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The "Teams" Initiative (May 2008)

Please note this an old thread - not a new announcement.


Big Changes at oDesk: “Teams” v1 is Released!

When you click on "My oDesk" you will notice some major changes. Some are cosmetic, but along with the UI nav changes comes some significant new functionality that represents the first phase of an initiative we call "Teams".

The goal of "Teams" is to help oDesk users build and manage teams of providers, colleagues and collaborators on oDesk. We have seen some of our most successful providers create and grow their own Companies on oDesk. We have seen buyers leverage oDesk to a whole new way of working with remote resources. And we have seen some users, often IT services companies themselves, work both as a Buyer and a Provider on oDesk. These "oDesk entrepreneurs" are the lifeblood of the oDesk ecosystem - we want to empower a new kind of remote team, one where place doesn’t matter – you’re either in the office or you’re remote, and oDesk levels the playing field. The changes you see here are the first steps in this direction.

First, some minor stuff:

Some names and roles have changed

  • “Affiliates” are now called Provider Companies. After much input from both buyers and affiliate managers, we have decided to phase out the word “Affiliate”. You run a company, not an “affiliate”. A company is now a company, regardless of the role it plays in an assignment – for clarification, we will refer to “affiliates” as Provider Companies and buyers as Buyer Companies when context requires.
  • "Affiliate Contractors” are now called Affiliated Contractors. It’s a relatively small change (even the acronym AC still works!), but it is more accurate. oDesk providers may affiliate themselves with a Provider Company. Right now, all such relationships are exclusive (you can only be an AC in one company) but we will be enabling non-exclusive AC relationships as well.
  • Buyers are now often referred to as Hiring Managers. Each Buyer Company can have multiple people who serve different functions. As the creator of the team, you are the "owner" of the team, and also automatically a Team Admin. As a Buyer, you are also a “Hiring Manager” for the Company. You can invite others as Hiring Managers or Recruiters (see below), or to manage the finances of the company.
  • A Company is NOT a Team. You will notice that we no longer use the words “Company” and “Team” interchangeably. On oDesk, a Company is profile. A Company always contains at least one Team, but may have more. You create a Company as a Buyer, and then you may want to create more Teams where different providers work on different projects. Or your may create Provider Company to have Affiliated Contractors work on your behalf. Create a New Team is now self-service; please see this help article.

The tab structure has changed

There are some significant but we hope straightforward changes to the nav: 

  1. “Buyer Console” is now "Hire". Hiring Managers and Recruiters (see below) see the “Hire” tab, which includes links to Post a Job, manage current openings and candidates. The Work Activity tab is now here as well. If you are a Hiring Manager or Recruiter in more than one Team, you will see a Team Selector:

    The Team Selector concept is used throughout the application, whenever you have more than one team (the team selector is already in place for providers with assignments for multiple buyers).

  2. “Provider Console” is now “Get Hired”. Any user who has activated their provider profile will see the “Get Hired” tab. In addition, if you are a Staffing Manager (formerly “Affiliate Manager”) in a Provider Company you will see a dropdown Team Selector. For yourself, you will see your candidacies, assignments, and timelogs. For your Provider Company, you will see your Company timelog, although soon you will also be able to see all of the candidacies and assignments for your ACs.
  3. “Team and Tools” is now called “Work with your team”. This tab is for collaborating with your team on your project. Note: Provider Company managers now see a Team Room for their own Company – you can add your ACs to the Team Room if you want to, although the new Team Admin tab is a better place to manage your roster.
  4. “Profile & Settings” and “My Stuff” now contain various account resources. For instance, “My Referrals” and “My Favorite Providers” are under “My Stuff”, while “User Info” and “My Provider Profile” are under “Profile & Settings”.

Next, some big stuff. At least we think it’s big!

For current buyers and affiliate managers: you can now manage your Company roster with the “Team Admin” tab.

The new “Team Admin” tab gives you visibility into everyone in your team, and lets you manage what permissions each team member has. This means that Provider Companies can now have multiple Staffing Managers (formerly “Affiliate Managers”). We have heard from many of you that you want to enable more than one company manager to look for jobs and submit candidacies for your ACs. Now you can!

