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Client Guide








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To post jobs on Elance:

1. Click the green Post Your Job (it’s free) button in the center of  the Elance Home Page.

2. Complete the registration fields by manually entering your information OR by choosing to use your LinkedIn or Facebook details. Click Continue.

3. Next, the Post Your Job page will open. You may complete your job posting or come back to it later by clicking the Finish Your Registration link

4. Enter a title for your job.

5. Enter a job description. Be as detailed as possible, including specific information about the work needed, the size of the job, estimated start and completion dates*, and some background on your company. You also have access to a number of job description templates by using our Description Assistant.  If you select a template and you no longer want to use it, you can remove the template to revert back to your original text and selections by choosing the Undo button.

  • *In some instances, an "open" completion date is beneficial for a project. For example, projects where it is difficult to estimate the exact end date or situations in which Freelancer and Client wish to extend a specific project on an ongoing basis. For these reasons, you have the option to set the project’s duration as "To be determined." If selected, the job will remain open until either the Client or the Freelancer marks the job complete.

  • For Hourly projects, if Clients and Freelancers have previously agreed to Authorized Hours on the project, these hours will continue to be automatically paid every week (with Auto-Pay) until the job is marked as complete.

6.  You may attach up to 10 files (maximum size 100 MB per attachment) that help clarify the job requirements and enable Freelancers to prepare more thorough, relevant Proposals.

Please use discretion when including private information such as your web address or name.  

7.  Select a Fixed Price or Hourly job.  Fixed price jobs are best when you have well-defined scope and structure for the work.  If the job scope is less certain and you would like to work with your Freelancer on a more flexible basis, then choose the Hourly option.  Hourly jobs are Work View enabled.  Work View is a safe and efficient way to pay for Hourly work online and allows you the ability to view screenshots and comments for the hours billed by the Freelancer.  You will also be asked to select your budget.  You will have the option to choose from  a set of predefined budget ranges or you can create your own custom range.

8. Select the Category and subcategory that best describe your job and the skill set you would like your Freelancer to have. Choosing the right category for your job will help you reach the most qualified candidates. It also ensures that you receive proposals from candidates that have the expertise and skill set that you require for your job.

When you post a job in a subcategory, it will be viewed by all Freelancers in the main category.

9. You may select up to 5 relevant skills you would like your Freelancer to have or Groups that you would like your Freelancer to have joined.   When you select skills, your job will be tagged with the associated keywords, making it more visible to qualified Freelancers when they are searching our job database.

10. In the Location, Privacy and Other Options section, you can set additional job preferences, such as the posting duration, location preference, start date and visibility options. When you are finished, click Continue.  You can choose to Save & Post Later,  which will give you the ability to save your posting.

11. Next you will be able to select your posting type. Elance offers 3 types of job postings.

  • Featured Job Postings - With a Featured Job Posting your job will be highlighted to stand out from the crowd and attract more candidates.  There is a $30 cost to feature your first post, which will include a Payment Verified seal. Any future Featured Posts will be $25 each.

  • Verified Job Postings - Verified job postings will have a Payment Verification seal on your job post. This indicates to Freelancers that you are serious about starting work, as you have linked a payment method to your account. This is a one time $5 fee and the Payment Verification seal will be included on any future jobs.

  • Basic Job Postings - Basic jobs will post your project without any of the features of a Verified or Featured posting.

12. Review your information on the Preview Your Posting page. To make changes to your posting, click the Edit Posting link. To save your job posting as a draft and post it later, click Save & Post Later. To publish your job in search results and category listings, click Post This Job.  NOTE:  You will have to first verify your email by clicking on the link in the verification email we sent to you before your job is posted.

You will receive an email confirmation that your job has been successfully posted, and you can expect to begin receiving proposals within a few hours. To review proposals and manage your jobs, simply follow the instructions in the email by clicking on My Elance in the main navigation and finding the appropriate job.

