All Things oDesk
July 20, 2011 by oDesk

Search is a frequently used and very powerful tool on oDesk. Be it contractor search or job search, oDesk’s primary concern is in creating the best match. When we deliver relevant jobs to strong, qualified contractors, we succeed in delivering good matches. And when matching works, we all win.

Today we focus on contractor search and share with you our thinking on the elements of a successful contractor search.

Are you an employer interested in finding the best contractor for your open job? Are you a skilled contractor making sure that you rank well in contractor searches? Read on...

What is oDesk contractor search made up of?

Our search currently focuses on 3 primary factors:

  1. Keyword match: To determine the match, we examine a contractor’s entire profile, including the objective, skills listed, tests, and past jobs to determine if the contractor would be a good match for this particular search.
  2. Availability: With our search algorithms, we give preference to contractors who are actively and appropriately applying to jobs.
  3. Effectiveness: Effectiveness measures the contractor’s ability to select and be hired for appropriate jobs. New to oDesk? Consider creating the best profile that you can and applying to jobs that match your skills and capabilities. New contractor profiles are ranked based on skills and availability.

We’ve been testing this new search for a couple months and have seen very strong results. Employers are seeing more relevant contractors for their specific jobs, resulting in more invitations and more hires.

Try contractor search today and let us know about your experience. We are listening.

What are some of the things that you can do to get the best search results?

Search tips for Employers:

  • When searching for contractors, start by selecting the appropriate job category and sub category. Include relevant search terms and use the filters on the search page to further refine your search results.
  • When posting your job, provide a detailed description of the job, your requirements and expectations, and fill in the specific skills you’re looking for in the “Skills” field.
  • When reviewing contractors, look at the whole picture. Rates are important and can signal the level of experience and quality the contractor offers. But, more important is reviewing the contractor's skills, past work history, tests taken, and portfolio items to identify whether they are right for your job.  Contractors new to oDesk won’t have a history and feedback on oDesk. But, they may still be a great match for you. Feel free to ask them for references.

Search tips for Contractors:

  • Choose your job categories carefully.
  • Focus on a small list of skills. What are you best at? What are you an expert at?
  • If you are available, be sure to apply to relevant jobs (see KEYWORD MATCH above).
  • Keep your profile up to date. As you conclude jobs, add the experience to your profile information.
  • If you are unsure of your availability, consider not applying to jobs.
  • Be responsive to the invitations that you receive from employers. If you are not interested in the job, politely let the employers know that you don’t see a fit with the job.
  • When hired, do high quality work that meets your employers’ needs. By doing so, you are more likely to get strong feedback scores and comments, be retained for additional work, and earn more dollars. All of these will increase your ranking in search.
  • New to oDesk? Focus on completing your profile and taking tests that differentiate you. Choose your job categories carefully and focus on a narrow set of skills where you are an expert. Apply to appropriate jobs and show your commitment to the job application by creating specific cover letters addressing the needs of the employer. Detailed profiles, specified skills and appropriate job applications increase your standing in search.

Let us know about your experience with contractor search. We are eager to hear your comments. For more details, or to discuss search with the community, please visit our community forum.