Mylittlejob is a student-only crowdwork platform, with a wide range of tasks available to workers, including translation work, transcription, market surveys, research, graphic design, computer programming, data processing/cleaning, and even recruiting (e.g., refer a friend to a company looking to hire new employees).
Their pitch to potential student-workers is to “work from home at any time, fair hourly wage, no commitments.” Notably, what exactly is meant by “fair” is not clearly defined.
- Registered Workers
- Workers Are...
- Self Employed
- Payment Model
- Payment per task
- Payment per unit time
- German, English, Spanish, Italian
- Signed Code of Conduct
- Official Company Name
- Mylittlejob GmbH
- Year Founded
- Headquarters Location
- Hamburg, Germany
- Talerio (recruitment platform for more formal work positions)
- Daniel Barke and Marlon Litz-Rosenzweig
- Number of Employees
Hamburg, Germany-based Mylittlejob was founded in 2011. The platform offers an algorithmic matching system that promises to pair knowledgeable student-workers with companies in need of expertise. As their about page explains:
… we offer students with their individual know-how the chance to earn money as and when they want to. Businesses can then instantly harness the talents of many different students, without the delay that comes from lengthy selection proceedings.
Time consuming applications and selection procedures give way to an automated selection process which is based on data and does not overlook any relevant qualities.
In addition to providing a platform where companies can post jobs directly, Mylittlejob also offers to help companies “plan and execute larger projects.”
As of 2016, Mylittlejob GmbH is also operating a recruitment platform, “Talerio” (http://talerio.com), which advertises “data driven recruiting” of the over 200,000 students registered on the Mylittlejob platform.
Talerio promises “quick filling of positions with personalized automated contact”, selection of appropriate candidates with pre-tested strengths and capabilities (partially through tasks already completed on Mylittlejob), and a discrimination-free hiring process (which, it is suggested, will be good for employers’ brands) which keeps a candidate anonymous in early stages of the recruitment process.
Mylittlejob takes a 20% commission on the client billing side of the transaction; no fees are charged to workers directly.
Student workers are considered self-employed, as stated clearly in the platform terms of service:
The Student acknowledges and agrees that the performance of any Job will not, under any circumstance, create an employment, agency or partnership relationship between Mylittlejob , the Customer and any Student. The Student will not represe nt him or herself as an employee, partner or agent of Mylittlejob or the Customer . Students may not refer to Mylittlejob as their employer at any point in time, either verbally or on social media and business networks.
Jobs and Clients
Mylittlejob is a general crowdwork platform, with a broad range of tasks available. As they write on their website, clients can use the platform to hire workers to do “anything that can be done on a computer!”:
From graphics and programming to writing texts, small jobs to large ones, everything can be found at Mylittlejob. Whether you need 500 words written for your blog, or you would like your whole product catalogue translated-we have the solution.
The work posted on the platform all consists of one-off tasks, including surveys, and other tasks commonly found on other crowdwork platforms like Mechanical Turk and CrowdFlower.
In addition, the platform also lists a fair number of bigger projects that would be unusual for these other platforms. For example, in September 2016, an entire 38,000 word manuscript was posted as a single task on Mylittlejob, paying out a total of €1,160. On microtask platforms like Mechanical Turk, CrowdFlower or Clickworker, we would expect to see a task of this size broken down into smaller pieces.
Mylittlejob has more than 4,000 clients, including:
- Edeka (grocery)
- EMP (music merchandising)
- About You (fashion)
- Adler (fashion)
- Leagas Delaney (ad agency)
- Bertelsmann (German media multinational)
Clients post tasks to the Mylittlejob site, and Mylittlejob promises to use an algorithm to match the task with the student workers best-suited to completing it.
Workers on Mylittlejob, must first register with a University email address and take an assessment test. After this testing, they can then search for jobs, and choose projects that suit their “tastes and ability.”
After completing a task, workers upload results to the site. After a client approves the work, payment is released to the worker’s Mylittlejob account.
Notably, students can elect to receive a payout of their account balance at any time, there is no mimimum balance required to initiate a payment.
This information was collected from 25-100 verified workers on the platform in 2016 and 2017. More information
Hourly Wages MINIMUM: €0.40 MAXIMUM: €56.25 AVERAGE: €9.97 MEDIAN: €7.73
Average pay reported by respondents to our survey is above the German minimum wage of €8,50 an hour, although median pay is below it, and some respondents still reported that pay is very low for some tasks. Compared to off-platform pay for similar highly-skilled work such as programming, engineering, writing, and translation, pay is low.
Hourly Wage Distribution
Most respondents reported experiencing nonpayment at least once. On MyLittleJob there is no time limit within which customers must review submitted work and choose to pay (“accept”) or refuse to pay (“reject”) it. As a result, many respondents to our survey reported waiting more than two weeks, and in some cases more than two or three months, for customers to review and pay for their work.
