Owner: Stephane Kasriel
Level of Experience Needed: None, but should know what to look for.
Price: Dependent on your task.
Overall Rank: 7.5/10
If you have any internet or PC related jobs or tasks you have to take care of, either once or multiple times (e.g. creating several websites or applications) but find it a daunting task to do, you may have thought of outsourcing that work. If on the other hand you might be a professional in a specific task which can also be done through a PC, you may want to work from home and make a little extra cash that way. UpWork, formerly known as oDesk, is a tool for job seeking freelancers and job providing contractors. This is my personal UpWork/ oDesk review.
If you fall into one or the other above mentioned category, you might have heard of this website. If you are looking to see if there is any point in joining it for one or the other reason, please continue reading my review before you spend any money on doing so.
The difference of this review compared to others you might have come across, is that mine will be 100% honest and I’ve actually opened my account there and hired someone to complete a task for me. Therefore you have the advantage of reading my personal experience with it and can make up your own conclusion in the end.
My review also consists of research done by other peoples experience with that site, so you don’t have to solely rely on my personal and possibly biased feedback.
Who is UpWork for?
If you are a freelancer looking for jobs specific to your skills, I think UpWork is a great place to go to. You can set up your profile easily and post all your skills and write a small CV like summary of yourself. I suggest to post a fairly friendly yet professional looking picture of yourself, to add credibility and show you are a serious worker.
Now that your profile is set up, you can either wait to be hired by someone or you can actually start looking for jobs that have been posted. The great features of UpWork, let you filter not only by categories such as sales, admin support, writing etc., but also by experience level, budget, client history and many more. This is a great advantage because no matter what level you are or what type of job you’re looking for, it gives you a giant advantage to really find your ideal job.
On the other side, if you are looking to outsource a specific job or simply have no idea how to complete a certain task, you might have given the thought of hiring someone else to do it. Again UpWork is a pretty ideal tool for that. Just like on the job posts, you can also search for freelancers that match your criteria. You can find your ideal candidate by starting off with looking in a specific genre or category such as “Design & Creative” for example. In that you will find several sub categories for instance “video production” where you can now enter and scroll through to find your freelancer. If the search is still to broad you can continue to filter by adding keywords, experience, costs etc.
Another option would be to simply post a job and all the details and specific requirements you are looking for in someone. You will find several applicants that will apply for that post. Additionally a great feature of UpWork is that they also suggest some applicants that might be suited for your post. A lot of the tasks included in succeeding at Wealthy Affiliate can be done through outsourcing too!
What Features Does UpWork Have?
- Due to a lot of applicants on the website, you should only consider hiring freelancers with thoroughly developed profiles. These will prevent you from hiring spammy freelancers posting worthless skills that only waste your time and effort as well as money. Although UpWork makes it quite a long process to go through for an applicant, it doesn’t have the measures to prevent these worthless applicants to disappear. Either way these applicants can be avoided in the most part by simply looking for good reviews on their profile. 5 star ranks and positive feedback are always a good call.
- On the top right you will find a notification tab, which I’m still deciding on whether or not it helpful. I’ve been getting a ton of random notifications and it seems to be more confusing than helpful when trying to notify me about applicants for my job posts. On the other hand I haven’t inspected it from a freelancers point of view, so this might be more handy to them. What also bothers me is that the notification symbol never seems to disappear, even after reading the messages.
- One of the more positive features is the message box. You are provided with a sort of Chat/Email window, where you and your potential employer/employee can discuss about the job and get to know each other. Again I would recommend to exchange Skype contact details, as it makes your life easier and interviews can be conducted more thoroughly.
- And finally another feature is the Report tab which records everything from money related transactions and other work completed reports you might want to review in hindsight.
Pros vs. Cons
- Very nicely organized website
- Good message interface
- Safe payment system (either PayPal or Credit card)
- Free to sign up and explore
- Support is very responsive and open 24/7
- Huge amount of Freelancers
- Easy to use
- Confusing notification button
- Email notifications can get annoying
- Many unwanted applicants with little to no experience
- Fake reviews which lead to misleading applicants
Overall I think UpWork is great for those of you looking for work or outsourcing your work. I personally made a bad experience because;
- After posting a job I got about 80% of 4.5-5 star applicants
- Of those supposedly amazing workers, about half of them could speak a decent level of English (when I specifically looked for a high level of English)
- The payment process was a bit confusing to activate my account (although I did appreciate the precaution they took for safety reasons)
- The work that was delivered, was so bad and way out of the agreed time to be completed by, even after describing the task over Skype and typing out a step by step procedure with a map as a guide.
- And the work was more than poor to say the least, we came to an arrangement that he would refund the money if I gave him a 5 star ranking.
Now ethically I felt bad to give him the ranking but on the other hand I felt robbed and therefore I decided to meet both demands in the middle, meaning I got some of the money back with a fair review of his work.
In case you are interested in using UpWork, I highly suggest to go through a long interview period. I can imagine a lot of workers that have created a small company where they all work together and give them good enough ratings to rank for multiple jobs. When the interviews are being conducted, they use very few words in order to cover their English skills.
Make sure you find the right person for your job or you will leave with frustrating results.
On the other hand it is such a massive platform and useful tool to connect both parties. It’s easy to use and almost any virtual job can be done for a good price. I do recommend UpWork.com to anyone, but be aware and know what you’re looking for. What I’m trying to say with my Upwork/ oDesk Review, is that you try to be as thorough as possible and take your time to write an exact manual of what you want to be done for you.
Set strict deadlines and if these aren’t met don’t feel obliged to pay the person. Try to avoid down payments.
If you have used UpWork before, please share your experience below and if you found this article helpful please let me know also 🙂
I’m always happy to receive feedback and thoughts so feel free to comment!