13. If you have saved your job as a draft, click the My Elance icon.  Under Job Status:  All, select Drafts from the drop down menu.  Click on the job title and follow steps 2-6 of this section.

When posting jobs on Elance, you must abide by the rules defined in Elance's site policies, or your job will be delisted.

Once your job is posted, you can address Freelancer questions or clarify your job by communicating directly with Freelancers via the Workroom or by editing the job post.

To edit your Job Post, log into Elance and follow these steps:

  1. Visit My Elance and locate the appropriate job in My Jobs.

  2. Click on the job name or from the Actions drop-down, select Edit Job Details or Edit Job Settings.

  3. From here you can select which areas of your Job Post to edit.  After saving your changes, the Freelancers will be notified so that they can adjust their proposals if necessary.

Note:   Budget, Privacy and Work Arrangement (Fixed Price or Hourly) cannot be edited after a job post has been published.

Only jobs that are still open for new proposals can be edited.

Note: After you have posted the job you will be required to verify your email address in order to have your job posting published.  For security purposes and to verify your identity you will receive an email from shortly after clicking the Post This Job link.  Once you click the link within this email to verify your email address the job posting will go live on the website.



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Optionally, you can solicit bids from Freelancers by browsing their profiles and requesting proposals for your job.

Note: It is not required that you request proposals from Freelancers; you can also post a job for open bidding as outlined in the previous section.

To browse Freelancer profiles:

1. From My Elance go to Hire in the top navigation bar and then click Search Freelancers.  You can enter a keyword (EX: iPhone, PHP) and click the Search button to narrow your search results.

2. You can filter the search results using the options in the left navigation. Sort by clicking on the drop-down to the right of Sort By: at the top of the page.

3. Click the Freelancer name to view their profile information. To view their posted samples, click the Portfolio link. A Freelancer activity Snapshot is located on the right which includes Elance Level, Earnings and Feedback.

You can easily send requests to Freelancers to submit proposals for your job, either from search results or from their individual profiles.

  • Requesting Freelancer proposals from search results:  You can invite a Freelancer by clicking on the green Hire Me button. If you already have active postings, you will see a window listing all of your jobs that are open for bidding. You can either choose an existing job or create a new one. Each selected Freelancer will receive an email invitation to submit their proposal for your job. If you are creating a new job, you may choose to only receive proposals from selected Freelancers or to keep your job open for proposals from other Freelancers.
  • Requesting Freelancer proposals from Elance profiles:  Click the Hire Me button on the top right of the Freelancer’s profile.  If you already have active postings, you will see a window listing all of your jobs that are open for bidding. You can either choose an existing job or create a new one.


Note: You are limited to 30 invites per job posting. For Featured Job posts, you can invite as many Freelancers as you'd like.  

If you would like to invite Freelancers that are not registered to submit a proposal on your job, follow these steps:

  1. Create a job post.

  2. Select Skip when prompted with Recommended Freelancers. You'll be taken directly to your job's detail page.

  3. Mouse over Job Actions and click Invite Freelancers.

  4. Click the Other Invite Options tab and select the Freelancers off Elance radio button.

  5. Enter your Freelancer's email address, along with a personal message, and click Continue.

Your Freelancer will receive the email with a link to register. Once registered, your Freelancer will be able to submit a proposal on your job.

To initiate a new discussion with a Freelancer within the Workroom, please follow these steps:

  1. Click My Elance in the top navigation bar.

  2. Click the job name or the number of proposals received.

  3. Scroll down until you find the proposal from the Freelancer with whom you want to communicate and click on the message icon on the far right of the proposal.

In the message dialog box, enter your message and click Post Message.



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  •  When a proposal is entered for your job, you will receive an email notification
  • The job's status in the Workroom List will be "Hiring Open"

Before you hire a Freelancer, you’ll have the opportunity to compare the proposals you've received.

