Do you pick up coins off the ground? Maybe only nickles and above? Job Spotter, a smartphone app, lets you find money hidden in plain sight in the form of “Now Hiring” signs! Snapping a picture of a hiring sign is worth between 5 cents and $1.50, paid out via Amazon gift cards.
Job Spotter is owned and operated by Indeed, one of the world’s largest job search engines. Indeed matches people seeking employment with available positions and is willing to pay you to find those available positions in your local area!
I downloaded the app recently to try it out and earned over $25 in the first two weeks! By paying attention to my surroundings in places I was going to be anyway, the earnings added up quickly.
Below, I’ll break down exactly how it works, whether or not you should try out the app, and how to increase your earnings once you’ve gotten started.
What is Job Spotter?
Job Spotter is a smartphone app that pays out money in exchange for finding and photographing various kinds of “Now Hiring” signs. The app is available in both the Google Play and Apple App Store.
The app is owned by Indeed, the number one job search website (measured by traffic) and a company that has been around since 2004. Unlike some other money-making apps that are run by start-ups or small companies, this one is owned by a very large, established business. This means you shouldn’t run into any problems getting paid out after earning money.
Job Spotter was launched back in 2016 and hasn’t changed significantly since.
How does Job Spotter Work?
After downloading the app, creating an account, and verifying an email address, you can immediately start earning “points”.
“Points” can be earned in two different ways and are worth 1 cent each in the form of Amazon gift cards. For example, 100 “points” are worth $1 in Amazon gift cards.
Primary Earning Method: Taking Pictures of Local Now Hiring Signs
Job Spotter was created so Indeed could become aware of local hiring opportunities and share those opportunities with users that are searching for jobs. In order to help them with this and earn money at the same time, you will need to physically seek out hiring signs posted at businesses.
In my experience, these hiring signs can be found almost everywhere! Small businesses are looking for cashiers, restaurants need servers, and big chain stores need all kinds of employees. Try to think of any business that has at least some foot traffic and also employs people that earn at or near minimum wage. It’s very common to find Now Hiring signs at these kinds of locations.
Once you’ve located a hiring sign, you will need to open the app and take two pictures:
- Picture #1: A close up of the hiring sign with all details in focus
- Picture #2: A picture of the storefront with the name of the business visible
That’s it! There’s no need to type in details or provide additional information. Job Spotter uses a combination of your GPS location, text within the pictures, and other users to verify the hiring sign and match it with the appropriate business.
The entire process of opening the app, snapping two pictures, and submitting them often takes 30 seconds or less.
After taking both pictures and hitting submit, your images will be uploaded within the app. The submission will then show up as “Pending” while it is verified. The verification process can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours in my experience, but there is no need to wait before submitting more images.
Assuming there were no problems with your submission, it will change to “Approved” and you will be awarded between 5 and 150 points.
The amount of points you earn depends on a hidden algorithm that prefers quality images, small businesses, custom hiring signs, and job opportunities that Indeed didn’t already know about.
There is no limit to the amount of hiring signs you can submit, so I submit even the generic hiring signs attached to huge chain stores. Sometimes they are worth the minimum 5 cents, but I’ve also been pleasantly surprised with 50 cents or more!
Secondary Earning Method: Verifying Other Users’ Submissions
In addition to locating and taking pictures of hiring signs, you can also earn points by verifying other users’ pictures within the app. This method is straightforward but does not offer a very good return on time spent.
Job Spotter will first show you an image of a hiring sign and ask “Is this a clear photo of a hiring sign posted at a business?”. You simply answer Yes or No.
Next, Job Spotter will show you an image of a storefront and ask “Is this a clear photo of [STORE NAME]?”. Once again, you choose Yes or No.
After answering both questions, a progress bar will increase by a small percentage. Once the progress bar reaches 100%, you will be given 10 points (worth 10 cents) and can repeat the process as many times as desired.
During this process, you are given a “trust” rating based on how accurately you verify the submissions, as measured against other users verifying the exact same images. This trust level starts at 50% and goes up or down as you verify images.
After maxing out my own trust level, it currently takes me 1-2 minutes of verifying images to fill up the progress bar and earn the 10 points. Extrapolating this out, I am essentially earning $3-6 per hour verifying images. In most cases, this isn’t a great use of my time.
How to Redeem Points
Once points are earned via submitting hiring signs and/or verifying images, those points can be converted into an Amazon gift card at any time. Within the app, choose the “Wallet” tab and select “Redeem”. The Amazon gift card code will be sent to you via email within a day or two and the code will also be available within the app after that time.
Should You Use Job Spotter?
Now that you know how Job Spotter works, should you try it out yourself? For most people, my answer would be yes!
Assuming you have a smartphone and a reasonable data plan, there’s no downside to trying it out. I mention having data because the app does have to upload two images each time you find a new hiring sign. The images must be uploaded near the actual hiring sign in order to get approved and connecting to Wifi each time either won’t be an option or will significantly slow you down.
