Love the Way You Work

June 28, 2012 by

This week we’re pleased to share a new look and feel on our website, Facebook page, and beyond—something that was directly inspired by oDesk users. When you log in now, you’ll see a new logo, with the ‘o’ pulling double duty as the head and shoulders of a person. This speaks to the essential, human aspect of the way you—clients and contractors—work together. Read Full Article

An Introduction and Invitation from oDesk’s New VP of Product

June 21, 2012 by

The potential to make a significant impact on the world is a unique and exciting opportunity, which is why I am thrilled to join oDesk this week as the company’s new Vice President of Product. In this role, I lead the direction of oDesk’s platform, building and refining the technology to help our clients and contractors work the way they want—whether it’s from their couch, the beach, or the coffee shop. My goal is to make the oDesk experience as successful and enjoyable as possible—and that’s where feedback from our community comes in. Read Full Article

Insights From the World Bank’s Technology & Jobs Panel

May 30, 2012 by

I was excited to participate in a panel at the World Bank last week about “An Open Conversation on Technology and Jobs,” presented by the Jobs Knowledge Platform and led by World Bank Managing Director Mahmoud Mohieldin. Online work is quickly becoming a large piece of the global employment picture, and its impact on economies around the world (especially developing economies, according to the Financial Times) is already an important topic of discussion. As a result, there is a growing need for the world’s policymakers, government officials and industry leaders to have an open dialogue about the policies and best practices surrounding online work. Read Full Article

Innovation, Competition, and an Offer for Solvate users

March 1, 2012 by

We recently heard that Solvate, the company that brought a high-touch, hands-on approach to online work, has discontinued its service this week. While some might welcome this news about a competitor, the atmosphere here at oDesk is one of reflection. It is a loss to us all in the online work space, but especially hard for Solvate clients and contractors, who have been left without a workplace to call their own. We'd like to invite those users to try oDesk, and will help them get a good start with a hands-on, high-touch welcome. Read Full Article

Thanks For A Great Year, oDeskers!

January 4, 2012 by

As we head into 2012, I want to personally thank all of you for making the past year an absolutely amazing one. We are just scratching the surface of Work 3.0, a world where work is on demand, virtual and remote; for both businesses and workers, the opportunities and possibilities here are endless. We look forward to all the exciting opportunities 2012 will bring, and we can’t wait to share them with you. Read Full Article

Work 3.0: The Office Has Left the Building

December 12, 2011 by

Imagine a world where employers have access to the best global talent, with just a click. One where people can work whenever they want, wherever they want, however they want. In this world, businesses can hire talent on demand, without worrying about complicated compensation packages, long hiring cycles or expensive overhead. In this world, people can work with companies from across the globe, instead of just those within commuting distance. This world is not imaginary — it’s Work 3.0, and it’s already here. In his presentation last week at the GigaOm Net:Work 2011 conference, oDesk CEO Gary Swart explained what Work 3.0 looks like, and how it is changing the world of work. Though many companies are already taking advantage of the technologies that power it, Work 3.0 is just getting started. Given the tremendous possibilities of this way of working, Work 3.0 will likely become commonplace much sooner than you may think. Here’s why: Every business runs on talent. “It’s the single biggest lever we all have in our companies, regardless of the size, yet we’re all struggling to find good talent,” Gary explained. Traditional hiring is expensive and time-consuming, especially when you consider how competitive it is to attract and secure the best talent, and that “typically the talent doesn’t live where the jobs are located.” But the times, they are a-changing. In the past two decades, we have gone from Work 1.0 — rigid, structured, on-premise work for one employer — to Work 2.0, where work is performed on site, but improvements in technology infrastructure have brought more flexibility to the workplace. And now, with further improvements in software and cloud-based applications, we are passing through the gates of Work 3.0 — a world where work is on demand, virtual and remote. A number of … Read Full Article

