According to the résumés that are distributed to large corporations and small businesses, only good guys look for jobs. This seems to be especially true in the Information Technology field. You will never see a résumé that shows that a project was cancelled, or that the programmer was removed from a project due to his inability to meet the needs of the company or a client. Instead, the résumé’s all show that only the best of the best are looking for work.
If they are the best of the best – then why are they seeking work? Why have they had so many different jobs? Why aren’t these companies treating these IT professionals better? Well, the fact is that the majority of résumés submitted are full of lies and half truths. Unfortunately, when a company checks a potential employee or contractors work history, they are very limited in the questions that they are allowed to ask – and past employers are often reluctant to give information, sticking with employment dates and starting and ending salary information.
Work history and performance aren’t the only lies and half truths that you will find on a résumés. People also tend to lie about their education and accomplishments. They know that even though their education can easily be checked, most employers won’t take the time or use the resources to do this. They also know that accomplishments are rarely checked – so they can easily get away with stretching the truth, or telling a straight out lie.
Personal references are also useless when it comes to finding out about someone. Do you really think that they would list someone that would say negative things about them? Of course they won’t. They are only going to give you the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of people who will make them look good – and then they are going to coach those people about what to say and what not to say before you call.
With all of these résumé lies and half truths, it is almost impossible to find IT professionals that can handle the job that you are trying to fill. Many employers have even started contacting IT schools to hire students and recent graduates – who are vastly inexperienced – just to avoid the possibility of hiring someone who has lied on their résumé. When they do hire someone who has lied, they often find out – too late – that the person did not have the necessary skills to handle their IT project. This costs the employers hundreds and even thousands of dollars in lost time, lost clients, and salaries that are paid out to these unskilled people.
This problem exists for corporate employers who are trying to fill permanent or long term IT positions, as well as for small business owners who need to hire IT professionals on a project-by-project basis. Until a few years ago, these employers had to take their chances and hope for the best. Today, however, there is a better way.
Back in January of 2001, a gentleman named Ian Ippolito had an idea. Ippolito is a programmer with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida. His idea came about when he was getting more requests for programming work than he could possibly handle. By the middle of 2001, Ippolito had a way to meet the needs of clients that he was being forced to turn away due to time constraints. ‘Rent a Coder’ was born, and by the following year, over 1400 software projects were being completed every month. Today, close to 9000 projects are completed monthly, and that number continues to rise.
Rent a Coder is described as an international marketplace, where people and companies that need custom software developed can find programmers – or coders – without worrying about losing their money. The coders are equally protected as well, meaning that they don’t have to worry about completing jobs and not getting paid for them. People from all over the world are able to do business together in a safe, web based environment. Good coders don’t lack for work, and good buyers don’t lack for coders who are willing and able to do the work.
While Rent a Coder was originally intended for software buyers and programmers, today many different types of projects go through the site, such as content writing, linking projects, and other short term virtual assistant projects. There are currently over 42,000 buyers registered with Rent a Coder, and over 110,000 coders are available.
Rent a Coder has an excellent system that works well for both coders and buyers. First, when a buyer has a software need, or other need that can be filled by a freelancer, they can sign up for a free account at Rent a Coder. Buyers are never charged a fee for using the site’s services, and they are not charged a fee on projects either. The only way buyers are charged fees is when a project is cancelled after a bidder has been chosen- and even then, the cancellation fee may be the responsibility of the coder, or split between the coder and the buyer, depending on the circumstances.
It literally takes less than ten minutes to set up a buyers account on Rent a Coder. To protect the coders, the buyer must go through a short verification process. This is done by telephone and it is automated. The buyer can choose to pay for projects through paypal ( http://www.paypal.com ) or with his or her credit card. This information is entered in when setting up the buyers account, and is part of the verification process. This phase of the verification process can take up to twenty-four hours, because it is handled by humans. No charges are made to the buyer’s credit card or paypal account until he sets up a bid request and chooses a winning bidder.
When setting up a bid request, the buyer has many options. He can set the maximum amount that he is willing to pay for completion of the project, describe the project and requirements that must be met, set a deadline for bidding, and a deadline for project completion, and choose certain skills that bidders should have, such as web design, c++ programming, or writing skills. Setting up a bid request often takes less than ten minutes, and the Rent a Coder staff approves bid requests for publication to the site within hours, and sometimes even within minutes.
