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Agencies responding on job offers restricted to freelancers
Thread poster: Andrea Halbritter

Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:24
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
May 6, 2017

Hello!

I am a freelancer but occasionally outsource jobs on the job board because I also offer project management to my mostly direct customers.

Every time I post a job I restrict it to freelancers only who are members of Proz and do not admit agencies.

Nevertheless I get contacted by agencies via mail and also through the Proz feature, most of them in India, the States or the Uk, nearly all low cost providers.

How is that possible?

Would you be able to prevent that from happening?


 

Tony Bennjamin  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 08:24
Indonesian to English
+ ...
Some of them could be a freelancer with a company's name. May 6, 2017

Andrea Halbritter wrote:

Hello!

I am a freelancer but occasionally outsource jobs on the job board because I also offer project management to my mostly direct customers.

Every time I post a job I restrict it to freelancers only who are members of Proz and do not admit agencies.

Nevertheless I get contacted by agencies via mail and also through the Proz feature, most of them in India, the States or the Uk, nearly all low cost providers.

How is that possible?

Would you be able to prevent that from happening?


Hi Ms. Angela,

Some of freelancers have their own business, but non-agency type, like mine. I have a business with own name and logo, but I'm not an agency. Perhaps some of them is a personal company (non-agency). You can check on them through Google if they are really an agency or not.

Hope this helps.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:24
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
That's not good May 6, 2017

Andrea Halbritter wrote:
I am a freelancer but occasionally outsource jobs on the job board because I also offer project management to my mostly direct customers.

Every time I post a job I restrict it to freelancers only who are members of Proz and do not admit agencies.

Nevertheless I get contacted by agencies via mail and also through the Proz feature, most of them in India, the States or the Uk, nearly all low cost providers.

That must waste a good deal of your time. I wonder how it's happening. When I (as a freelancer) look at a job from which the poster has excluded me, I don't get to see who the poster is. Nothing identifies him or her. Surely it should be the same in your case.

Do you put any identifying information in the text area itself, e.g. your name, email address or whatever? Or do you leave all the identifying information to the fields meant for that information? It's those fields that get blanked out when you aren't qualified to reply, but neither staff nor moderators read every word of every post, AFAIK. If you're only identifying yourself through those fields, I think a support ticket would be a good idea, linking to a recent post and the names of some agencies who replied.


 

Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:24
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No identifying information May 6, 2017

I don't put any identifying information in the job description.

My guess is that happens what Tony wrote:

These agencies do also have freelancer profiles which is of course okay if the owner also works as a freelancer. I do not think that they should reply though.

In my opinion it should be possible to relate that and it should have consequence if they go on that way.

The agencies who contacted me through Proz concerning my latest job offers did, for most of them, not even speak the source or the target languages I was looking for.

In my opinion it should be possible to ban such users from this site.

But maybe it's also me who misses something.

Is there a possibility to exclude such providers except choosing the option freelancers only?


 

Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:24
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Freelancer profiles "all languages supported"! May 6, 2017

There are indeed "freelancer profiles" (hidden agencies) who registered with "all languages supported".

How can that happen?

No freelancer can support all languages.


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 03:24
Member
English to Italian
Account type? May 6, 2017

Andrea Halbritter wrote:

My guess is that happens what Tony wrote:

These agencies do also have freelancer profiles which is of course okay if the owner also works as a freelancer. I do not think that they should reply though.


You wrote you also get contacted through ProZ, so you should be able to see the profile who contacted you to verify that assumption.

Perhaps ProZ could extend the bidding ban to all of the profiles associated with company/outsourcer profiles, but that wouldn't hinder "fake freelancers" from bidding... although I suppose it should be quite easy for ProZ to spot "freelancers" who offer too many pairs.


 

Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:24
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The number of language combinations for freelancers should be limited May 6, 2017

Well, my proposition would be to accept only a certain number of language combinations per freelancer.

Most of us work with two language pairs only, some with three and some very few I know with up to five.


[Modifié le 2017-05-06 11:11 GMT]


 

Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:24
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Restriction getting lost when completing missing informations May 6, 2017

There is also another thing that has already happened to me in my opinion:

You actually restrict a job offer to freelancers only, then you e. g. forget to enter a detail (the language pair or the date) and Proz tells you to complete.

You complete the missing information, publish the job offer and the restriction gets lost. Now the job is open for everybody.


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:24
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Agree with you... May 6, 2017

If you ask for basil, you shouldn't get pineapple... icon_smile.gif

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:24
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
You need to involve staff May 6, 2017

ProZ.com have at last committed to working on the various site features to bring them into the 21st century and fix the bugs. So I advise you to bring this to their attention formally - they may or may not be monitoring this forum but at this stage it's just a discussion between us. You certainly seem to have some valid needs that aren't being addressed.

 

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:24
English to Russian
+ ...
A mention within the job anouncement may work May 6, 2017

If requests from agencies keep coming even when the job is limited to freelancers only, saying "Please no agencies" directly in the text of the job announcement will eliminate at least some of them (and give you a legitimate reason to report those who persist).

 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:24
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
If less than 10% of your respondents are agencies May 7, 2017

You may just ignore them. Ignoring them will be much more cost effective than trying to figure out who they are or why they have chosen to reply to your ads.

 

Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:24
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It does not matter to me as an outsourcer, but as a freelance translator May 7, 2017

I can of course ignore such answers and also find out who a freelancer is.

The matter is not that important for me as an outsourcer. It's fairly annoying for me as a freelancer though because the same thing will happen to direct customers who search a freelancer via the jobboard in my opinion.

Mentionning in the text as well (even in English) that you do not want to work with agencies, does not make a difference. I already tried that.

And what really does not seem normal to me is that freelancers can enter a lot of language paires they do not handle themselves.

This is in my eyes misleading for people who are not part of the industry.


 

EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:24
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
I don't agree May 7, 2017

Andrea Halbritter wrote:

Well, my proposition would be to accept only a certain number of language combinations per freelancer.

Most of us work with two language pairs only, some with three and some very few I know with up to five.


[Modifié le 2017-05-06 11:11 GMT]

In Eastern Europe, at least in my generation (I am in my 50s), when you translate from A to B, you are also supposed to translate from B to A - this was due to our isolation in the past. And we do foreign-to-foreign as a matter of course. Even today, some local agencies are surprised when I tell them that some of my languages are "source only". If you know 2 languages besides your mother tongue, it gives you 6 language pairs, if 3, 12 pairs. I have met people who knew 8 foreign languages - at least well enough to use them as source languages. So where would you set the limit? Admittedly, if the pair you are looking for is English to German for example, these people may be irrelevant to you. I am just saying that someone offering 10 pairs may be an individual. I offer 12, and you are suggesting to kick me out or to stop proposing most of my pairs. If everybody had to do so, some rare pairs would be impossible to find on ProZ - as they bring little business, everybody would chose these for deletion.


 

Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:24
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
See your point May 7, 2017

I see your point.

Maybe there should be a clause then which says that these providers do handle these language pairs themselves just as you do?

Those who did answer me do not handle the pairs they propose themselves, at least not all of them.


 
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