Meeting the candidate where they are – the FlexJobs story – Job Board Doctor

Jobboardgeek podcastIn this episode of Job­Board­Geek, we talk to Sara Sut­ton of FlexJobs about how she found­ed not one, but two job boards and met with suc­cess on both. Jeff Dick­ey-Chasins of Job­Board­Doc­tor and Steven Roth­berg of Col­lege Recruiter ask Sara why she focused on remote and flex­i­ble jobs when almost no one else was – and why her rev­enue mod­el revolves around charg­ing the can­di­date. Jeff also ques­tions the wis­dom of a recent announce­ment from Step­stone, and Steven agrees that he is wise.



0:00:01.4 Jeff Dick­ey-Chasins: Hel­lo every­one, and wel­come to Job­Board­Geek. It’s the pod­cast about the busi­ness of con­nect­ing can­di­dates and employ­ers. My name is Jeff Dick­ey-Chasins, I’m the Job Board Doc­tor and your host. And with me is the co-host, the some­times fre­net­ic, Steven Roth­berg of Col­lege Recruiter. Hey, Steven.

0:00:20.0 Steven Roth­berg: I am ful­ly espres­so-ed up and ready to go.

0:00:23.2 JD: I said fre­net­ic, I real­ly meant fran­tic, but I guess I’ll have to save that for anoth­er show. Any­way, today we have a won­der­ful guest, some­one I’ve known for a while, Sara Sut­ton of FlexJobs. She’s gonna tell us how she does what she does and why they do it. But first, Steven, I want­ed to chat with you about some news. It’s not par­tic­u­lar­ly new news, I think it came out about three or four weeks ago, but I thought it was kind of inter­est­ing for a cou­ple of rea­sons. Step­Stone, which if you don’t know, is the large job board con­glom­er­ate out of Ger­many and oper­ates in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent coun­tries through­out Europe and in the US, announced that they are offer­ing employ­er brand­ing and recruit­ing ser­vices. And I thought this was kind of fun­ny for two rea­sons. One, is that it’s not real­ly the case that employ­er brand­ing is par­tic­u­lar­ly new, even though they were sort of pitch­ing this as some­thing that was kind of amaz­ing. And then sec­ond one, I actu­al­ly got in and read about it, what it actu­al­ly involves is a bunch of ser­vices from four of their dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies, and the big inno­va­tion is that instead of work­ing with four dif­fer­ent peo­ple, you just work with one per­son.


0:01:28.5 JD: I thought, man, this kin­da reminds me of some of the stuff Career­Builder used to pull. But any­way, I guess Steven, my ques­tion for you is two-fold. One, did you see some­thing in the Step­Stone announce­ment that I didn’t that made it more com­plex and impor­tant? And two, what’s your feel­ing about employ­er brand­ing? Because I per­son­al­ly think employ­er brand­ing ser­vice is a very impor­tant ser­vice for a job board to offer, but a lot of job boards don’t do that.

0:01:54.7 SR: Yeah, I read it the same way as you did, Jeff. I have a sneak­ing sus­pi­cion that Step­Stone has an unlim­it­ed press release pack­age and that they just want­ed to get their money’s worth from it. I have a ton of respect for Step­Stone and I hear a lot of great things for what they do, both on the brand­ing side and on what the press release talked about in terms of recruit­ment adver­tis­ing. Where those lines… Where that line ends and the oth­er one starts is always a lit­tle bit blur­ry, but yeah, I think the big inno­va­tion was exact­ly what you nailed rather than hav­ing to talk to at least two dif­fer­ent sales peo­ple to buy both the recruit­ment adver­tis­ing post­ings, resume search­ing, that kin­da stuff, and the brand­ing, which for Step­Stone, a lot of that is dis­play adver­tis­ing, pod­cast adver­tis­ing, that kin­da stuff. Basi­cal­ly, the stuff you can’t track.

0:02:45.5 JD: Right.

0:02:46.6 SR: That you can now mirac­u­lous­ly talk to one sales per­son and get one invoice for so…

0:02:54.1 JD: Mirac­u­lous, yes.

0:02:54.7 SR: I don’t know, maybe that’s inno­v­a­tive in Ger­many and in some of their oth­er mar­kets, but I have a feel­ing that today’s guest would not clas­si­fy that as being inno­v­a­tive.

