User Guide

Consult the following step-by-step guide to learn more about using StartAJob. Find more information about select topics in user guide menu.

Getting started:

  1. Creating an account

  2. Posting a job

  3. Boosting a job

  4. Awarding medals

  5. Making a hire

  6. Placing funds in escrow

  7. Finding a job

  8. Placing an offer

  9. Resolving a dispute

  10. Earning skill medals

Creating an account

Start by entering your email and creating a username and password on the Sign Up page. Then watch your email inbox for a confirmation link. Confirm your email by clicking the link or copying and pasting it into your browser.

Next, complete your profile. A complete profile is your best tool for winning jobs and connecting with potential employees.

Go to your profile and click the Edit option that appears next to your username. Fill out your personal information, then proceed to the resume, company, and billing information tabs.

Use the My Resume tab to add information about your professional experience, education, and language skills. You can preview your public resume by clicking the URL that appears immediately above the tabs.

Next, use the My Company tab to add info about your company, if applicable. This is essential if you plan to post permanent jobs. This tab includes a link to your company’s branded employment page, plus tools you need to verify your website.

Finally, use the Billing Information tab to enter your preferred credit/debit card or PayPal account information. You’ll use these billing sources to deposit funds for workers you hire or to receive payment for work completed.

More account tips:

  • Keep the contact information listed in your profile current
  • Add any new experience or education accomplishments to your resume
  • Track the skill medals you’ve been awarded on your profile page
  • Access your job history both hires you’ve made and jobs you’ve completed from your profile page

Posting a job

To start posting jobs, you need to create an account, complete your profile, and provide billing information.

Once you’ve completed these steps, determine what kind of job you want to post. You can hire:

  • Service professionals (carpenters, electricians, cleaners, drivers, etc.)
  • Freelancers (tech, creative, and other fields)
  • Permanent employees (in any field)

You’ll select the category and employment type you need as you complete the job posting form.

Click the Post a Job link on the main menu. Give your job a title and provide a description. You can attach supporting files (formal job descriptions, project briefs, photos, etc.) if you choose.

Next, list your maximum budget. For one-time jobs (service professionals or freelancers), this is the maximum amount you are prepared to pay once the job is completed. For permanent employees, list the pre-tax salary for one month.

Choose your category. You’ll see different options for sub-categories and skills depending on what you choose.

For freelance creative and tech jobs, choose any precise skills you need, including experience with specific applications, programming languages, etc.

Selecting skills is important; when you identify a skill, we’ll notify users with that skill about your job, helping you match with the best-qualified applicants. Once your job is complete, you’ll evaluate your employee and award them medals based on the skills you selected. Skill medals provide incentive for employees to do great work.

When hiring service professionals for repairs and related jobs, use video clips to show what you need done. You can upload a video file when you post your job or create and post your video through the StartAJob app. Note that all uploaded videos will be available for public preview on our YouTube channel.

Now choose an employment type: one-time or permanent.

You can also restrict your posting to candidates from a specific geographic area. You can narrow your search to one or more regions of the world or enter a specific city. If you choose the city option, just start typing the city name and choose from the options that appear.

Click the Post New Job button to complete the process. You’ll receive a confirmation email that your job is posted.

Once you post your job, it will be manually reviewed by our moderators. You can see its status by checking the My Employer Activity tab on your profile. Once your job is approved, you can start reviewing candidates.

Make sure you have verified your phone number and payment method, so we can list your job in our messages to the best-matched candidates. We’ll help you find top candidates, but first you must be verified.

You can go to the job page (find it from the My Employer Activity tab in your profile) to edit the job, cancel it, or repost it. Scroll down to find bids listed as they come in.

Job posting tips:

  • Provide a complete job description to ensure the best fit
  • Consider adding video or photos for home repairs and other service professional jobs they can help candidates provide accurate bids
  • Offer a realistic budget candidates may want to negotiate
  • Choose skills needed for freelance jobs employees earn medals for these skills
  • Boost your job to attract even more great candidates

Boosting a job

We notify qualified candidates when you post a job that fits their expertise and experience, but you can get more attention for your job by choosing boost options.

From your job’s page, click the boost option, which is to the right of the job title. Then choose from social media and newspaper advertising choices.

Set your budget for each social network and newspaper you choose. We’ll bill your account for the total amount of your budgets plus a service fee.

We will do all the rest, posting advertisements in the outlets of your choice. Boosting a job is a great way to cast a wider net for qualified candidates.

