Tara Hall

design. write.

Contact me at
hello@TaraHall.me

Aug 03, 2016

File under:

Is Flexjobs right for you?

For the last three months, I’ve subscribed to Flexjobs, a job board site that focuses on telecommuting positions around the country. The service lists full-time, part-time, freelance, and contract positions with remote work possibilities.

For those of you looking for telecommuting positions, here are my thoughts on using Flexjobs for the last three month—plus a couple of other sites to consider in your search for freelance or contract work.

Flexjobs home page

Why Flexjobs?

I first heard about Flexjobs from a Skillscrush blog post listing several websites to find freelance and contract work. At that time, Flexjobs had the most number of job listings of any site that I had seen so far (though I’m sure there are quite a few that I’m haven’t seen yet).

However, Flexjobs differs from other job boards that I have seen in one significant way. Most job boards operate by charging a fee to an employer to post a job. Flexjobs, on the other hand, changes you, the job seeker, for access to their listings.

I signed up for Flexjobs because they offered a 30% discount on their pricing for a limited time. It seemed a small investment to make for access to so many listings.

As of this writing, they offer the following subscription prices, but it’s best to check their website for the most up-to-date prices:

According to their site, Flexjobs distinguishes itself by verifying each job to ensure that it isn’t a work-at-home scam. However, it doesn’t mean that they eliminate jobs from less than reputable companies, so it’s up to you to research each employer.

How it works

After subscribing to Flexjobs, I had to set up a profile, which didn’t require much time. I uploaded my resume, and then chose up to 5 job categories, such as graphic design, web design, writing, and so on. I probably spent less than an hour creating my profile.

I also chose which types of jobs interested me: part-time, freelance, and contract. There are several other options in addition to those. Flexjobs uses these job categories and job types to send you new listings that match your criteria.

When a listing arrives, you receive a partial description with enough information to decide whether or not you want to learn more and apply.

Flexjob email with job descriptions

Advantages of Flexjobs

Many of the jobs that I saw listed were professional jobs, some even from companies that I recognized.

I like the fact that you can choose your job types and job categories to narrow down the number of listings. When new jobs are listed, Flexjobs sends you an email notification if it fits your criteria. You don’t need to wade through a lot of listings that don’t fit your requirements.

From what I could tell, the jobs were legitimate as Flexjobs claims although I’m unsure what process they use to vet these job postings. According to their website:

…there should be an easier, safer, and faster way to find flexible jobs without all of the ridiculous junk, ads, and scams. In order to do that, job seekers are our primary clients – not advertisers or even employers – and we answer to YOU.

Apparently, it’s why they charge the job seeker a subscription price unlike other job boards.

Disadvantages of Flexjobs

This may qualify as either an advantage and disadvantage, but from what I could tell, the jobs listed on Flexjobs were not exclusive to them. In at least one case, a job I saw listed, I also found listed elsewhere on a free job board. Why pay for a job posting that you can apply for elsewhere for free?

I believe that you can find many Flexjobs listings on other websites. Employers want to canvas more sites to find an ideal client rather than take their chances with only one site.

But the advantage to using Flexjobs is that you may find more jobs that fit your criteria in one location. You may spend less time looking through postings at multiple sites.

Not all jobs are remote

Another disadvantage that may be an advantage is that Flexjobs listings are not limited to telecommute positions only. I saw a few jobs from around the country that required being on-site and would consider only local applicants.

If you aren’t interested in jobs that are location restricted, I think you can opt out of receiving them although I did receive job listings for positions local to me.

You can’t choose your industries

One of the reasons that Flexjobs offers so many job postings is that they list jobs across many industries. I would have appreciated a way in which to limit those industries.

For instance, I received more than one job listing for writers with niche writing experience, such as food and fashion writing. While I’d love an opportunity to try food writing, I don’t have a portfolio of work to show an employer. Hence, I’m not qualified for the position.

As freelancers, it’s not uncommon for many of us to become experts in an industry or niche. You don’t want to waste your time with jobs that you don’t qualitfy for or aren’t interested in. As a site that caters to freelancers, Flexjobs may want to consider offering an option to choose industries or specialties.

Not all jobs were categorized correctly

I also recall receiving job listings that seemed to me miscategorized. As a web designer, I received a couple of job postings that were better suited to a web developer. In fact, developer was even in the job titles and there was no mention of design.

In my experience, the roles of web designer and web developer are often confused. An employer unfamiliar with the roles might choose the wrong job category—assuming that an employer created the listing on Flexjobs.

Receiving job postings that didn’t apply to me had me wondering what postings I may be missing because someone didn’t categorize it correctly.

Will I renew my subscription?

My subscription to Flexjobs expires this month. Looking back, I applied to only one job that I found on the site. And that job I also found posted on a free job board.

I didn’t feel qualified for many of the job postings that I received via email because the jobs required specific industry experience or skills that I don’t have.

If I were to renew my subscription, I would spend more time searching their site for jobs rather than relying on their emails. When I took the time to look for jobs, I found more that I felt qualified for, however, some were seeking local candidates outside my state.

I’ve decided rather than renew my subscription this month to delay until September. I expect more job openings to be available as people return to their offices with the start of the new school year. And any job listings posted in August may not be filled by month’s end. I could apply for anything that I miss this month in September.

In the meantime, there are two free sites that I check regularly for new jobs postings.

We Work Remotely

We Work Remotely is a job site that features remote only jobs. Employers pay to list technical and creative jobs for 30 days in the following fields:

On this site, I’ve found full-time, part-time, and freelance/contract positions with companies both large and small.

We Work Remotely home page

When compared to Flexjobs, We Work Remotely offers far fewer postings, but all jobs are remote. It’s a decent resource for freelance designers and writers who want to work from home.

We Work Remotely does not email you when new jobs are posted. You can subscribe to RSS feeds for specific job categories or check the site regularly for new listings.

Authentic Jobs

Authentic Jobs is another website that features creative and technical jobs. The site hosts job listings for full-time, part-time, and freelance or contract jobs, some of which are remote and some which require you to be local.

Authentic Jobs home page

If you’re only interested in working remotely, Authentic Jobs lets you show only those types of jobs. Like We Work Remotely, Authentic Jobs has postings in similar fields: design, development, copywriting, and marketing, but they list far more jobs than We Work Remotely.

Unfortunately, Authentic Jobs doesn’t offer email notification of new jobs or even RSS feeds. You have to check the site regularly to see what’s been added.