If you’ve been with Upwork for a while, you’d know which I am referring to. The skills test section was a feature available even when Upwork was still Odesk. There were several tests you can take at any time to prove your knowledge and expertise on a particular skill set that is related to your niche. The result is then displayed on your profile. Starting July 16, this feature will be removed.
The Purpose behind Upwork’s Skills Test
Freelancers were encouraged to take the tests to increase their chances of getting hired.
If your niche is on Writing, then you take on tests that are related to it to prove your level of competence. The difficulty levels vary – basic, certifications, for professionals etc. The test results are measured on 1 (highest) to 5 (lowest) rating. It would also indicate whether you simply passed, if your scores were below average or if you belong to the top percentile (Top 5, 10 or 20%). You have an option to retake the test if you have failed. You also get to decide which kind of tests to pursue and when to hide or display them on you profile.
Clients used to consider how you fared on these tests before hiring you. Job descriptions indicate the score you should have at a minimum to apply for the role. If you have not taken any of the test, the client is likely to ignore your proposal.
It was considered an opportunity to brag about one’s test result. A way to make your profile stand out against other interested applicants. But all that’s going to change.
Upwork’s Skills Test will be removed by July 16
Initially, Upwork advised that the section will be removed from the platform on July 9. It was extended until July 16. The platform made a test a few months ago to gauge client’s feedback on these tests. As a result, they’ve concluded that these no longer have an impact on the hiring process. Clients complain about the tests being outdated and not being a true reflection of the freelancer’s skills and expertise. Furthermore, the research says that clients prefer to look at portfolio and job feedback to gauge hireability.
Change, there’s nothing else but change..
The platform seems to be undergoing a lot of changes recently to keep up with the demand. They have started charging freelancers on connects last May.
Connects are used to submit proposals (applications) in the platform. Freelancers used to be given up to 60 connects for FREE at the start of the month which they can then use to submit proposals. One connect represented one job proposal. They have changed the policy though last May. In order to apply for a job, it will take one to six connects. Each connect is charged at $0.15. The platform claim this is an opportunity to lessen the number of proposals submitted and make room for high-quality applicants.
As if to ensure balance on both sides, there are new client membership plans that are being launched too.
It seems as though the platform is now being more aggressive in increasing revenue. Can’t help but wonder if this is somehow related to the announcement they’ve made last year of going public. What more can we expect this year? Is it time to switch platforms?