Boosting tips:

  • Use the boost option to expand your reach and connect with candidates who aren’t already using our platform
  • Advertise in a variety of venues you never know who might see your ads on social media or in local newspapers
  • Save time and money by letting us manage your advertising campaigns

Awarding medals

Employers award employees medals once jobs are completed. Medals help employees demonstrate their skills and are incentive for them to do great work.

You’ll be asked to review your employee after you’ve released payment for a completed job. You’ll award medals for the skills you identified when you originally created the job.

You can choose to award a bronze, silver, gold, or no medal for each skill associated with a job.

Medal tips:

  • Provide fair and honest evaluations and use medals to acknowledge strong work
  • Award no medal if a particular skill turned out irrelevant to your job, and you are unable to evaluate it

Making a hire

Once you post a job, you’ll begin to get bids from interested service professionals, freelancers, and permanent job-seekers depending on the category and employment type you posted.

Review bids by going to the job page. You’ll see a list of your jobs on the My Employer Activity tab on your profile.. Click the job you want to review to open its page.

Scroll down to find bids submitted by candidates. Review their profiles, send messages to request more information, or click the “Hire Worker” button when you decide on a candidate and bid you like.

Make sure the candidate has proposed a payment amount and a deadline you’re comfortable with. You can message them and ask that they change their terms prior to making your hire.

Your hire is complete once you and your employee both approve the terms. The “Terms” tab on the job page keeps a running list of terms with potential actions clearly listed. You can update the terms even after a hire is completed.

Once your hire is complete, place your agreed-upon payment in escrow. This step secures payment and gives employees the confidence to start work. You release escrowed payment only when the job is completed to your satisfaction. Read more about the escrow process below.

Use our system to communicate with your employee for the duration of your job. This is important—any communication you log becomes part of your contract and will be considered evidence in the rare event of a dispute. We can’t accept any communication that takes place outside of our platform as evidence.

Once the job is finished, review the work and approve payment by clicking the “Release” button next to the escrowed payment. The payment you release will be deposited into your employee’s StartAJob account. Clicking the “Cancel” button for an escrowed payment will initiate the dispute process. Use this option only if you encounter a problem and want to negotiate a settlement or go to arbitration.

Take a little time to review your employee and award them medals (no medal, bronze, silver, or gold) based on their performance in any skills you identified when posting the job.

Hiring tips:

  • Ask any questions up front—make sure you’re getting the right person for the job
  • Review candidates’ profiles and resumes to get a sense of their experience
  • Set a payment you’re comfortable with and factor service fees into your budget
  • Help other employers and employees by providing review when jobs are done

Placing funds in escrow

Our escrow system protects both employers and employees. For employers, it’s a convenient way to make payment once a job is completed, keeping funds secure until you approve the work. For employees, it offers a guarantee of payment for good work.

An employer places funds in escrow once the employer agrees on job terms with their employee and hires the employee for a job. Use the “Escrow Deposit” tab on the job page to establish an escrow amount and provide a description.

The escrow deposit will be deducted from the employer’s preferred payment source. We’ll keep it secure until the job is done and the employer approves payment to the employee.

Use the “Release” button on the “Escrow” tab’s list of deposits to release a payment. Use the “Cancel” button if you encountered a problem on the job and want to negotiate a settlement with the employee or proceed through the dispute process.

Finding a job

To start finding jobs, you need to create an account, complete your profile, and add resume information that will help employers get to know you.

Once your profile is complete, start searching for jobs that interest you using the Find a Job link on the main menu. Click any category that interests you. Use advanced search features to narrow results by budget, skills, and more.

When you see a job you like, click its title to find more information. If you want to be considered for the job, place an offer and work through the offer process.

Job-finding tips:

  • Use advanced-search functions to limit results to a specific geographic area (especially helpful for service professionals or permanent jobs)
  • Explore different categories—employers can list jobs where you may not expect them
  • Consider other sorts of jobs—you might be able to make money with a quick courier or babysitting job while searching for your ideal opportunity
  • Earn medals based on your skills—we will use your medals to identify other jobs that might interest you, then alert you about those jobs via email

Placing an offer

When you find a job that interests you, place an offer to be considered by the employer.

Write a short cover letter that explains why you’re the best person for the job. This is your best chance to make an impression. You can upload any supporting documents—professional resumes, work samples, etc.

Propose how much you want to be paid for the job and identify how many days you will need to complete it. Be sure to set a realistic deadline. If you are unable to complete the job within the timeframe you and your employer agree on, the employer can cancel the job, and you won’t get paid.

