Last week we announced our partnership with FlexJobs.com. This partnership combines our software product capabilities for creating, managing, and retaining a flexible workforce with FlexJobs’ credible and targeted capabilities for attracting and recruiting results-oriented talent looking for flexible work arrangements.
Because FlexJobs CEO Sara Sutton Fell is a flexible worker herself, we thought it only appropriate that we ask her to pull back the curtain on her company and her own work lifestyle.
Why did you start FlexJobs.com?
SSF: I started FlexJobs after experiencing frustration in my own job search. I was pregnant with my first child at the time, and as a professional woman I looking for a job that was both in my career path AND that would also allow some flexibility for family. I quickly learned that the search for professional, flexible jobs was very much like finding “needle in the haystack” of ads, scams and other junk. I was shocked that there wasn’t an easier, more reasonable way to find these jobs.
My experience also led me to the profound realization that although women have come incredibly far in the workplace, when it comes to incorporating pregnancy and motherhood into our careers, there is still a very long way to go to find the kind of flexibility we need.
What’s your most notable jobseeker success story yet?
SSF: Honestly, there are so many that come to mind, and they come from all kinds of job-seekers — women, men, mothers, fathers, military spouses, executives, caretakers, students, retirees, etc. One of the most recent success stories was with a new mother who was looking for a flexible job, ideally one that would allow her to telecommute with flexible hours. She had actually applied for a job with FlexJobs, and I thought she was a fantastic candidate and ended up offering her the job. But, she had actually received two other job offers through job leads she had found on our site! As it happened, she decided to accept a different offer than mine, as it was a better overall fit for her career background and goals. Although I was disappointed personally, of course, I was thrilled that she had found a great job that truly fit her life!
What about most notable employer success story?
SSF: Similarly, there are so many that are notable or different reasons, but a sentiment that I have had the good fortune to hear from several employers is that “FlexJobs helped us find the most impressive employees we have ever had – thank you so much!”
A recent standout employer experience was with Forrester Research. They had great success using FlexJobs — they were pleased to get a robust pipeline of high quality candidates for their job, and there were impressed with how quickly it happened. Even better, they ended up hiring someone who applied as a result of the posting! In their words, “It is a huge success story for us at Forrester, and I’ve shared this great resource with all of our recruiters for our future remote staffing needs.”
Our bottom line is that we are thrilled to help great employers of all sizes and in all industries find great flexible candidates.
When you are hiring, do you post the opportunity on FlexJobs?
SSF: Yes! In fact, we just went through a big hiring process for 6 positions, including both a Director of Marketing & PR and a Director of Business Development. I only posted the jobs on FlexJobs, and I am thrilled to say that we hired amazing people for each and every role.
What are your predictions for the next 12 months when it comes to flexible talent acquisition?
SSF: I believe that flexible talent acquisition will continue to increase, and largely due to the numerous bottom-line benefits that it offers employers. Many employers who hadn’t considered hiring remote staff or freelancers before the recession have opened their minds to these alternative arrangements from a cost savings perspective.
Additionally, with the long and short-term benefits of increased productivity and reduced turnover, employers are realizing that workplace flexibility isn’t just a perk for the employee, but also for the company!
Have you seen an increase in flexible job listings? What are some of the trends you’re noticing?
SSF: We definitely have seen an increase in flexible jobs, by about 400% in the past three years. We’ve seen growth in many career categories, especially education, medical, nonprofit, information technology, and sales. We’ve also experienced a surge in companies – both large and small – that are integrating a virtual component to their business models, and really implementing telecommute options into their work culture.
More about Sara…
Sara Sutton Fell is the CEO of FlexJobs, an innovative job site for telecommuting, part-time, freelance, and other flexible job opportunities. As CEO, Sara is responsible for managing all aspects of the company.
Sara is a specialist in the online job market, particularly on the topics of online job searching, telecommuting, and flexible work arrangements. She is frequently quoted in the media and has appeared on CNN, NPR’s Marketplace Money, Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes.com, Yahoo!, and many other sources to discuss employment trends. In addition, she is a passionate advocate for work-life balance and the environmental benefits of embracing alternative work arrangements.
Prior to starting FlexJobs in 2007, Sara spent 12 years in management and entrepreneurial roles. She also co-founded another online job company in 1995, JobDirect, which was acquired by Korn/Ferry International in 2000.
Sara holds a BA in Society, Technology, and the Environment from the University of California at Berkeley. She resides in Boulder, Colorado with her husband, two young sons, and chocolate lab.