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No laughing matter

I can't help but laugh at the contractors that withdraw their applications a few days after applying, because the employer "wasn't responsive enough".

Allow me to educate those of you in this category.

1) As an employer I'm going to give my job posting some time to "percolate". I realize that not everybody checks into odesk every 5 minutes or even every day. Clearly your application that came in 3 minutes after I posted didn't excite me enough to want to "jump". Perhaps it was your poor English, perhaps it was your lack of the skills I needed, perhaps you didn't follow directions, perhaps I was unimpressed with your cover letter that was clearly generic in nature or otherwise poorly written, or more than likely your rate was higher than I wanted to pay.

1a) Just because I didn't jump on it doesn't mean I won't see the wisdom in hiring you after I've decided the other candidates just didn't measure up to my hopes and expectations. However rest assured that if I can't afford you, I simply can't afford you. There's no point in interviewing a candidate that is so far off in rate that there's little chance of us ever agreeing.

2) I'm busy. That's probably why I made the job posting in the first place. That means finding the time to interview you and all of the other candidates isn't going to happen immediately. I need to juggle various items on my agenda in order to fit you in. Believe it or not I have other priorities to handle. I'm not running a babysitting service, and it's possible you're not the most important thing in my life at the moment. Yes, I need someone to work for me. No, I'm not here at your beck and call. It's interesting that some of you apply for a job and then fail to respond to interview requests - ever. I can only assume you are in huge demand and are overwhelmed with employment offers.

3) Stuff happens. That means sometimes I get hit by a virus and lose valuable time. Or perhaps I have other technical issues with my computer that put me out of business for a period of time, or I have problems with my ISP or problems with odesk, or perhaps even the occasional power outage. Or maybe I'm just sick, or at the doctor or both. Life is a rich tapestry of distractions, some more important than others.

4) Withdrawing your application because I don't move fast enough for you hurts you more than it hurts me. How do you expect to be hired if you withdraw your application? I get the impression that some of you do this to "send a message". Message received - you're an immature baby in desperate need of attention and you will be a management nightmare if I make the mistake of hiring you. Thank you for helping me avoid that mistake.

5) I have other candidates to interview and I don't have all day to do it. Since many of you come from the same region the hours available that are mutually reasonable may be limited. Face it, I'm going to interview the low bidders first, all other things being equal. I may only be able to interview 1 person a day. That means that if you're 6th on my list it will be 6 days before I get to you, at best. Withdrawing prior to that just makes you an annoyance and as already stated above, a management nightmare.

6) Now that I'm aware many of you will withdraw for these reasons, I think it best that I ignore you long enough for you to weed yourselves out by withdrawing. Then I know I'm left with candidates that really do want a job, not a whiny baby that will pester me to death.

7) When I see that your name is Wahid Mohamed Kwaku Watusi, and you put in your cover letter that your name is "Tom Little", it makes me wonder if I can trust you. I'm hesitant to hire people that are deceitful. If for some reason you're using someone else's account (though I really don't know why anyone would do that), then state so. If, as I suspect, you're trying to present a "Western face" then simply say something like... "My name is Wahid, but I also answer to Tom if you'd prefer to call me that." Now at least I know what's going on and don't have to wonder who you really are. Don't give me reasons to distrust you.

8 ) If it's a job requiring you to call people, add a sample of your voice (and phone manner) as an attachment to your cover letter. No, I didn't ask for it in my job posting but that doesn't mean you can't take the initiative. The person who demonstrates to me their ability to be a great employee is the person more likely to get the job. You can make it easy for me to hire you, or you can make it hard. Guess which of the two I prefer.

9) Slightly off the subject but very relevant - I know many of you whine about low rates. You may think you're great and deserve to be paid what you're worth, but maybe you're not worth as much as you think. Pay attention to detail. Show me how smart you are. If I tell you I want to interview you using skype be prepared with a working microphone. Don't make me ask for your skype id, tell it to me. Specify times you're available in MY timezone, don't make me figure out what timezone your tiny little city that I've never heard of is in. If I fail to make it clear what timezone I'm in, you at least know what country so pick a meaningful major city such as NYC or Los Angeles and specify using that timezone. Show me you know how to use your brain.