0:03:04.5 JD: Right, that’s absolute­ly true and actu­al­ly, thank you for that great lead in there, because I do think today’s guest is some­one who is far ahead of her time and has been for a long time, some­one that I’ve known for a while. Wel­come to Job­Board­Geek, Sara.

0:03:19.4 Sara Sut­ton: Thank you so much for hav­ing me Jeff, and it’s great to be here.

0:03:22.2 JD: Yeah, thanks for com­ing on. Now, you found­ed FlexJobs a num­ber of years ago, and that’s one way I think that you were ahead of your time. You also found­ed six years ago, long before the pan­dem­ic. So I was just won­der­ing if you could kin­da give us a lit­tle back­ground about how you got into the job board busi­ness, I know, I believe you had found­ed a job board before FlexJobs, and what caused you to think about FlexJobs and get­ting it off the ground.

0:03:49.9 SS: Yeah, I’d be hap­py to tell you a lit­tle bit. My jour­ney has been prob­a­bly some­what unique. I hadn’t intend­ed, when I was in col­lege, to go into the job board mar­ket. [chuck­le] That was, at the time, I was a major in inter­na­tion­al rela­tions and [chuck­le] but I will tell a lit­tle bit about that because it does set the tone for FlexJobs. I had, my junior year at uni­ver­si­ty in Berke­ley, I had kind of learned this word entre­pre­neur. Some­body had men­tioned it… A friend’s father had men­tioned it to me and my friend when we were talk­ing about what we were gonna do after col­lege. And at the time, this was in the mid ’90s, it was… It real­ly… The ear­ly ’90s, it was real­ly… Entre­pre­neur­ship was not some­thing that was specif­i­cal­ly nor­mal and for me we start­ed think­ing about it and actu­al­ly we did end up com­ing up with an idea to make the first online entry-lev­el job board help­ing col­lege stu­dents back in the day when it was still fold­ers of fax, dozens of fax and all those things, to actu­al­ly put those online in a data­base and allow peo­ple to search.

0:04:53.4 SS: So we cre­at­ed… That was a com­pa­ny called Job Direct and that was in ’95. We…

0:04:56.9 JD: Wow.

0:04:57.2 SS: Launched that, we both dropped out of col­lege, very excit­ing time in the Inter­net in gen­er­al, and also just a ton of change in the job mar­ket at that time with the process­es and how things were hap­pen­ing. And then we had can­di­dates who were get­ting in front of employ­ers and it was just such a dynam­ic learn­ing envi­ron­ment. We grew that com­pa­ny and sold it to Korn Fer­ry in 2001, and then after that I kin­da went into some oth­er paths and anoth­er inter­ests in my life. But that expe­ri­ence in help­ing peo­ple find jobs and intern­ships and hav­ing what that was, and also just the mag­ic in mak­ing it work well, hav­ing the data­bas­es that can be real­ly sophis­ti­cat­ed and real­ly help peo­ple find oppor­tu­ni­ties that bet­ter fit their lives.

0:05:40.9 SS: So fast for­ward to when I was preg­nant with my first son, and I was look­ing at my own career path and what I want­ed to do, and I knew that I want­ed to work. I want­ed and need­ed to work, and I want­ed some­thing that would be more flex­i­ble, some­thing that would allow me either to be at home more, that… And I looked into con­sult­ing and part-time work and free­lance work and remote, because I’d had sev­er­al jobs, roles that had inte­grat­ed remote through­out my career, includ­ing at my first com­pa­ny where I… I did go back to school and final­ly grad­u­ate, but I worked from West Coast to East Coast hours and such, so I got into FlexJobs and it is… I start­ed because I looked at my own sit­u­a­tion as a work­ing moth­er, but I real­ly did not want it to be about moth­ers, and I did not want it to be just about one role, it was real­ly, when I looked at the land­scape, every­one can ben­e­fit from work flex­i­bil­i­ty of some sort at dif­fer­ent stages in their lives.

