With the advent of cloud-based technology, social media and instant communication, more and more people are choosing to embrace nomadic lifestyles, working remotely while still maintaining thriving careers. Other people take advantage of technological innovations by adopting flexible schedules and working from home. This evolving flex economy signals a massive shift from the classic 9-to-5, commute-based job – and it means that, as recruiters, we must be attuned to the changing needs of candidates and companies alike.

The Different Types of Flex Workers

A 2015 PGI survey reports that 79% OF KNOWLEDGE WORKERS work from home. This impressive number is indicative of just how widespread the flex economy has become. Now more than ever, candidates want to work for companies that give them options. For some people, this can be as simple as finding a job that lets them telecommute one or two days a week. However, other job seekers are looking for careers that allow them the freedom to explore the world, never even stepping foot into an office building. It’s important for recruiters to distinguish between these types of candidates, recognise their strengths and weaknesses, and advocate for them so that they can find a position that suits their needs.

The digital nomad

If you want to pursue a career as a digital nomad, ask yourself how can you use your desire to work remotely to your advantage. When you’re applying for a job, consider how a remote working style could benefit the position you’re interested in, and make a case for how it bolsters your skills. For instance, if you work in social media, a nomadic lifestyle could set you on a path to meeting a variety of influencers and content creators – and many companies are looking to build their customer base through such relationships.

The professional homebody

Perhaps you’re just looking for a job that affords you the freedom to work from home, but you’re still within travel distance of the office. As recruiters, we encourage you to make it clear that you are available to come in and meet with the other people working in the company. Even if a hiring manager is looking for someone to fill a flexible position, getting to know a candidate face-to-face can make all the difference.

How Companies Can Make Flexibility Work

Companies can benefit from this flex economy if they know how to adapt to it. According to research from AfterCollege, 68% OF MILLENNIAL JOB CANDIDATES say that they are more interested in employers that allow them to work remotely. If a business makes it easier for their employees to work remotely, or even just telecommute occasionally, they can draw in a broader range of candidates and create more competition within the hiring pool. It makes sense, then, that recruiters should urge companies to explore their options for hiring remote workers, and perhaps even reevaluate some of their positions in light of the flex economy. It’s also crucial that a company makes it clear when they cannot hire remote workers for a role, to save themselves time and energy.

Both companies and candidates have every reason to take advantage of this new working style – and with the help of diligent recruitment agencies, the flex economy could even become the new standard for the future of work.