9a) Some of you do deserve to be paid a higher rate. Sadly I just don't have the money to do so. I wish I did I'd love to hire you. Maybe you can come up with a way that will benefit both of us. Someone who helps my business grow is someone I want to keep working for me and if in time I can afford to pay more then I want to keep you happy too.

10) Many of you write things such as "I'm willing to be trained". That should go without saying. Instead what it really tells me is that you don't know anything and you NEED to be trained. Apparently you want to be trained at my expense. Imagine the joy that gives me to know that I will be the one to spend my time teaching you the skills you need to have to do the job, knowing full well that you'll take another job that pays 25 cents more as soon as I've trained you. And you'll quit without a word, the only way I'll learn about it is I realize the work isn't getting done and you're not responding to my emails or skype requests.

These are the top issues that come to mind. There may be others. I hope you learn and grow from this post as my purpose is to educate you so that hopefully we all benefit.

Vote Result

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Score: 2.5, Votes: 12
Nicely worded and well

Nicely worded and well thought out. I especially enjoyed how you like to refer to people as "whiny babies", this is a very attractive quality which every contractor would hope their client would refer to them as.

Something I have tried to make a habit of when hiring is to write a very quick note to inform shortlisted contractors that I would like to wait a few days before starting the interview process and will be in touch with them shortly. Typically this is received with polite appreciation, and a 'thank you for the consideration'. I do however like your approach better by ignoring people and then publicly calling us "whiny babies" on the forums.

Thank you for the education with your admirable hiring practices, and all around ethical ways of how to properly treat other humans beings. If I weren't so busy, I'd be begging you for a contract.

/ps Contractors are not allowed to give Skype or other contact information until the interview process has started, but I'm sure yuo knew that and are referring to people who still don't provide you with contact info even after you have begun to speak with them.

You make some good points, but there are reasons why contractors move on. Just as many reasons as you expect these whiny babies to wait for you, but I'm sure you understand that as well. Sometimes there are ways to get your point across without being flatulent about it.

stop whining and get on with your life

you seriously think that people come to the "Coffee Break" section to read somebody complain ?

Why I otta...I otta...Give me a minute. My irritation at this is

Percolating.

Oh my!

Lovely reading this early Monday morning!

Totally hilarious.

I need coffee....waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

I do appreciate an inside look at "clients" with your mentality

But ARE YOU SERIOUS?!

A disclaimer to start with: I don't apply to jobs here very often, and don't really care for posts complaining about the application process, as I have had few difficulties with it when I have used it. I do laugh and comment about job posts here in the forum, but I personally don't go perusing them very often.

I only say this to make it clear that I, like many who may read here in the coffee break section, do not mingle with 'clients' of your caliber often, except when they approach me. When such 'clients' do approach me, if I have the time, I do enjoy preparing the reply. We all need a good vent every once in a while, after all. I know the graciousness, hopefulness, and (in some cases) desperation of the people these 'clients' are hoping to prey off of, and it makes me mad. I tell them that.

I do get a kick out of the forum posts and comments that talk about pulling applications after a certain time. Jiminy Cricket, that's just foolishness. I have been hired straight away without hearing from a client for weeks after applying. I am not sure how some contractors expect the hiring process to go, but it should not be fast, I wouldn't think.

That said, while we are in education mode, allow me to educate you. You won't find many of the people you have directed this too here. They don't have time for forums. They do have jobs. Ones that they have to work at 5 times as many hours as they get paid for in order to, hopefully, keep their 'clients' pleased ('clients' such as yourself). Jobs that pay them almost (but maybe not quite) enough to keep their computers plugged in and connected to the internet.