Then, the bidding starts. No matter how big or how small your project is, there will be plenty of bidders to choose from. As bids come in, the buyer can look at the bidder’s profiles. Here, they will find information that they would never find on a résumé. They can see where the coder is located, how they are rated, how long they have been a member of Rent a Coder, the last date and time that they were logged into the site, how many jobs they have completed through the site, and how many jobs that they have in progress.
Then, they can see even more interesting information, such as how many arbitrations a buyer has had. Arbitrations occur when there is a conflict between a buyer and a coder. The results of arbitrations are listed near the bottom of the page with the coder’s reviews. Many buyers require coders to submit status reports every Friday. This is common for long term projects and required for projects over a certain amount of money. On the coder’s profile, the buyer can see how many status reports the coder missed, if any.
Education, which is commonly lied about on résumés, doesn’t matter quite as much on Rent a Coder. The coder can submit their résumé, which becomes part of their profile, and they usually list any education they have had, but Rent a coder has a better plan. Rent a Coder is partnered with ‘Expert Rating’ at http://www.expertrating.com . Coders who are serious about their work and their reputations can take certification tests through Expert Rating, and their certifications appear on their Rent a Coder profiles. This takes away the need to check a coder’s education to determine whether or not they have the skills that your project requires. Coder’s are not required to take the certification tests however – but the one’s that are serious about their work often do get certified.
After the Expert Rating certifications listing on the profile, the buyer can view the résumé that the coder has posted. Most buyer’s only give this a cursory glance, because they are much more interested in what is below that résumé. The Rent a Coder All Coder Competition Scores comes after the résumé and this tells a buyer how a coder ranks overall on the Rent a Coder site. This score is calculated using a formula consisting of the number of jobs a coder has completed, the amount of money they were paid, their ratings for each job, and whether status report deadlines and project deadlines were met.
Coders take this rating and competition quite seriously. It often means the difference between winning and losing bids. I have completed over 500 jobs through RentACoder successfully. When someone wants to hire me, they simply look at my profile, where they can see how past buyers have rated me, and read the reviews of my work I have been rated by hundreds buyers that I have performed services for, and I have an average rating of 9.92. I am certified professional, I have missed no status reports, and I have never lost an arbitration. I have a Top Coder rating, and is quickly on my way to becoming one of the Top 10 Coders at Rent a Coder. When a potential buyer considers hiring me, they are usually quite impressed with the reviews that past buyers left behind on my profile.
The rating system is one of the better features of the Rent a Coder site. When a coder completes a job, the buyer can rate them, on a scale of 1 to 10, and they can write a review on the work that was done. These reviews and ratings are better than any polished résumé that you could receive. There are no lies here – the information left behind by past buyers who have worked with the coders is absolutely honest – and the coder can’t do anything to hide that information from you – other than to close that coder account and open a new one, which is seldom done. New coders find that it is difficult to get their foot in the door – with no jobs completed and no ratings or reviews. Furthermore, if a coder gets caught doing this, they get banned from the site permanently.
Of course, all of this works well in reverse too. The coders also get to rate the buyers. After a job is completed, they coder rates the buyer on a scale of 1 to 10, and can write a review on their experience with the buyer. This alerts other coders to buyers who are difficult to work with, or who are slow to respond, or slow to release escrowed funds after work is completed. Before bidding on jobs, coders usually take a look at the buyer’s profile, which is set up almost just like the coders profile, with only a few differences.
When a buyer accepts a bid, the money for the bid amount is moved into an escrow account by Rent a Coder, where it remains until the coder reports the work as complete, and the buyer accepts the work as 100% complete. When the buyer accepts the work, the funds are released to the coder’s account, and coder’s are paid through paypal, western union, or check either once or twice a month, depending on the options that the coder chooses.
This process of escrowing funds protects both the coder and the buyer. The coder knows that they will get paid, and the buyer knows that is the coder does not complete the work as agreed, they can put the project into arbitration, and a Rent a Coder arbitrator will listen to both sides and make a determination about releasing the funds. The arbitrator facilitators are completely neutral, and award the funds based on the facts that they have. That is why both the coder and buyer are encouraged to keep all communications going through the Rent a Coder website, so that there is proof as to what was asked, what was said, and what was done.
With sites like Rent a Coder, the days of lying on résumés are quickly coming to an end. By hiring coders through Rent a Coder, buyers save money because the competition between the coders keeps prices down. The buyer doesn’t have to worry about losing their money, or paying large salaries or benefits for a full time or temporary employee, and they can avoid hiring IT professionals who turn out to be anything but professional!