Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Clarification On The Status of Job Postings

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

September 14, 2009

Comments (12)

People in an officeWhy are there so many jobs that appear to have not been cast by their deadline?

How come a job you may have auditioned for weeks or months ago, although it is technically closed, still doesn't show that someone has been hired?

How does SurePay fit into all of this?

Find out in this comprehensive article.

Why Does it Appear that So Many Jobs are Not Completed?

Over the past several weeks, I (and other members of the Voices.com team) have received an increased volume in the number of questions about the job posting to completion process at Voices.com.

When I had not one but four or five people ask me the same question at the mixer in Los Angeles next week, it became clear that we needed to address this more publicly and not just on an individual basis.

I have some information to share with you that I think will shed light where there may be darkness :)

According to a snapshot of statistics from April 2009 through July 2009 tracking the completion rate of jobs posted at Voices.com, we can confirm that at any given stage:

๏ Half of the open jobs are still being reviewed by their client
๏ The other half are completed (that means a talent has been chosen), with over 2/3 of those completed jobs being verified and processed via SurePay

Although this information is reassuring, we are aware that there is still room to improve and to grow.

Many of you have noted that a number of people are concerned to see that some of the past jobs they've auditioned for months ago have not yet progressed to awarding a talent, leaving them to wonder if a client is merely window-shopping or kicking tires, possibly also wondering if auditioning online is a waste of time.

While this view is legitimate from the perspective of a voice talent who is eager to get working quickly, there are always two sides to every story.

Perspective

Being in the position that we are as a marketplace, able to monitor and track the use of our site to better understand the online casting process, we have observed that those who use our service with the objective of hiring talent do so at their own pace. Whether or not it happens to fall within their stated deadline for finding a talent can be another matter.

For the client, finding a talent within that time frame is necessary because identifying whom you will work with is an important factor business wise, bar none. Hiring them immediately may not be as high of a priority and comes in due course.

To put it another way, if you've ever planned an event, let's say a wedding, you know that you need to line up your vendors in advance to ensure that they will commit and be available at the appointed time to perform their services. Similarly, it is comforting for a client to know that a voice talent will be available, and at the appointed time (not always immediately), business can be done.

Understanding, Patience, and Acceptance

Some clients, regardless of their deadlines for finding talent, may not have a pressing need to have their voice over recorded instantly. This can understandingly be very frustrating for people who are hoping to work with them as their voice.

That being said, once an audition is sent, talent have the choice to let it go and file it away in the back of their mind in pursuit of the next opportunity, and in this way eliminate stress regarding past auditions.

Just think. When you are worrying away about auditions you sent earlier, even months ago, someone on the other side of that equation is working on a project where the voice over is just one component of the bigger picture, waiting for the right moment when everything falls into place.

I think you would agree that it does not make sense to spend money on something before you have to. Businesses are run based upon cash flow, and it may be more convenient for a client to wait a few weeks or months, depending on their priorities relative to their needs.

Using the Site the Way it was Designed Prevents Issues!

Laurynda Pasma shared with me that in her daily follow ups with clients who have not selected a talent, she often hears that the client did indeed pick someone to work with, however, they chose to work with their Voices.com talent off of our site, leaving their job in an "Open" status.

Considering their decision to work off the site, it is understandable that they would also opt not to indicate that they had found a talent or engage with our staff once off the site. This also explains why there are fewer "completed" jobs than there truly are.

Ideally, work is completed through Voices.com, and that means completing the entire project, not just finding a talent.

When a client posts a job, they are fully aware that they will be hiring the talent, receiving files, and making payment through Voices.com. They are also aware at the job posting stage that the quote they see includes our Escrow fee, payable upon successful completion of their job.

Here's the flow a client goes through when using Voices.com as intended:

๏ Signs up or logs in to an existing account
๏ Requests a quote or Posts a job
๏ Job is placed in queue for approval
๏ If the job is approved talent receive notifications
๏ Talent audition or reply
๏ Clients receive responses in their account
๏ Casting process begins
๏ Upon finding the person they wish to work with, the job is "Awarded" to a talent
๏ This "Award Job" button launches the SurePay service
๏ Talent confirms availability and sends a work agreement
๏ Client accepts terms
๏ The client's money is held in escrow by Voices.com in a neutral bank account
๏ Talent is notified that it is safe to record as the funds are being held
๏ Talent uploads finished audio to Voices.com
๏ Client listens to audio and approves it
๏ Approving files lets us know that the funds can be released
๏ Talent is paid out by Voices.com
๏ Client and talent may leave feedback for each other about their experience

For years, we struggled with how best to earn business from clients posting jobs at our site. After many experiments, we realized something very important...