0:06:30.2 SS: So, yeah, you need time to start a com­pa­ny when you’re preg­nant, but what’s right and with flex­i­bil­i­ty in gen­er­al, remote has always been the top kind of Holy Grail, so to speak, in flex­i­bil­i­ty, and then flex­i­ble sched­ules, and then oth­er vari­ants is on flex­i­ble work. But it was real­ly some­thing that stemmed from my own expe­ri­ence and want­i­ng to solve a prob­lem that I knew exist­ed. And the work from home mar­ket that time was so scam-rid­den and real­ly low-lev­el jobs for the most part, not a whole lot of legit­i­ma­cy or pro­fes­sion­al­ism to it, so it was real­ly about ele­vat­ing that. And we’ve had the chance to grow it sig­nif­i­cant­ly over the last 15 years.

0:07:05.7 JD: Yeah. And I… And actu­al­ly, I’ll tell you some­thing that I haven’t told any of our oth­er guests, because it hasn’t been true, is that I actu­al­ly used FlexJobs for about a year in the mid-2000s when I was think­ing about mov­ing out of one job and I signed up as a mem­ber. And I thought it was quite good, quite inter­est­ing. But that brings up sort of a key ques­tion I have for you, ’cause you are… You rep­re­sent a type of job board that is not com­mon in the indus­try, and you’re the first one to come on Job­Board­Geek with this par­tic­u­lar mod­el where you actu­al­ly charge can­di­dates rather than… The typ­i­cal mod­el is to charge the employ­ers and give the can­di­dates every­thing free. Can you talk a lit­tle bit about that and why you think can­di­dates are will­ing to pay for FlexJob ser­vices?

0:07:49.8 SS: Sure. With the back­drop of my first com­pa­ny, I will also say that was def­i­nite­ly a free mod­el for job seek­ers, enter­prise sales for employ­ers, oth­er 5–6 dig­it annu­al con­tracts, a very dif­fer­ent sales mod­el. And then we also had spon­sor­ships and such that helped diver­si­fy rev­enue on that side. When I launched… And actu­al­ly, in that mar­ket, with entry-lev­el mar­ket, there’s a pool to swim in. There are con­fer­ences around that, there are bud­gets, large cor­po­ra­tions have bud­gets for entry-lev­el recruit­ing, etcetera, there’s kind of like an audi­ence for that. When we start­ed FlexJobs, we did start it in a free mod­el, actu­al­ly. We start­ed it ini­tial­ly as a pay-to-post mod­el, employ­er free for job seek­ers. What we were doing in that process, though, is we had a team… We had a team I said, now we have a team and back then it was like one or two of us who were going out and look­ing for the job post­ings and then adding them to our site, so that the job seek­ers would have some­thing to see. And we were also doing the reach… Out­reach to the sales peo­ple in the dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies who were post­ing these jobs.

0:08:45.7 SS: What we quick­ly learned was that the role… The types of peo­ple hir­ing for those jobs had like 120 dif­fer­ent titles. There’s no one employ­er per­son that was hir­ing for work from home. And a lot of the work from home or remote jobs at that point, again, they kind of were… And employ­ers viewed it in… Up until the pan­dem­ic real­ly viewed a lot of the remote work as warm and fuzzy ben­e­fits for the work­er, not any­thing that’s real­ly that ben­e­fi­cial for the employ­er, and they weren’t real­ly will­ing to pay. So, quite hon­est­ly, we got to a point in the com­pa­ny where like, this isn’t real­ly work­ing. We’re hav­ing a great job get­ting… It’s work­ing get­ting the job seek­ers to our site, and the inter­est is def­i­nite­ly there, but the mod­el to get the employ­ers to pay and val­ue these jobs and the kind of can­di­dates we have was not work­ing. So quite hon­est­ly, we looked at what our options were, and leaned in to what was work­ing, which is the job seek­ers.

0:09:34.5 SS: And the oth­er part of this I’ll say is that I’ve always had a strug­gle with my first com­pa­ny and with the orig­i­nal mod­el in sell­ing to HR depart­ments and sim­i­lar depart­ments, but it’s real­ly hard. And I’m not a sales per­son. I don’t real­ly enjoy sales. I real­ly enjoy mak­ing the job search expe­ri­ence bet­ter and eas­i­er for job seek­ers. So ulti­mate­ly, the peo­ple who pay you are the peo­ple you pri­or­i­tize in a com­pa­ny.

