LinkedIn has become an invaluable tool for recruiting and job hunting. With over 740 million members worldwide, it offers access to the largest professional network on the planet. One of LinkedIn’s most useful features is the ability to search for people who are open to new job opportunities.
Use Advanced Search
The easiest way to find people open to work on LinkedIn is to use the Advanced Search function. Here are the steps:
- Go to the LinkedIn homepage and click on the “Search” bar at the top of the page.
- Type in your desired keywords (job titles, skills, companies, etc.)
- Click on “Advanced” next to the search bar.
- Under “Current Company,” select “Open to work”.
- You can further refine your search by location, years of experience, company size, and more.
- Hit “Search” and you will see a list of profiles matching your criteria and open to new opportunities.
For example, if you search for “Project Manager” with “Open to work” selected, you will get profiles of project managers across the country who have indicated they are interested in hearing about new roles.
Look for Cues on Profiles
In addition to the “Open to work” filter, there are other signs on a LinkedIn profile that someone is exploring new opportunities:
- Their headline says “Seeking new challenges” or “Looking for new opportunities.”
- Their summary section states they are open to work and outlines their ideal role.
- They have subscribed to the Open Candidates newsletter.
- They list “career opportunities” under their interests.
- They have recently added new connections, especially recruiters.
Looking out for these cues can surface promising candidates even if they haven’t formally indicated they are open on LinkedIn.
Join LinkedIn Groups
Joining industry-specific LinkedIn Groups is a great way to connect with professionals open to new roles. You can participate in group discussions and pay attention to who is actively looking. Some groups to consider are:
- Job Seekers Network Group
- Career Opportunities & Job Openings
- The Professional Services Career Network (PSCN)
- Job Hunting & Career Networking
You can search for relevant groups using keywords like “career opportunities,” “job search,” and “hiring.” Interacting in the groups allows you to reach engaged job seekers directly.
Leverage Recruiter Access
If you have a LinkedIn Recruiter seat, you gain access to the Open Candidate feature. This lets you filter LinkedIn profiles specifically by those open to being contacted about opportunities. Here’s how it works:
- Click on the “Advanced People Search” tab in Recruiter.
- Check the box for “Open to be contacted about career opportunities”.
- Search by parameters like location, industry, job function, etc.
- Save your search to be notified when new profiles matching your criteria are open to outreach.
The Open Candidate feature is a powerful sourcing tool for identifying and connecting with receptive talent on LinkedIn.
Try Boolean Search
Using Boolean operators like AND, NOT, and OR allows you to fine-tune your LinkedIn keyword search to surface relevant profiles. Some examples of Boolean searches for finding open candidates:
- “Technical writer” AND “open to work”
- “Nurse” NOT “currently employed”
- “Java developer” OR “software engineer” OR “full stack”
Getting familiar with how Boolean logic works on LinkedIn takes some practice, but can significantly boost your recruiting research capabilities.
Follow Company Pages
Following company pages on LinkedIn can reveal employees who may be looking for new opportunities, especially if there are clues like layoffs or restructuring happening. Some signs to look for:
- The company has shared news about downsizing or office closures.
- Employees have updated their profiles and changed their employment status.
- There is an influx of members joining alumni and former employee groups.
Seeing these types of changes can signal a good time to search that company’s employees on LinkedIn for those now open to new roles.
Connect with Contractors
Many independent contractors and consultants indicate their openness to short-term or contract roles right on their LinkedIn profiles. Targeting profiles that list “Freelance”, “Consultant”, “Independent Contractor” or “Self-Employed” as their position can uncover available project talent. Some other tips for finding independent contractors open to work:
- Join LinkedIn groups for contractors, freelancers and consultants in your industry.
- Follow Company pages for contractor marketplaces like Upwork, Toptal and Catalant.
- Search profiles located in metro areas known for independent contracting talent.
Sourcing open independent professionals on LinkedIn provides access to on-demand talent for your flexible hiring needs.
Advertise Open Roles
Actively promoting your open job opportunities on LinkedIn will attract interested candidates. Options include:
- Posting roles on your Company page and Career pages.
- Sharing openings in relevant LinkedIn groups and with your network.
- Using LinkedIn’s job advertising products like Job Slots.
- Listing roles on your LinkedIn profile.
Getting your employer brand and available positions in front of passive candidates compels them to explore new chances with your organization.
If you want to be more assertive, using LinkedIn InMail to directly contact prospects can be effective. Some tips for productive InMail outreach:
- Personalize each message to the recipient’s background and interests.
- Be transparent that you saw they were open to opportunities.
- Include a current job opening that fits their experience.
- Make connecting simple with a link to apply.
Thoughtful cold outreach can actuate passive candidates not actively searching but open to the right role.
LinkedIn provides a plethora of options for identifying and connecting with professionals open to making their next career move. Combining advanced search techniques, group engagement, recruiter tools, boolean logic, profile cues and job promotions gives you a full talent sourcing toolkit. Remember to always customize your outreach and provide value to candidates to stand out from the crowd. Mastering these sourcing strategies will lead to surfacing great talent and filling open roles faster.