Smart Hiring on CompuWizards

Before you hire a pro on Thumbtack—or anywhere, really—there are a few things you should look for. Our tips are below.

Are you a pro on Thumbtack? Go to Safety for pros


Review the pro’s profile

Profiles are designed to give you helpful information to hire the right pro. So take a look through:

  1. Customer reviews. See what past customers say about a pro. Verified reviews are from customers who hired a pro on Thumbtack, while unverified reviews are from customers who found the pro somewhere else. You can also see how a pro responded to reviewers, which can help you understand how they interact with their customers.
  2. Business information. The profile gives the pro a chance to tell you about their business —and explain why you should hire them. You’ll see things like pictures of their work, a description of their business, why they love what they do, a link to their website and how many times they’ve been hired on Thumbtack.
  3. Credentials. We know a pro’s credentials are important to hiring with confidence. A pro’s profile may include:
    • A "Top Pro" badge, which means they’re highly rated across several reviews from Thumbtack customers. Learn more about what it takes to be a Top Pro here.
    • A license badge, which means we’ve used a public database to verify the license number they provided.
    • A background check badge, which means the account holder submitted a background check and met our criteria to receive the background check badge. For businesses with multiple workers, this does not guarantee the specific person you're working with has passed a background check, so be sure you're comfortable with the person completing your request.

Learn more about the pro

  1. Ask questions. We make it easy to talk a pro without revealing any of your contact info. So ask as many questions as you need, and tell them exactly what you’re looking for. You might want to ask about:
    • pictures of past work
    • references from past customers
    • whether your project requires a permit
    • if the pro plans to subcontract any of the work
    You can also send a pro pictures of what you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to schedule a phone call or an in-person meeting.
  2. Research. It’s always worth seeing what other information you can find about a pro you’re considering. Think about resources like the Better Business Bureau or a web search to look for more information. You can also check out third-party resources like the Federal Trade Commission’s guide to hiring a contractor for additional tips.

Plan ahead to make sure the job is done right

  • Set expectations in writing. A written agreement is the best way to make sure everyone is on the same page. Include details like the who, what, where, and cost of your project.
  • Agree on payment. Especially for high-value projects, don’t pay with cash (or via wire transfer or cashier’s check), and limit your down payment—in fact, some state laws limit the amount a pro can ask for up front. Consider making payments during the project contingent on completion of defined amounts of work.

Think through insurance, permitting, and licensing

  1. Verify insurance. Something unexpected may happen during your project, so check your insurance policies to make sure you’re covered. Your own insurance provider is always the best resource to learn if your policy covers any risks associated with your project. You should also verify a pro’s insurance. See this page for tips.
  2. Get permits and check licensing. A pro’s license requirements (or whether permits are required for your project) depends on the laws of your city and state, and what kind of project you’re hiring for. Contact your state or local government about specific questions. We know this can be daunting, so we’ve pulled together some tips and resources to help you get started:
    • A business license is NOT the same thing as an occupational license. A business license generally just means the pro is registered to do business in a city or state. It doesn’t authorize the pro to do any specific kind of project. An occupational license is what authorizes a pro to do certain kinds of work—for instance, as a plumber or an electrician. Thumbtack’s policy allows only occupational licenses to qualify for a license badge.
    • Some pros may be licensed for your job under the license of an authorized business associate with whom they work. If a pro has provided the correct documentation to verify that they are properly operating under a valid license, we may list the associate's license as "verified" on the pro's profile.
    • There are several online resources that can help you verify a pro’s occupational license. For example, BRB Publications, Inc. maintains a database of some state occupational licensing board websites.
    • Sometimes there may also be federal licensing requirements. For example, interstate movers must be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Here are links to state government websites where you can find information about licensing:

Alabama

  • Alabama Department of Revenue List of Occupations Requiring Permits/Licenses
  • Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors
  • Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board
  • Alabama Public Services Commission: Motor Carrier Services Section

Alaska

  • Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing—Professional License Search

Please note that, as a marketplace, Thumbtack does not control the actions of any pro or customer using our service. You can visit our help center to learn more about trust and safety on Thumbtack. For more information on how Thumbtack works, click here.