HELP AVAILABLE Listings
What are Help Available listings?
Should I list my services?
How do I manage my Helper listing?
How do I post an ad?
Should I look through ads or post a job?
How do I post a job?
How do I find a job?
How do I find a service provider?
How do I apply for a job?
How do I know when someone has applied to my job?
Job alerts: Tell me when new jobs are available
Why can't I see people and jobs on the map?
How do I remove a job?
How do I edit a job?
How do I manage my jobs?
How do I give a rating?
Are people screened?
What is in my profile?
What is a public vs. private profile?
How do I edit my profile?
What are ratings?
How can I change my rating?
How do I change my email?
Why should I keep using the site once I have established a relationship?
What about safety?
Why should I log in?
What labor laws apply to hiring minors?
What taxes do I owe?
How do I donate?
If you have registered on HelpAroundTown and you are having trouble signing in:
Make sure you are clicking 'SIGN IN', not 'Register' when you come back to the site
Immediately after registering, CHECK YOUR EMAIL. We will have sent you a confirmation email.
You MUST click on the LINK in the Email to return to HelpAroundTown.
Then, the HelpAroundTown home page will say, in the top right corner, '" Welcome back, your First name, Last Name'. You'll also see new options: Messages / job posts/ work history / profile / my ads to take you to all your activity on HelpAroundTown.
To see who is available to do jobs, go to Find Help and see the Helper listings
Click on the name to see the person's profile and any ratings & recommendations they received.
Click on Contact to send them a message.
A Helper Listing promotes your availability when you are actively looking for extra work.
It enables you to say "Hey, I'm here, I'm available" - just where people go when they need help.
Some Buyers like to post a job and see everyone who applies. Others prefer to see who's available, and never bother posting a job.
A listing gives you visibility. You can still apply to jobs, with and without a listing. But you may also hear from people who never post their job
Use your LISTING to describe WHAT you do: what service(s) do you offer? price? where? when? Listings promote your AVAILABILITY for work.
Use your PROFILE to describe WHO you are: experience, training & education. Profiles answer the buyer's question of WHY they should hire YOU. Note that to protect members' privacy, profiles are not visible unless you take deliberate action: you share the profile link, or you post or apply to a job, or you list your services or you link your profile to an ad.
Use your AD to promote your business. Ads must include the business's contact info in the text, so people can reach you. (Listings rely on in-platform messaging. Listings are designed so you can keep your email and phone private and still get leads). Ads are visible everywhere in the world. Listings are only visible within 50 miles of your address. Ads include a graphic and can link to your profile (opt-in). Listings always link to your profile.
You can share your profile, listing or ad by email or on social media.
To create a helper listing:
To end or manage your helper listing:
If your listing is active, you can:
Edit the listing by clicking on its title
Take down the listing by selecting Unpost. Note: you will still be charged for the recurring subscription. This removes the listing from public view. It's a good option if you're busy or unavailable for a short while, but want to repost the listing in a few days.
Cancel the subscription by selecting 'Cancel Subcription'
You pay for your listing with a monthly subscription. - Listings will renew automatically once a month at $9.95/month - Once the subscription is running, you can cancel it at any time. - Once you cancel a subscription, you will not be billed for it anymore.
Please email admin[at]HelpAroundTown.com if you encounter any billing problem.
Note - If you're paying for a listing, make sure you edit your profile:
Your listing automatically links to your profile. Your profile is a free page created for you at registration. Make sure you edit your profile to share what skills and relevant experience you have to support the services you're promoting in your listing. Upload a picture so it's not a Duckie. Your profile will automatically display any ratings you have earned on jobs done. The link to edit your profile is in the yellow bar at the very top right of any HelpAroundTown page. You must be signed in to see it.
How to create your ad on HelpAroundTown?
Register & confirm your email, or sign in. Then, go to the Bulletin Board www.HelpAroundTown.com/cards
Click on POST A NEW AD, the blue button, top left
Create your ad
Title – choose a catchy title
Graphic - upload a good graphic (.jpeg, .png, or .gif format)
Text (copy & paste existing text or create new. Add links.)
Do you want to link the ad to your HelpAroundTown profile? It's particularly valauable, if you have good ratings & recommendations to show off, or just additional info on your profile.
Categories: check off relevant categories only. e.g. Snow Removal and Garden/Plants/Yardwork
Save - This will take you to the payment page.
Pay - Pay with Paypal, using any credit card or a Paypal account.
Manage your ad from 'my ads' when logged in. Extend the ad, edit it, experiment with different graphics, text, special offers.
Consider offering a HelpAroundTown special. People have to mention HelpAroundTown to get it. You get to track how many customers we're sending you.
Your HelpAroundTown ad is editable 24/7. Great for schedule changes, frequently changing offerings, experimenting with wording & graphics.
Make sure you ad includes the key words relevant to your business + contact info.
We recommend that you do both.
For buyers, we still recommend posting the job, even if you find the right person on the Bulletin Board. Make sure the person you want to hire applies to the job you posted. This is better for both of you.