You can now separate your Finance person from your Staffing Managers or Hiring Managers.

We have also gotten this request from many of our larger affiliates. The “Finance” permission provides access to the Billing & Payment tab, which is separate from the Staffing Manager, who can submit candidacies for your ACs.

For Buyers, this means primarily that you can manage who has hiring and financial privileges in your team:

  • You can empower more than one Hiring Manager, with full hiring and firing privileges. Hiring Managers can post jobs, manage candidates, hire, fire, raise rates and give bonuses.
  • We have introduced a new role called a Recruiter. A Recruiter can post jobs and manage candidates, but cannot actually pull the trigger on any financial transaction. Why would you want this? You can ask your oDesk Providers to find candidates for you without giving up control over what you spend. The "Recruiter" privilege can be found under "Buyer Privileges" in Team Admin.
  • In addition, you can give your (local or remote) company managers Admin and Finance privileges, enabling them to manage your roster and/or your payment methods and account balance.

Learn more about the new permissions available on the Team Admin tab.

Affiliate Managers (now Provider Company managers) can now be buyers as well.

As an Affiliate Manager, you already have a Company. Now you can act as a Buyer as well. Just go the Hire tab and become a Hiring Manager for your Company. Once you do, you will be able to post jobs and hire oDesk providers. Note: you must have a valid credit card on file to hire on oDesk. If your oDesk Account has enough funds (from your Provider Company earnings) to cover your balance, then we will never charge the card. But if your balance dips below zero we will charge your card to cover the balance due. 

Buyers, e.g. IT Services firms, can now sell their services as well.

Many of oDesk’s largest teams are IT services companies who subcontract local work to oDesk providers. Now, these companies can become oDesk Provider Companies as well, and subcontract oDesk providers to other oDesk buyers (and take a markup).

Phase One is admittedly a bit limited: you can invite oDesk ICs to become Affiliated Contractors (ACs) with your company. The relationship is exclusive (meaning he/she cannot be Affiliated with any other team, and all money they earn goes to you (and you have to pay them outside the system). But we are working to greatly extend this, so that you can invite any oDesk provider to work for you on a project-by-project basis, and split the earnings between you and your provider within the system (so you don’t have to worry about payment).

To become a Provider Company, go to My Provider Profile (under Profile & Settings) and become a Staffing Manager in your company. You can then invite oDesk providers (or invite colleagues to join oDesk) as your Affiliated Contractor.

What about Freelance Providers?

Unfortunately, most of these features do not yet apply to ICs. However, soon we will be enabling you to create your own company, completely self-service, to either Hire or become a Provider Company on oDesk. In addition, you can
take advantage of the new "Recruiter" permission to see if your Buyer might want you to help hire additional providers to join the team. We haven't forgotten about your, freelancers, we're just not all the way there yet!

We want to make this even better - please send us your feedback!

Ultimately, all of these changes are designed for you - to help you build your team, and to help you make more money. Please send us as much feedback as you can - we want to hear from you!

With thanks,
Michael Levinson
Director of Product

Vote Result

Score: 10.0, Votes: 6

Michael L. wrote:
...give us all the feedback you can.
Cool endeavour, I must say.

unifying multiple accounts

Please note:

If you have a buyer and provider account:

We can unify it for you. Your provider account will become "you" - and your primary User ID - and we will transfer "ownership" of your Buyer Company to you. When you log in, you will see both, integrated into the nav.

If you have multiple buyer accounts:

We will create one "you" account and unify ownership of your Buyer Companies under it.

If you would like to unify some accounts, submit a beta ticket help request with all of your User IDs that you would like unified.



problem with contractors (not showing in team admin page)

Hello ,

I am affliate manager .. i have 9 peoples (it was showing yesterday ) when this features was not developed)

But Today , when i see this feature , i can't see 3 members in my TEAM ADMIN PAGE ... ( i can see 6 members)


because they are showing right now as indepent contractor

when i search my company name in provider search button , i can see them in that company ... But they are now showing TEAM ADMIN page

so i worried with this situation . i already open ticket for this








I am investigating this issue now and will get back to you shortly.


bug - will be resolved shortly


We have discovered a bug that ACs added in the last week or so before the release were not migrated properly.