Frequency of Nonpayment Experiences
We have not completed our review of communication on this platform. Preliminary statistics from our survey follow. More details to come soon.
Communicating with management
Impressively, respondents to our survey reported that platform management usually responds to their questions usefully and promptly, and always respectfully.
Communicating with clients
Most respondents to our survey reported that they did not know how to communicate with clients. Many respondents wrote that this became a problem in cases where task instructions were unclear or files or links were missing or did not work.
Communicating with other workers
Most workers reported they did not know how to communicate with other workers.
Some respondents noted that clients are allowed to reject work (i.e., refuse to pay), or to pay but leave a negative rating for the worker without any explanation.
We have not completed our review of tasks on this platform. Preliminary statistics from our survey follow. More details to come soon.
Positive features of tasks on Mylittlejob
Most survey respondents noted that there were usually enough tasks available on MyLittleJob for them to find something appropriate for them, and that tasks were generally “interesting and varied.”
How often is the work ...
Negative features of tasks on Mylittlejob
No respondents described tasks on MyLittleJob as psychologically harmful, demeaning, or physically dangerous. Only a few noted that they found some tasks ethically questionable.
How often is the work ...
Most workers described the MyLittleJob website as fast, reliable, and user-friendly. One worker, however, noted that the server is occasionally down and that they were unable to upload work within deadline as a result of this server outage. The result was a rejection, which may have negatively affected the worker’s ratings.
Things Workers Like
As with most online work platforms, workers like that they can work “anytime and anywhere,” according to their own schedules, and complete only those jobs they think will be interesting. To some extent, workers can choose jobs based on pay, although this is limited by the overall relatively low pay. Workers said that they found tasks to be “interesting and varied”.
Workers described their interactions with platform management positively, with one describing MyLittleJob as a “helpful and competent partner.” Workers said that platform management usually responded to questions promptly and helpfully, and always respectfully.
Workers described the MyLittleJob site as fast, reliable, and relatively user-friendly.
One worker wrote, “The concept is simply super!”
The two major issues mentioned by almost all workers who responded to our survey are:
- It is hard or impossible to contact clients directly. This is a major problem because task descriptions are often unclear and files or links may be missing or broken.
- There is no time limit within which clients must review submitted work (and pay for approved work).
Additional issues include:
- Clients are not required to give a reason for rejecting work (i.e., for nonpayment) or for low work evaluations (star ratings).
- Task instructions are sometimes unclear, and necessary files or links are sometimes missing or do not work.
- Sometimes it is extremely difficult or impossible to complete a task in the specified time limit.
- According to at least one respondent, some clients reject work but go on to use it.
- Pay for some tasks is very low.
- Task instructions sometimes do not always accurately describe the work, making it difficult to estimate how long a task will take. This sometimes leads to an hourly wage lower than the worker expected when they accepted the task.
- Clients sometimes require revisions that result in tasks taking much longer than the worker expected, reducing the wage for the tasks.
- The ten-minute period within which the worker may “cancel” a job after starting it without incurring a “rejection” (which may negatively affect their ratings) is sometimes not long enough to find out if they can satisfactorily complete the job.
Ability to Refuse Payment Rejection:positive ratingRejection (nonpayment) of work is allowed, but platform staff oversee rejection. If a customer uses the work, it is accepted (and therefore the customer must pay) according to the terms of service.
Change to Terms of Service: Change:negative ratingUnilateral change to terms without notice allowed. Worker's or client's continued use of the site signals acceptance of changed terms.
Warranty Warranty:positive ratingIf submitted work is unsatisfactory, the platform reserves the right to return the work to the worker, or to a different worker, for improvement before the customer has the right to refuse payment.
Contact with Employers Client Contact:positive ratingNo prohibition on client contact.
Contact with Workers Rejection:positive ratingNo prohibition on contact with other workers.
- Mylittlejob homepage, https://www.mylittlejob.com/, accessed 2017-04-24
- Mylittlejob Profile, Crunchbase. https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/mylittlejob-gmbh, accessed 2017-04-23
- Mylittlejob, About page, https://www.mylittlejob.com/ueber-uns, accessed 2017-04-23.
- Mylittlejob, About page, https://www.mylittlejob.com/ueber-uns, accessed 2017-04-23.
- “How it Works” Mylittlejob website, https://www.mylittlejob.com/howto, accessed 2017-04-27.
- Mylittlejob, Inc. General terms and conditions for Students As of August 25 , 2016. https://www.mylittlejob.com/agb.pdf, accessed 2017-04-28.
- “How it Works,” Mylittlejob website. https://www.mylittlejob.com/howto, accessed 2017-04-28.