To review proposals:

  1. Visit your My Elance page. 

  2. Click the job name or the number of proposals received.

  3. You may sort your proposals by clicking the Sort By: link at the top of the list of proposals.

  4. You may also filter proposals using the Filter By: drop down menu.  Select the information by which you’d like to filter, such as New Proposals, Feedback, or Invited Freelancers.

  5. To narrow down your proposals to a shorter list of Freelancers, you may privately rate your proposals by clicking on the Rate Proposal buttons for each proposal and filter the results by My Rating.

  6. For each proposal you receive, review the Freelancer’s comments and expected amount of time to complete the job.

  7. Review the Freelancer’s profile by clicking on their username. This may include information about services offered; a summary of their Feedback reviews, ratings and reported earnings, company history, standard terms, education, and credentials.

  8. View the Freelancer’s posted samples by clicking the Portfolio link to the top right of the proposal.

  9. View the Freelancer’s detailed Feedback, reviews, and earnings from the last six months by clicking on average job rating.

  10. To hide a proposal from your list, hover over the Hide on a proposal. You'll have the option to Hide, Report as Spam or Report a Violation.

  11. If the period to accept new proposals has ended, you can extend it twice (up to 42 days from the time of your original posting date) to allow more Freelancers to submit proposals  or allow existing Freelancers to submit revised amounts.

To extend the period to accept new proposals:

  1. Visit My Elance and locate the job on the My Jobs page.

  2. Click on the job name and select Extend Bidding from under the job's Actions menu OR from the Actions drop-down on your My Elance page select Extend Job.

  3. Enter the date you would like to extend the bidding period to, enter Reason for Extending and click Submit.

To cancel a job that has not yet been awarded, please log in to Elance and follow the steps below:

  1. Click the My Elance tab in the top navigation bar and go to your My Jobs page.

  2. Click the Actions drop-down next to the job posting you wish to cancel and select Cancel Job.

  3. Select the reason for the cancellation and Submit. This reason will be shared with the Freelancers who submitted proposals on your job posting.

To close bidding for a job:

  1. Click My Elance in the top navigation bar.

  2. Under the job name, click the Actions drop-down.

  3. Select End Bidding Early.

  4. You will be prompted to enter a reason for ending bidding. Click Continue. You will still be able to award the job to a Freelancer who has already entered a proposal.

To accept a proposal and hire a Freelancer for your job:

  1. Click My Elance in the top navigation bar.

  2. Click on the job name.

  3. Click the Select button on the far right of the winning proposal.

Note: In order to hire a Freelancer, you will be required to have a payment method on file.

  1. On the Confirm Terms pop up, you’ll have the ability to either confirm the Terms & Milestones the Freelancer has created or edit these to suggest new Milestones.  The Freelancer will have to confirm these changes in order for the job to be placed in Working status.


Elance requires that Freelancers invoice Clients via the Elance Billing and Payment system. By clicking the Select button, you agree to only pay invoices received through the Elance system.

Once you have accepted a proposal, you will be notified by email when the Freelancer accepts, submits changes to the business terms or declines the job, usually within 48 hours. Until the business terms are accepted by both parties, the job status will have a status of Finalizing Terms on your My Jobs page.

If the Freelancer did not accept the default terms and sent you updated terms:

  1. Click My Elance in the top navigation bar.

  2. Click the Review and Accept button under the job name.  You may also click on the job name to access the Workroom click the Terms & Milestones link on the left panel.

  3. Review the terms supplied by the Freelancer, including the job Milestones, total amount, and job agreement.  If you agree to the terms as outlined on this page, select the Accept radio button and click Submit. When you accept the terms, they become active immediately and no further approval is required from the Freelancer.

  4. To make changes to one of the Milestones, click on the Edit link and make any necessary changes to delivery dates and/or scheduled payment amounts. You may also add new Milestones or upload new agreements. Enter any comments and click Submit to send your changes to the Freelancer.

  5. Your Freelancer will be notified by email of the changes, and can then accept, edit, or decline the revised terms. You will be notified by email of the service Freelancer’s decision.