1. Both parties are better off if a job is clearly posted, with expectations, dates, compensation, etc. spelled out.
2. As long as you communicate through the website, you create a record of what you agreed upon. Both parties can see all the messages exchanged between them at any time. You must log in and answer messages through our website, though, for the record to be there.
3. Posting a job and applying for a job enables both parties to rate & recommend each other after a job is done. This is a good incentive for everyone to be on their best behavior.
4. The recommendations and ratings show on users' profiles, helping those launching (or re-launching) their career to establish their reliability and reputation.
To post a job, click on the ‘Post a job’ tab (in the blue navigation bar).
To find a job, go to "Find a Job". http://www.helparoundtown.com/jobs You can look at all the job posted and sort them by date, by distance from you (you mut be logged in so we know where you are) or by pay. To search for certain job categories only, select the categories you are interested in and click 'search'. Anyone can surf the site without logging in. They can see jobs posted. The jobs are visible on a map and as a list. Jobs will indicate the buyer’s first name and initial of last name. They will not show the buyer’s address, full name, or contact information. To see this information, you need to log in. The jobs map shows a job’s neighborhood, but not its specific address.
There are two ways to find service providers: * Search the Bulletin board * Post a job (free) and service providers will apply. When they apply, you can see their profiles.
As a security measure, nobody can flip through our user profiles. To see a profile, you need: * a user to have provided you with a direct link to his/her profile or * to be messaging with someone through the site or * a Bulletin Board ad may include a link to a user's profile.
Otherwise, profiles are kept confidential. You can see buyers' profiles only from the jobs a buyer has posted.
The first time you apply for a job, you register and are given a profile page. You can then contact the buyer and apply for the job. You can see the buyer’s name and address. If the buyer has posted jobs before, you can also see what rating he/she received from previous service providers. The buyer will see your profile. It is up to you to make your profile compelling and relevant to the type of work you seek. If you have done previous jobs before and have received feedback, the buyer will see the ratings and recommendations on your profile, too.
It is up to you to make sure this person is someone you want to work for. We make no representation as to users of the service.
You can see jobs listed and sometimes, the buyer will have made his/her contact information public. If you just email or call the buyer, without registering or logging in, then you lose out. You can only earn ratings and recommendations by applying through HelpAroundTown and being hired for a job. Then, you can initiate ratings when the work is done. These ratings are here to help you earn your next job and the one after. They are a tool for you to demonstrate your reliability, punctuality, and sense of responsibility. It is fundamental to building a professional reputation, whatever your field. When you apply through HelpAroundTown and return to our site to answer messages, all the back and forth messages are stored in your account and in the recipient's account. This has many advantages. - There is a record of your agreement on terms. - There is a record of when you will be there. - Ratings provide an important leverage to both parties. Why would you throw away this leverage? - Even though you may not be hired for this job, the buyer will have a record of your interest, access to your profile, and the ability to contact you for another job in the future, all in one easy to find place.
Buyers are notified by email every time someone applies to their job. They log in to the site and can then view the applicant’s full profile, including name and address. This information is necessary for the buyer to do his/her due diligence on the service provider. The buyer and service provider message each other through the site, until they have agreed on what, where, when and for how much. At that point, they click AGREED and a green check mark appears next to a job.
Jobs are taken down in 2 ways: * Either they expire (when you post or edit a job, you are asked for the date on which to remove the job) or * Buyers actively remove their jobs once they have hired someone or once the work has been done. (Log In, go to Job Posts, you will see your job's Takedown date. To Remove a job immediately, go to Manage /click Options/ Remove.)
We deliberately block users from seeing people's names, profiles or job content on the map to protect users' privacy. If you know where your friends and neighbors live, you will be able to find them on your neighborhood map. But we will not reveal their names, given that maps are viewable to a house-level of precision. If you think we should handle this differently (or if you approve), Contact us and tell us what you recommend.
It’s very easy to edit your profile: - Log in. - Go to 'Profile' In top right navigation bar (yellow) - Click on the 'Edit My Profile’ button Make any changes you want. Include a photo, sign up for notifications, describe your work experience, ... Make sure you click SAVE (blue button in bottom right corner) before leaving the page.
To change your name, email or contact info, go to Profile, click Edit My Profile, then scroll to the bottom of the Edit Profile page, to the band that says “Account Settings (Name, Contact)". Click on EDIT to the right there. Make your changes. Make sure you click SAVE (blue button in bottom right corner) before leaving the page.
Once a job is done, both parties rate each other. Feedback consists of a five-star rating and a text comment.
The five-star rating averages out the ratings on the subcategories below:
Five-star ratings are NOT changeable – by anyone; not even the site administrator. Once they’re given, they are set. Text comments, on the other hand, are free text that the recipient chooses to post publicly. Text comments have to be approved by the recipient before they are posted. Recipients may query the comment and refuse to post it. Comments can go back & forth several times. Users are in control of the comments they post. * Make sure that once a job through Help Around Town is complete, you encourage the buyer or service provider to rate you. Either party can initiate by rating the other. When they receive your rating, they will have the option to rate you back.