Or maybe they don't have jobs. Maybe they are desperately applying and, Heaven forbid, pulled their app from your post in order to apply where they thought they might have a better shot. They pull their apps because none of the opportunities that are open to them seem great, but the next one may work out better than your measly offer, and they only have the 25 apps.

Dude, you have no budget. If you bring little to the table, you do not get to complain about what that does or does not buy you or how you get treated in the process. You are trying to make money when you have none, and you are not considering the people you are taking advantage of in doing so. Your nothing-to-offer does not better their situation enough to set you on some plateau above them.
A busy babysitter with one (crappy) computer and a slow ISP, who think that an occasional problem with oDesk or a computer virus is simply part of the "tapestry of distractions" needs to get things figured out for real before coming on here thinking they are offering anything to anyone.

Get a job that earns you some real money so you can afford to come back here when you can add to the economy, not prey off it. The quotes are around the word 'client,' BTW, because the title should be reserved for respectable people who wouldn't think of asking someone to do a job before they have determined what a fare rate would be (not what some sap on warrior said they could get the work done for). It applies to people who have then either made a budget accordingly or determined that it is not within their means. In other words, people who will take the title and position seriously, and who, thusly, deserve a measure of respect. It is difficult to apply the term to someone who does not have the money to pay what a contractor is worth, yet has the balls to make a job offer anyways, and then speaks this disrespectfully.

“I can't help but laugh at” so-called 'clients' who go around laughing at contractors who pull apps hoping to better their chances at jobs for 'clients' who are concerned that their contractors may, when trained, leave them for 'clients' who might pay them .25 cents more an hour.

.25 cents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

OK, percolated.

haha :)

Robin C. wrote:

“I can't help but laugh at” so-called 'clients' who go around laughing at contractors who pull apps hoping to better their chances at jobs for 'clients' who are concerned that their contractors may, when trained, leave them for 'clients' who might pay them .25 cents more an hour.

.25 cents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

OK, percolated.

Man, what a good and

Man, what a good and practical example of "Stubborn Joe - the pain in the eyes client".

If you need 30 days to review, decide and respond to an applicant "just" for short-listing interviewees then I must remind you contractors have a limited quota for bidding on projects (or sending applications) and specially new contractors who are in need to built their profile, can't let Stubborn Joes to keep applications under the eyes for no good - they do have, at times, better projects to bid on by withdrawing idle applications. The other side of coin, one job with 80+ applicants puts a contractor's probability to 1/80 and not hearing from Stubborn Joe for 30 days, we will assume to get hired?

PS: This reply is with 'all due respects' but as a matter of fact, world is moving quite fast nobody will slow down to match it to your pace, after all we are not here to be employees because at the fraction of cost that employers typically pay, no one should expect employee-level service, obedience and patience.

stop being so hard on the poor guy

He was just trying to be helpful by providing an exciting new way to avoid nuisance clients. I'd never thought of withdrawing applications before - I usually just leave them sitting - and probably won't bother now but useful to know. Mind you, I expect my "rude" "low budget" and "demanding" filters would probably have filtered out this one before it got to that stage anyway.

Good writeup but...

Andrew B. wrote:
I can't help but laugh at the contractors that withdraw their applications a few days after applying, because the employer "wasn't responsive enough".

9) Slightly off the subject but very relevant - I know many of you whine about low rates. You may think you're great and deserve to be paid what you're worth, but maybe you're not worth as much as you think. Pay attention to detail. Show me how smart you are. If I tell you I want to interview you using skype be prepared with a working microphone. Don't make me ask for your skype id, tell it to me. Specify times you're available in MY timezone, don't make me figure out what timezone your tiny little city that I've never heard of is in. If I fail to make it clear what timezone I'm in, you at least know what country so pick a meaningful major city such as NYC or Los Angeles and specify using that timezone. Show me you know how to use your brain.

couple of quick things here:

1. How do you expect applicants to know your time zone (I do but not everyone does Wink )

2. oDesk terms of service prohibit us from putting Skype IDs or other contact information in our cover letters

3. As far as pay, I am not even going to address that because there are too many variables. Just don't expect top shelf work for $3 an hour Wink

Some people have too much

Some people have too much time on their hands! LOL

I didn't bother reading all that, just the posts from the usual suspects

Practical Process

My feedback is an attempt to be practical.

