Looking for a new job can be a minefield, especially when you need your new role to be flexible. Recruiters can make new roles out to be wonderful when, in reality, they’re woeful.
Because most job seekers have cottoned on to the idea of flexible working, many companies are scrambling to make their companies sound as appealing as possible.
This can result in very vague or even false claims on job adverts to attract more candidates. Making it even more difficult for candidates to spot the great deals from the duds.
So, is that amazing sounding new job a great find or a flexible faker? Here are some reg flags to watch out for when job hunting and the questions you should always ask.
1: ‘We’re not looking for someone with a 9-5 mentality’
This may sound like music to your ears if you’re looking for a more flexible role. But beware; companies usually use this phrase to hint that they likely ask you to log on in the evening or at weekends – despite your personal schedule.
It suggests that you always have to be ‘on’ which completely underestimates any work/life balance you’re hoping to have.
While flexible working is the goal here, an official ‘end’ to the working day is also important. So any suggestion that you essentially need to ‘keep working until the project is done’ is not healthy.
2: ‘We’re like a family’
This used to be an attractive thing to hear as a prospective employee but now it just sounds creepy.
No company should want you to be as invested in them as you are your actual family.
This phrase also suggests that you’ll need to offer extreme loyalty and ‘muck in’ to get the job done. Probably not for a fair wage either.
3: ‘You don’t need to come to the office if you’re ill’
Working from home has a lot of advantages but it’s not necessarily flexible. Many companies still see home working as a bit of a treat for employees. And some even think that WFH is a great solution when you’re sick.
Being unwell requires rest.
Not physically coming into an office is great as you won’t spread germs. But you also won’t get any better if you’re not allowing yourself to rest and recover.
4: ‘We have a supportive culture for working parents’
This is great to hear, especially if you’re planning on starting a family soon. However, a lot of claims from companies are only skin deep.
They might wax lyrical about the support they offer to parents returning to work but the parental leave may be minimal.
5: ‘Flexible, Intentional Working’
The pandemic saw a massive shift in flexible and home working. What was once a rarity, offered only to a select number of employees, soon became the norm for companies to stay afloat. Some employers have decided to keep the home or hybrid working patterns while others very much want a full-time return to the office.
However, the term ‘return to the office’ is off-putting to many candidates and so employers have been a bit crafty.
Some new phrases that have been coined include ‘flexible, intentional working’ and ‘work appropriately’.
But dig a little deeper and it seems like these buzzwords and catchy phrases are just another form of fake flexibility.
So, what can you do?
As a candidate, there are many things you can do to ensure that your new role is right for you. Remember, interviews go both ways so don’t be afraid to ask some pressing questions before accepting a role. If benefits are offered, make sure you find out how they play out in practice and ask specifically about the employees who have used them.
You should also look out for a high turnover rate in staff as that’s usually a red flag. A good way for potential candidates to get a really good idea of a company and to see if their claims about flexibility are true, is to speak to current or past employees. LinkedIn offers a unique way to reach out to employees of a company you’re interested in so there are no nasty surprises when you accept a new role.
Take a look at some trusted flexible employers with Find Your Flex here.