Remote work applications have nearly doubled this year — and there’s no sign of slowing down — Forbes Advisor
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Rachel Boger likes the Florida heat, the smell of salt water and Dunedin, the cozy Gulf Coast city where she lives. She likes it so much that she spent a decade expressing thoughts on advancing her career in digital marketing by relocating to New York or San Francisco, where big companies are headquartered.
“So I kept working every day to live where I love it, even if that meant not getting the big titles and salaries I knew I’d get if I was in those big cities.” would live. Then Covid struck,” Boger wrote in a Facebook post after accepting her “dream job.”
Boger was hired in August as director of digital strategy for a Philadelphia-based marketing agency, which she says would have been unlikely before the pandemic. She has worked in digital marketing for over 15 years, but her career has been hampered by limited opportunities within driving range.
Now Boger is benefiting from the global pandemic that reverse decades of work tradition where people had to do most of their work from an office.
Matt Schulman also landed his “dream job” post-Covid when he landed a position as communications manager at San Francisco-headquartered Crunchbase while living in New York.
“Before the pandemic, they weren’t a remote company; everyone worked in the office,” says Schulman. “So my job wouldn’t have been possible before the pandemic because I live in New York City.”
Working from home is most popular among women and millennials
In July 2022, remote jobs on LinkedIn (17% of all paid jobs on the platform) attracted a majority of applications (54%) and almost half of views (47%) compared to on-site jobs.
This is a spectacular leap from less than three years ago, when in January 2020 remote jobs made up a meager 2% of total paid listings and attracted just 3% of applicants.
And almost twice as many people (64%) applied for at least one remote job in July 2022 compared to a year earlier (37%).
The industries that had the highest percentage of remote job postings on LinkedIn in July were, unsurprisingly, those that don’t necessarily require physical interaction:
- Technology, information and media: 42%
- Professional Services: 30%
- Education: 25%
- Administrative and support services: 25%
“Remote working has gained momentum among women during the pandemic, many of whom have been forced to leave the workforce as they have more care responsibilities at home,” said Blair Heitmann, careers expert at LinkedIn. “And women continue to apply for remote jobs more often than men.”
According to an October 2021 LinkedIn poll, 41 percent of women say they would even switch industries for a more flexible work-from-home policy.
Schulman cites flexibility as one of the key benefits of remote work.
“Unless you had [paid time off], there wasn’t much time left for the rest of your life,” Schulman says of working in an office. “Now you can work from anywhere—like working in another state and helping your sister with a new baby or visiting family. You actually have time for your hobbies or just time to wash the dishes. Working remotely allows you to live your life.”
Employees want flexibility when working from home — and employers are listening
Out of the pandemic came an increased focus on work-life balance, as more workers evaluated how they were spending their time. For many, the conclusion was that they were spending too much time commuting or sitting in cabs.
Forbes Advisor spoke to more than a dozen recruiters and employers, all of whom said to work from home has increased significantly in the last two years because people want more flexibility to balance work and private life.
And as more people hesitate to return to the office full-time, companies are retooling their policies.
Kristi Johnson-Noble, director of people at Austin-based lifestyle services provider Spruce, says that when companies ask their employees to return to the office, the question arises, “Why should I return to the office when I’m perfectly able to get my chores done? work well remotely?”
That’s a question employers across the country are asking, says Rick Hammel, CEO of Atlas, a software development company headquartered in Chicago. According to Hammel, the pandemic has shown that remote work can not only be possible, but also profitable.
“The argument for bringing employees back into the office is often difficult to justify. And the employees are aware of this; They want flexibility and work-life balance,” says Hammel.
For Spruce, the remote work experience during the pandemic led to deeper discussions about what a company should expect from its employees.
“All of these companies with core ‘People First’ values will be tested. The question then becomes: ‘Do you really value my personal well-being as much as my contribution to your company?’ says Johnson Noble.
Organizations see benefits and challenges in remote hiring
Employers who embrace remote work not only keep employees happy, but also find meaningful benefits for their companies. For one, they can deepen the talent pool by removing geographic barriers. And they can also diversify their talents more easily than if they were confined to one city or metropolitan area.
Big Village, an advertising and technology company headquartered in New York, adopted the remote working model in the wake of the pandemic, a move that has significantly expanded its reach to more diverse talent.
“We are pleased to say that we have met or exceeded our recruitment goals for the BIPOC department [Black, Indigenous, and people of color] talent and have seen our candidate pipelines increase by 50%,” said Vashti Chatman, Chief Talent Officer at Big Village.
Stephanie Roseman, Allstate’s vice president of human resources solutions, has had a similar experience. She says that since August 2021, “in the face of the toughest hiring market ever,” Allstate has seen a 61% increase in application volume and a 30% increase in diverse candidates over the past year.
“The flexibility of working from home has been a huge plus for companies looking for workers during the Great Retreat,” says Carlos Castelán, managing director of Navio Group. “As Covid sent employees home from their offices, many companies suddenly realized they could access remote talent anywhere.”
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The downside for employers is that they are now competing with more companies for the best talent, so they may need to increase pay or offer more attractive benefits packages.
“Companies compete on compensation and other benefits, so candidates often consider multiple job offers,” said Matt Orfely, director of external recruitment at Delta Hire, which is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale.
Applying for a remote job? Here’s what to do
Applying for the same job that people across the country are looking for may seem daunting, so finding ways to stand out in a sea of qualified candidates is more important than ever.
When Molly Severtson of Helena, Montana applied for a position as senior strategist with the Portland-based Stuart Collective in November 2021, she knew she would be competing with applicants across the country. It turned out that 75 other people in the United States had applied for the same position — far more applications than the company normally received.
“I knew there would be many applicants for the remote positions as they could come from all over the world, but I decided to give it a try because I had enjoyed working from home so much,” said severtson
The interview process included a series of virtual work samples and interviews via Zoom. And eventually Molly, who lives 600 miles from the office, got the job.
Heitmann says that as competition increases, it’s crucial to show your personality on your professional website, social media pages, or LinkedIn profile.
“If you’re applying for a job in an emerging market like crypto, resharing an article and bringing your thoughts into the conversation can be a great way to get the attention of decision makers at the companies you want to work for. Heitmann advises.
Job seekers should also do the following:
- Show your skills in the foreground. Closely align the skills listed on your resume or profile with the job you want so recruiters can find you more easily.
- Tap on your network. Let your co-workers and colleagues know that you are looking for a job. It’s easier to get a job when someone at the company you’re applying to can vouch for you.
- Find out about your prospective employer’s policies on remote work. Will there be virtual gatherings or occasional face-to-face meetings? Make sure you understand how often these events take place and that they align with the values and culture you are seeking in a remote role.
- When you see a job you like, jump on it. According to Linkedin data, people who apply within the first 10 minutes of a job posting are four times more likely to receive a response.
“Don’t underestimate the importance of being the first to apply. Being first in line for a job can even give you an added advantage,” says Heitmann.
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