Upwork has announced Virtual Talent Bench, a series of features that makes relationship building central to the customer experience on Upwork by empowering clients to discover, organize, revisit and hire the independent talent they trust, collaborated with to drive successful outcomes or want to work with in the future.
Virtual Talent Bench features enable clients to establish a network of top independent professionals they can work with time and time again on their most critical projects or to complement skill sets on their full-time teams.
“Facilitating more meaningful, lasting work relationships is the result of clear customer feedback and making intentional design choices that put talent at the core of our product experience,” said Sam Bright, chief product and experience officer, Upwork. “Virtual Talent Bench empowers clients to not only find new talent but also instantly save, organize and rehire them, so when they are ready to move a project forward, they have a team ready to go. We believe Virtual Talent Bench will guide customers on both sides of our work marketplace to healthier, long-term relationships and opportunities to grow their businesses.”
Since Virtual Talent Bench launched, approximately 25 percent of active Upwork clients have used the incorporated features.
As part of the release, a refreshed Discover page helps clients connect with independent professionals by surfacing individual talent profiles and projects based on past searches and job needs. These Discovery results can then be immediately added to a client’s Virtual Talent Bench.
Organizing a Virtual Talent Bench is achieved through one-click custom lists, now available for clients to build and reference when they want to reconnect with trusted talent or reach out to other skilled professionals who would be well-suited for certain projects. Lists are an expansion of the Save feature and can track specific skills or project criteria. Soon, clients will be able to invite an entire talent bench to submit a job proposal, creating additional efficiencies. Clients can now also apply tags to highlight soft skills and other competencies at a glance for individual talent, and private notes can be added to any professional or agency Upwork profile to provide more open-ended context and reminders.
“Any type of project is possible when you have an amazing group of independent talent at your fingertips. I have more than 80 globally distributed freelancers I’m working with on my Upwork Virtual Talent Bench at any given time, fueling a continuous engine that produces extremely high quality work,” said Cara Bedford, director of marketing, CompuVision. “These new features make it even easier for me to organize and build upon the Virtual Talent Bench we’ve built for our organization.”
For independent professionals, Virtual Talent Bench increases prospects for discovery, repeat business and a more consistent income stream as they build stronger relationships with clients over time, leading to fewer resources required for business development.