view?

 

And you also said one of the problems you see with the system is that there are "Too much penalty on freelancers who are the one's generating Upwork's income, and too much freedom for clients". That just re-inforces my point about fairness, dont you think?

turbocro
Community Leader
Igor S Member Since: Apr 8, 2015
4 of 34

You must be aware that competition here is much higher then on Elance, so for each job now there is double amount of applicant since there are former oDesk and new Elance freelancer working on same site.

 

And you see that old approach to application from Elance is not working - so try to change few things.

 

To refer to your secretary story, if you ask your secretary to give you few candidates for job and you get list of 300 of them would you just give up looking after 10 of them ? Same thing is with application for job, clients don't have entire day to go through 300 freelancer applying for his job so Uwork try to help them.

xalixo
Active Member
Isaac S Member Since: Sep 15, 2015
5 of 34

Thanx Igor for the reply. It is true the increase in competition was supposed to be there. Especially coupled with many clients moving away.

 

I guess my issue is really about the way Upwork presents our proposals to the clients. I think Upwork unjustifiably "interferes" with this process. You refered to my secretary story and said "clients don't have entire day to go through 300 freelancer applying for his job so Uwork try to help them". The mistake with that sentence is the "assumption" that clients dont have the entire day. That is not for Upwork to decide! And by trying to "help them" in fact Upwork can hide very good freelancers from the clients and also deny opportunity to other freelancers.

 

I think Upwork should not INTERFERE with the selection process.

vincentjames
Ace Contributor
Vincent E Member Since: Nov 10, 2015
6 of 34

Good point! It indeed would fall under the area of 'fairness' , I stand correct 

Spoiler
 
jessicasimko
Community Guru
Jessica S Member Since: Dec 4, 2015
7 of 34

@Vincent E wrote:

While I agree with you on some of the issues and key points you made in your post, I don't think these things make Upwork "unfair", I think it's just slightly less convenient than the prior system you are used to.

 

In my honest opinion, the Upwork platform is great, with the exception of Job Success score bar being incorrectly calculated.  

 

 

 


 I agree..there are things I wish were better - many he mentioned and I wish they didn't hold our money for 6 days too. But I can live with minor inconveniences.  But there are 3 key issues I think.  

 

1) The JSS scores need to go - period. Factoring in open/idle contracts, no feedback and private feedback is incredibly unfair. Especially feedback solely because they keep it a secret but at the same time expect you to improve. On what? It's mindblowing they penalize freelancers for clients walking away from contracts when jobs are done or even in the middle as if it's always the freelancers fault. Also, many jobs are not long term jobs so many freelancers don't have that to balance the occasional bad client. 

 

2) the hours worked is another one. I think it's incredibly unfair that on the snapshot clients view when they get proposals, freelancers who primarily do fixed rate work show no work hours or very few and they don't show how many jobs the freelancers did on a fixed rate. No doubt people are getting passed over for that when clients have so many proposals to view, I would skip those too. But they could be skipping freelancers who did 100s of jobs because Upwork gives the perception they have done none or very few. 

 

3) the messaging system. I think enough has been said on that one but it's not conducive to working effectively with clients.

 

 

 

 

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
8 of 34

I get on the recommended list. I think it's totally fair. I'm qualified for it.

suznee
Community Guru
Suzanne N Member Since: Aug 15, 2012
9 of 34

The hidden list is very easy to view. I have not ever had anyone in the hidden list who was someone I would hire, but I have the ability to view that list.

 

Also if you read through the posts they have stated they are getting rid of the hidden list. They are working on the new client layout which no longer has a hidden list.

 

You aren't going to end up in hidden folder if you are applying to jobs that are a good fit.

xalixo
Active Member
Isaac S Member Since: Sep 15, 2015
10 of 34

Suzzane, thank you for the reply. The fact that the hidden folder can be "easily seen" is of no consequence at all. The question is why "hide" my application in the first place yet I have used the same amount of tokens as those on the recommened list? This is BIASED and affects the hiring decision of the client. I dont know much about it since I dont have a client account and if they said they are removing it, then thats good.

 

I hope in addition to removing that list, they try other things to make the system fairer like showing ALL applications on ONE LIST sorted by time of application since all applicants are spending the same tokens. Recommendations can be put at the top of the list like sponsored proposals were on Elance. Let the client DECIDE from an open field. Thats my view.

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