When you log into My oDesk, you will see a new shortcut on the right hand side. "Invite a Provider" lets you send an email invite to a Provider you know (friend, colleague, previous work relationship) and ask him/her to join the oDesk network.
We realized that it caused some confusion for Buyers, since they thought they were inviting existing oDesk Providers to apply to their jobs. We are working on fixing that issue, and will update our users and UI once the changes are done.
Here is the release log from the "What's New" page:
oDesk has automated Provider account creation. You can now send an invite to a friend, coworker or employee to join the oDesk network.
How does it work:
All users now have an Invite a Provider link in their Shortcuts box in My oDesk. This will take them to a field to enter email addresses. oDesk will send an invitation email to the addresses entered with a URL to start the Provider signup process.
What does this mean for Buyers:
Buyers can now invite Providers they have been working with previously, and can add them to their Team Room. This will allow Buyers to take advantage of the oDesk remote management tools for all their work relationships, domestic as well as international.
What does this mean for Freelance Providers:
Freelance Providers can now easily invite their friends to join oDesk. Many times, a Buyer will ask a Freelance Provider to recommend other Providers who will complement the Buyer's team. This new feature will allow Freelance Providers to easily invite their friends to join the oDesk network and add them to the Buyer's Team Room.
What does this mean for Affiliate Managers:
Affiliate Managers now have an automated way of adding their Providers to the oDesk network. The invitation email will have an Affiliate specific confirmation URL. Therefore, any Providers invited by an Affiliate Manager will be added to that Affilate's roster in oDesk.
Read other release logs here.