Why you should be wary of LinkedIn’s Open Candidates feature

What is LinkedIn Open Candidates?

open-candidatesLinkedIn recently unveiled a new feature called LinkedIn Open Candidates.  Designed for people who are currently in a role but want to be able to let recruiters know on the Q.T. that they are open to talking about moving job.  A kind of secret smoke signal from your profile to recruiters at other companies who may be looking for someone with your skillset and experience.  LinkedIn’s blog describes it as follows;

” The secret to career happiness is finding a job you love, however there is no way to tell the world that you’re open to new opportunities without worrying about your employer finding out. But imagine if you could signal to recruiters everywhere that you’d like to hear from them……..” 

Won’t my current employer find out I’m looking around?
Concerned that your current employer will hear of your intentions which will be visible to all fee-paying recruiters on LinkedIn?  You should be.  But wait.   LinkedIn says that they will hide your Open Candidates signal from recruiters at your company or affiliated company recruiters.   Sounds pretty good.  All set then?
Er, NO !  This may work well in a jobs market where recruiters in different companies don’t speak to one another. But they do and they will.   Especially in countries where a favourite pastime is playing the “who do you know that I know?”  game – i.e. good old fashioned face-to-face networking.   LinkedIn may have been thinking along the same lines when they added this to the end of the Open Candidates page:

“We take steps to not show your current company that you are Open, but can’t guarantee that we can identify every recruiter affiliated with your company” 

So there you have it.  If you think that you can use LinkedIn Open Candidate and be highly confident that your current employer won’t find out, you’re mistaken.  But if you want your current employer to know that you are open to other career moves, maybe for leverage for your next salary negotiation, then LinkedIn Open Candidates may be just what you need.
Hilt provides advice on all areas of career planning including perfecting your LinkedIn profile.

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