I’m Robert and I’ve been a tutor on Tutorful for about six months.
I tutor English as a Foreign Language and have a breadth of experience. I thought that would help me to take on students but, so far, I have only had one - despite a positive review, prompt response times and many repeat lessons. This is despite also incorporating introductory offers well below my market value.
The issue is that myself, and I imagine many other teachers that specialise in this field (and others) find it impossible to break through due to the search algorithm. While I understand that there has been an uptake in tutors due to the pandemic, it is disappointing that I have no way of appearing towards the first few pages of a search for EFL tutors.
The problems are these. If you conduct a search for ‘Advanced EFL tuition’ at least half of the tutors on the first page are not native speakers, and actually specialise in other languages before English. There are even tutors, right at the top of the search results, that specialise in subjects such as History & Maths, and perhaps do some EFL tuition on the side. Clearly, the quantity of their lessons & reviews (coming from other subjects) send them to the top, and make it impossible for specialists in the field to be seen by learners.
I think that a weighted system, where tutors list their subjects of preference/experience (unseen by students), thus affecting search visibility, would result in a far fairer marketplace. Is this something you have considered?
Also, given that reviews affect visibility, couldn’t you amend the algorithm in such a way that it takes into account only the reviews relevant to the search being conducted?
It took several months to be accepted on Tutorful and that makes it even more disappointing. The interface is generally good, I just wish you could make things fairer for specialist professionals. I feel that the current system is not only going to deter tutors from using the platform, but also make it considerably harder for students to find tutors that can provide them with the best service.
I hope that you (site developers) listen to my feedback and let me know your thoughts.