FlexJobs advertises constantly on Facebook, often with comments after the ads from people asking if the service is a scam, or wondering whether it is right that the service charges members, not potential employers, fees to use the site. Many people are uncomfortable with paying money to find work. However, there is a growing trend for companies to charge job seekers for the convenience of viewing jobs at a curated site, where opportunities are screened and vetted.
So, is FlexJobs a scam? Is it a service worth paying for? We consider the pros and cons of FlexJobs below.
What is FlexJobs?
FlexJobs is a subscription-based jobs board that advertises work opportunities that involve some level of flexibility, ranging from fully globally remote, through to jobs in specific US cities that allowed “work from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays.”
FlexJobs main selling point is that its opportunities are curated. They also state that there are no commission-only or multi-level marketing businesses either. Only legitimate, screened positions.
Additionally, FlexJobs bolts on a number of services to justify the cost. These include online resume profiles, skills tests and a comprehensive blog of job-search related content. They also provide members with access to ‘money-saving discounts on top products and services to help support your job search, home office, freelancing, work-life, family, and more.’
What does FlexJobs cost?
A year-long subscription to FlexJobs costs $49.95. However, the cheapest way to test the waters is to take a one-month subscription at just $14.95. There is no free trial for FlexJobs.
The trend for online companies to charge for convenience is not a new thing. Services like WritersWork, who target freelance writers, charge their members for access, as do Experteer, who aim at high-end consultants. So there is a current trend toward doing this.
Since nobody is forced to sign up, there is no reason to think that any service that charges this way is a scam.
However, the question needs to be asked – Is FlexJobs worth paying money for at all?
The initial user dashboard for FlexJobs is a little overwhelming – there are too many options and the dashboard is cluttered. It takes far too long to find the one thing a user would want – where to actually search for jobs.
Once a search is entered, the way the jobs are presented is quite muddled. Several different searches bring up similar selections of jobs. For example, a search for jobs in specific locations included all the jobs that were classified as being ‘anywhere’, which was not ideal.
Furthermore, the filtering of searches isn’t very accurate. A search for writing jobs also brought up roles for inbound marketing and customer service reps.
And while FlexJobs says they have thousands of jobs available, the earliest of those backdate many months, which means they are probably unlikely to remain unfilled.
The service for setting up resumes on FlexJobs is quite thorough and refined. However, the vast majority of listings send jobseekers offsite to the originating company’s application process, and so multiple online resumes may be a waste of time. However, by setting up resumes, FlexJobs learns more about the job seeker which results in email updates that are more refined to the job seekers needs.
The resources on the FlexJobs site are huge, including much that is available even when the job seeker is not signed in to the site. The articles are informative, and the blog is added to constantly. However, browsing the content is a struggle which may lead potential users to miss out on good information because they cannot find it.
While there are skills tests available on FlexJobs, many of them seem to relate to out of date software. Taking a test on FlexJobs is hardly something a job seeker will put on their resume and the tests seem quite pointless.
FlexJobs does provide access to jobs that otherwise might be hard to find. They ensure their listings are for professional jobs in 50 career categories ranging from entry-level to executive. The service may provide access to ‘hidden’ jobs that the user would never otherwise have access to.
It could work well for people with established skills who wish to work from home, such as designers and developers.
FlexJobs has loads of current, positive reviews on SiteJabber, which is not surprising because those users who are happy to check daily for new opportunities over the course of a few months will probably find some jobs to apply for. Four-star reviewers speak of the tediousness of the initial searches and the volume of effort that needs to be put in, but they are happy with the overall outcomes.
FlexJobs might prove to be less useful to entry-level workers with no experience and freelancers looking for one-off gigs.
Conclusion – Is FlexJobs Legitimate?
The short answer is yes, FlexJobs is a legitimate service providing curated professional jobs.
Their bolt-on services do not seem to add much value, and so the user will need to determine for themselves whether they are prepared to spend money to get a job. If the user is okay with this – and, in fairness, the outlay is very low – then FlexJobs would be a good service to use for someone who is seeking a permanent flexible job in a professional capacity.
However, FlexJobs would do well to modernize and streamline their dashboard and improve their search functionality, for a truly excellent user experience.