0:09:56.1 SS: And so by flip­ping the mod­el, when we looked at that con­cept, we looked at it as, lis­ten, we’re gonna offer some­thing. We’re gonna offer some­thing to job seek­ers that’s a pre­mi­um expe­ri­ence, mak­ing it faster, eas­i­er, bet­ter, safer to find these jobs, but at the time, espe­cial­ly, we’re a nee­dle in the haystacks. About 60 scams for one real job at that point. And we will vet them, we will make sure they’re legit­i­mate, pro­fes­sion­al, high-qual­i­ty, and see if peo­ple will pay. And then in the flip side, we don’t have to sell to the employ­ers. We can instead just research the jobs and aggre­gate them into our data­base and let’s see how that goes. And from the moment we flipped that switch, it was a whole dif­fer­ent sto­ry. It works so much bet­ter, it feels so much bet­ter. We’re serv­ing the audi­ence we tru­ly wan­na serve, which… The job seek­ers, to make it a bet­ter, safer, faster expe­ri­ence for them.

0:10:40.5 SS: Again, job-seek­ing is always stress­ful. Job search­ing… Or cer­tain­ly can be. And our oppor­tu­ni­ty to make that bet­ter real­ly allowed us to kin­da focus on the peo­ple who were kind of but­ter­ing your bread, so to speak, I guess.

0:10:51.7 SR: Yeah. One thing that… To date myself. So I def­i­nite­ly remem­ber Job Direct. Col­lege Recruiter was a com­peti­tor of it, way back when elec­tric­i­ty wasn’t… It wasn’t invent­ed yet. My rec­ol­lec­tion is you had a fleet of RVs. And it might have been three, it might have been 10 or what­ev­er. I’m not talk­ing like thou­sands of R… But basi­cal­ly, some job boards today will talk about get­ting the post­ing in front of the can­di­date, and what they’re talk­ing about is like pro­gram­mat­ic and job dis­tri­b­u­tion, but you had RVs get­ting the com­put­ers in front of the can­di­dates. And that was quite a dif­fer­ent era than it is now.

0:11:31.0 SR: There are so many things that I love about FlexJobs, but one of them is that we both… Both of our orga­ni­za­tions use a writer, Matt Krum­rie, who is just one of the most won­der­ful, gift­ed writ­ers and great peo­ple in the world. So if you hap­pen to be say­ing… Or see­ing him or what­ev­er, say hel­lo. He’s just fan­tas­tic. The ques­tion I had for you was about search engine opti­miza­tion. I think that there are a lot of things that you do well, but to me, when I think of FlexJobs, I think of just a job board that just absolute­ly kills it in a good way with SEO. When I’m search­ing for job post­ing infor­ma­tion or what­ev­er, and invari­ably, you’re gonna be on that first page. So tell us all your secrets. How do you do that? [chuck­le]

0:12:21.6 SS: You’re so fun­ny, bring­ing back, yeah…

0:12:23.4 SR: And with­out a licens­ing fee, by the way, and no con­sult­ing fee either. Go for it.

0:12:28.3 SS: Yeah, no, it’s fun­ny. I mean, the fact that you bring up… Yeah, the RVs that we had at our first com­pa­ny, which we called the job dri­ve, and we did. They were… It was an entre­pre­neur­ial mar­ket­ing. And at the time, that was… At the time, it was the first time any­one had ever done that. We were not aware of any­body, and we, in fact, won at the time Inc. Mag­a­zine had some big mar­ket­ing master’s awards and we actu­al­ly won an award for those, for entre­pre­neur­ial mar­ket­ing. And it was a real­ly excit­ing, inter­est­ing time. And so much of it is about bring­ing jobs to meet­ing peo­ple where they are. And a leap for­ward to SEO is a very log­i­cal step in meet­ing peo­ple where they are. If they’re search­ing for some­thing, being able to try to be right there. For col­lege cam­pus­es at the time, it’s ’cause they didn’t have email. They didn’t have email yet, so we need­ed to bring…

0:13:12.3 SR: Yeah.

