January 16, 2015

How to Market Your Flexible Work Program to Candidates

YogaJanuary marks the start of a new year, and for many recruiters, it also signifies the start of a hiring frenzy. The recruiters at your company are most likely no exception. But how can you attract the top tier talent that your organization wants and needs when so many other organizations are also trying to snatch it up?

It’s certainly no secret that flexible work programs are a great draw for job candidates. Thankfully, your company has a proven track record of allowing workplace flexibility. Formal policies have been adopted, the proper tools are in place, and managers are trained and excited about the options (hopefully).

The problem is, if your company is hiding its flex, it doesn’t have a very good chance of attracting the best applicants, who place a high premium on flex-friendly employers. Here are some ways in which you can better market your company’s flexible work program to potential job candidates:

1. Display the Info on Your Company’s Career Page

Make sure your flexible work programs are highlighted on your company’s career page. If you choose to give information about flexible work programs on a separate tab, ensure that the tab is easy to find. A robust search option that gives applicants a checklist of flexible options to choose from may also prove to helpful.

2. Write Specific Job Descriptions

If the position you’re trying to fill has flexible work options, the job posting should offer that information. It’s fine to say that the specifics will be tailored to meet the needs of the employee and the company. If there is a wait period before options are available, be sure to mention that, too. Even worse than not making your company’s flexible work programs clear is promising something the company can’t deliver.

3. Use Keywords

In the same way that recruiters need applicants to use keywords that an ATS will pick up, job seekers need to be able to search for terms that indicate what type of flexibility is associated with a job. It can be confusing for a potential candidate when many different terms are used to describe similar programs, so be consistent and intentional with the words you use. “Virtual,” “telecommuting,” “work from home,” “remote,” and “distributed team” all indicate some type of off-site location. Other keywords that applicants will look for include “flexible scheduling,” “part-time scheduling,” “freelance,” “contract,” and “alternative scheduling.”

4. Utilize Social Media

You can use social media to help spread the word about your company’s flexible work programs. For example, include the info on your company’s LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook pages. You can even post the occasional tweet to let job candidates know about flexible jobs that your company has to offer.

5. Be Proactive

One of the surest ways to find flexible workers is to reach out directly to the job seekers themselves — but you have to know where to go in order to find potential telecommuting employees. You can visit job boards that are targeted at people who are looking to work remotely, like FlexJobs. Similarly, you can peruse the groups on LinkedIn for those job seekers who typically want flexible work options, such as working parents, older workers, military spouses, or people with disabilities. That way, you can ensure a strategic search for prospective employees whom you know would want a flexible job.

It’s important for companies to recognize the many benefits of flexible work. After all, career experts often recommend that job seekers target the specific companies they want to work for and put most of their efforts toward landing a position with one of their top choices. By broadcasting your organization’s flexible work options, you’ll ensure that you’ll attract the top talent in your industry — every time.

Read more in Telecommuting

Brie Weiler Reynolds is the Director of Online Content at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting, flexible schedule, and freelance job listings, and a contributor to Remote.co, a one-stop resource for the life cycle of remote teams and companies. With a background in human resources and career advising, Brie has over 10 years experience of working with job seekers and employers, and she offers career, hiring, and work-life balance advice through FlexJobs and Remote.co.