To give feedback,
NOTE: To see “write a review” next to the applicant name, either: * the applicant must have sent you a message where he/she clicked the radio button “Apply” or * You must have sent the applicant a message where you clicked the radio button saying “Hire”
We do that so we can make sure ratings are earned for real jobs.
Even if the job has already been done, you can still send the person you hired a message with the “Hire” radio button selected. In the text, just explain you are sending this message so you can rate them.
Once you have rated them, they will be able to rate and recommend you, too.
You cannot change a five-star rating. As you do more jobs, you will receive more ratings, and they will average out. If you have received a bad rating, you can still be hired by people who know and trust you. Make sure they rate you after the job and you will bring your average back up (if that rating was high).
Note that you also rate the other party. If the other party consistently gives or receives negative ratings, that will end up meaning something.
Once a text comment has been accepted and published by the recipient, you can no longer change it.
To change your email,
Go to Profile, click Edit My Profile,
Scroll to the bottom of the Edit Profile page, to where it says “Account Settings (Name, Contact)". Click on EDIT to the right there.
You can change your name, email or address.
MAKE SURE YOU CLICK SAVE (blue button in bottom right corner) before leaving the page.
Please note: your email will appear unchanged in your profile until you do one more step. We will have sent you a confirmation email to the new email address you entered. CONFIRM this email (click on the link in the confirmation email). When you return to our site, you will see your email has changed :-)
When you message through Help Around Town, you create a log of all your messages. Both parties can see the historic log of messages at all times. When two parties agree on something through these messages, it creates a record of it, IF the messages are through the site. It is in both parties’ interest to have a record of their agreements.
The other reason to register every agreement through Help Around Town is that after the scheduled work date, both parties are asked to evaluate each other. If the job is not logged, then there can be no feedback, and both parties lose an opportunity to strengthen their ratings and establish their dependability.
Safety is a concern and we take it seriously. Please see our Safety Page detailing the steps we have taken to encourage safety when dealing with strangers. You still always need to do your due diligence.
When you log in, you can see:
Both MA Labor Laws and federal laws apply to hiring anyone. Very specific Youth Labor Laws have been developed to protect minors. When federal and state laws overlap, the law that is most protective of youth applies. These laws have been developed with regular employment in mind, whether full-time or part-time. We recommend you familiarize yourself with the text, spirit and intent of the law.
To remove a job:
Log in to www.helparoundtown.com
Go to Job Posts.
The jobs you have posted so far will be listed, with their posting date and their take down date.
Under "Manage" on that job's line, click "remove".
You will be asked to confirm that you want the job removed (click OK).
The job will be removed.
If you go to "search a job", the job will no longer appear on that page.
You have to be logged in to edit your jobs.
Access the job by clicking on it on the Home page, on the Find a Job page, or on the Job Posts page.
Clicking on the job title anywhere it appears will take you to the job description page.
If you are logged in, you will have an "edit your job" button on that job description page.
Click the green 'edit your job' button, and you can change the content, the work start and end date, and the job's posting date and take down date.
Make sure to save your changes by clicking 'Update Job' at the bottom of the job edits page.
Log in to HelpAroundTown.com so you can see your Job Posts. (Click 'Job Posts' under Welcome back, Your Name.)
All the jobs you have posted will appear. You will see their posting date, their scheduled Removal Date, whether the job is currently posted or not, all the people who have sent you messages regarding this job, whether they applied for the job, whether you hired them, and if so, wether you rated each other.
Under 'Manage', you have several options:
* edit the job (including changing the dates)
* extend the job: automatically adds 30 days from today to the job removal date
* remove: we will ask you to confirm that you indeed want the job removed from the list of jobs available. The job will remain in your 'Job Posts' page. The 'Posted' Column will have an X instead of a checkmark to indicate that the job has been removed.
No, people are not screened. It is the responsibility of HelpAroundTown users to make their own decision whether they want to work with or for someone they connect with through the site. HelpAroundTown simply provides the connection mechanism. We make no claim to anyone's appropriateness. As in any other hiring decision, make your own background checks, call references, have a preliminary meeting, test the person on a small job before you commit to a big one. Meet first in a public place. Let others know about your meeting. Always message through the site, so there is a record of your messages. Messages not sent through the site cannot be logged. Many companies provide background checks for a fee.
There are tax and benefit implications to being paid for your work and to hiring someone to do work for you. We encourage all our users to consult with their lawyers and accountants to know what their tax and benefits liabilities are and to apply the law.
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue's Household Employment Tax Guide is one possible link to get you started. Many other websites and resources are relevant.
How about smaller payments? This page is not authoritative by any means, but it could be used as a starting point to figure out what one's obligations are, as an employer or as a helper. Also please note the page is not dated, so it is hard to know if it still applies.
We have had the wonderful surprise of being offered donations by members of the communities where we operate. We appreciate the endorsement this represents as well as the donation itself.
TO SEND A CONTRIBUTION TO SUPPORT HELP AROUND TOWN, please send a check addressed to:
Help Around Town, Inc. P.O. Box 546 Lexington, MA 02420