The competition for a single remote job listing is fierce. In every job sharing group on Facebook, the first question asked as soon as someone shares a job is “remote?” Popular job search sites are also inundated with requests for remote jobs from people who want to work at home. It only makes sense that there are people who are willing to pay to subscribe to job listings sites that offer access to telecommuting or “work from home” options.
Over the past few years, I subscribed to a few different job listing services and I found them very helpful at that time. Lately, however, I’m not feeling as if the ends justify the means. With that in mind, I’d like to give you a few things to think about before you invest in a paying remote job listing subscription.
10 Things to Think About Before Paying for a Remote Jobs Listing Service
1.Who is reviewing the job listing service?
Smart telecommuters research paying job listing sites, as they should. However, they should also be looking at the people who are doing the reviewing.
Consider this: Reviewers may also be advertisers or affiliates or someone who receive a perk in exchange for referrals. So before you make your decision based on online reviews, check for disclosures to see if the reviewer is receiving a free subscription or affiliate fee in exchange for the review, or look around to see if the listing site is a paid advertiser. Mind you, reviews are supposed to be fair and balanced, but someone who is receiving a commission, advertising fees, or a subscription in exchange for referrals might have ulterior motives.
2. Does the site list enough remote job opportunities to justify the cost of the subscription?
How many 100% telecommute jobs does the service list each day? Five job listings probably aren’t worth the cost of a monthly subscription. However, 50 (or more ) daily jobs might be a service worth paying for. If a remote job search site updates often, with an abundance of fresh listings each day, that could certainly be a convenience for the job seekers. A couple of updates a day might mean the job seeker has to check elsewhere, which isn’t so convenient after all.
3. Are listed (remote) jobs a full or partial telecommute?
If I’m paying for access to remote jobs, I want to see 100% remote jobs. I mean, I don’t mind visiting clients or coming into the office for an occasional meeting, but it’s not a telecommuting or remote job if I’m only allowed one day a week to work from home. That kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?
So determine exactly what kind of work situation you’re looking for before laying out the cash. If you have to work six months before you can have a one day a week telecommute, and that’s ok with you, by all means, subscribe. However, if you’re looking for 100% remote jobs, and only about 10% – 20% of the listings sites are actually 100% remote, perhaps it’s not such a good deal.
4. Does the site list enough remote job opportunities in your niche to justify the cost of the subscription?
Just because a site lists work from home opportunities, doesn’t mean there are enough jobs in your niche to justify the cost. For example, as a writer, I find that the free sites list many more opportunities for 100% remote jobs for writers than the paying sites. In my opinion, for my niche, the cost hasn’t been worth it. However, this is just my experience and it many not be yours.
5. How many jobs are unique to the listing site?
My biggest pet peeve with paying job listing sites is that most of the jobs they share aren’t exclusive to them. So I’m paying for jobs that I can find for free in several other places at the same time. The amount of jobs unique to them doesn’t justify the cost of a subscription.
6. Is the service saving you time?
The main reason people subscribe to a job listing site is to save time. When all the jobs are listed in one place, it’s a convenience. However, if you’re paying for a remote job site that doesn’t offer many unique jobs, or enough jobs in your niche, or even enough 100% remote jobs, and you’re having to search in other places, it’s no longer a convenience.
7. Have you landed any of the jobs you applied for from that site?
If you’re a freelancer, are you landing clients – or inquiries – via leads from the paying job site? If you’re looking for a full time job, are you getting landing interviews from jobs or leads applied to from those sites? If paying for a subscription isn’t helping you to get more nibbles, you’ll have to consider whether or not you’re really getting your money’s worth.
8. Do free listing sites also weed out the scams?
The paying job listing sites claim that they’re weeding out all the scams and only presenting you with “legitimate” opportunities. I’d like to argue that plenty of free job listing sites do this as well. In fact, on the average day I look at about ten free job listing sites, and I haven’t come across a single scam on any of them. So I don’t know if this is reason enough to subscribe to a paying site.
9. Do they offer a free trial?
Before I subscribe to a site, I want to see what I’m paying for, even if it’s only a 24 hour trial. I’m tired of paying out money and not receiving the anticipated results. A free trial can help to see if a job service is for me, or if I need to move on.
10. The bottom line – is it convenient?
Paying job listing sites are a matter of convenience and I found that they’re no longer convenient to me. In fact, after having to give up all my clients for the better part of the year (to care for a family member) and then start all over again, I found myself very frustrated with these sites. They no longer fit my budget due to the lack of convenience.
Mind you, I’m not telling you not to pay to subscribe to a job board if it’s working for you. If you are finding work and there are enough jobs fitting your situation, that’s terrific. My point is that the service should be worth the subscription cost. If you find you’re putting out money but getting very little in return, then perhaps you should rethink the situation come renewal time.
Whatever situation, I wish you the very best of luck in your job search.
Telecommunity’s Remote Job Board is – and always will be – free.