Clients will not pay us for our services in advance but have communicated overwhelmingly that they will pay a transaction fee once they have completed their job posting at Voices.com.

They value what we do for them, how their projects are managed, and trust us to be a full service provider, helping them to get the job done from start to finish. Their experience at the site, the ability to gain access to our talent through a casting call, and the benefit of conducting business safely online without reservation is of the utmost importance.

We deliver on our promise 100%.

This is the service we deliver to them and using SurePay is how clients pay us for serving them.

Clients who post jobs at Voices.com know what to expect according to how the site works, however when a voice talent changes course (whether consciously or unconsciously), that alters the client's perceived notion of how the site is supposed to work, and consequently, does not give them the opportunity to pay us for using the service successfully, and in some cases, takes them out of their comfort zone when something unexpected takes place, contrary from what they understood was going to happen.

If the message you wanted to hear was that people are being hired, you've got it!

We are working on ways to improve upon this but we cannot do it alone.

Voice talent and clients using the site can help by completing all of their work at Voices.com or by at least indicating that a talent has been chosen and the project has been completed.

To give you another glimmer of hope, we have seen jobs where a client has waited a year to formally select a talent and continue the process via SurePay... a whole year! Imagine if you were one of those applicants who spent an entire year fretting over an audition that you feared would not lead to a booking, leading to resentment of the audition's source, only to discover that the job was fulfilled and your worrying was for nothing!

What we need to emphasize in all this is that people are being hired, there is concrete proof of people being hired and or awarded jobs, and we are working on ways to help clients achieve their goals, which are to hire voice talent to record their messages.

I want to thank you reading this post. These revelations are quite timely, and I truly hope, useful and reassuring.

If you have any questions, we'd be happy to answer you here or off the blog via email.

Best wishes,

Stephanie and The Voices.com Team

©iStockphoto.com/Lise Gagne

Related Topics: clients, hired, job postings, Los Angeles, SurePay, voice overs, voice talent, voiceovers, Voices.com


Comments


    Thank you for your clarification Stephanie,

    It is heartwarming to know that there is still a glimmer of hope for all auditions I've done. The last job I got through Voices did have a delayed response from the client, although it wasn't a year, it was about 6 weeks after the deadline for auditions submission. I was very surprised to get the email saying I'd been awarded the job after such a long time.
    It looks good too. I'm going to get repeat business from it. Whoo hoo!!

    Thanks again Stephanie. You're a treasure!

    Best Regards,

    Pearl Hewitt

    Posted by:

      Thank you very much, Pearl! I'm very happy to hear from you and also to hear your story.

      Best wishes,

      Stephanie

      Posted by:

        Great article, Stephanie! Nice to see a breakdown of how a client executes a transaction from start to finish.

        On a side note, I have (as many others) on occasion been contacted by client regarding about auditions I had done after some time had passed so I know not to hold my breath on any particular job. If they like you they'll find you in due course.
        It might be nice to have a search function for the answered jobs so one could locate a particular project. A client might call on the phone asking about an "environmental" job you auditioned for two weeks prior and sometimes it's hard to locate the original post and the quote you provided (They expect you to know what you bid).

        Thanks again!
        Alex

        Posted by:

          Great information, Stephanie! As a voice talent, I've worked with clients who chose SurePay, and others who did not, and I can say hands down that I prefer the SurePay system (and I was a little iffy about it when the Escrow fee became part of our bid, but you won me over)! I thank all of you at Voices.com for not just innovating the system, but insuring that it works as smoothly as it does. You deserve every penny in compensation you get for that! I've worked via other sites that also had an Escrow option, but none have been as reliable and easy to use as yours.

