But how do you know which remote jobs are worth applying for and which are little more than a scam? Here are just seven clear warning signs to look out for when applying for a remote job.
1. A Below Average Salary
The first red flag to look out for when applying for a remote job online is a below-average salary or no salary range mentioned in the job description at all.
Just because a position is remote doesn’t mean it should be paid any less. If an employer is offering poor compensation, then this is often a sign that they don’t value the skill and time of their employees. Similarly, if there’s no salary range in the job description at all, then this can indicate an employer trying to hide a low-ball offer.
Before applying for any new job, always research the average salary online using a website such as PayScale or by looking at similar non-remote job ads. While a lack of experience may mean taking a slightly lower offer, it shouldn’t be significantly lower than the national average.
2. An Incomplete or Missing Job Description
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to come across remote job adverts with minimal or missing job descriptions. Without a job description, you are entering the application process without a clear view of your expected role and responsibilities, an idea of the key skills you require, and an understanding of whom you will be working with or reporting to.
In some cases, a missing job description can just be an indication of an inexperienced hiring manager, but in others, it’s because the employer is trying to hide something. Maybe they don’t actually know what your responsibilities are going to be, or the list is so long that they know it will be off-putting.
If you like the sound of a job, but it doesn’t have a full job description, then don’t hesitate to contact the company and ask for one before applying!
3. A High Employee Turnover
While a high employee turnover isn’t always an indication of a bad employer, it does leave you questioning why so many people are joining the company and then choosing to leave.
In some sectors, a high employee turnover is just the norm, but in others, it can indicate deeper routed issues such as poor management, insufficient compensation, or toxic company culture.
It can be very difficult to find data about employee turnover, but one thing you can do is keep an eye out for continuous hiring. If a company is constantly advertising the same position or multiples of the same position, then this is an indication that they have a high turnaround of employees.
4. A Request for Unpaid Tests or Examples
It’s normal for remote employers to set candidates a skills test or ask for an example of work, but if these are more than a few lines, then they should always be paid! If you’ve been asked to put together a project, write an article or do any form of unpaid work, then this is a big red flag.
If a remote employer doesn’t value your time at the start of the application process, then how do you think you’ll be treated once you land the job?
By asking for unpaid examples, or for input on an unpaid project, companies are essentially just getting people to work for free. Ultimately, it’s up to you if you feel comfortable working without compensation during a remote job application, and even if you do still choose to apply, it’s just something to look out for.
5. Poor Communication Throughout the Application Process
Communication is vital in any remote position. One of the first indications you’ll have about the efficiency of your future company is how they communicate with you throughout the application process.
Do they take days to reply to emails? Do they cancel meetings without notice or explanation? Do they seem organized, or are they fumbling their way through the recruitment process?
If you can’t get a straight answer out of a remote company during the application process, then it’s likely you’re going to struggle to get hold of them when you’re a full-time remote employee. But remember, this works both ways and poor communication on your part is also a red flag for employers.
6. No Offer of Training or Support
Regardless of the remote role you apply for, you should always be offered adequate training and see evidence of an ongoing support network.
While it’s not necessary for every company to use one of the leading learning management systems, a lack of any kind of training or support is a strong indication that an employer doesn’t value their employees and will often lead to big problems later down the line.
If training and support aren’t mentioned in the job description itself, then reach out to the hiring manager directly and ask for them to elaborate on the training they provide and how they support employees in the long term.
7. There’s No Evidence of the Company Online
Lastly, perhaps the biggest red flag when applying for a remote role is no evidence of the company online, whatsoever. Even the smallest remote businesses should have a website, a social media presence, or some kind of data trail for you to follow.
If you’ve Googled the company and nothing comes up, then the job ad could very well be a scam. These kinds of job scams are everywhere! They can be advertised in the comments of blogs, but also appear in legitimate job searches. Once you’re on the hook, a job scam is designed to harvest your personal information and, in some cases, steal your money.
If a job ad seems too good to be true, promises that you will make money quickly or your potential employer ever asks you to pay for anything such as a starter kit, merchandise, or stock, then run, don’t walk, away!
Finding the Remote Role That’s Right for You
Job hunting is hard work, and it may take you a little while to find the remote role that’s right for you. There are plenty of quality remote jobs out there, so don’t let the appeal of a remote position cause you to overlook the red flags in front of you.
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