Search Update (July 2011)
nazila a. 12 posts - United States
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.
As search technology improves, we modify search on oDesk. This is an on-going, continuous effort. Improving search is an important part of keeping the oDesk platform and Marketplace healthy and relevant.
In an effort to communicate these changes, we will be giving you regular updates on our search efforts. We encourage you to engage in this discussion here in the forum, or give us direct feedback here.
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: What does the employer want? What skills are important for this job? Our search looks for contractors that have the profile and skills most relevant for the job. 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: Is the contractor available to do the job? You may be the perfect contractor for the job, but if you are not available, the job will not be done and the employer will be left with a bad impression of the oDesk marketplace. With our search algorithms, we give preference to contractors who are actively and appropriately applying to jobs.
- Effectiveness: How successful are you as a contractor in applying to jobs, getting hired and delivering on the jobs you have taken on? 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?
What can an Employer do to find the best match?
- 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.
What can a Contractor do to find the best match?
- 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 and we will be regularly updating you on search news, as well as tips for better search results in the coming months.
Score: 4.8, Votes: 17