0:13:12.7 SS: Address­es which were net­worked with lap­top com­put­ers which signed them up for email, and then got them in our data­base. This time it’s more, SEO has been real­ly impor­tant from a strate­gic stand­point. It’s very cost-effec­tive as well, espe­cial­ly as a start-up. And so, in both of my orga­ni­za­tions, we’ve been able to lever­age a cou­ple of things: SEO, and also mar­ket­ing and press. So I don’t actu­al­ly, although I enjoy being here talk­ing with you, I actu­al­ly don’t enjoy doing press so much. I don’t love being in front of cam­eras or any­thing like that at all, gen­er­al­ly. But I, it’s a real­ly won­der­ful way to get the sto­ry out and to meet peo­ple where they are and let them hear the sto­ries from the consumer’s side. And so SEO is some­thing we have lever­aged pret­ty inten­tion­al­ly from the very begin­ning. We did a lot of com­pa­ny pages. So we had writ­ers on our staff who would do unique descrip­tions for every sin­gle com­pa­ny that we added to the site, and so it was… And it was real­ly writ­ten for the job seek­er.

0:14:03.1 SS: So our com­pa­ny descrip­tions aren’t just copied and past­ed from the com­pa­nies like mar­ket­ing infor­ma­tion. It’s real­ly, why, if you were a job seek­er look­ing for flex­i­ble work, would you be inter­est­ed in this com­pa­ny, and what do they do? What do you need to know? So we went to great lengths actu­al­ly from very ear­ly, yeah, ear­ly in the com­pa­ny, to cre­ate these very high-val­ue SEO com­pa­ny pages, so that any time some­body would look up com­pa­ny name and the remote jobs, we gen­er­al­ly would be up there. And that was some­thing strate­gi­cal­ly ear­ly on we did. We had a num­ber of oth­er strate­gies along those lines, and we did work with a SEO con­sul­tant very ear­ly on. So I think that that was some­thing that we were able to lever­age. And we still look at it with a lot of very cre­ative approach­es, and it inte­grates very well with the press and media strat­e­gy, espe­cial­ly as it relates to back-link­ing and incom­ing links from high-qual­i­ty sites. So there’s a lot there, and we have a great team, a won­der­ful team, that works real­ly col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly and cre­ative­ly togeth­er.

0:14:55.8 SR: I love the com­pa­ny page not just being about the com­pa­ny, but about why the can­di­date who’s on your site should be inter­est­ed in that com­pa­ny. So if you’ve got a niche job board about engi­neers or in Latin Amer­i­ca, it’s like what does that com­pa­ny have to do with engi­neer­ing jobs or jobs in Latin Amer­i­ca? And that is def­i­nite­ly very unusu­al. Thanks.

0:15:16.2 SS: Yeah. Writ­ing… I mean, again hav­ing our rev­enue mod­el be dri­ven pri­mar­i­ly, and for a long time, not… Although we do work with paid employ­ers as well. We do have that side of the busi­ness, also. But orig­i­nal­ly and pri­mar­i­ly work­ing with job seek­ers allowed us to real­ly focus on their expe­ri­ence. So every­thing on our site was real­ly writ­ten with them… The inten­tion of them hav­ing a good expe­ri­ence first and fore­most, not adver­tis­ing the com­pa­ny in the way that they want­ed to be adver­tised, no offens­es. But it real­ly wasn’t just about that at all. [chuck­le]

0:15:46.5 JD: Well, and I will admit that actu­al­ly, your press strat­e­gy is one that I point clients to when I say this is an exam­ple of a job board that has a real­ly good press strat­e­gy and is effec­tive at using it and it real­ly does pay off. Most job boards real­ly don’t. They don’t under­stand it or they don’t feel like they have the resources to pur­sue it. But, I think that’s great.

0:16:07.7 SS: Yeah, well, and if you know what I’m say­ing just on the press strat­e­gy, it’s… We do it very dif­fer­ent­ly than any­one else. We did it very dif­fer­ent­ly in my first com­pa­ny, also. It isn’t about hir­ing… We don’t have a press agency. We don’t do… We don’t bud­get part of it. I did our press strat­e­gy inter­nal­ly when we start­ed, and I remem­ber one of our first lands with FlexJobs, one of the biggest ones, was we got on CNN. And that was just a lev­el up. But that was through sheer net­work­ing, reach­ing out, rela­tion­ship build­ing, being friend­ly. Reach­ing out to a writer who you’ve read an arti­cle, and an author or a writer like Matt Krum­rie or any­body, and say­ing, “Hey, I liked your arti­cle.” “Hey, I cov­er… I work in this area. If there’s any­thing I can ever do or here’s some infor­ma­tion… ” Just com­mon sense, friend­ly rela­tion­ship build­ing. That’s very much more how we view it, than we do what most com­pa­nies’ press strat­e­gy is.