Employers: Quick and Easy Management with Contractor Drop-Down Menus

December 9, 2011 by

Have you wondered how to give your contractor a bonus? Or what time it is in your contractor’s locale?  Well, we have now made it much easier to do the most common management tasks, all in one place.As part of our ongoing efforts to improve usability and enhance the My Contractors hub, we have added a drop-down menu next to each contractor’s name, where you can easily perform key actions related to the contract. The tasks include: send a message, view the Work Diary, change the Weekly Limit, end the contract, and more. To take advantage of the new drop-downs, be sure you are using the new My Contractors page. If you are in the old Team Room, click on the link, “Test drive our new Manage Home Page”    Let us know what you think of the new drop-down menu, what’s working and what other improvements you would like to see.  Visit our community forum post to discuss with other users, or send us direct feedback via our survey. Read Full Article

Introducing the oDesk Skills Dictionary

December 7, 2011 by

As a contractor, you are always trying to make a great impression on potential employers. The right words matter in making that impression, so we're thrilled to announce the oDesk Skills Dictionary — a comprehensive list of standardized skills on oDesk. Standardization helps ensure you find and receive the most relevant jobs for your experience and expertise by ensuring everyone is using the same terms for the skills they are searching on. This diminishes any cultural and language obstacles encountered when selecting skills on oDesk, and removes the need to list multiple versions of the same skill ("PHP, PHP programmer, PHP developer, PHP expert," etc.). As a testament to how important your skills are, they are now showcased at the top of the new contractor profile. Updating your skills will allow you to best take advantage of the new profile design, so make sure you do so. Read more about the new contractor profile here. How it Works When selecting skills for your profile, begin typing your skill, then choose from the available suggestions. Newly registered contractors are already taking advantage of the new system. For existing contractors, we will guide you through the process of updating your skills. The next time you log in to oDesk, you will be directed to a list of suggested skills from the oDesk Skills Dictionary, based on the ones currently listed on your profile. You will then have until January 13, 2012, to verify the suggestions, rank the skills, and approve your own custom list. The changes will go live on your profile after you complete the transition form. Starting January 13, all matched skills will be transitioned and any remaining non-standardized skills will be removed from profiles. The new profile style has phased out skills descriptions and experience … Read Full Article

New on oDesk: Streamlined Contractor Profiles

December 7, 2011 by

Today we are really excited to announce a brand new design for contractor profile pages! The contractor profile is at the heart of oDesk. Employers depend on it to assess the capabilities of any contractor, and contractors depend on it to attract employers and grow their careers. Knowing how important the contractor profile is, we have redesigned it to be more useful and intuitive. The new design presents all key information in one clean, streamlined page; this makes it easier for employers to assess the capabilities of contractors, and for contractors to showcase information they want employers to see. Here are some of the highlights of this new design: One simple page. All key profile information is now on a single page. Skills are at the top. Employers often look to the skills section first to determine if the contractor would be a good fit for the position. We are also standardizing skills across oDesk to make it even easier for employers to identify the right contractor for the job. Contractors: make sure to update your skills so you can get the most out of the new contractor profile design. Read more about transitioning your skills here. Cleaner, modern design.  It’s easier to read, and we’ve removed extraneous information so employers can focus in on what’s most important to them. Check out the new profile design today, and share your thoughts about it with the oDesk community. Read Full Article

New! Use PayPal to Pay on oDesk

November 30, 2011 by

We are proud to announce that PayPal is now a primary payment option on oDesk! In addition to credit and debit cards, you may now choose to use your PayPal account to make payments to contractors on oDesk, without any additional verification. Read Full Article