  6. Once both parties accept the terms, the job is immediately active, and the job will have a status of “Working” on the My Jobs page.  (The Freelancer will be notified that you have accepted their proposal.)

Always document changes in job scope in the Workroom.  Do not release payment for a Milestone until you have reviewed and approved it.

Once you have awarded the job, you may contact the Freelancer directly to discuss the requirements and begin tracking the work. You can communicate in any of the following ways:

  • Through the Workroom Messages (the required method for keeping a written record of communication)

  • Directly via email, phone, Skype, etc. (Always transcribe key elements of the discussion to the Workroom to maintain an auditable record.)

Elance does virus checking on all files uploaded by users to the Workroom (either via email in to the Workroom or posting from the website), proposal attachments, job posting attachments, portfolios, etc. and automatically remove any that fail the virus scan. Elance does not validate that a reference or a link to another website may be malicious and users should always be wary of visiting a website that is not trusted or known to them. If you do suspect that a message may link to a malicious website, please inform Elance Customer Support.


When working with your Freelancer, Elance Status Reports make it easy for you to stay up-to-date on the progress of the job.  If you have elected to use Status Reports, your Freelancer will be required to send you a weekly progress report with the overall status of the job, including tasks performed, hours worked, journal entries, attachments, and plans for the upcoming week.

Each Monday, you will receive the Status Report the Freelancer submitted for the previous week via email.  You can also view Status Reports from Workroom by clicking the Status Report link.



To receive the work, the Freelancer will upload files and documents to the Workroom. To access your files:

1. Click My Elance in the the top navigation bar.  

2. On the right side under the current job status, click Actions > Files.  (You may also click the project name, then on the next page, click the Files link on the left panel.)

3. Choose the File to download.

4. Click Download File link under Actions.


If you decide to cancel your job:

Cancelling an active job can be done right through your Elance account.  

  1. Click My Elance in the top navigation bar.

  2. Underneath the job name you wish to cancel, click the Actions drop down and select Refund, Cancel or Dispute link.

  3. Click the File a Request button.

  4. Select the option Cancel job and enter all relevant information on the form.

Once you submit this form a cancellation request will be sent to the other party to confirm. Upon their confirmation, the job status will reflect the cancellation.  Also at that time any refunds that were indicated on the cancellation form will be processed. To confirm a refund from Escrow from within your account, go to Manage > Transactions. Please note it may take your card issuer three (3) to five (5) business days to post the transaction to your statement. 

If the Freelancer disputes the cancellation, Elance is here to help and the job will be moved into Dispute Assistance. For more information on Elance Dispute Assistance, click here.


Paying for Services

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If you have an Escrow job, your Freelancer will send you a request to fund and/or release payment for each Milestone. You will receive an email notification for each request. Click here to learn how you can ensure you only pay for work received as part of Elance's Payment Protection Program.

  • Fund Escrow for the job

  • Release payments to the Freelancer upon completion of each Milestone.

To fund the Escrow for the job, log into your account and follow these steps:

  1. Go to Manage in the top navigation bar and click on Payments in the drop-down menu. (Alternatively, you may click Actions under the job name from your My Elance page and then Payments.)

  2. Click the Make Payment link from the left.

  3. Select the radio button to the left of the job for which you want to fund a Milestone and click the Next button.

  4. On the Payments page, you will see the Escrow Funding and Release section with two tabs.  The Fund and Release tab lists the job Milestones and the funding and release status of each Milestone.  The Documents tab lists all funding and release requests that have been sent by the Freelancer.

  5. To fund a Milestone, click the Fund button in the Fund and Release tab. Or if you have received a funding request, click the View & Fund button, in the Documents tab next to the appropriate Milestone.  

  6. On the Fund Escrow page, review your payment details, select a payment method, and check the box stating that you have read Elance's Billing and Payment Service policy and that you authorize payment to your Freelancer. Click the Fund button. The Freelancer will receive an email notification that Escrow funds have been submitted, and the Fund Escrow column will change to the date you submitted the funds.

