Clarifying the application process - automatic hiding
07-02-2014 01:51 PM - edited 11-12-2014 12:20 PM
Hi all, We’re here to update our earlier forum post and to specifically address your comments around freelancer applications being automatically moved to a client’s Hidden tab. When a client posts a job, they often receive more applications than they can sift through, and the best candidates have a hard time standing out. To solve this issue, we’ve been testing a process to help clients shorten their list by automatically surfacing the strongest candidates and putting applicants less likely to be a great fit into the Hidden tab. Our testing has shown this process of automatically moving some applicants to the Hidden tab (“auto-hide”) has led to more hiring. Clients have told us that auto-hide has helped them more quickly find and hire the best candidates for their jobs.
We are continuing to test and refine the auto-hide process. We’re also working on ways for freelancers to identify jobs that are a good fit, so you can focus your energy on the best opportunities. We’ve received a ton of great input from all of you and will continue listening. Here are answers to the frequently asked questions we’ve received about this process. Please reply here if there are any additional questions or clarifications we can help answer for you:
Frequently asked questions about the “auto-hiding” process:
Why does oDesk automatically hide ("auto-hide") some applicants?
Clients often get more applications than they have time to review. Sorting through these applications manually can be overwhelming and discourages many clients from hiring. By “auto-hiding” some proposals, oDesk is helping clients get to a smaller list of candidates who are the best fit for their job so they can easily and quickly hire the right freelancer.
How does oDesk decide which freelancers appear on the main candidate list and which get hidden?
oDesk evaluates applicants according to how well they fulfill three criteria:
1. Client preferences
- How well does the applicant match the client's hiring preferences? For example, do they meet the desired location/timezone, budget, and/or level of expertise?
2. Job requirements
- How well does the applicant fulfill the job requirements? For example, are their skills, experience, test scores, and application a great fit?
3. Freelancer quality
- How does the applicant’s reputation compare against others? For example, do they have better feedback, a stronger work history, or more instances of positive outcomes for clients?
Combining all of this information, oDesk rank-orders applicants according to their overall fit. Those that are the strongest match appear on the main candidate list, while the remaining proposals get automatically moved to the “Hidden” tab on a client’s candidate page. In this process, even high-quality, high-skilled freelancers could rank lower than other applicants who are an even stronger fit. Therefore, being hidden doesn’t mean you’re a bad freelancer. It means that, compared to other candidates, your application is not as strong of an overall fit.
If my application is in the Hidden tab, does that mean the client will never see it? Can a freelancer “unhide” an application so the client will see it?
A freelancer cannot unhide their application, but clients can review applications in their Hidden tab at any time.
I have a great profile and reputation on oDesk, why does oDesk hide my application?
As discussed above, your profile and reputation are considered alongside the client's preferences, job requirements, and how you rank against other applicants.
Can I make sure my application gets viewed and isn't auto-hidden?
Technically, no. However, you CAN continue to improve your visibility by targeting jobs that are a great fit for you and continuing to strengthen your reputation on oDesk through quality work, robust skill sets and high-quality applications.
Is oDesk only hiding those of us with a lot of experience to give new freelancers a better opportunity?
No. Our goal in auto-hiding applicants is to help clients more quickly identify the best possible match for their job. Our evaluation of candidates and subsequent sorting of them is not based on a freelancer’s tenure on oDesk.
Clients can hide applicants on their own, why is oDesk doing this for them?
Clients often get hundreds of applicants for a given job, more than they have time to review. By automatically hiding some applicants, we are helping clients identify top candidates more quickly to encourage hiring.
There was an issue in which oDesk was hiding applicants by mistake. How do I know this isn’t still a problem?
When we first started auto-hiding applicants, we briefly saw a bug that resulted in some highly qualified candidates getting hidden. We fixed this issue right away and have been, and will continue to, closely monitor this process to ensure it is working as designed.
Can oDesk tell us if we’re going to be hidden so we don’t waste our efforts in submitting a proposal?
Because the candidates can vary on each job, oDesk can’t inform you in advance if your application will be hidden. However, we are working on ways to help you find and maximize the best job opportunities. This includes a “Good Fit” feature we’re testing on the job details page. With this feature, we’ll show you a clear, visual signal that alerts you when the job is a good fit for your skills and experience. This feature is still being tested, but we hope to roll it out soon for all freelancers.
This process is unpopular; is oDesk going to reverse this or stop this functionality? Is this really working?
So far, we have found that auto-hiding applicants has improved the hiring process for clients and led to more jobs getting filled. We do not plan to eliminate the auto-hiding of applications, but instead to continue making it better.
I haven’t received as many job invitations since this started. Does auto-hide affect my ability to be invited to jobs?
Auto-hide does not influence your job invitations or the ability for clients to find you in search.
If I’m being hidden does this mean I won’t ever have a chance to win future job opportunities?
Not at all. oDesk reviews candidates for each job. So, it could be that you are a great fit for some jobs (and appear on the main candidate page as a result) while for other jobs, other freelancers may be a better fit and your proposal is hidden.
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