I have a process where I review my applications, after 3 days if no activity is on the bid I decline by: Withdraw Application and select Unresponsive client.

This is not personal, just business, I'm given 20 bids, and have to be efficient when bidding and timing my length of bidding time.

I do refine my process, as an example, how many contractors are bidding, quality of overall job (this after qualifying lead, 2nd review), how many interviews, if any, pricing, location...etc. I don't just decline, I review first and try to reason.

I have had clients hire me after I archive the bid.

When I get an interview, I still have to do this, I tend to give more latitude as the writer stated good reasons on clients part. I also send comment that I am archiving and when they decide, please contact me (on a side note, a client once need 14 months to decide).

As I said this is a dynamic process and I try to be flexible, but I run a business just like most of the clients.

I can only speak for myself, but if you freelance you have to have a Teflon/Carbon-Fiber hide, or a great sense of humor, or both, this is also true for me in general for business (marriage also).

Again, it's not personal, it's business!!!

I suspect that the OP's jobs

I suspect that the OP's jobs wouldn't make it past my filters either; however OP, here's a heads-up about how things work from the contracting side:

We have a certain number of applications per week. Once that limit is reached; we can either stop applying or ditch an existing application in favour of a new job that we want more. If we are withdrawing an application, it makes sense to withdraw the least desirable or lucrative of our current applications. The fact that it's happening to you so often would indicate to me that your jobs aren't amongst the most lucrative/desirable.

Exactly, so really this is

Exactly, so really this is about the quality of the client and jobs offered. Maybe we were able to give some clients out there an education in 2 areas.

ONE being, if there is a common problem - perhaps it isn't the fault of 'other people', and more likely the result of your own practices.

TWO - Reacting with flatulence is not going to win you any points either. Your actions and attitude will reap your own rewards. Let me be the first to stand in line to say that charisma, tolerance, understanding and general open-mindedness will be the first thing to add another 0 to your bottom line...regardless if you are a contractor or client. Learn to treat people with genuine respect, and you'll earn 10x more than you are now... almost overnight. That's no exaggeration.

Tony,It all about being

Tony,

It all about being smart. We have no time for virtues such as tolerance and patience if they do not help us get more money. After all, I joined o desk purposely to make money and so if I get better offers from other clients especially those that I have already worked with, I wouldn't think twice about withdrawing my application and search for greener pastures. Its better to be where I am appreciated not just where I am tolerated.Just as another person has said it clearly, why would I keep an application where I have 1/80 chance of being hired. I might wait for an entire month just for my application to be archived whereas I could have worked on ten other projects. Why should I have a loyalty to a client who does not offer me good terms?

Good point. Scheduling.

Good point. Scheduling. There being only a certain number of hours in the day; freelancers can go from dead in the water to fully booked in the course of one email. If that happens then as a courtesy I withdraw application that my new schedule would preclude me completing properly.

Yes

This, and a couple other select instances are when I clear out applications as well.

7 days

Hi martin, good points.

Just wanted to make sure you are clear, you are not waiting a month for your application quota to refresh and give you that application back to reapply somewhere else. One week is how long it takes for the quota to refresh. The application stays with the client after that one week (unless you withdraw it), but the number of applications you have available to submit is replenished.

Just because the client hasn't responded, after one week, it is no sweat off your shoulders. You can apply elsewhere because the quota has been refreshed.

It seemed like you may have not understood that from the quote: "I might wait for an entire month just for my application to be archived whereas I could have worked on ten other projects." No need to wait a month or pull your application just because the client has not responded.

