LinkedIn’s Open Candidates: A Boon For Seekers Or Employers?

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Oct 13, 2016

By now you’ve heard the news coming out last week’s LinkedIn Talent Connect where LI announced a new feature called “Open Candidates.” Here’s how LinkedIn explains Open Candidates:

Open Candidates is a new feature that makes it easier to connect with your dream job by privately signaling to recruiters that you’re open to new job opportunities. You can specify the types of companies and roles you are most interested in and be easily found by the hundreds of thousands of recruiters who use LinkedIn to find great professional talent…

To enable the feature, simply turn sharing “On” and fill in some brief information about the types of roles you are interested in. Who among us hasn’t, at some point, tried to find work without our boss finding out? Now, you can privately indicate to recruiters on LinkedIn without worrying. We will hide the Open Candidates signal from recruiters at your company or affiliated company recruiters.

So, now if you’re a LI user you can let companies know you’re full on looking to change jobs without having to post it in your profile title and let the entire world know you’re looking.

So, is this a good thing?

I have some feelings on this:

– First, this is brilliant from an employer’s perspective! I can now call my buddy over at XYZ company, have him pull up his LI account and tell me exactly which employees of mine are looking for jobs. I can then pull up my account and tell her which of her employees are looking.

– If you want to turn on the “Open Candidates” feature in LI it would be best to assume that your organization’s recruiting/HR team will find out you’re looking like I mentioned above!

– Most organizations freak out when they find that their employees are out looking for jobs on company time. It’s one thing to say, “Oh, I’m just using LI at work because I’m ‘professionally networking,’ not looking for a job!” It’s another when they know you’ve turned on the feature and are actually getting paid to look for your next job. That usually gets you fired.

Now, I’m sure LI will say, “Tim is just saying something that very few recruiters will actually do.” They might be right, but it was the actual first thing that came into my mind when I heard of the new feature, and I was at HR Tech with other TA and HR leaders who felt the same way.

TA Leaders love this feature! For the first time, they’ll now actually get to find out for real what employees of theirs are actively looking and actually doing it on company time.

So, Open Candidates is not something you should fear as an employer. Embrace it! This might be the best new feature LI has launched in years for employers to finally know which of their employees is actually on the market. It’s brilliant!

Check back next week when I start my blog series on how to have conversations with all of your employees whom you find on LI actively looking to leave your organization!

This article originally appeared on The Tim Sackett Project.
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