This blog post is dedicated to looking at the workflow of choosing a worker for a project that is posted on earner.net.
(People who bid on projects should read this.)
(People who create projects should read this.)
A project always starts with the ‘Project Owner’ creating a project.
Once the Project Owner has outlined the details of the project and has submitted the new project to the system, it will be visible on the projects list screen.
Projects in the project list that have a blue link and appear more vivid are still open for bidding on. Projects that are greyed out are either closed or a worker has been selected. Either way, new bids are not being accepted.
Workers who are interested in doing some freelance work can browse the projects until they find one that they like, then place their bid using the “Your Bid” form at the bottom of the project.
The details of the workers bid will be visible to everyone along with the message submitted when the bid was placed. For private communication between the Project Owner and the Project Worker, use the Project Messages system.
All communication in the Private Message system is just that, private. Use this to get clarification on the project before it starts, and for communication during the project once a successful worker has been selected.
Inviting Workers to Bid on your Project
Once the Project Owner has created a project, they have the option to invite workers to come and bid on their project.
The Project Owner can go to the Hire section and search for workers with suitable skills and invite them to bid on any open project via the “Project Invite” button.
Selecting a worker
Once the Project Owner has decided on a worker from the existing bids, they can click on the “Accept this Bid” button.
The details of the workers bid are all contained on each bid.
In the screenshot above
- The workers name is “one”.
- They have completed 1 project for which they have a review.
- Their average rating for completed projects is 4.5 stars out of 5.
- They say their delivery time for this completed project is 12 days.
- The bid was created/updated at 25th May, 2011.
- 9 people have given this user a positive vote.
- They require 100% in escrow before they start work.
What happens when the Project Owner clicks on the “Accept this Bid” button is this:
- The project fees of 10% are deducted from the Project Owners account.
- An email and message are sent to the chosen worker telling them they have been accepted
- A new button appears to the Project Owner on the “Escrow” tab of the project.
- A new button appears to the Project Worker on the “Escrow” tab.
The Project Owner has the option of “Revoking the Offer and selecting a new winner” up until the point where the Project Worker selects the “I Accept” button. Once the “I Accept” button has been clicked by the worker, the project has started.
Now that the project has started, the Project Owner can transfer money into escrow to be held until the project worker completes the project and the escrow is released.
Portions of the escrow can be released to the Worker by the Owner at any time during the project.
When escrow is released to a worker, their credit balance goes up and the transaction is visible in their “My Accounts” tab. This credit is available for use immediately.
Depositing into Escrow
Escrow can be deposited for a Worker by the Project Owner from the credit that is available in the Project Owners credit balance. If the Project Owner does not have enough in credit to fund the Workers minimum balance into escrow, they must first purchase credit before trying to move funds into escrow.
If the Project Owner does have enough in credit, then they can move funds into escrow by using the form on the “Escrow” tab of the project.
The details of the project are all laid out on the escrow tab so it is clear to both parties how much is owed. The Project Workers bid should include the 10% fee charged by earner.net so 100% in escrow is 100% of the Workers Bid minus the Project fee which is paid by the owner when the worker is selected.
When there has been a deposit into escrow it will show up on the escrow tab.
Escrow can be released by the Project Owner to the Project Worker in increments if they both choose to use milestones for the project where portions of the escrow are released after tasks have been completed, or all at once at the end of the project.
When releasing escrow in increments, the Project Owner can choose either a set dollar amount like $10 or a percentage of the amount in escrow like 50%.
Once the project has been completed and the project has been closed, both the Project Owner and the Project Worker get to leave a review of each other.
The ratings each person leaves will be visible on the closed project and on the users profile. These ratings are especially important for trust. Workers will find it easier to get paid well for projects if they have a lot of good ratings from their previously completed projects.
When things go wrong
Sometimes things just don’t go well. When the project worker and the project owner are not moving forward on a project and want to part ways. If communication channels are still open and the two parties are talking, the Project Owner can ask the Project Worker to return the funds that are in Escrow and the Project Owner will then be able to select another worker from those that bid on their project.
This button will always be visible at the top of the Project Workers “Escrow” tab for the project.
If a Project Worker does decide to remove themselves from the project, both parties will still get to review each other. There is nothing worse than for a Project Owner than having someone say they can complete a project and waste time only to discover the worker does not have the skills to complete the project.
Project Workers, get clarification of what you need to do to finish a project _before_ you start or bid on the project.
Project Owners, you get what you _asked_ for, not what you wanted. make sure you ask for what you want in your project description. (add steps so that the worker knows how to finish the project too.)
If a stalemate is reached, contact the earner.net staff with the details of the project and the issue and we will mediate the situation.