You’ve posted your project on Upwork and found the talent you need to move forward. How do you make an offer to them so you can get work started?
In this post, we’ll walk you through the five steps of the process so you know what to expect.
1. Open your job post
Proposals are organized by job post, so you’ll want to find the relevant one to get started.
If you don’t already have the right project in front of you, there are two ways to find it:
- Go to the “My Jobs” dashboard, which has a section called “My Postings” at the top. This dashboard is the page that loads when you first login to your account so it’s easy to get to. If you need to find it later, it’s also the first link on the “Jobs” menu at the top of the page.
- You can also click through to “All Job Posts” from the “Jobs” menu.
Once you have the right job post open, click on the button to “View Proposals.”
2. Find the proposal from your preferred professional or agency
The proposal review section has four tabs to help you organize the proposals you’ve received: All Proposals, Shortlisted, Messaged, and Archived.
Scroll to the winning proposal, then click on the “Hire” button.
If you have any outstanding questions, you may want to send a message to confirm final details before extending your offer.
Are you negotiating with an agency?
If you’re sending an offer to an agency, it will be sent to a specific agency member but the agency itself will be notified at every step. You may already have been in touch with other agency members to negotiate the rate, during the interview, or to confirm contract details.
Remember that all contracts with an agency member will be paid to the agency, not the individual named on your contract. Payments to the agency’s team are handled privately outside of Upwork.
3. Confirm the terms of your offer
Once accepted, your offer will become a binding contract between you and the freelancer. So make sure the information shown on this page is accurate and that expectations are clear.
Under “Terms,” you’ll see the basic variables of your offer starting with the payment option: hourly or fixed price.
If you have an hourly project…
An hourly project is paid by the hour, so an hour worked by the professional is an hour paid for by you.
Within these terms, you’ll confirm:
- The agreed-upon hourly rate
- A weekly limit, which caps the number of hours a freelancer can bill for each week
- Whether the freelancer can add time manually or must record their work time using the Upwork Work Diary tracker tool
* Note: Only time tracked using the Work Diary tracker tool is covered by Upwork payment protection.
If you have a fixed-price project…
With a fixed-price project, the total price is agreed upon in advance, regardless of how much time it takes to do the work. That amount is then divided into payments by milestone: Before beginning each milestone, the amount for that portion of work is deposited into escrow. It’s released once you’ve approved the work for that milestone.
Within the terms of the offer, you’ll confirm:
- The total project fee
- Project milestones, the deposit amounts, and the due dates (if relevant)
- Escrow details
These details should include the information already established in your job post and/or any other terms that have been agreed to.
If your organization uses Enterprise Suite…
Enterprise Suite clients have access to additional custom fields that can be adjusted, such as:
- Selecting a Talent Cloud
- Adding a PO number
- Setting an end date for the contract.
4. Confirm the work description
With the terms confirmed, the next screen shifts your attention to the work description.
This information will be pre-populated with information from your initial job post so it may be fine as-is. Or, if the project scope has changed through your discussions with the talent you’ll be working with, revise the project details to reflect the updates. For example:
- Contract Title: You can use the same title as your job post, or use a clear and specific title that captures the key goal or deliverable.
- Work Details: Concisely describe the work to be done, either using the description from your initial job post or updated to include new objectives, deliverables, details, or specifications.
- Attach Files: If any project documentation is needed to get started, or if you have other onboarding documents such as a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), be sure to include it here.
Once you’ve finalized the work description, you need to agree to Upwork’s Terms of Service. We know Terms of Service can be daunting, especially when you’re on the cusp of kickstarting your project.
But understanding these terms matters to both your business and the success of your project. They speak to a number of important things such as:
- Expectations around confidentiality
- What elements of your projects are considered Intellectual Property
- Who’s responsible for worker classification
- What happens if you end up in a dispute with another Upwork user
You can get a high-level overview of these points in “Five Things You Need to Know About Upwork’s Terms of Service.”
Once you’re ready to agree with the Terms of Service, click on the appropriate checkbox. Then click the “Hire” button.
5. Your offer has been sent!
Congratulations—your offer has been shared with the independent professional you want to engage for your project.
Before you go, you’ll be asked to indicate whether or not you’ve finished hiring for this particular project. If not, leave the job post open and keep going!
What happens once your offer has been sent?
Once the professional you want to work with has received your offer, they can take one of three actions:
- They can accept the offer, and you will have a contract
- They can decline your offer and withdraw their proposal
- They can send you a message to discuss alternative terms
If they don’t respond within seven days—or up to 30 days if your company uses Enterprise Suite—the offer will be revoked.
Confirm that the new contract is active by checking out the list of contracts on your “My Jobs” dashboard.
What if you need to edit or withdraw your offer?
An offer on Upwork can be changed or even withdrawn as long as it hasn’t been accepted.
You can change any aspect of a proposed contract, even changing the project to hourly or fixed-price:
- Go to the “My Jobs” page
- Scroll down to “My Pending Contracts”
- Click on “View Offer”
However, the only way to alter an accepted contract is to end the existing contract and make a new offer.
Once the offer has been accepted, your project is ready to go!
You won’t be charged until the offer has been accepted and work begins. Learn more about how you can pay freelancers using Upwork.