The oDesk online workplace has grown into a large and vibrant community that has come a long way since its birth in 2005. Today oDesk is home to millions of freelancers and clients from around the world, with an unparalleled range of work taking place. From software development to transcription, from customer service to web design, oDesk brings talent and businesses together online, changing the way we live and work.
Our enormous growth also raises some big questions for each individual. Clients may wonder, “With all those freelancers, how will I find the one that’s right for me?” Freelancers may wonder, “With all those jobs, how will I find the one that’s right for me?” Each faced a simpler problem when oDesk was smaller: with fewer freelancers or jobs to sift through, finding the right freelancer or job for you was a reasonable task.
In the past, we have largely relied on you — our users — to perform most of the work in finding each other. As we have grown, however, we are hearing from many of you that you’d like to rely more on oDesk to make it easier to find the right match. There are two important reasons we believe we now need to help you. First, in a bigger online workplace — while the perfect freelancer (if you’re a client) or job (if you’re a freelancer) is much more likely to be available — it has become much harder for you to find them. Second, we have the benefit of learning from the volumes of data generated on oDesk — data we can learn from to help you succeed.
What does this mean for you?
In the coming months, we will be rolling out additional features designed to improve your match experience on oDesk. For clients, we want to make it easier for you to quickly identify and hire the right freelancer for your job. For freelancers, we want to make it easier for you to successfully find work.
What this means, of course, is that oDesk will become more of a meritocracy than ever before. Freelancers with appropriate skills and satisfied clients, for example, will earn more visibility for relevant jobs than in the past. Among other efforts, we will improve the freelancer and job search experiences; we will improve the recommendations we make to you; and we will roll out a host of features that help us learn more about what you are looking for, so we can best meet your needs.
We’re excited to leverage oDesk’s scale to improve the experience for all our valued participants. Stay tuned for exciting changes ahead!