Websites such as Elance, Guru, or Freelancer are auction based job marketplaces.
You could call them ‘job bidding’ or ‘reverse auction’ websites.
Such websites offer freelancers an opportunity to bid for projects, and clients in need of services the opportunity to connect with a wide range of service providers. In a way, such websites are very similar to usual job portals, with an additional provision to bid for jobs.
Before building such a website, you have to understand the details of its workings- the very topic I’m going to be covering. But since the implementation is elaborate, I’ll be dividing the details into a series of articles.
- Job Bidding Website – The Basics, User Roles
- Job Bidding Website – Search, Bidding Options and Communication Channels
- Job Bidding Website – Project Management and Pricing Options
So, if you’re ready to learn, sit back, zone out any distractions, and let’s begin! 🙂
What exactly is Reverse Auction?
For those of you who do not know what ‘reverse auction’ means, no stress!
In a usual auction (also known as a forward auction), say you have a bottle you want to sell. You, as a seller, put the bottle up for sale on an auction site; interested buyers bid for it, and the highest bid wins.
Well, in a reverse auction, the roles of the buyer and the seller are interchanged.
In a reverse auction, you- the buyer- are interested in buying a bottle. Several sellers, who have bottles for sale, try to sell their bottles to you at a certain price. It’s then up to you to pick and buy a suitable bottle. You do not necessarily have to pick the lowest bidder to win the bid. The experience, skills of the seller, customer reviews, play an important role in the selection process.
How does a Job Bidding Site Work?
Now, in continuation with our above example, if you consider the bottle as a service, which you (as a buyer) are in need of, and freelancers are sellers or service providers, a job bidding workflow would be as follows:
A registered client would post a job with a description, an estimated time of completion, and a budget for the job to be completed.
A freelancer would browse through the posted jobs or search for a particular job using the search box or filter jobs using categories.
Only registered freelancers would be able to bid for a job, by giving brief details about themselves, a proposal for the solution, and a cost and time estimate.
Clients would review each bidder and the proposal and select a suitable candidate based on several factors (freelancer portfolio, reviews, ratings, etc). Clients could also proactively invite freelancers to bid for a job listing.
Clients could initiate communication with freelancers, using several channels provided, such as chats, private messages, video calls, etc.
Once a freelancer is selected, both the client and the freelancer could keep updated about product development and change requests using project management options provided.
Pretty straightforward isn’t it?!
Hence, to build such a job bidding website, all we would need to do, is enable this flow of operations through features on WordPress.
What are Major Features of Job Bidding Websites?
The success of a freelancer job bidding site lies in connecting a suitable candidate with the right client and vice versa. For this very purpose, several features (such as listed below) have to be in place.
Registration and Profile Creation
Advanced Search Options
Pricing and Bidding Options
To implement the features on a WordPress based website, let’s look at every feature in detail.
Functionality: Registration and Profile Creation
As such, all jobs posted could be viewed by any visitor on the site. Certain details, such as attached documents, may be hidden from visitors who have not logged in. That is to say certain content and privileges are private, and only available to logged in users.
So, to apply for a job, or to post a new job, visitors would have to register and create user profiles.
A visitor could register as a freelancer (individual or a company) or a job poster (client). Each role would have different capabilities.
Freelancer or Candidate Profile
A freelancer’s profile has to be different as compared to a client’s profile, although certain basic details might be the same. A freelancer would have additional details which could be added to his/her profile.
Freelancer Category: Every profile created has to be categorized under some technology or field. For this several drop-down lists and checkboxes have to be provided to allow freelancers to be categorize themselves based on the services they provide.
Portfolio: Freelancers need options to create portfolio pages, to showcase their work and experience. There should be a portfolio catalog, and a form provided to upload or add more portfolio items.
Reviews and Ratings: There should be a possibility for clients who have worked with a freelancer, to add reviews and ratings for them.
Notification Options: Freelancers should have options to register for new job posting notification based on keywords, or add clients to their watchlist (to receive a notification when a certain client posts new jobs).
Skills Measure (optional): It’s good to have an option for candidates to take relevant tests to measure their skills, and then to post the results under each candidate’s profile. This can provide potential clients an additional criteria to evaluate a candidate’s credibility.
Client or Job Poster Profile
A client profile does not have portfolio, or skills test pages. A client profile has options to post and control a job listing.
Job Posting: A client can post a job, with a detailed job description, a cost estimate and an expected time duration for project completion. Each posting will have categories under which it will be listed, to allow freelancers to sieve through job postings. There could also be the option to upload related documents or project briefs.
Invite Option: Clients can have the option to invite freelancers to bid for a job.
Reviews: The review system works both ways. Just as clients can post reviews for freelancers, freelancers can post reviews about clients they have worked with as well.
Blocking Options: Clients have the option to ban certain email addresses or IP addresses from applying for job listings.
Apart from clients and freelancer, site administrators have certain capabilities to overview and manage profiles being created.
Profile Evaluation: There can be an additional option to evaluate profiles before completing registration.
Profile Restriction/Deletion: Administrator has the capability to ban user profiles or prevent certain email addresses or IP addresses from registering.
Implementing User Profiles
The main aspect here is creating user profiles with certain roles and capabilities in WordPress. And of course creating role specific content.
This can be achieved by using plugins such as
Such plugins provide you options to edit capabilities of default user roles in WordPress, and allow creation of role specific content pages. You can add custom fields to user profiles, to accept additional information during the registration process.
Once you have user profile registration and creation in place, you can move on to implementing other features such as Advanced Search, Pricing, Bidding, Project Management and Payment Options. But that would be a lot to taken in all at once. So let’s leave that to the next article. 😀
Let me know if you have questions regarding what’s discussed till now.
The next article is following suit, stay tuned!