Fiverr Community Forum

Other Platforms are Removing Skills Tests - Will Fiverr? If so, What are the Alternatives?

As some will be aware already, another top freelancing platform is removing seller skills tests. These are the same tests which Fiverr uses. Moreover, part of the reason given for removing skills tests echos concerns some people here have about tests:

Our research found that clients don’t find skill tests important when making a hiring decision. They found profile introductions, portfolios, and job feedback to better showcase a freelancer’s skills and experience.

In the community, many of you have pointed out that skill test scores can easily be manipulated by cheating, as many skill test answers can be found online. Additionally, we frequently hear that these skill tests – especially technical ones – quickly become outdated or irrelevant. This decreases the value and accuracy of skill test results to fairly reflect a freelancer’s proficiency in that skill.

Instead of continuing to provide development resources towards skill tests and asking freelancers to invest time on tests that don’t provide much additional value, we will be removing them altogether. This means starting July 16th freelancers will no longer be able to take skill tests, and prior skill test results will be removed from profiles.

I’m not sure if it is related. However, some software developers recently started to criticize the platform in question because of skills tests. Concerns rested with the relevancy of tests. This is important, as software development is an in-demand skill in 2019, with demand set to increase exponentially in the coming years. Tests effectively resulted in the platform in question risking to ostracize, rather than attract some developers.

Now I’m wondering if Fiverr too might remove skills tests? I’m wondering as like the platform removing tests, Fiverr has recently gone IPO. From an investment perspective, I can see how some might argue that a competing platform outing test answers as being available online looks bad for Fiverr.

Then, of course, there is the fact that tests are apparently of little value to clients or freelancers.

Personally, I would like to see skills tests shown the door. I haven’t taken any, as I don’t see how it would add value to my business. I’m also deterred by the idea of taking tests which might have bugs like impossible to answer questions.

What I would like to see instead of tests, is more freedom to connect Fiverr profiles to external blogs and sites like Medium. I don’t use any of the platforms in the Fiverr URL whitelist. I did recently start creating a Blogger website to use as a kind of portfolio. However, in the end, I realized that doing so would only serve to blur my off-Fiverr brand identity. Blogger is simply not very easy to customize and looks a bit early 2000’s and out-dated.

Alternatively, I once suggested that it might be a good idea for Fiverr to consider creating its own platform like Medium. This would be one where any seller could create an account and create their own blog, etc. Sellers would get to showcase their skills, and it would be beneficial from an SEO and marketing perspective for both Fiverr and Fiverr sellers.

Anyway, those are just my thoughts. What are yours? Also, if you have taken skills tests, did you notice an increase in orders or search visibility afterward?

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It could happen in conjuction with a change of management…

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Yeah. The fact that they even exists shows a poor understanding of what the applied sellable skill even is and it’s not a good look.

I doubt the tests will be gone soon, though. They were developed, introduced just recently, advertised, being pushed as this awesome evaluation tool. I think they’ll stick around for some time but I do hope fiverr will have some sense to stop trying to make them mandatory.

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Is it just me, or are you pitching for position? :wink:

Yeah, in truth, I can’t see tests going anytime soon. However, the feature we had last year where we had to complete orders manually was rolled back pretty quickly. As was the original blind review system. In this case, you never know. Also, Fiverr does have shareholders now. :wink:

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Just how much control do they have over things. Probably so far the biggest shareholders are also management and executives.

I have mixed feelings about the skills test. When I see a good score on them on a profile I am impressed. I know it’s not as simple as that. But at least the person who took the test was motivated enough to try to prove they are educated.
But if I see a score that is good but not great, then I feel confused. Is the seller lacking some important knowledge? Or was the test not a good measure of ability? It can go either way as far as helping or hurting a seller.

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I understand this perspective. However, from a real buying perspective, I am a bit deterred by tests myself. This year, I have twice ordered WordPress related services from a different platform. I did initially choose both the people I hired because they had high WordPress test scores and a decent amount of reviews.

Sadly, things didn’t really work out. The work I needed done was completed, but I didn’t like the standard it was completed to or the quality of communication. In both cases, I later figured out how to do things myself.

To me, having high test scores did convince me to buy. It made things look like sellers were officially recommended. However, being disappointed on both occasions left me a bit annoyed. Of course, I can’t compare this to an experience buying from a freelancer without test scores. However, next time, I will likely not choose to hire a freelancer with a test score for this reason.

