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A very common thing I hear is how hard it is to get a remote job. People seem to apply to many job posts, but very few actually get the jobs.
I wanted to figure out how hard it really is.
The data set
For the last 6 months, I've been tracking job 7,797,838 reads and 392,527 applications to 8,394 job posts on my remote jobs platform Remote OK.
A job read is counted as someone clicking a job post on the site to open it. A job applications is counted as someone clicking the [ Apply to Job ] button on the site.
This has some limitations though: some jobs are posted on multiple boards which we can't track, and some people don't complete an application. We'll get to that later.
The odds to get a remote job
Importantly is to make the distinction between the average remote job and the top remote jobs. Let's start with the average in the last 6 months:
Average reads per job: 322
Average applicants per job: 47
The odds to get the top 5% of remote jobs
To define a top remote job, I picked the 5% of most read job posts in the last 6 months:
Average reads per job: 2858
Average applicants per job: 263
A big caveat...
The numbers here look about the same as regular jobs. But this is only data from a single job board. If we assume jobs are posted on multiple job boards and websites, which they usually are, the amount of applicants can be a multiple of that.
Also, not every person clicking Apply completes the applicant process for a job.
I don't have data on this, so I have to guesstimate here: assuming that jobs are posted on 3 job boards, and that 50% doesn't complete a job application, that's:
263 applicants for a top 5% remote job * 3 job boards * 50% applicant completion
= 394 applicants = 0.25% odds
47 applicants for an average remote job * 3 job boards * 50% applicant completion
= 70 applicants = 1.42% odds
Very roughly speaking that means if you want to get a top remote job, you'll have to apply ~400 times. If you want to get an average remote job, you'll have to apply ~70 times. Obviously that number will be much lower if you're higher skilled.
Compared to regular jobs
There's no data on the top 5% of regular jobs to compare to. But we do know that high skilled corporate jobs on average get ~250 applications. So comparing we may conclude:
A top remote job gets about 57% more applicants than a regular corporate job.
And comparing the average remote job with the average regular job which gets ~52 applications:
The average remote job gets 34% more applicants than a regular job.
Both these numbers rely on some assumptions and guesstimates though, I'll see if I can find better data to make these assumptions more precise.
Let me know on Twitter what you think, I'd love to do more queries on my dataset based on your feedback.
P.S. I wrote a book on building indie startups called MAKE. And I'm on Twitter too if you'd like to follow more of my stories. I don't use email so tweet me your questions. Or you can see my list of posts. To get an alert when I write a new blog post, you can subscribe below:Follow @levelsio