Where do I send people who ask me how to find legitimate work-from-home jobs? Or a flexible new job?
In the early days of my business (WorkOptions has been online since 1997), I didn’t have a confident answer for this common query. Plus any information I did dispense came with caveats.
Not anymore. FlexJobs is a premium flexible job listing service that has set itself apart for reasons you’ll read about shortly. First I’ll mention that this is not a sponsored article, although I am an affiliate of FlexJobs because I highly recommend what they have to offer.
FlexJobs CEO Sara Sutton Fell and I first “met” at length by telephone in 2009. That was a couple of years after she started the company in response to her own desire for job flexibility as a way to blend a professional career with home life. (She and her husband have two young boys.)
I appreciated her vision and passion for the much-needed service she was growing. Since then, I’ve watched FlexJobs flourish into a premium job board, listing multiple thousands of wide-ranging legitimate flexible jobs for professionals.
Recently, we spoke again so that I could ask Sara some questions that would make you, my readers, more aware of what FlexJobs has to offer.
Pat: Your home page labels FlexJobs as an “innovative” job service. In what ways is it innovative and different from other job boards?
Sara: “We hang our hat on three key points: One, every single job has flexibility, either telecommuting, part-time, flextime or freelance. Two, every single job is hand-screened. There’s no junk. It’s a very clean job listing data base. Three, we have more professional career-oriented job listings.”
Pat: I also like that FlexJobs has no ads, another “clean” characteristic.
Sara: Right. People perceive [other] job boards as free, but nothing is free; there is so much junk mixed in on the job boards, and so many more ads than before.
Pat: Whereas ad-free FlexJobs is membership-based, with a modest fee to access the job listings. Do people challenge having to pay?
Sara: Yes, some think job seekers don’t have to pay. But I see that as a double standard; they pay for resumes and career counseling. FlexJobs is a premium service where job seekers are investing in their career by getting qualified job leaders faster. [To clarify], job seekers should not have to pay to get a job. With FlexJobs, members are paying for a premium job screening and listing service, not paying for a job or to find them a job. We’d have to charge a whole lot more if we were a job-finding service!
Pat: As I write this, FlexJobs is currently listing an astounding 32,872 jobs from 4,770 companies. How do you get such an impressive number and variety of professional job postings on the site?
Sara: We have a team of online job researchers who search the web daily for openings, for the collective equivalent of 50+ hours a day, combing through the junk to find the legitimate job openings. [Addendum: since this interview response, many, many companies have been coming to FlexJobs with their listings, as well.]
Pat: How do they know that the jobs they find are legitimate?
Sara: They research every employer and hand-screen every single job [that’s found]. And every company description we have on the FlexJobs site is hand-written [based on the research], not scraped from their company website.
Pat: I understand more and more well-recognized employers are now coming to FlexJobs directly to post their openings.
Sara: Yes, most notably, in healthcare. That’s been the biggest category for us in 9 out of the last 12 months.
Pat: FlexJobs’ listings extends beyond telecommuting jobs to part-time and other types of flex. Yet the interest in working remotely remains high. How plentiful are those types of jobs?
Sara: About 40% of the listings on FlexJobs offer some kind of telecommuting; 15% of all the jobs [listed] are ‘anywhere jobs,’ meaning that they require no specific location. [With others], some employers will say it’s a telecommuting job because the employee gets to work from home, but they’ll still have geographic requirements because they want employees to come in for meetings or training. Sometimes it’s for tax reasons.
Pat: Job seekers are advised that networking is the number one way to find a new job. Blogging and social media are also tools for landing leads and jobs. Where does FlexJobs fit into the mix of job-seeking tactics?
Sara: It’s a step in the process. And it alleviates the pain point in the job search process: the faster you can find the job opening, the faster you can apply and be at the top of pile. And then you can use your Linkedin and other social media networks to see if any of your connections are associated with the hiring company or the hiring manager.
Pat: What are some of the trends you’re seeing in flexible jobs?
Sara: Mainly the depth and variety of so many more types of companies offering flexible work: big, small, start-up, and a variety industries, especially, as I mentioned, healthcare employers.
Pat: What advice do you have for the person seeking a flexible job on FlexJobs?
Sara: To consider all kinds of flexibility before you apply. Think it through. You may have a set idea of what would work best for you–for example, only telecommuting, or only part-time–but there are lots of shades of gray. Keep your mind open to other types of flexibility in the jobs offered and evaluate them all.
Pat: That sounds like a smart approach for expanding their flexible work options. Thank you, Sara.
Readers, for good reason, FlexJobs is now the number one national flexible job listing service. I recommend you add FlexJobs to your mix of tools for finding a new flexible job.
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