All Things oDesk
February 21, 2007 by oDesk

Every day, dozens of providers are hired on oDesk. About 50% of those hires are initiated when a buyer reaches out to a provider found by searching, and the other 50% are initiated when a provider applies to a job opening.

"Invite to Interview" is designed to make the provider search experience more effective for buyers, leading to more interviews and hires.

In the Provider Search results, we've replaced "Interview" with "Invite to Interview." This change is designed to solve 2 problems:
1. Make the invite process more like the provider application process, where the buyer gets a cover letter
2. Measure provider responsiveness, to reduce the problem of buyers that invite providers but don't hear back

Before:
* Every provider profile in search results has an "Interview" button
* When a buyer initiates an interview, contact information is exchanged immediately
* Providers did not have the opportunity to indicate whether they are interested
* Providers were not asked to enter a cover letter

After:
* Every provider profile in search results has an "Invite to Interview" button
* When a buyer initiates an invite, the provider is asked to accept or decline the interview
* If the provider accepts, he is asked to submit a cover letter
* Once the provider accepts, contact information is exchanged

Providers - keep in mind that we plan to publish "responsiveness" stats on your profile and potentially in the search results, which means that you should either accept or decline interview requests as soon as you receive them. If you'd rather not receive interview requests, you can simply change your profile to private. Note that there is no downside to declining interviews; we simply want providers with searchable profiles to be responsive to buyer invites.

Buyers - we've also eliminated the interview quota. Previously you could only have 10 simultaneous interviews. With the Invite to Interview feature, there is no limit to the number of invites you can send.