Team Builder Program for Clients

About Team Builder

Upwork is piloting Team Builder, a new program that makes it easy for clients to find and hire freelancers who are qualified and motivated to work 30+ hours a week. Client benefits include the help of a talent scout, who will source and screen freelancers based on skills, availability and interest and then provide a list of pre-qualified freelancers in 36 hours.

Only clients who post a job that meets the following criteria will have access to the program:

  • Requires 30 hours or more a week
  • Lasts more than 3 months

If you post a job meeting the criteria above, you'll be given the option to hire from pre-screened freelancers, hand-picked for your needs (instead of the standard process of hiring from all freelancers who submit proposals). If you don't yet have a verified billing method, you'll be asked to set that up to be eligible for the program.

Because this is a new service we are piloting, we are currently offering it free of charge. This may change as the program evolves.

Talent Scout / Sourcing Process

Once you've opted in, your job is posted to a pool of committed and pre-qualified freelancers. Their proposals will be pre-screened by a talent scout, who will review their profiles and may contact them to verify skills and availability. Within 36 hours of posting your job, your talent scout will send you five proposals to review.

Your talent scout is a real person, there to answer your questions–live. Use your dedicated chat room (found in your Messages) to discuss your needs so they can help you find a great list of freelancers. The talent scout will screen based on:

  • The skills you're looking for
  • Client satisfaction ratings and experience on Upwork
  • Commitment to work for 30+ hours a week

As with jobs in the public marketplace, it's up to you to decide who to hire for your project. If you aren't happy with the list of freelancers, tell your talent scout, and they will seek more proposals for you—doing up to three rounds of sourcing to find you a fit. 

Contract Terms & Weekly Minimum Payment

A contract in this program is similar to a standard contract on Upwork with one exception:

  • You and your freelancer agree on a "weekly minimum payment" of 30 hours per week starting the second full week after the contract start date.

The Team Builder program is for clients and freelancers serious about working together on a dedicated engagement. This means you commit in your contract with your freelancer to paying for at least 30 hours each week. The freelancer also commits to being able to work at least 30 hours a week. Like a retainer, the weekly minimum payment secures their time and yours. Each week, you'll automatically be billed a minimum of 30 hours at the agreed-upon hourly rate. If you receive more than 30 hours of work, you will be billed for the actual hours.

As always, you and your freelancer can agree to pause billing or cancel the contract at any time, which will suspend the weekly minimum payment. This weekly minimum payment is applied from the second full week of the contract onwards (starting the second Monday after contract start date), for every week when the contract isn't paused for any period of time.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the talent scout's process different from what I would do myself?

  • Your talent scout sources from a private pool of freelancers who meet quality and experience criteria and who are looking for longer engagements with clients of 30+hrs/week.
  • Your talent scout works with a team of specialists who are trained in sourcing specific categories of talent on Upwork. That means they'll know what questions to ask and how to verify skills needed.
  • They do the heavy lifting for you—talent scouts and their teams will go through proposals so you don't have to.

Can I contact my talent scout for help on other jobs?

  • You can expect support from your talent scout for your Team Builder job for 30 days after the job was posted.
  • The talent scout can't help you source and screen freelancers for any other jobs (unless you have more Team Builder jobs to which they are assigned).

Can I pause or cancel the contract?

  • We understand that requirements of your project can change or unexpected circumstances can arise. You and your freelancer can agree to pause billing or cancel the contract at any time.
  • If you and your freelancer pause the contract, you won't be charged the weekly minimum of 30 hours. On the next billing date (next Monday), you'll be billed the actual number of hours worked that week.

How does billing work?

  • Similar to other hourly contracts on Upwork, we'll automatically charge your billing method each Monday for the hours invoiced during the prior week, subject to the weekly minimum payment of 30 hours.
  • The weekly minimum payment of 30 hours is applied from the second full week of the contract onwards (the week starting the second Monday after contract start date), for every week when the contract isn't paused billing for any period of time.
  • If the contract starts on a Monday, the weekly minimum applies for the week starting the second Monday (in 14 days). If the contract starts on Sunday, the weekly minimum applies for the week starting the second Monday (in 8 day).
  • Payments on contracts using Team Builder are subject to the standard Upwork payment processing fees.

What happens if my freelancer isn't available to work the minimum hours or isn't responsive? Is there a dispute process for this?

  • If your freelancer has extenuating circumstances that temporarily prevent them from working the full 30 hours or is unresponsive, you can choose to pause your contract.
  • Similar to other contracts on Upwork, you can dispute hours for the prior week, except on the grounds that less than 30 hours of work was given to the freelancer that week.

How does Upwork know that the freelancers want to commit to working the minimum hours?

  • The Team Builder talent pool is created based not only on freelancer skills and demonstrated ability to provide quality work, but on availability, desire, and commitment to working 30+ hours a week.
  • When the freelancer accepts a Team Builder job, they actively commit to providing at least 30 hours of work a week.
  • If the freelancer fails to work those hours, you can choose to cancel the contract and leave feedback. Negative feedback affects the freelancer's Job Success Score.

How is this different from a regular Upwork marketplace job?

  • With Team Builder, you choose from a list of pre-screened talent, hand-picked for your job requirements, instead of having to review every proposal. Your talent scout sources and pre-screens freelancers with the skills and availability you're looking for.
  • Talent scouts and their team are specialized in their category—whether it be web or mobile development or customer service.
  • Once you've found a fit, you enter into a contract with your freelancer, where your freelancer commits to working at least 30 hours a week and you commit to the weekly minimum payment.

How is the Team Builder different from Pro?

  • The Team Builder program is designed for clients looking to hire dedicated freelancers for longer-term roles on their team. Instead of reviewing every proposal, you can choose from pre-screened freelancers sourced for you by a talent scout. A talent scout helps you source qualified freelancers available and committed to working 30+ hours a week.
  • Upwork Pro is a premium service offering more comprehensive vetting for your projects, short or long. Clients who use Upwork Pro receive dedicated account support (not just sourcing assistance), and source from a rigorously pre-vetted pool of freelancers. Pro client services are priced at $500 per job search + 10% of project billings.

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