Monday, September 8, 2014

53 million Americans are working as freelancers!

Join the club, a new report from the Freelancer’sUnion states that approximately 53 million Americans are working as freelancers.  That’s 1/3 of the American workforce and 10 million more than were doing freelance work when the last study was done 10 years ago.  For the purposes of the study a freelancer could be either full-time or part-time and with or without another job or other source of income.

Most freelancers reported that they started freelancing to make additional income.  For some they began freelancing because they lost their jobs in the recent recession and couldn’t find another job.  Some people freelance for more freedom and flexibility.  Millennials (those under 35 years old) were more likely to be freelancing than older individuals.

The internet has made it easier for people to find freelance work.  There are online marketplaces offering jobs ranging from large scale, like Elance and oDesk, to tiny task-based jobs like fiverr, mturk and Clickworker.  Although these jobs are low paying at first many freelancers found clients who contracted their services repeatedly and thus found consistent work and the ability to demand more for their services.  Others just found that small contract jobs were easier to find than a traditional job which  required sending out dozens of resumes and going through the interview process.

Whatever the reason, the statistics show that the way we work is changing. Change brings with it new opportunities and new challenges.  Those who want to be successful must learn how to navigate this new landscape.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

How to improve your rating performance with Leapforce tools

Leapforce has several new tools to help agents improve their rating performance.  Every month the agent’s work is evaluated and a score ranging from unacceptable to perfect is assigned.  If the agent has too many unacceptable ratings they may be restricted from performing those tasks they are doing poorly on or their contract may be terminated.  It is in the company’s benefit to retain trained workers so they provide detailed feedback and tools to help raters improve their performance.  It is always in the raters best interest to go over the monthly feedback of their performance and make note of the kinds of tasks or categories they are getting wrong, and alter their future ratings accordingly.

On the agent’s Rater Home Page are visual tools that provide a quick way to monitor performance.  A rater can easily see which categories he might be misunderstanding.  With that knowledge the agent can review the guidelines for just the problem categories.  Another chart also shows whether the rater has a tendency to either over-rate or under-rate the webpage’s quality, so the rater can make adjustments accordingly.

Leapforce hosts a weekly webchat, giving agents the opportunity to ask questions about specific issues.  I haven’t been able to attend one of these sessions as they are held on weekday mornings when I am at my full-time job, but they do make transcripts available and allow agents to ask questions or suggest topics in advance of the chat session.

These relatively new tools that augment the quizzes and examples available on the rater’s home page and the detailed feedback provided as part of the monthly evaluation.  Using these tools, agents should have no problem keeping their performance in acceptable ranges.