vWorker - Feedback System
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The All Worker Competition (Ranking System)
vWorker has implemented a system to rank all of its contractors on the basis of the value of the work they have completed and the ratings they received while doing it. This is called the "All Worker Competition", and each contractor’s ranking in this competition is shown next to his or her name in bids and in profiles, along with the contractor’s percentile rank. For example, as of the time that I write this, I appear in the competition as follows: “Ranked #3,228 out of 321,051 (higher than 98.99% of their peers)”.
This ranking system is not perfect, but it does a pretty good job of showing clients which are the most experienced and well-regarded freelancers on the site. It is also a good example of the adage that sometimes simpler is better—it is far easier to understand, for example, than Elance’s incredibly cumbersome points and levels system, and arguably just as useful.
The basic calculation is a weighted sum of the contractor’s project values and “adjusted” ratings. Then, vWorker subtracts from this 1,000 points for each status report that you’re required to file but did not. (I actually have one of these penalties myself, unfortunately, which is worth the equivalent of a perfect score on a $100 project—lesson learned: vWorker takes those status reports seriously!) Once the final score is calculated, vWorker ranks each contractor and shows the absolute and percentage rankings as I indicated above.
The adjusted rating for a project is the same as the rating assigned by the client for values of 4 to 10; for values of 1, 2 or 3, the adjust rating is -10, -9 or -8 respectively; and for the heinous -3 rating, a whopping -14 is used. These adjustments are based on the evaluation matrixes shown above, and reflect the fact that ratings below 4 aren’t merely linearly worse than those of 4 or higher, but much worse, because they represent clearly poor attitudes and behaviors, like not even finishing a project. The big negative scores knock down rankings for contractors who make a habit of these behaviors.
Once the adjusted rating for each project is calculated, the basic score is the sum of the product of all projects’ ratings and value. For example, if you did a $150 project and got a 10 on it, and a $75 and got a 9, your score would be 150 * 10 + 75 * 9 = 2,175 points.
Of course, this system is not perfect. One obvious issue is the emphasis on volume, which favors companies over individuals, and those who’ve been on the site a long time over newcomers. As of the day that I write this, it would take the equivalent of a perfect 10 score on over $130,000 worth of projects to break into the Top 10. Okay, so that’s out of reach, but it doesn’t take all that much effort to get fairly high in the rankings. As on other sites, most contractors don’t do a lot of business, so you can get decent recognition in the form of the “Top Worker Certificate” pretty easily if you are both active and competent.vWorker has two special “awards” that it grants to contractors on the basis of their rankings and points earned. A “Top Worker Certificate” is shown next to the name of every contractor who has completed at least three projects, has at least 5,000 “All Worker” points, an average rating of at least 9, and no projects with a rating below 4. And a “Top 10 Worker” meets these qualifications and also ranks in the top ten on the site; they get a nifty ribbon next to their names.
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Last Site Update: May 18, 2011
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