In my opinion, Job Spotter is best used to earn a little extra money during your normal everyday routines. Any time you happen to walk by or into a business, just take a second to glance around the storefront for any hiring signs. If you happen to find one, take 30 seconds to open the app and snap the necessary pictures before continuing on your way.
If we assume an average return of 50 cents per hiring sign and ~30 seconds spent taking the pictures, that’s an effective return of ~$60 per hour! This rate only holds up if you happen to find a hiring sign somewhere you were going to be anyway, so don’t expect it to scale.
If earning extra spending money during your normal routine sounds appealing, then give Job Spotter a try. It’s completely free and you can delete the app at any time if you decide it doesn’t work for you.
How to Maximize Point Earnings
Job Spotter is best used as a way to earn some pocket change during your everyday routine, but I do have some tips to help boost those earnings without going too far out of your way.
1. Take Quality Images
How many points you earn per submission depends on the quality of the images. Review “The Field Guide” within the app (located in the “More” tab) to make sure you’re following the best practices for taking pictures.
- Make sure the hiring sign is a close-up and all of the relevant details are in-focus and readable. This includes the name of the position(s) available, phone numbers, email addresses, and website url(s) if those pieces of information appear on the sign.
- If the hiring sign is located on or near a reflective surface (like glass), take the picture at a slight angle to avoid your own body appearing in the background.
- Avoid capturing people in the image. If it’s an open storefront with people inside, once again, taking the picture at a slight angle can help naturally crop those people out.
- Don’t forget to make sure any information in the picture is still clear and readable while improving the composition of your shots.
2. Utilize Downtime to Look for Hiring Signs
Life often involves various kinds of downtime. Waiting for a table, an appointment, a ride, or even just showing up somewhere earlier than you expected are all opportunities to check your surroundings for hiring signs.
The location you find yourself might not have any businesses around, so looking for hiring signs isn’t always an option, but sometimes there can be several hiring signs within 100 feet! Shopping malls and strip malls are perfect for finding hiring signs if you happen to be there already.
Do you have to wait 20 minutes to get a haircut? Take a quick lap around the area if there are other businesses next door.
Need to wait 30 minutes to get a table at a restaurant? A short walk around the area could yield several hiring signs.
For example, we recently needed to visit an Apple Store to get a phone fixed. The store was located in a decent sized shopping center, so we spent a portion of the next hour wandering around the mall while we waited. We managed to find 24 different hiring signs that were worth just under $5 total!
This isn’t life-changing money by any means, but it’s more than we would have earned just sitting around. Plus, it’s kind of fun playing a now hiring sign version of “Where’s Waldo” in real life!
The next time you find yourself stuck in one place needing to kill some time, check if there are any businesses a short walk away.
3. Add More Walking to Your Life
If you regularly walk places, then keep an eye out for hiring signs along the way. Also, if there are any alternative routes you could take, maybe mix up your regular route every so often. Walking down new streets means passing new businesses that may be hiring.
If you don’t currently walk very often, then consider starting. It’s healthy, helps clear your mind, and with Job Spotter, has the potential to be lucrative!
If you live within a mile or two of businesses, go on a long walk in that general direction to get your steps in for the day and keep an eye out for hiring signs. Walk on one side of the street on the way there, then take the other side back. Next time, take a different route or go a different direction.
Additionally, if your job is near other businesses, then take a short walk during your lunch break. If you happen to work in a city, you could explore a different block every day!
4. Rinse and Repeat Every Month
Job Spotter unofficially allows you to resubmit the same hiring signs after 30 days have passed.
I say “unofficially” because the terms aren’t very clear on this point. The submission guidelines imply that they don’t accept multiple submissions of the same business location, but may in the future after a certain time has passed. However, the FAQ (also within the app) mentions “Further, signs that you have taken a photo of more than once, within a 30 day period, would also be flagged as duplicate.”
From reading about other’s experience with Job Spotter, there seems to be no problem with re-submitting the same signs after 30 days have passed and the terms appear to support that.
As with everything else, this could change at some point in the future.
My Own Experience with Job Spotter
First, I’d like to give a shout out to the Financial Panther (a side hustle master) for being the catalyst that caused me to download Job Spotter. I had heard about the app previously, but it wasn’t until meeting him at CampFI and reading some of his income reports that I finally tried it out for myself.
I wish I had done it sooner! The cross-country road trip that we currently find ourselves on is perfect for earning a little extra cash from the app. We find ourselves in a new city on a weekly basis and there are dozens of businesses (many hiring) near the touristy attractions we would be visiting anyway.
Using the app is a lot of fun and we joke about “playing” Job Spotter while exploring new cities. It’s like a weird version of Pokemon Go where the pokemon are replaced with hiring signs and you get paid to capture them!
The app even has a monthly leaderboard that you can compete on to earn the most points. I don’t know how the people at the top are earning over $1,000 finding hiring signs each month, but there appear to be many that are earning hundreds of dollars on a regular basis.
There are no referral or affiliate programs related to Job Spotter as far as I know and the app can be found by searching your device’s app store or visiting the Official Job Spotter webpage.
Do you have any tips for using Job Spotter and optimizing the number of points earned? Let everyone know in the comments below