0:16:58.1 JD: Well, I think it’s fun­ny that you said that you don’t real­ly like or feel that you’re a sales­per­son, but, actu­al­ly, I think peo­ple that are good at press are actu­al­ly very good sales­peo­ple. It’s just a dif­fer­ent type of per­sua­sion.

0:17:09.6 SS: It is. And I’m pas­sion­ate about what we do for sure. So much so. But yeah, you couldn’t… Yeah, I’m not a sales­per­son.

0:17:17.5 JD: It’s fun­ny. When I was first start­ing out in my career, I went and did a career assess­ment. I was an Eng­lish major. And it kept com­ing back say­ing, “You should real­ly be in sales and mar­ket­ing.” I’m like, “No, I can’t do that, I can’t do that.” “Yes, you should real­ly be in sales and mar­ket­ing.” And, in fact, I’ve found great sat­is­fac­tion being in sales and mar­ket­ing, even though I am an Eng­lish major, so. Well, Sara, I have anoth­er ques­tion for you, which is I feel like both of your sites, FlexJobs and, real­ly antic­i­pat­ed where we are right now in terms of the change that’s been in the work­force. So, I’m just curi­ous, almost all the oth­er job boards that we’ve talked to said, “Oh man, from Feb­ru­ary until August of 2020, our busi­ness just went in the hole.” I was won­der­ing if you have a dif­fer­ent sto­ry. Did your busi­ness go up because you already had… You were already ser­vic­ing remote work­ers?

0:18:08.5 SS: The short answer is yes. And this has been our mar­ket for a very long time. It’s cer­tain­ly inter­nal­ly deal­ing with, adjust­ing with what hap­pened with the pan­dem­ic. We’re already a remote com­pa­ny. We’ve been a remote com­pa­ny for­ev­er. So, although it was by far, in a way, the hard­est cou­ple of years remote work­ing, as most of us didn’t have spous­es or part­ners who worked from home, or chil­dren, and espe­cial­ly the younger chil­dren, it was real­ly… It’s been a very hard cou­ple of years even for pure­ly remote com­pa­nies, because we aren’t meant to work remote­ly the way that was hap­pen­ing, so much with the stress and anx­i­ety and all the oth­er things hap­pen­ing in the world. So, in terms of being able to be a resource for a lot of peo­ple and a lot of orga­ni­za­tions as they were try­ing to fig­ure this out, yes, we found our­selves very much in, I’ll say, in a good spot. It’s not how I would have wished it by any stretch.

0:18:56.1 SS: The sil­ver lin­ing in the pan­dem­ic for me though is the com­pa­nies who, many com­pa­nies who had for a very long time kept their head in the sand or active­ly denied the effi­ca­cy and the effec­tive­ness and oppor­tu­ni­ty avail­able with the tech­nol­o­gy asso­ci­at­ed with remote work, they had to adopt it, and I’ll say a lot of the large tech com­pa­nies were some of the lead­ing com­pa­nies say­ing, before the pan­dem­ic being very anti. And it’s iron­ic because they’re also the com­pa­nies that build the tech­nol­o­gy for most of what enables remote work.

0:19:26.0 SS: I was review­ing some­thing on Slack and what their mov­ing for­ward strat­e­gy is with remote work yes­ter­day, and they had writ­ten a fun­ny arti­cle on point say­ing Slack, the com­pa­ny that enables remote work­ing for oth­er com­pa­nies has final­ly real­ized that we should do it our­selves. But this was main­ly with the pan­dem­ic. [laugh­ter] Or so it was tongue and cheek and I appre­ci­ate their humor, but that was actu­al­ly the essence of a lot of what was hap­pen­ing in the mar­ket. So I think that the evo­lu­tion and how we were work­ing and how we define how we’re work­ing and where and when and how need­ed to change des­per­ate­ly, actu­al­ly. I don’t think it was work­ing for most peo­ple.

