Request budget information from the poster (member-only feature) ???
Thread poster: Katalin Horváth McClure

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:09
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Dec 27, 2010

I just saw this line in a job posting today:
Request budget information from the poster (member-only feature)
This is a click-on link that I guess would generate some sort of notice to the job poster.
I have never seen this before.
When was this introduced?
And more importantly, how is this in line with the whole notion of freelancers setting their rates?
What about the whole discussion this spring about this?
There were certain changes made to the job system as a result of that, see summary here:
http://www.proz.com/about/ipetition/changes

The idea is that rates are set by freelancers, and not by the job poster.
If they wanted to include a "budget", they could have done so in the job posting form (there is a separate field for that).
If they did not do it, that is a good thing.
Why on Earth would we want to REQUEST a budget info???
It is all twisted, seems to me as a huge step backwards.

Could someone please explain what is going on?
Katalin

[Edited at 2010-12-27 16:39 GMT]


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 06:09
SITE STAFF
That particular feature was announced on April 29th Dec 27, 2010

Hi Katalin,

That particular feature was announced on April 29th; see http://www.proz.com/topic/163879 .

The option is based on member preference. The requested information, when submitted, is available to anyone who meets the requirements and has indicated they would like to see budget information. Requesting budget information does not indicate that a service provider is waiving the duty of setting their rates for the job.

Jared


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Simone Linke  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:09
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Response ratio? Dec 27, 2010

Do you have any knowledge about how "successful" this feature is? I.e. do job posters actually reply to budget requests? I remember that I used this feature a handful of times early on but never got a response from the job poster...

Do they even bother? (My assumption is that most translators offer their rates and then the job poster chooses one without bothering to reply to the requests..)

I would find this feature helpful in the sense that it sometimes saves me the time of preparing a complete quote. Some job offers sound professional and fair but then turn out to be aimed at the 1-cent translators..so instead of wasting my time writing a quote, I can quickly see if someone is only looking for a bargain...

But if the job posters don't even respond to requests, it's rather useless for me. :-/

Maybe others have more positive experiences with this?


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:09
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I think it is not in line with the message we wanted to get out Dec 27, 2010

Hi Jared,
Yes, I see it now - that thread was focusing on the minimum wage issue, so I did not notice the part of the announcement about this feature.
I still think it is a bad idea.

Outsourcers with a fixed budget in mind have the opportunity to include that information when they post the job. We, of course would prefer if they did not have a fixed budget, but sometimes they do, and some of us (like Simone) prefer knowing about it rather than wasting our time preparing a quote that would be rejected anyway.
However, if the outsourcer did not specify a budget, that means they are not budget-conscious on purpose (dream client) or they don't know what translation costs (possible candidate to be a dream client). This is a perfect opportunity for us to provide quotes with our normal rates, educate the client who may be new to the market, both in terms of rates and also in terms of the relationship between the freelancer and the outsourcer.
As we know, it is not an employer-employee relationship, neither a master-slave one, and we don't want to mention peanuts and monkeys in a business setting. The freelancer sets the rate for the service he/she provides, and the outsourcer can accept or reject (or perhaps try negotiating).

This "Request budget information from the poster" button goes against this idea.
You said:
Requesting budget information does not indicate that a service provider is waiving the duty of setting their rates for the job.

I disagree, I think it does send the same kind of message: "Why don't you tell me how much you are willing to pay?" - it puts the freelancer into a weak position. Just think about it, imagine yourself to be the outsourcer. What would you tell the freelancer asking such a question? What are the chances of the freelancer getting his/her target rate?

I don't think this button is beneficial for us at all, and I think it is sending the wrong message.

Simone, I agree with you in that I do not want to waste my time responding to job postings where the outsourcer has indicated a fixed budget way below my rates. That is why I have set the budget info to be displayed for me, if there is one.
However, if the outsourcer did not indicate a budget, I would not want to push that button for the reasons I mentioned above.
I would rather submit a quote for the job (again, for reasons outlined above).
Submitting a quote is not such a big deal. Since I specialize, I can copy-paste a large portion of the quote text from my previous quotes (available on ProZ), and customize it as needed. It does not take more than a few minutes. Most of the quotes for jobs posted here are non-binding estimates anyway, because I can rarely see the actual files.

So, for an outsourcer who did not specify budget info, I would prefer submitting a quote, than asking for their "budget info".

Katalin


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:09
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree with Simone Dec 27, 2010

If the outsourcer has a fixed budget (and it appears that nearly all posters on the Jobs Board do) it hardly matters whether they display their budget as part of their posting. Those bids that are below the pre-determined maximum (which, in my experience, is typically well below what most professional translators would consider) will be entertained and the rest will not.

So, indeed: Why waste time?

The one thing that I think proz.com did get right was including the information: The rate offered for this job is below 80% of rates accepted by professionals in this language pair. (Not sure if I have quoted correctly, but if not, then the message displayed is similar ).

I would only recommend that the text of such a message be displayed more prominently--perhaps in red type in size 36 font across the top of the page of the job posting.

At the very least, such a message serves as a reminder to posters that they can look forward to selecting the candidate for their project from among a pool of generally less experienced and able translators in the pair in question.

Perhaps I am optimistic, but I think that sonorous repetition of such a message may have a salutary effect.

[Edited at 2010-12-27 20:54 GMT]


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:09
French to German
+ ...
This feature *could* be useful... Dec 27, 2010

with tons of reservations if it would trigger a dialogue - or better: a negotiation - between the outsourcers and the translators most suited for the assignment.

However, I am not sure about the fact that this scenario happens often, if at all.

The thing to do would be to quote for the job in question *AND* to request budget information at the same time, thus opening the door to negotiation.

Other than that, I only can agree with Katalin.


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Simone Linke  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:09
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No problem if the button goes Dec 27, 2010

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

Simone, I agree with you in that I do not want to waste my time responding to job postings where the outsourcer has indicated a fixed budget way below my rates. That is why I have set the budget info to be displayed for me, if there is one.
However, if the outsourcer did not indicate a budget, I would not want to push that button for the reasons I mentioned above.
/quote]

I have no problem if the button disappears again.. I mainly tried it because it was there.
But your arguments are all valid and I can certainly live without this feature (and it doesn't seem to work for me anyway).


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:09
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Supplementary question for Jared Dec 28, 2010

Jared,

Could I just check on exactly what information is passed from us to the job poster when we quote:
Do they know whether or not we have elected to display their proposed rates?
Do they know who exactly asked for their budget details?

Sheila


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