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Allow site members/users to rate each job posting
Thread poster: Robert Forstag
Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:02
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oct 15, 2009

I have found the increasing number of offers posted on proz.com with appallingly low rates very disturbing indeed. For present purposes, I would define an “appallingly low rate” as less than half of the average rate for a given language pair. The trend is all the more worrisome because there are hardly any postings any more for jobs offering mediocre—or even slightly substandard—rates.

This is the case with respect to Spanish-to-English, the only pair I work in. Others tell me they have the same concerns regarding various other language pairs.
Surely it is not the intention of this site to promote “bottom-of-the barrel” rates for the freelancers who support proz.com with their membership fees, as well as with the time and energy they put in to the site through participation in Kudoz, forums and other site components.

I understand full well the principles of the free market and the global economy, and I am not in favor of setting any kind of floor regarding offers. Yet I do feel that, in the interest of balance and fair play, the site should provide the opportunity for: 1.) freelancers to provide feedback in an organized and public way regarding job postings; 2.) companies making the outrageous offers—as well as those that make offers within or above market range—to be publicly identified on the site. After all, the rates offered by an outsourcer—again, within a given language pair—are nearly as important for the purposes of rating their desirability as whether or not they pay on time (and a good deal more important, I might add, than whether a project manager is “nice” or “pleasant”, which ought to be expected as a matter of course and not lauded as something extraordinary, as it so often is in the Blue Board ratings).

To this end, a simple pair of radial buttons can be attached to each posting allowing translators eligible to respond to a given offer to indicate whether they did or did not like it. This would be similar to amazon.com’s allowing browsers of their site to indicate whether they have found reader-submitted reviews helpful, or yahoo.com or facebook.com allowing their site users to indicate whether they like or dislike a posted ad.

These ratings could also become part of the Blue Board ratings of the companies in question, and can be reported either individually with respect to each offer, cumulatively, or both.

I would be interested to hear what others—site members and users, as well as site staff—think about this idea.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:02
French to German
+ ...
Agreed at... "any rate". EOM Oct 15, 2009



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Alessandra Martelli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:02
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
Great suggestion :) Oct 15, 2009

Count me in

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Ivan Patti  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:02
English to Italian
+ ...
Yes, please! Oct 15, 2009

Great idea, I do agree!

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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Love the idea Oct 15, 2009

Maybe with a bit more scope than a simple yes/no, 1-5, say, and including not just rates, but also expectations and requirements.

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Juliette Scott  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:02
French to English
+ ...
Behind you all the way Oct 15, 2009

Absolutely. If we are all working towards professionalism (ie Certified Pros initiative as the most recent from Proz but so many more within and outside Proz), our skills and commitment should not be insulted by the rates that are commonly posted. I am referring to my pairs IT > ENG and FR > ENG.

I'd also like to thank Alessandra for informing me of your suggestion.


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Christopher Fitzsimons
Switzerland
Local time: 09:02
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Absolutely! Oct 15, 2009

I completely agree with your suggestion Robert; your argument makes perfect sense to me and I fully support this initiative. I also work in the Spanish>English language pair and find that the ridiculous rates you mention also affect my other language pairs (PT/GL/FR>EN) although to a lesser extent than with ES. I also agree with David's suggestion of a 1-5 system. All in all I believe that this would be a very positive addition to the site and I do hope that the site staff take note of this.

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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:02
French to English
Not only, but also Oct 15, 2009

David Russi wrote:

Maybe with a bit more scope than a simple yes/no, 1-5, say, and including not just rates, but also expectations and requirements.


Indeed, to encourage maximum info being supplied from the outset.

I wonder whether such a scheme should/could also be used to encourage job posters not to indicate rates at all, and to wait and see what rates translators suggest.

Anyway, it sounds like a great idea and I can't see how the site could conceivably make any money out of it, so for both those reasons, I don't think it will happen


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Sarah Jane Webb  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:02
Italian to English
+ ...
Brilliant! Oct 15, 2009

I couldn't agree more. Thank you Robert.

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Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:02
Member
Italian to English
Excellent idea! Oct 15, 2009

After seeing a truly disturbing job offer the other week here on ProZ, I think this is a great idea. KudoZ (excuse the pun) to you for coming up with an idea that may finally be workable.

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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:02
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A variant that might work even better... Oct 15, 2009

Thanks so much to all of my colleagues who have weighed in thus far.

A variant of this idea that might accomplish the same purpose, but be less problematic for all concerned, would simply be to present a graph indicating the range and average of rates within a given pair, along with a red dot indicating where the poster’s offer falls within a given range.

The idea would be that this graph would be prominently displayed within the job posting.

[Edited at 2009-10-15 19:13 GMT]


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Silvia Prendin  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:02
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
Great idea Oct 15, 2009

I couldn't agree more too.

Right today, there was a job posting from a company asking not only for translation, but also for people going around a city (in shops) and stating budget was LOW.

And right today, on another translators website, there was a lady looking for translators for some urgent job... so before anything, I had a look at the BlueBoard and found out that she was banned from ProZ (you can guess the reason why).

I would have liked to leave a note (comments stopped at the beginning of this year), warning other colleagues about that company (it is under a different country now), but I can't do anything, because I didn't work for them.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:02
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Job of the Week Oct 15, 2009

Hi Robert,

I understand your point and share your frustration.

However, I do not think you will ever see very many jobs posted offering to pay average or even higher rates for the simple fact that outsourcers would receive too many responses and it is perhaps faster for them to target and contact translators through the directory. If I wanted to find a German>English translator to translate a contract for .15 a word, it would be easier for me to search the directory and contact a few translators. However, if I were trying to find a German>English translator with Trados to translate a 15,000-word medical patent over the weekend for .04 euros a word or someone to translate a one-page birth certificate for $10.00, it would be easier for me to simply post the job and hope someone responds.

Therefore, most job posts that specify a rate would probably receive a poor rating. Previous suggestions to prohibit outsourcers from specifying a rate in their offers were met with the dissatisfaction of those who prefer not to waste time responding to an offer that does not meet their minimum rate specifications.

Rather than rating each individual job, perhaps it would be nice to HIGHLIGHT or FEATURE "good" jobs (Job/Project of the Week?). This would emphasize decent rates and give good-paying companies some recognition.



[Edited at 2009-10-15 19:14 GMT]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:02
English to German
+ ...
Great suggestion Oct 15, 2009

In this way, high-quality outsourcers might be able to distinguish themselves.

Thing is, such a feedback mechanism would only cover jobs posted publicly.

Taking the proposed concept one step further, jobs assigned through other channels might be incorporated by adding an optional price indication to Blue Board LWA entries (say, standardised on the price per source word, for example).

To respect the confidentiality of the terms of specific jobs and/or bilateral relationships, an average could be displayed to site users once a certain number of such entries (for argument's sake, ten) have been posted. Individual price indications should only be visible to the member/user having posted an entry, and to the outsourcer (IOW, to those people who know the figures anyway).

Best regards,
Ralf


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Dana Rinaldi
Italy
Local time: 09:02
Member
Italian to English
+ ...
Great idea. Oct 15, 2009

Absolutely, I couldn't agree more.

Dana


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