Bidding on jobs is competitive. Some employers will decide to hire based on price, but many will consider candidates’ experience and other factors. Keep your profile up to date and propose a fee that meets your needs and fits your qualifications.

Click the “Submit” button to post your bid. Once you’ve posted it, you can send the employer a message or make edits to your bid using the buttons on the job page.

If the employer is interested in your bid, they may accept it right away or contact you with questions. They might want to negotiate fees and deadlines—both employers and employees can propose changes until they arrive at an agreement.

Once the employer accepts your final bid, you have three days to confirm acceptance. If you don’t accept the job within this period, your bid will be automatically rejected.

After you accept the job, ask your employer to place the agreed-upon payment in escrow. Our escrow system helps ensure you’ll get paid once a job is complete.

Throughout the job, be sure to conduct all business-related communications through our platform. Decline any request from your employer to conduct work outside of StartAJob.

Our system offers a great way to find work and get paid, and it keeps you safe. By working outside of our system, you lose all these benefits:

  • A great job-matching system that costs you nothing (employers pay all the fees)
  • An escrow system that gets payment upfront, keeps it secures, and ensure you’ll get paid for good work
  • A way to earn medals for skills, build your professional profile, and get automatic leads on new jobs

We keep a record of all job-related communication, which can help you in event of a dispute. Any communication that takes place outside our system cannot be considered evidence.

Finally, working outside our system violates our Terms of Service and can result in your account being suspended.

Once the job is completed, your employer will release your payment from escrow. We’ll deposit it to your StartAJob account. You can withdraw funds to your preferred payment account by selecting the Withdraw option under the My Profile link on the main menu.

Bidding tips:

  • Propose a fair price for every job—consider the employer’s budget but also your needs
  • Offer competitive bids when starting out—winning and successfully competing jobs will build your profile
  • Ask questions and make sure you understand what employers are looking for
  • Set a deadline that you’re sure you can meet
  • Conduct all business through our platform, and decline any request to from your employer to conduct work outside of it

Resolving a dispute

When employers and employees aren’t able to resolve an issue directly, our dispute process offers a fair solution.

Either party can initiate a dispute using the “File a Dispute” tab on the appropriate job page. The party who initiates the dispute first proposes a settlement, usually a portion of the agreed-upon payment for the job.

The other party has up to three days to review the settlement and respond. If the responding party accepts the settlement, the proposed settlement payment is transferred and the case closed. If the responding party rejects the settlement, the next step is arbitration.

To start arbitration, the responding party deposits a $50 arbitration fee in escrow. The other party also must deposit a $50 fee—if they don’t deposit their fee within three days, the dispute is settled in the responding party’s favor and their arbitration fee refunded.

Once both parties have deposited their fees, they provide our arbitrators with any evidence to support their case. All evidence must be included in a single message to the arbitration team and be provided in a timely manner.

If one party does not submit evidence within three days, the dispute is settled in the other party’s favor. The party who failed to provide evidence surrenders their arbitration fee.

Arbitrators may follow up with question. Responses are due within three days. If one party fails to respond to questions, the dispute is settled in the other party’s favor.

After reviewing all evidence, the arbitrator will decide on a binding settlement. According to our Terms of Service, arbitration decisions cannot be appealed.

The winning party will receive any payment due for the job, plus a refund of their $50 arbitration fee. The other party will surrender their arbitration fee and any payments due for the job.

Earning skill medals

Employees earn skill medals for completing jobs. When an employer creates a job, they identify any skills needed to successfully complete the job. When the jobs is finished, they can award a medal for each skill as part of the employee evaluation process.

You want to earn the highest medal you can in each skill listed for a job. When you accept a job, review all the skills that your employer has identified. You’ll be evaluated for each of these skills, so be sure to deliver your best performance in each area.

A medal is a badge of honor—it means more than just a rating. It shows other employers that you’re an accomplished professional who does great work.

Complete the best work you possibly can. When the job is done, your employer will award you with bronze, silver, gold, or no medal for each skill.

Medal tips:

  • Communicate frequently with your employer, since regular, proactive communication is one of the best ways to earn a positive evaluation (make sure to conduct all communication through our platform for your protection)
  • Look for opportunities to highlight your work in different skill areas that will help your employer rate you
  • Keep working—if you’re not satisfied with your ratings for one job, remember that you’ll earn recognition over time
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