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Guru - Bidding, Client Interaction and Project Award Policies and Mechanisms
(Page 1 of 4)
Guru has the sort of full-featured
project setup, bidding, award and management procedures that you’d
expect from a large marketplace that’s been in business for over
a decade. In fact, if anything, one might argue that Guru’s mechanisms
are overdeveloped. While most of the site’s features are
well designed, there are a number of steps in the overall journey from
project inception to completion that Guru has made more complex and confusing
than they are on other sites.
Project Initiation Methods
Guru projects are initiated by a client
filling out a new project listing, and optionally inviting freelancers
to bid. These two steps can be performed in either order. Most clients
start by selecting “Post a Project” from the “Hire”
menu on the top menu bar, or clicking the “Post a Project”
button that is found at the top right corner of the site. After the project
is posted, they then may choose “Search for Freelancers”
to find specific contractors they want to invite to bid on the project
(if desired). Alternately, clients can start with the “Search for
Freelancers” feature, choose contractors that they find appealing,
and then move straight into the project posting procedure.
Defining a new project involves a
multi-step form that is more comprehensive than is the case for many
other sites. The client starts by choosing the skill category and primary
subcategory that best applies to the project; this dictates which contractors
can bid on it because of how Guru’s profile system works. The client is then prompted to enter a project title
and description, as well as to provide a project budget. Additional subcategories
can also be selected, to better identify what sort of expertise is required
for completing the project.
Guru also provides several important
options that can have an impact on who can bid on a project:
- Location: Guru allows clients to restrict
bidding to contractors in specific countries, and within the US, specific
geographical regions. This is sometimes done for projects that require
close proximity to a place of business, such as hiring a photographer
for an event, or employing a clerk to sort through large volumes of paper
files. This option can also be used by clients who simply have a preference
for freelancers in a particular location.
- Bidding Type: The client is asked to choose
which sorts of Guru contractors are allowed to bid. The default is to
allow all freelancers who have the appropriate profile. Other options
include restricting bidding to only those with the matching Guru Vendor
profile, or making the project invite only, which hides it from everyone
except those specifically chosen by the client.
- Offsite versus Onsite: Guru is the only
marketplace I know of that allows clients to specify that a project requires
onsite work. This is not often used, because of the international
nature of online freelancing.
- Rate Per Hour: This is used to designate
a project as hourly.
- Questions: Clients are given three boxes
where they can list questions they want to ask potential bidders. These
are meant to help make the project requirements more clear.
Guru provides help for clients in
the form of small question mark symbols at the top right of the dialog
boxes on the new project form. When clicked, these open up the appropriate
sections of Guru’s excellent online help system. Unfortunately,
very little guidance is provided to help clients in describing projects
in a way that will help them get good bids and be successful.
Note that all Guru projects are closed
bid only; no details are disclosed to other contractors, and not even
an average bid is shown.
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The Online Freelancing Guide (http://www.FreelancingGuide.net)
Last Site Update: October 21, 2011
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