We have pushed the bug to engineering and it will be resolved very soon. Apologies for the inconvenience.


Splitting Teams

Is there a way to split a team into two teams? I've created a 2nd team, but I don't see a way to move team members to the new team.

not yet

As of now, you can't "move" your team members to different teams. You can use "invite user" to invite by user id, and as soon as the invitee accepts, they're in the new team as well. If you want them to work in the other teams, you have to hire them in the new team, which means posting an opening in the new team.

Needless to say, this is quite clunky -- the good news is that we're about to release some improvements in this area. I will contact you off-line to see if you are interested in participating in a beta program for this.

Michael Levinson, Director of Products

good news? capability to move to teams

Michael L. wrote:

As of now, you can't "move" your team members to different teams. You can use "invite user" to invite by user id, and as soon as the invitee accepts, they're in the new team as well. If you want them to work in the other teams, you have to hire them in the new team, which means posting an opening in the new team.

Needless to say, this is quite clunky -- the good news is that we're about to release some improvements in this area. I will contact you off-line to see if you are interested in participating in a beta program for this.

Michael Levinson, Director of Products

 So has an ability to move people into a new team become available yet -- a lot of things about oDesk aren't knowing until after you've hired a number of people -- and then you want to manage them more effectively than you first new how.


when someone invite my provider for interview and I as manager click decline I got alert that I'm not authorized to view this page. 


Also, I see myself two times, one as admin/owner and one as provider, but when I click link to view profile  I got message "The Provider profile cannot be found."



Thank you for reporting this issue. It could be related to the bug I mentioned above. Can you please submit a support request and give me the User ID of the AC so I can test?



ok. will do right now. I

ok. will do right now. I will include useful info and screenshoot in attachment.




Nothing to report Now all

Nothing to report Smile

Now all OK with decline feature.


Brilliant work, oDesk!

Team Activity


First of all I appreciate all oDesk team's efforts bringing us this great functionality.

Some issues I found:

1. I could not find a tab that shows whole affiliate activity for a week. As far as I remember it was called Team Activity or something like this. I hope it exists and I just did not find it, because it was extremelly helpful.

 2. On Account activity tab there are links (under description field) that lead me to the "Hire on oDesk" page. Looks like a bug Smile

Although the second issue is not critical for me, the first one is .

Anyway, thank you for good job!


PS. I would be also happy to have ability to end provider's jobs, leave feedback to buyers...



#1 - Under "Get Hired" you now see a dropdown menu. You can select your personal Get Hired tab (as an individual provider) or the Get Hired tab for any Team in which you are a Staffing Manager (i.e. your company).

#2 - thanks for reporting

P.S.  We agree. You'll have it fairly soon.



Hello there, 


I just create an affiliate company, but I am wondering the fallowing:


If someone hire me to do a job, but I hire another provider... Will odesk charge me twice for this? Where should I go to see some documentation about this?  

fee structure


Very good question. oDesk takes a 10% fee from each transaction. If you work for a buyer, oDesk takes a 10% fee on your earnings (although note that the hourly rate you see is the rate you get, and the buyer pays on top). If you then turn around and hire another provider by the hour, yes, there is a 10% fee on that transaction as well.

However, if you create a Provider Company and subcontractor another oDesk provider as an AC, the fee is only on the total amount. That is, if your AC bills out at $20 per hour, oDesk takes $2. $18 goes to your Company account, and then you pay your AC his/her share.

We are working on making this system more flexible and powerful, and to make the transfer of funds from Company to AC more convenient. 

Does this answer your question?


my dream feature as a freelance provider

I don't know if I want to be an A.C. or not right now, but what I would really love would be a way to have my time being recorded all the time, or however much I want it to be, for everything I am doing, and then be able to designate which company it belongs to or leave it for my own use if it's non-paid time.  I am teaching myself new skills all the time, and I end up creating some things for which I would like to have a work diary, snapshots, etc., and sometimes I am doing that interspersed with my work on a project.  If you could fix it so I could click the box to select a memo and thumbnail and then assign it to a buyer or to myself as a provider, that would just be wonderful.  Hope that makes sense.