The fastest way to a flexible work arrangement is to ask for one at your current job. But what if you’re looking for a new job? The sad fact is, most employers don’t offer a flexible schedule or telecommuting arrangement to new employees. But some do.
Here I’ve compiled several options to help you find flexible employers and jobs.
Professional Job Listings: All Flex, All the Time
There are scores of job boards which list telecommuting and part-time jobs, but it’s tricky sifting out the scam sites to find the few legitimate ones. And some otherwise legit work-from-home websites allow ads from spurious “employers.” What to do?
To cut through the clutter, I recommend FlexJobs.
Some time back, I had an hour-long talk with FlexJobs CEO, Sara Sutton Fell. She has a personal story that translates into a passion for people looking for a calmer work life. She’s all about offering viable job options with integrity. More recently, I interviewed her to get her current comments about flexible work opportunities.
Her team searches the web for you and hand-screens the telecommuting, part-time and free-lance jobs they find—throughout the US and beyond—checking the legitimacy of the employer and the posting.
Only those jobs that make their scrupulous cut are posted on the FlexJobs site.
For a modest fee, you get full access to their huge listing of jobs. But you can read all the truncated listings for free, so you’ll have an idea of what you’d be paying for first. There are more than 50 job categories, most of them professional-level.
[Disclosure: WorkOptions is an affiliate of FlexJobs because they’re that good.]
Flexible Work Staffing Firms for Professionals
You might find your next employer through a flexible work staffing firm for professionals. I’ve seen businesses in this category come and go since the mid-1990’s, but in recent years, I’ve seen more staying power. This is an encouraging sign; employers are recognizing there are more effective ways to work than 8 to 5.
I asked several of these staffing firms to send a description of what they offered job candidates. Below are excerpts from the six replies I received.
Corps Team (formerly Mom Corps) is a national flexible staffing firm that works to match professionals with flexible job opportunities suited to candidates’ qualifications and scheduling needs. For its candidates, Mom Corps offers access to flexible job opportunities, events and job search support services such as an expert resume service. Corps Team is free of charge to job seekers.
Flexible Resources, a staffing and consulting firm, has championed the policies and practices of the flexible workplace since 1989. They have placed hundreds of Marketing, HR, Finance and high level Admin professionals in a variety of flexible work arrangements including permanent part-time, creative job shares, telecommuting and contract. Flexible Resources services client companies and job seekers in the New York City metro area. They welcome all to check out their website for free advice and job postings.
Flexforce Professionals is a niche recruiting and staffing service specializing in part-time professionals for the Washington, DC metro area. Most of Flexforce’s candidates are seasoned business professionals with at least 10 years of experience. Many are working moms who prefer to work on a part-time basis to balance work and family. Placements can be part-time permanent, part-time temporary, or project-based. Candidates may register with Flexforce through its website, where they can also find valuable return-to-work resources, view active job postings, and join the Flexforce mailing list.
Momentum Resources is a boutique staffing firm placing professionals in part-time and flexible full-time roles in the Richmond, Virginia, and metro Washington, DC markets. They work in a variety of industries including accounting, law, project management and non-profit, and typically work with mid- to senior-level professionals at no cost to the job-seeker.
Part-Time Pros staffing company unites degree-educated professionals with companies who have part-time, contract and full-time staffing needs. Their mission is to provide the perfect match between client needs, desires and wants with associates’ knowledge, skills and abilities, whether it’s a stay-at-home parent wanting to contribute to their household income, an early retiree wanting to continue to work part-time, or a college student needing to earn extra income.
10 til 2 knows that the workforce is changing and that professionals now strive to attain a more satisfying balance between work and family roles. 10 til 2’s long-term, part-time professional staffing has given thousands of jobseekers the opportunity to progress in their careers and still enjoy quality time outside the office. 10 til 2 is always looking for top-notch career professionals to join our team and revel in the perfection of part-time.
March 2016 Update: The List is Growing
These firms have popped up more recently. I only know about them and am not endorsing them, so do your due diligence.
Athenity says “Our marketplace connects companies with exceptional women on marketing projects.”
Inkwell calls itself “a global flexible staffing innovator.”
Power to Fly urges you to “get the best remote jobs in tech.”
Prokanga says “We connect high caliber professional women with flexible opportunities.”
The Second Shift says it is “connecting professional women with great projects from top companies.”
How to Find Flexible Employers
Beyond these innovative staffing and job listing services, you might want to target specific flexible employers as part of your job search strategy. Here are several ways to surface them.
- FlexJobs offers a free online Guide to Best Companies for Flexible Jobs. Get the link under Job Search Resources (at the bottom right of their home page).
- Many of the 100 Best Companies on Fortune magazine’s list offer workplace flexibility. Start with the “Near You” category to see if any of the employers are within driving distance.
- Forbes magazine has a similar but smaller list.
- Check the listing of Working Mother magazine’s 100 best companies; all of them offer some sort of workplace flexibility
- Glassdoor has a top 50 list but there’s some overlap with other lists and it takes more work to find the flexibility factor.
- Finally, check with your nearby Chamber of Commerce and metropolitan business magazine. Some compile rankings of “best companies” among local or regional employers.
How to Vet a Prospective Employer for Workplace Flexibility
If you have targeted a specific company and you can’t find them on any of the lists, check their website under “Careers” or “Employment” to see if they position flexible work arrangements as one of their desirable employment features. Verify actual practices by asking current or past employees. Use searches and queries on GlassDoor and Linkedin.
Then there’s the reality-check tactic (if you’re within driving distance): check how full or empty their parking lot is between 5 and 7 pm!
How to Ask About Flexibility in the Interview Process
That covers the job search aspect of finding flexibility. In a different article, I address how and when to inquire about flexible work arrangements during the new job interview.
→ Best in Class: FlexJobs. View job listings now.
Don’t Quit Your Job; Flex Your Job
If you’re already employed full-time, here’s the fastest way to get flexible work.