          And, in my 5+ years experience in voiceover, I can share with any new talent that frets over waiting for audition feedback that usually, the bigger/better the gig, the longer the wait (and this goes for working the project too; some projects can take months to finally finish!). Just keep your eye to your goals, keep improving through practice and coaching, and learn where your voice is best suited. Some types of jobs, like phone work, tend to hire and pay out quicker, so it may be if you know your patience is thin, you want to focus on doing those sorts of auditions more than others. It's all in finding who *you* are in this amazing career!

          Posted by:

            To Alex, thank you for your comments and I wanted to bring to your attention that the Answered folder under jobs does have a Search function available to members right now. Please take a look at your Answered folder for the search jobs function to the right of the grey Delete button.

            Should a client contact you regarding a job that you auditioned for weeks or even months ago, you can find old Answered Leads using the search function. You can search by Job ID number, client name, contact name, or details of the job (such as a character name). This will help you find the job faster so that you can review the job details, your proposal, and quote.

            Best Regards

            Laurynda Pasma
            Product Development Manager

            Posted by:

              Hi Dana and Alex,

              Thank you very much for commenting!

              Dana: I really appreciate you sharing your story here and also hearing about how SurePay has become your preferred billing method. You're also right. Good things come to those who wait! Thank you for the great advice you've given with regard to auditions and which to do more often. I think that tip will help a lot of people in the biz.

              Best wishes,

              Stephanie

              Posted by:

                Great article, Stephanie. Answered a few questions that everyone has. Thanks

                Posted by:
                • Susan D Smart
                • September 14, 2009 11:54 PM

                  Hi Stephanie,
                  I want to pass on my thanks for this article as I have also lost time wondering whether the effort over certain auditions has been worth it! NO more I say!
                  I wonder whether there might be a facility included to see whether or not a client has even opened/listened to an audition? I understand that this technology may not be available - but was thinking that it might allay some of the concern if at least we could be assured that the client had at least taken the time to listen to the hard work we had done? Sometimes I feel it's not so much getting the job as it is making sure that my voice is getting out there.
                  May be too much effort to achieve, but I know it would make me feel a little better.
                  Thanks so much again, though.
                  Larissa (happy voices.com member)

                  Posted by:
                  • Larissa Gallagher
                  • September 15, 2009 8:48 AM

                    Stephanie

                    Thanks for this! It has answered questions I have been carrying around for a while. As someone relatively new to voice overs with limited, (but some, yeah!) success, I have doubts about my ability and welcome any and all insights into my now chosen path.

                    Chris

                    Posted by:
                    • Chris Grumley
                    • September 15, 2009 9:15 AM

                      Hi Stephanie,

                      Thanks for the detailed information. It's nice to know the inner workings of the system. While this knowledge is helpful, it would be nice to have somewhere to tuck the 'long waits' without withdrawing and make it easier to 'manage' the most current auditions. I have made this suggestion in your recent features survey, since the long waits create so much clutter. I look forward to whatever new features come along.

                      Thanks again,
                      Don

                      Posted by:
                      • Don Kettle
                      • September 15, 2009 11:11 AM

                        Indeed, in January or February of this year I was hired for a job that I'd auditioned for in May of 2008. However, the client chose not to pay via SurePay. This meant that I never got credit for being hired for a job through Voices. So, how many others are being hired through Voices where SurePay isn't used by the client, only for the talent to not get credit for booking the job? Karen

                        Posted by:

                          Hi Karen,

                          Thank you for commenting and for your question. I'm thrilled to hear that a job you auditioned for via Voices.com turned into a gig for you after so long!

                          With regard to your question, talent who are not hired by a client who uses SurePay are welcome to report the work to Voices.com and are encouraged to ask your customer for a testimonial that you can post to your Voices.com profile for future customers to see.

                          I also recommend that talent submit a "success story" to get publicity on the Buzz Blog at Voices.com, complete with a link to your profile.

                          http://blogs.voices.com/buzz

                          Unfortunately, when transactions are completed outside of SurePay, even if the job was posted at Voices.com, we cannot officially give you credit for booking a job that we have no record of from start to finish.

                          We'd love to recognize you for your work though which is why I've made some suggestions above that will help us to do that for you.

                          Best wishes,

                          Stephanie

                          Posted by:

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