by Team Nomadstack
Last updated: Jan 25, 2017
Overall: 3 stars
TL;DR: Subscription based job-board for positions that offer 100% remote work.
In their words they’re the “leading online service for professionals seeking telecommuting, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs.”
Which basically means they’re a job board. For people seeking jobs which allow you to work-from-home.
Now this is the nifty part for all you would-be digital nomads out there. Inside their advanced search is the option to filter jobs that are “100% telecommute.” Land one of these gigs, and you’ll be set to start your nomad adventure.
Plus, they curate their list of positions, so you won’t find any scams or shady gigs in here.
What the press is saying
Flexjobs launched in 2007, and have had over a million people use the platform. USA Today says it’s the go-to platform for work-from-home opportunities, while Forbes called it one of the best sites out there for finding flexible positions. Plus they’ve had write ups in the Wall Street Journal, Wired, Inc., the list goes on.
What other people are saying
There’s plenty of reviews on the net for Flexjobs. Some rave about it, and from what I can see these all seem to be coming from genuine people. They’re happy to invest in the platform, for essentially the cost of a cup of coffee ($4 / month on the annual plan) to get access to the curated database.
Complaints stem from those seeking refunds, or had a different idea of what Flexjobs was all about. Others had issues cancelling their subscription and went online to share their concerns. In my experience the cancellation process was fairly straightforward, and I haven’t faced any of the stated problems with ongoing charges on my credit card.
What I think
Initially I was put-off by the fact you’ve got to pay money to access the job listings. To me, this rings “scam” as I’ve found that any time you’re having to pay first, you’re actually the product.
I also thought it was a tad illogical to be spending money for access to their curated opportunities. Most of these you can actually find online yourself, if you’re actively searching the other free job boards or keeping tabs on a particular company you want to work for.
But this all takes time. As I got busier I realized that spending $15 to give them a chance was peanuts, considering the amount of time I’d spend trying to find these opportunities myself.
So I joined. I bought a month’s membership in August, spending $9.95 as I got a 30 percent off deal from their chat-agent. More on this in a sec.
What’s it cost?
$14.95 a month
$29.95 for 3 months
$49.95 for the year
Not a bad investment as I’ve seen other subscription models in this niche that charge upwards of $50 a month to send you lists of “leads.”
Plus, I was rather impressed that once you pay, that’s it. There’s no extra fees or hidden costs, limits on applying for jobs or anything else. Pay the fee, and you’ve got full access to every job post available, and you can apply for everything (if you really wanted to).
But before you pay, don’t forget about coupons. This will of course depend on the promotions they’re running when you sign up, but after noticing there’s a “PROMO CODE” box on their payment form I went to Google in search of a coupon.
The ones I found didn’t work, but after entering a couple that failed their own chat agent popped up and gave me a 30% discount off the monthly price. So it was now only $9.95 to test out their service. Neat.
Is it worth it? In all honesty yes, because of the amount of time it saves you. Burt remember, you’re paying for convenience, it’s then up to you to apply and land a job.
Personally, if you’re worried about shelling out $10 to get access to these jobs in one, easy-to-use dashboard, you should probably avoid it spend your time crawling the free job boards.
What they offer
At the time of writing there were currently 31,545 positions on their platform, across 4,602 different companies. Sounds good, but remember these are “flexible jobs.” Many actually are part-time work which requires you to be in a particular location in the U.S.
Filtering by “100% telecommute,” there were 3,199 jobs available.
Which means only around 10% of the jobs on the platform are suitable for digital nomads.
Filtering again by “Entry level,” there were under 300 positions suitable for those without any experience. Which means under 1% of the positions advertised would be suited for someone just getting started.
After looking through the site a bit, I noticed most of the jobs were looking for candidates with a certain level of experience. If you’ve got a college degree and a couple of years solid experience behind you, you’re probably going to get more out of the platform than someone fresh out of high school.
Jumping into the Advanced Search box, I made sure I selected 100% telecommute and had a look at what was on offer.
You want to be looking at the latest jobs, and sending applications as fast as possible. Checking the results, there were 417 jobs less than a day old (when I wrote the review) and 46 were 100% telecommuting.
Overall, there was a good variety of positions in here. I saw jobs for developers, content writers, marketing managers, sales reps, video editors and even a comic book artist.
Not bad. Depending on your background, you should be able to find relevant jobs to apply for.
Taking a quick look in the copywriting niche, there was an ad offering $17/hr for website content, another promising $25 / page, and plenty more. Not enough to make you rich, but far better hourly rates than what you see on other platforms (I’m looking at you Upwork).
Then, like all other platforms you’ve got to create a profile. You can either upload a resume or fill out their forms, and make sure you sign up for the email job alerts. I tend to be forgetful and this was actually one of the best features of the site; because you get notified of all the openings in your particular area of interest, you don’t forget to apply.
Overall I applied for about 40 positions over the space of a week, intentionally looking for those that wanted a native English writer, and that were offering a decent rate of pay.
Most never got back to me, which is pretty normal considering the amount of competition out there, but I did manage to land one gig, so my membership paid for itself.
Inside the platform they’ve also got a bunch of skills tests you can take for free. These allow you to learn more about your own strengths and weaknesses, so you know what you need to focus on to improve.
But if you absolutely nail a test, (with a score above 70%) this will actually get showcased on your profile and any employers will be able to see it too. Could be the extra step which helps you land the perfect gig.
The one issue I did have was with Flexjobs’ personalized home page. You’re only able to feed in results from five categories, which can be a challenge if you’re say a copywriter who also does web development, marketing and SEO, you’re a bit too broad. I found that I actually needed to sift through the entire set of listings each day to ensure no good jobs that I was qualified for slipped through the cracks.
Of particular note
Because of the way FlexJobs works, it’s basically just an aggregator of online jobs. With a bit of grunt work you can find the positions listed in other places online. Often, Flexjobs simply directs you to the company’s website to apply for a position, but don’t let this discourage you.
What you’re paying for is convenience. You get a list of leads that is easy to search, in a single dashboard so you can easily check what’s available, apply, and then get on with your day.
There’s no more hours and hours wasted in Google as you check job board after job board, or time spent crawling through endless company sites browsing their internal job boards.
Personally, I let my subscription expire at the end of the month. I’ve got a solid roster of clients and I don’t need to actively chase new leads each month.
If you’re wanting to get new gigs and haven’t got a whole lot of time to dedicate to searching, it’s definitely worth it. When you’re paying for convenience, there’s something to be said about having a solid database, right in front of you, with a variety of different gigs.
There’s plenty of high-quality listings, but they are geared towards candidates with some experience. 100% remote entry-level positions on the platform are few and far between (less than 1% of all listings)
Much like any online job board it’s the competition which is the killer. Comparing my experience from places like Upwork, Flexjobs is a little bit less of a race to the bottom, and I think it would be a great tool to help you build up a client base once you’ve got a few projects under your belt.
Just don’t forget to cancel your subscription should you land a full-time gig or haven’t been able to generate a return from the platform in the first three months. It’s a great tool to help you get serious about working-from-home, but it does come with a price.
Overall: 3 stars