0:20:01.6 SS: Peo­ple made it work ’cause they had to, but the lev­el of is a work­place healthy and sus­tain­able in this day and age for all of the dif­fer­ent work and fam­i­ly struc­tures we have nowa­days with sin­gle par­ents and long com­mutes and all these oth­er ele­ments. I think that mov­ing for­ward, there’s some real ben­e­fits to the fact that remote and hybrid, which is where I believe it’s gonna set­tle pri­mar­i­ly, I think we’ll have a lot more remote only com­pa­nies like ours, and I think that we’ll have some com­pa­nies who dig their heels in and then say, “We’re gonna stay only on-site,” but the mass major­i­ty are gonna end up in some hybrid form and that’s a wel­come change over­all.

0:20:37.1 JD: I would say, I always focus on the can­di­date side, both when I’m advis­ing job boards, but also when I look at the labor mar­ket, and I think right now, one of the great things that’s come out of the pan­dem­ic is there’s a labor short­age, which means that it’s very hard for bad employ­ers to be suc­cess­ful because they won’t have any employ­ee, which just sounds a lit­tle vin­dic­tive, but I feel like that’s the way it should be. If they’re not good employ­ers, if they’re not will­ing to make their employ­ees feel respect from them, then they don’t deserve employ­ees. So I hope it stays that way. But who knows. We’ll see what hap­pens in the future.

0:21:13.6 SS: Well and remote work has also always been an insur­ance pol­i­cy, and that’s some­thing that most com­pa­nies also didn’t have to real­ly embrace in a deep sys­temic way until the pan­dem­ic, but pri­or to that, even when there were hur­ri­canes in the East Coast or bad weath­er or all kinds of dif­fer­ent rea­sons when peo­ple need­ed the flex­i­bil­i­ty of hav­ing peo­ple work from home, it would pop up, but the pan­dem­ic just surged it glob­al­ly. Mov­ing for­ward, we know that this kind of thing can hap­pen and then also, quite hon­est­ly, if it’s okay to men­tion, we’re going through those refugee crises with Ukraine and all over, and not just Ukraine. There’s many oth­er refugee crises as well, and that’s also an area where remote work is some­thing we’re work­ing with a num­ber of dif­fer­ent orga­ni­za­tions to try to help sup­port refugees find­ing jobs that can either move with them and or accom­mo­date their loca­tion chal­lenges, I guess, as you might say. So there’s a lot of dif­fer­ent rea­sons why remote work is impor­tant to have a healthy, sus­tain­able, and effec­tive work­force mov­ing for­ward.

0:22:13.8 JD: Yeah, I total­ly agree, and in fact, I have some acquain­tances that are Ukrain­ian that are con­tin­u­ing to work remote­ly, even as they’re caught up in the midst of a war. So, well, lis­ten Sara, it’s been won­der­ful hav­ing you on the show, and I appre­ci­ate you com­ing on. If peo­ple wan­na get a hold of you, what’s the best way that they can get in touch?

0:22:32.1 SS: Prob­a­bly LinkedIn, Sara Sut­ton FlexJobs, but that’s prob­a­bly the eas­i­est, hon­est­ly, and then also my email is sara S‑A-R‑A So I try to keep up on that pret­ty well but… [laugh­ter]

0:22:43.1 JD: Well, thanks for com­ing on. I appre­ci­ate it.

0:22:45.1 SS: No, my plea­sure. It’s great talk­ing with you both. Thanks Steven and thanks Jeff.

0:22:48.1 JD: And Steven, if peo­ple wan­na get in touch with you, how do they do that?

0:22:52.1 SR: First, they need to wait momen­tar­i­ly because Sara’s such a good pre­dic­tor of the future that she and I first have to have a con­ver­sa­tion about what Power­ball num­bers I should be play­ing.


0:23:03.6 SR: And then after that, and only after that, they can email me steven S‑T-E-V-E‑N Thank you so much, Sara.

0:23:12.1 SS: My plea­sure. It’s nice talk­ing with you and thank you both.

0:23:15.0 JD: And I guess that’s it for today’s episode of Job­Board­Geek. Please be sure to sub­scribe via Spo­ti­fy, Apple, Google, Stitch­er, what­ev­er you want. Feel free to give us a thumbs up or a thumbs down. I pre­fer a thumbs up, and this is Jeff Dick­ey-Chasins the Job Board Doc­tor. You’ve been lis­ten­ing to the only pod­cast that cov­ers the busi­ness of con­nect­ing can­di­dates and employ­ers. That’s all for now. We’ll see you again next time.


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