If you’ve never heard of it before, FlexJobs.com is a site that helps people find a career with flexible work, whether it be freelance, part-time, telecommuting, or a work at home job. Their goal is to get you a job that is guaranteed to be legitimate and offer the flexibility that you need.
And from the overwhelmingly positive reviews, it’s no doubt that they mean what they say.
But wait! That sounds too good to be true!
Well you’d be right to assume that there is a catch, because FlexJobs is a subscription site. Don’t let that deter you, however; it’s only $15 a month.
If that still seems too steep, you might be pleased to know that they offer a money-back guarantee, as they say on their website: “Just cancel and ask for a refund. Simple as that.”
It’s totally possible to subscribe for only a month, so if you’re skeptical, just make sure you cancel after the first month.
Furthermore, FlexJobs often runs promotions to reduce the cost of their memberships. Sometimes, this means that you can find promo codes for discounts elsewhere on the web, and other times it means that you will be contacted by an agent at the beginning of the sign-up process.
They aren’t always running promotions, so it isn’t a guaranteed discount. However, there is a good chance that if you want a discount on a membership, they’ll be running a promotion soon enough.
How Much is the Subscription Cost?
I’ll list the price plans here, for maximum clarity:
- It is $15 ($14.95) for a month of the service. You are allowed to cancel after one month, of course. If you don’t want to pay $15, you can find coupons online.
- $30 will get you a 3-month plan. I suspect that there are coupons for this, but I’ve personally only seen the coupons for the 1-month plan.
- $50 will net you a full 12 months of the service. On one hand, this is certainly the cheapest way to go. But on the other hand, I’d really hope I’m not searching for a job for a whole year!
Paying to Find a Job? Sounds a Little Backward.
Yes, I understand your apprehension.
But I was very curious to find out how it all worked, so I bit the bullet and signed up just to check it out. As they say, “you have to spend money to make money!”
Of course, I was still a little suspicious. After all, it could only work one of two ways: either companies would be paying to recruit through FlexJobs (ala a job board like Monster), or it would just be a collection of free listings that I could have found on my own. And if either of those was the case, then what would be the point of the site?
While it’s true that both of those things are on the site, it actually works in your favor. FlexJobs thoroughly filters out scams, and even if a company pays to place a listing on the site, it is guaranteed to be legitimate and tailored to your needs. After all, everybody knows that there are job listings everywhere on the internet. But it’s a whole different story when you can browse listings based on your needs and know for sure that they are legitimate options.
In addition to this increased degree of quality, FlexJobs offers more than just an aggregate of all the web’s job listings. I’ll touch more on that in a second.
My Initial Thoughts
The first thing I noticed is that the sign-up process is very easy. Some websites will ask you to go through a lengthy tutorial (anyone who has made a social media account recently knows what I mean) but this site lets you jump right in.
The next thing I noticed was that the site was very easy to use. I wrote a moment ago about how FlexJobs offers more than just a collection of listings. Well, that begins to show when you’re looking for jobs. They offer you over 60 different categories and sub-categories for sorting through the listings, which really helps you start looking in areas that are relevant to you.
If you’re only looking for say, telecommuting jobs, you can look only for jobs which offer that functionality. If you click on a post, it will take you to an area that explains the job in depth, which helps you do your research.
Now, I mentioned up above that this site contains public listings and private ones, so let me elaborate on that a bit.
FlexJobs works as something of a job-posting aggregator, or in other words, it collects job openings from all around the internet. In addition to that, some of the postings are exclusive to FlexJobs, advertised by the employers themselves. When you combine this knowledge with the idea that FlexJobs automatically screens posts for scams, you’ll find that this is actually one of the most reliable and efficient ways to look through job postings online.
Scam and inaccurate information are often the biggest problems in the world of looking for jobs through the internet. You’ll often encounter this problem with sites like Monster– it can feel like you’re just tossing your applications out into the abyss.
Does FlexJobs Offer More than Just Job Postings?
Why yes, they do.
