LinkedIn Open Candidates: Letting Recruiters Know You Are Available

April 20th, 2017

My friend at a top eMBA program asked if I recommend turning on the Open Candidates section of LinkedIn, for job seekers.

Haven’t heard of Open Candidates?  That’s okay, I haven’t talked to anyone who has.  The blog post in October 2016 is titled: Now you Can Privately Signal to Recruiters You’re Open to New Job Opportunities

Basically, what they are trying to solve with this solution is letting recruiters know that you are looking (or open, or available), without letting your current employer know.  It’s supposed to help you be an undercover job seeker, and not set off the alarm at your own company (lest you get fired for looking).

It’s a cool idea, and I don’t not suggest it. I honestly don’t know how effective it is… how many recruiters are getting notified that you are now available?  If they aren’t seeing this anywhere, then it’s not doing much good, right? However, it’s a simple process to turn on, and it could help, so why not?

If you are really concerned about a current employer seeing that you are broadcasting yourself as a job seeker, even though they are paying your salary, then I would probably recommend you DO NOT turn this on. Why?

LinkedIn says: “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.

Sorry, but my paranoid self thinks that this could go wrong. LinkedIn says to not worry, but what if they make a mistake and somehow, a recruiter (or worse, my boss) at my company sees that I’m open?  What if the recruiting company they outsource to finds my resume and submits it?  But, you say, LinkedIn said “or affiliated company recruiters.”  What if they make a mistake, and don’t know about all of the affiliated company recruiters?

What if all the technology works fine, but, well, didn’t you know that recruiters talk?  They are human, after all. And they can get you in a heap of trouble.

So, turn it on? Yes, unless you are in a confidential job search.  Then, stay confidential, and don’t trust that technology mean to broadcast your availability to keep you confidential :)

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