The Fort Campbell Digital Works team has a rare view into the world of remote employment because of the career readiness support that is included in the program. During training, each learner gains or refreshes their skills, including customer service, verbal and written communication, basic technical competencies, and the unique experience of searching for, applying, interviewing, and getting started with remote employment. We’ve identified several notable shifts in the remote employment landscape as we have supported training graduates seeking work-from-home jobs since the start of the year.
1.Work location is not always clear in job descriptions.
Our graduates have found that a job can be listed as remote on the initial posting but also list a specific location in the details. It is not always easy to determine the reason for this conflicting information. There is an overall need for clarity in job postings, and some of the ambiguity may be a result of businesses transitioning away from pandemic procedures. In the meantime, we encourage job seekers to go ahead and apply, and seek clarification when contacted to move forward in the hiring process.
2. Recruitment fraud/scams are prevalent.
Phishing schemes are getting more sophisticated all the time. Remote job seekers are a vulnerable population because they are required to share their contact information and complete a multistep online process to apply. Many of the employers on the Digital Works vetted employer list have posted warning messages on their websites indicating that they are aware of recruitment fraud and scams using their business name. It is important to pay attention to the details. Legitimate job opportunities often clarify the hiring process and include email addresses that clearly display the company’s name or web address.
Stay up to date on current scams, watch for red flags, and take time to do more research when something feels off. There are many nonprofit organizations dedicated to providing free educational cybercrime resources. For example, FightCybercrime.org has published a useful tool focused on job scams.
3. Free and “freemium” job seeker resources are valuable.
There is a treasure trove of information available if job seekers are willing to put in the effort to make it work for them. Many subscription services for job seekers in the remote employment space offer “freemium” access, which often incorporates lists of remote-friendly employers and a sampling of free job posts. Take time to attend a webinar, watch a video, or read a blog post about how to get the most out of a free account.
4. A job seeker value proposition can help personalize your search.
To make the best use of time and resources, it’s very helpful to personalize a job search and pursue the positions that are most likely to lead to success. We encourage job seekers to spend time developing a personal value proposition. Who are you? What do you have that makes you unique? What makes you stand out, and which companies appeal to you? Are you military-affiliated? What are your hobbies, and what businesses do you interact with often? What industry appeals to you?
5. The look/vibe of remote work is changing.
Part-time and flexible-schedule W-2 opportunities are becoming more difficult to find. We will continue to monitor hiring trends to determine if this indicates a permanent shift to a less fluid work structure than what was common during the height of the pandemic. We’ve also noticed more hybrid-location solutions in recent job postings, and we are keeping a close eye on that as well.
The Digital Works Fort Campbell team is passionate about supporting remote job seekers through training and career readiness in the ever-changing online recruiting environment. For more information about the Digital Works program, head over to www.digitalworksjobs.org.
About the Author: Melissa Anderson is the new Facilitator and Development Coordinator for the Digital Works (a Connected Nation Initiative) Fort Campbell location, bringing more than 17 years of employment and volunteer experience with remote work environments, training, and development. In addition to being an active-duty Army spouse, she has a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior and a master’s degree in Training & Development. She enjoys everything associated with books, reading, and learning and she is passionate about supporting the military family community.