FlexJobs runs a blog about employment that is actually open for everyone to browse, even those who do not have a subscription to their service. They contribute to it regularly and there really are some helpful articles on there, so I would say that it’s worth checking out even if you aren’t going to end up purchasing their services. Consider it something of a preview to their mission.
One of the other useful functions of FlexJobs is their resume builder. The way that this resume builder works is twofold:
- on one hand, it is a tool for helping you create and format your resume, which you can use when you’re applying for jobs on the site (which is certainly a helpful tool to have.)
- The other function it has is to offer skills tests, not completely unlike a site such as oDesk or eLance. It allows you to take these skill tests (which can be anything from basic grammar to advanced coding knowledge) and, if the results are favorable, it will be officially credited on your resume! If you are capable of doing well on the tests, this can be a neat way to bolster your application, particularly for companies which hiring primarily through FlexJobs.
What I Don’t Like About FlexJobs
Well, luckily I have more good things than bad things to say about FlexJobs, but here are the few things that I found somewhat problematic:
1. The site works primarily as an aggregator. This is a good thing and a bad thing, but in terms of “uniqueness of service,” it doesn’t score any huge points. Many of the listings are publicly available, after all.
2. No previews or trials. This is really my only big problem with FlexJobs. There doesn’t seem to be any good reason to wall off the site and make customers guess if it’s a good service for them. The community feedback is good (more on that in a bit) but it’s not fair to make the customer rely on that. There should definitely be a trial period option.
What I Do Like About FlexJobs
Above all else, the best part of FlexJobs is that they were actually providing a useful tool for job hunting. Once you get past the seeming contradiction of “paying to find work,” it becomes very clear that this is a service has merit.
1. This is a site that will save you time. Perhaps the most important part about FlexJobs isn’t that it provides listings, but rather how it organizes them. Sure, you can crawl your local Craigslist looking for jobs, and it might work out for you. But with FlexJobs, you can select your needs, your subcategories, your desired hours– so much organization that it makes your job search faster and more effective.
2. The money-back guarantee makes me feel more comfortable giving them my business. If they made a claim like, “We promise to help you find a job,” but failed to honor it, I would feel a little cheated. Their guarantee helps to bridge the trust gap.
3. Verified listings. This is a convenience worth money in and of itself. Nothing is worse than applying for listings that are years old, except maybe getting scammed! Skipping over all this hassle with this service is something worthwhile, no doubt.
4. Legitimacy. There’s no doubt that FlexJobs is what it says it is; that is to say, a site that is dedicated to helping you find a job. They’ve got a BBB rating, and numerable noteworthy endorsements, such as NBC, USA Today, and CNN. No two ways about it, it’s comforting to do business with people who have a proven track record.
What About Testimonials?
If you’re looking for more people’s feedback on the company, it won’t be hard to find extra testimonials online.
No matter what, it’s undeniable that the company most be at least partially worth their cost. Otherwise, I sincerely doubt that they would still be in business at this point!
But to save you the time of looking it up, lots of people really have successfully found jobs through FlexJobs, true to form. However, the main complaints are about too much overlap in the many job categories that are available, and the lack of actual telecommuting jobs available.
It’s not that there are not telecommuting jobs, just that they don’t make up the majority of listings. This, of course, is easily fixed with the advanced search function.
So What’s the Final Word?
Whether or not you want to pay for FlexJobs depends on what kind of work you’re looking for, how much effort you’re willing to put into it, and whether or not you are OK spending some money to make it all easier.
Personally, I do think it’s worth it to go punch up a coupon and try it for at least a month, since it’ll take less than $10 to do it.
However, if you’re in a very tight financial situation, it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to spend the money on FlexJobs.
I would say that FlexJobs is ideal for someone who is contemplating a job/career change, but not in need of one immediately. If you’d like to transition into a telecommuting job, or look at other fields, FlexJobs is a great resource that does what it means to. However, if you need work this month for rent, it’s probably not going to get the job done in time.