By 2010, over 13 million Americans were working from home at least one day per week, according to an infographic prepared by QuinStreet Inc. US Census Bureau data from 2012 reported that the three US metro areas with the highest percentage of telecommuters were Boulder, Colorado (where 10.9% of workers telecommuted), Medford, Oregon (8.4%), and Santa Fe, New Mexico (8.3%). It’s a good deal for both employers and employees.
Employers can save thousands of dollars per telecommuting employee because of higher productivity, savings on office real estate costs, lower turnover, and lower absenteeism. The benefits to the workers are fairly obvious: no road commute, more flexible hours, and cost savings on things like work wardrobes and lunches out.
If your online newspaper, trade publication, or website includes a custom job board as a revenue stream, perhaps you should ask yourself if your job board is as useful as it could be to telecommuters. There are starting to be job boards exclusively targeted to remote workers, and some of the larger job boards are now offering filters that people can use when searching for telecommuter-friendly jobs.
The Most Popular Jobs for Telecommuters
Obviously some jobs are unsuitable for telecommuters. Chefs, phlebotomists, and forklift operators have to be at the jobsite, of course. But many jobs are suitable for telecommuting, and internet saturation plus mobile technology are allowing an increasing number of job functions to be appropriate for remote work. Here are some of the most popular jobs for telecommuters, according to Yahoo! Finance and Yahoo! Education:
- Graphic design
- Public relations
- Translation (with Chinese to English particularly in demand)
- Search engine evaluation
How Easy Is It to Customize Searches on Your Job Board?
A job board that is mobile-friendly, has a clean user interface (for both listing employers and job seekers), and allows easy filtering of searches is a great start, but you can do more to connect with telecommuters. Allowing employers to explicitly indicate which positions are open to telecommuting helps employers and job seekers. Simply searching on a keyword like ”telecommuting” or ”telecommuters” isn’t that helpful for job seekers, because they will get results from employers saying ”no telecommuting” or ”no telecommuters.”
But having a field in your listings specifically indicating if a job is available to telecommuters is helpful. That way, job seekers can filter listings based on whether telecommuting is allowed, and employers who don’t offer it won’t get inundated with resumes or applications from people who want to telecommute.
Help Employers Make Effective Listings
Face it: there are plenty of poorly written job listings out there. Job offers for ”Infrastructure Coordinator III” looking for ”team players” and ”self-starters” don’t really offer job seekers the information they’re looking for. You may offer online tutorials or downloadable documents for employers on how to write effective job listings so they don’t waste their time and job seekers’. Encourage employers to state explicitly in job titles and job descriptions whether they allow telecommuters. A job listing titled ”Transcriptionist Needed for Remote Work” is much more effective than one titled ”Transcriptionist.” And if your job board allows explicit filtering by whether a job is telecommuter-friendly, let your listing employers know and encourage them to state in a specified field in their listing form whether or not they welcome remote workers.
Let Job Seekers Know Too
Make it easy and obvious how to filter job searches by whether employers allow telecommuting. If you add this feature to an already existing job board, place an announcement at the top of the job board. If you have statistics to help your case, state them, either on your job board page, or on your blog (”Over 500 telecommuter-friendly listings last month!”). Job seekers tire of huge job aggregators quickly, and those in specific trades want to utilize job boards on trade publication websites geared toward them. Add easy search options for telecommuting jobs, and you give that many more job seekers reason to use your job board instead of a competitor’s.
Ensuring that your newspaper or trade publication website’s job board connects with telecommuters can be a very smart move, and can help bolster your site’s revenue development as well as traffic and audience development. Job boards are most effective when they’re easily searchable on factors that are important to job seekers, when they’re mobile-friendly, and have a clean, easy-to-understand interface. RealMatch knows how to help you develop the most relevant and effective job board for your website.