New world of work
Flex Careers: flexible work job platform
Despite the shift towards more flexibility in the workplace, flexible work options can still be daunting for candidates to bring up at the interview stage, for fear of missing out on a role. Yet job seekers are increasingly looking for flexibility, such as part-time work, working from home or different work hours, as technology and changes in society are re-shaping the workplace.
A new website, FlexCareers, hopes to alleviate this fear by providing job seekers with opportunities from employers who are happy to discuss flexible work options right from the first interview.
FlexCareers is a start-up headed by CEO Natalie Goldman, CFO Brett Pozniak and the co-founders Joel McInnes and Marko NjavroThey’re currently part of the HR Tech accelerator, a 12-week program by Slingshot to help start-ups fast-track their business, with the support of corporate partners including Hudson and Seek.
With its database of 60,000 job seekers and counting, flexcareers.com.au is a platform that acts as matchmaker between employers that provide flexible work conditions and job seekers who need roles that offer these arrangements. The platform is free for employees, with employers paying either per job ad or a subscription fee.
Flexibility comes in many shapes and forms. It could mean every second Thursday off, or the option of working a couple of days from home. While the final verdict on what flexibility looks like for a role is up to the employer and employee, FlexCareers gets the dialogue going.
Still in its early stages, the platform has started off by focusing particularly on women, especially those returning to the workforce after having children and needing the flexibility to juggle work and family
Job seekers on FlexCareers know that a career break won’t be held against them.
“When candidates are on our site, they know that employers are targeting them specifically,” says Marko. “There is no awkwardness about bringing up the flexibility question during the interview.”
Algorithm helps job seekers to think broadly
For job seekers who don’t quite know where to start, AI also plays a part in helping them weigh their options on FlexCareers.
“We use a learning algorithm that takes into account work history, education and flexibility preferences,” said Njavro. From accessing thousands of resumes, the algorithm learns from both the resume and career paths taken by previous users, to make suggestions to users about their next career moves.
Innovation through diversity
On the surface, it may seem that employees have a lot more to gain from flexibility than the employers.
Yet employers who have used the FlexCareers platform are already seeing its potential to give them access to a rich pool of talent that they had previously overlooked. “Employers we worked with often saw this as a pilot but were blown away by the quality of talent,” said Njavro. “They can’t believe that such top talent went overlooked in the market place.”
When employers bring flexibility to the table, they are also boosting their productivity by enhancing collaboration and creating enduring connections.
Westpac’s CEO, Brian Hartzer defines flexibility as “removing barriers to success”.
He told the Sydney Morning Herald that "if people have the flexibility to manage their personal commitments, they are more likely to bring their whole selves to work every day. And that means they're more likely to do their best work and exceed customer expectations.".
For forward-thinking organisations, adopting flexibility also helps them take strides in innovation by helping to enable diversity.
As more companies look to the “Employer of Choice” accreditation by the Workplace Gender Equality agency, employers are willing to give FlexCareers a try to boost their employer brand.
The future of work
FlexCareers believe that flexible work opportunities have much broader appeal than to working mothers.
“We think flexibility is the future of work,” McInnes said. “The end game is flexibility for everyone.”
Younger generations entering the workforce are already seeking flexible work arrangements, thanks to their affinity to technology.
In the meantime, for any organisation that may have second thoughts about hiring someone with flexible work requirements, McInnes has this to say: “If you can afford to offer flexibility and give them support, the pay off is worth it.”