The New oDesk Site — Online Work at Your Fingertips

November 16, 2011 by

Today we are very excited to announce the launch of oDesk's brand new navigation and site design! We have been transitioning to this new look for several months, and we have received great feedback from our users. The site is designed to be more intuitive, highlighting the most important features by displaying them front and center. The new design also gives us the flexibility to continuously improve the site to meet our users' needs. If you have any questions about the new site, please see our FAQs (for employers and contractors) or the "Where Is" table (for employers and contractors). The site is now organized around core functions. Here's a quick tour:   If you have not tried the new site yet, check out these enhancements: For contractors: Find Jobs. Found under the "Find Work" tab, this is your home page when looking for work. Get the latest status on your job applications, search for job opportunities that fit your skills, and easily update your profile. My Jobs. This is your home page when doing client work. Check all your active contracts, track your time billed this week, and see total earnings available to withdraw. For employers: Job Postings. Found under the "Recruit" tab, this is your home page for finding the perfect person for your project. See all your open jobs and the latest activity, easily post a new job, and search for the right contractor. My Contractors. Found under the "Manage My Team" tab, this is your home page for managing contractors. Track who is currently working or see the last time they worked, view total hours billed this week, and see upcoming payments. If you have feedback about the new site, we want … Read Full Article

New tools to manage your applicant list and find your best candidates

September 13, 2011 by

It’s exciting to receive a lot of applicants to your job.  But, then you need to turn your attention to figuring out who is the best fit for your job.   And, the more applicants you have, the harder this can be.  We’ve learned that most employers at oDesk do a quick, initial assessment of each applicant, shorten their list to their top candidates, and then review their shortlist in more detail.  To make this process easier, we’ve added some new tools. From your applicant list, you can:  See a summary of each applicant.  Quickly flip through each of your applicants without loading a new page.  For applicants that are a good fit, shortlist them.  You can then review in detail only these  shortlisted candidates.  For applicants you are less interested in, hide them.  You can unhide them later if you need more candidates. Here's a view of the new Quickview pane, or see our short video here. If you have big applicant lists, we know list management is critical.  Along with these new tools, you can also still decline applicants that are not right for your job, and flag applicants that aren’t appropriate. We think these new tools will lead to easier list management and faster hires - which is good for employers and contractors.  Let us know what you think, in our community forum. Read Full Article

Employers can now pay with PayPal

August 17, 2011 by

We have great news about your payment options.  Whether you are in the U.S. or one of the many countries supported by PayPal, you can now use PayPal to pay for your work on oDesk! Here's how it works: Use PayPal to pre-fund your oDesk account balance, with any amount you choose. Your balance is drawn down as you accrue charges. Add to your balance at anytime. Currently, PayPal is only available to U.S. or international employers with a verified credit card on file with oDesk.   For U.S. employers, you will need either a PayPal linked bank account or PayPal balance to fund your payment.  And, please note, payments are currently only accepted in USD. Go to your Payment Methods, to Pay with PayPal now. This is just one of the many enhancements we’re making to the way you pay.  Look for more options to pay with PayPal coming soon. We're interested in your feedback!  Take our short survey to share how you want to pay.  Or, discuss this new offering with our community. Read Full Article

New for Employers - see custom contractor matches

July 28, 2011 by

Want a little more help finding the right contractor? Employers, we’ve got a new offering tailored just for you.   After you post a job on oDesk, if we find contractors that match the skills you’re looking for, we will present them to you for consideration. If you see someone you like in your short list, you can then easily invite them to apply to your job. You don’t need to do anything special to see these matches, but your results will improve by writing a detailed job description. When you include specific skills in your job posting, we’ll instantly show you a list of well-qualified contractors with those skills. If you’re not sure you want to invite the resulting contractors to interview for your current job, you can save them to your Saved Contractors for later review, or move on to search for more contractors filtered by category, feedback, price or other criteria that matter to you. This matching is intended to supplement your own detailed contractor search and evaluation, and will give you a jumpstart as additional contractors apply directly to your job. Try posting a job today and see your customized list of contractor matches! If you have feedback, please visit our community forum to share your thoughts. ______ Note, if you are an oDesk contractor, you can improve your chances of being shown in these custom matches! Be sure your profile is up-to-date and includes the specific skills supported by your portfolio and work history. Learn more on our forum post for contractors. This is one more way we are working to match you up with the jobs that suit your skills, and introduce new employers to qualified contractors like you! … Read Full Article

Search Update

July 20, 2011 by

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: 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. Availability: With our search algorithms, we give preference to contractors who are actively and appropriately applying to jobs. 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 … Read Full Article