Pulling my app will get me

Pulling my app will get me that count back in 12 hours.

I find an interesting one, I'll pull and go there.

-----------------------------

No, I do not max out my apps.

Just more a comment than anything else.

I agree with you 100%. Even

Martin,

I agree with you 100%. Even though I can leave applications open for extended periods, generally speaking I don't. Being charismatic and a pleasure to be around even when you don't feel like doing so, is also being business smart because the effect it has on your team will boost profitability tenfold (literally unless you're running a sweat shop).

My points were made to the original poster (aka the clients) from a contractors points of view. I feel this client acted out in a way that shows a great deal of disrespect and a lack of tolerance for understanding how contractors perceive and use this environment.

Everything close minded thing he said was bout him. 'me me me me me!', he came here to bad mouth everyone and blame the world for his mistakes. When people trash talk or intend to harm others, I tend to stand up for the one's being bullied. In this case, contractors in general.

My point is also the same point you made. Why leave an application with a client who doesn't respect contractors (or people in general)? Withdraw and move on to better working relationships and more lucrative opportunities.

Some people are more

Some people are more organised than others. Also there may be a behind-the-scenes process, like the job-poster having to go back to a committee for final approval of the funding/selected contractor. This has happened to me; and I got a job that I applied to 3 weeks before, once. Not on oDesk, though.

On oDesk, when the application has been sitting there for 7 days, you get the application added back to your score, so there is really no point in withdrawing it. Probably it will just sit there and expire, but every so often one comes up. And you can always turn it down politely if you have been booked up in the meantime.

As it turned out for me, I'd just finished a project that I'd applied for, got and got out the door in the intervening time, so it all worked out rather well.

As it has been already states

As it has been already states - perhaps there is a reason why so many contractors are withdrawing their their applications from your job posts.

You seem to be quite arrogant with many requirements and a 'boss' manner. You are not one, you are a client. So stop using expressions such as "tiny little city I've never head of", "whiny baby" and so on in the first place.

Considering you are running a business, "stuff happens" that will prevent you from being able to contact the person you have hired or you are about to hire is funny. Indeed, serious stuff happen in life but having a casual virus or some technical problems is not enough of a reason to stop paying attention to your business, and yes - your job posts here are part of your business attitude even if you don't consider them like that. It's 2012 and if you are truly running a business you have all the options the communicate and monitor your business online. Internet is basically everywhere, mobile devices and so much more that makes your online business on 1 click distance 24/7. So if you consider to interview someone after 10 days - you need just 5 minutes to open oDesk, log, open your job post, message the one or more contractors you are interested in.

You are incredibly demanding with bad attitude and yet you are clearly stating that don't have the money to pay people that deserve to be paid.

So, the situation - over demanding, bad attitude, not paying well - I believe you deserve what you get.

No offense at all - I'm just trying to state that you need to work on your approach. This process is mutual and you, as a client, are nothing higher than a contractor. Be clearer, faster, responsible and respectful to others and in what you do and you will attract people that can offer you the same.

"Specify times you're

"Specify times you're available in MY timezone, don't make me figure out what timezone your tiny little city that I've never heard of is in."

This particular coffee break has left a decidedly bad taste. No laughing matter indeed.

Andrew you are so full of

Andrew you are so full of it.

I do not give a shit what you think about me withdrawing my apps.

BTW, I do not use the excuse "Unresponsive Client" because you are not
one at that time.

I just click on 'Other' and type 'because i wanted to'

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Those that think they know everything, annoy those of us that do.

What I love

What I love about the coffee break section - the comments people write.. makes me giggle. I salute the OP for this well-worded post, though excuse me for saying that my attention span runs as short as 100 words. Smile

Delete

Delete

Veni, Vidi, Vici.

As a rule, at the end of each

As a rule, at the end of each workday I withdraw 5 or 6 applications so that I have a fresh quota the following day. There's no emotion to it whatsoever. Every hire I've had on Odesk happened within hours of my applying.