  7. After you fund a Milestone, the Freelancer can request the release of that Milestone payment amount by marking the Milestone as complete on status report.

To release Milestone payments:

  1. Mouse over the Manage tab in the top navigation bar and then select Payments from the drop-down list.

  2. Next, click on the Make Payment link located on the left.

  3. Select the radio button to the left of the job name you want to make a payment for and click the Next button.

  4. On the Payments page, in the 'Escrow Funding and Release' section, click the Release button for your particular Milestone.

  5. Review and confirm you authorize the release of funds by clicking Release.  

  6. If you are disputing the deliverable, communicate details of the dispute with your Freelancer in the Workroom.


You may only release payment on a Milestone that has been funded. Make sure you have reviewed the Milestone that the Freelancer has completed, and you fully accept the services provided before you release funds.


For an Hourly job, you pay your Freelancer based on the reported hours on their timesheet. Click here to learn how Work View Payment Protection for Clients. When you and your Freelancer agree to use Tracker in Work View you have the ability to view screenshots and comments for the hours billed by the Freelancer.


To pay your Freelancer for Hourly work based on reported hours on a Timesheet, please log into Elance and follow the steps below:

  1. Click My Elance at the top of the page.

  2. Mouse over Manage and click Payments.

  3. Click the Pay button to the right of your job name.

  4. Click the green Confirm button.

Note:  You may also pay your Freelancer’s Timesheet from your My Jobs page by clicking View & Pay or from within your job’s Workroom by clicking Timesheets on the left, then View & Pay.  

For Hourly jobs using Work View, Timesheets are paid automatically at the end of the Timesheet review period if not paid manually or if no Dispute has been filed.  To learn more about Work View and the Timesheet review period, go here.

Clients in certain countries can pay a Freelancer with a credit card through Elance. All Clients must have an authenticated credit card to pay a Freelancer via the Elance site.  Clients can also pay their Freelancer via a PayPal added to their Financial Accounts page.


The Leave Feedback link appears when the Client makes their first payment on the job or the final Milestone date is reached.  Both parties will then have 60 days from the date the job is marked as complete to leave Feedback for each other.

To leave Feedback for your Freelancer, please log in to Elance and follow the steps below:

  1. Click My Elance in the top navigation bar.

  2. Click the Actions drop-down next to job name for which you wish to leave Feedback, and click Final Feedback. Or, click the job name to access the job's Workroom and click Final Feedback from  the left navigation bar.

  3. Choose how likely you are to recommend this Freelancer from the slider at the top of the page, complete your Feedback ratings and comments. Click Preview, review and click the Submit button when you are happy with your ratings.

Once Feedback has been submitted, it cannot be changed. Please review your ratings and comments carefully before clicking Submit. We recommend that you try to resolve any disputes with a Freelancer before submitting Feedback.

During the duration of a job, you may also send private Feedback (Mid-Job Feedback) to Elance about your Freelancer and your job.   All private Feedback is kept strictly confidential and is not visible to the Freelancer.   Elance uses this data to ensure that our Freelancers are delivering consistent quality.

To leave Mid-Job Feedback, log into Elance and follow the steps below:

  1. Click My Elance in the top navigation bar.

  2. Click the Actions drop-down next to job name and then click Mid-Job Feedback. Or, click the job name to access the job's Workroom and click the More link on the left navigation bar, then Mid-Job Feedback.



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  • Internet Explorer 8.0 or higher
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  • Mac Safari 5.0 or higher 
  • Chrome 17.0 or higher

We also recommend that you have latest version of Adobe Flash installed.

Other things to do if you find issues:

  • Ensure that Javascript is enabled in your browser
  • Clear your browser cache and restart your browser

 If you have the above settings and are having difficulty viewing any Elance pages, please click on the 'Contact Us' link above.  Send us your browser type and version, PC or Mac, and the links or screens you were trying to access.


Additional information about using Elance may be obtained in the following ways:



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