Next time. (If there is a next time.) I will likely use a completely different hiring approach. Possibly, I will only hire WordPress Pros I can find being recommended on social media. Alternatively, I might hire a brand new freelancer who has invested in an incredible looking profile, and who gives me the impression they are really trying to stand out among their competitors.

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I agree. The test scores can be misleading and something about them makes me think amateur. They are no indication of how well the seller will complete an order or the quality. A really great website developer seems unlikely to stoop to these tests, or at least that is in the back of my mind as I look at them.

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They are probably gonna do everything possible to keep it that way for as long as they can (so that they are not forced to relinquish the autonomy/freedom they enjoy right now). :wink:

It is possible. However, I am not so sure if it is going to happen any time soon considering it hasn’t been long since they introduced the skills tests on their platform. :thinking:

While the fact that a vast majority of buyers don’t find these tests important might be true, several forum users (sellers), however, have mentioned that their buyers had shared with them that they had purchased from them because they were impressed not only by their gig prices/descriptions and reviews but also by the scores they had achieved in the skills tests.

This is the main reason why the tests have been criticized. If Fiverr had a way of creating their own tests or administering tests that were not only error-free but also were more relevant/up-to-date, perhaps more sellers would be interested in taking them.

A good WordPress score only shows that the seller might have good theoretical knowledge (in some cases, the test might also assess their practical/problem-solving skills). That’s about it. A seller’s WordPress score is obviously not going to help you gauge their communication skills or the quality of services/products they provide. This, however, cannot be considered a negative point of the skills test as the scores were never intended to provide a holistic picture of the seller in question.

They may be worthwhile for some skills rather than others. As I understand the current tests, they seem quite prone to manipulation. In which case I don’t see the point of flaunting something that is unreliable. But I guess that’s ultimately down to each seller to decide.

Although if Fiverr can produce a standardised test which is fit for purpose I’d be happy to take part and display it. But it needs to be solid and not just a token way of expressing some competency in an already saturated area.

I agree that some kind of "medium"ish blog/portfolio feature, available on the seller profile, and maybe with a function where former customers could comment, would be a good way to give sellers more room to showcase their talents and buyers to make a better decision (though we’d certainly get another wave of posts about copycatted blogs and such before long then …). Fiverr could also do some “curating” for the feature’s general landing page, and post articles highlighting the best-rated sellers of each category weekly, or monthly, etc.

Also it might be an idea to ask Buyers to provide a more detailed review, perhaps guided by a form, so things other buyers are interested in would be covered, including questions about the scope of the work, the price ($5-$50, $50-$100, …).
All those questions should not be mandatory, however, and it would have to be made clear to buyers that they only need to fill out the parts they’d like to fill out.
If technically feasible, maybe there could be some incentive, like a discount code for x filled out detailed reviews, or a shiny new tag, or even a reduction of buyer fees if buyers choose to always leave the detailed reviews.
As sellers may not ask buyers anything to do with reviews nor talk about the actual order because of privacy reasons, the asking would have to come from Fiverr and the talking from the buyers.

Of course, having actual humans, professionals in the different categories, do some quality checks, maybe, like, for the first 3 deliveries of every new seller and every n-th time for any seller, would be a good thing too, but for one, probably simply too expensive with the mass of gigs and sellers happening all the time, and also there would be the issue of subjectivity for many gigs/deliveries. This is probably unrealistic for a big platform like Fiverr with so many different categories, levels of expertise, etc., more something for specialist smaller platforms (plus it would necessarily make things more expensive).

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I doubt buyers care about what tests people have taken.

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I, personally, have chosen not to take any of the voluntary skills tests, because I don’t need tests to prove my skills. I prove my skills through happy clients, great communication with potential clients, and the general professionalism and knowledge shown by how I present myself on my gigs, and in my marketing efforts. My proof is, as they say, “in the pudding”, not a test score that is little more than a number – a number that, from visual inspection on any seller’s gig, doesn’t really prove anything.

Example: Many years ago, when I was in high school I played baseball. I had a low batting average, but I was good on the base paths (i.e., running, stealing, etc). My batting average defined nothing about my running skills or my speed on defense. Therefore, my batting average didn’t define me as an overall baseball player.

In the same way, a skill test percentage really doesn’t define a seller as an overall seller. There are other far more important ways of determining the value of a good Fiverr seller.

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