LinkedIn’s “open to work” feature allows members to privately signal to recruiters and hiring managers that they are actively searching for new job opportunities. There are a few key reasons why LinkedIn created this functionality.
Increasing Member Engagement
LinkedIn wants to keep members engaged and active on the platform. The “open to work” setting gives members a reason to frequently visit LinkedIn and update their profiles. It shows LinkedIn that the user is still invested in their professional network and career advancement on the site.
This benefits LinkedIn by maintaining user interest instead of members becoming inactive or even deleting their accounts once employed. The feature helps entice return visits and profile activity for the millions of members not actively job searching at all times.
LinkedIn is used extensively by recruiters and HR professionals to source and evaluate potential candidates. Displaying the “open to work” indicator makes it much easier for them to identify members who are receptive to being contacted about job opportunities.
For recruiters, it saves them the time and effort of guessing which users might be open to considering new roles versus those who are happily employed and unlikely to respond to outreach. It simplifies the process of connecting with interested talent.
This also helps LinkedIn attract more recruiter customers and drive more recruitment-related revenue through hiring solutions and job ads.
Targeting Relevant Opportunities
The “open to work” setting allows LinkedIn members to privately indicate the types of roles, industries, and companies they would be interested in. Recruiters can then more easily match promising candidates to relevant positions.
Without this feature, members may be contacted about jobs that are a poor fit for their skills, experience, or preferences. By specifying preferences, members are more likely to receive suggestions tailored to their career goals.
This results in a better experience for both recruiters and members on the platform and supports LinkedIn’s mission of connecting professionals to economic opportunity.
LinkedIn uses the “open to work” status and associated preferences to improve its automated recommendations throughout the platform.
For example, members who enable the feature may see more job openings and career advice articles recommended to them. Their profiles may also be suggested to recruiters at a higher rate than those not open to new opportunities.
By considering this signal, LinkedIn can better tailor suggested content and connections to match each member’s current career interests and goals.
Allowing Anonymous Job Searching
The “open to work” setting is invisible to the member’s connections and broader network. Their current employer and coworkers will not be notified or aware they are interested in new jobs.
This allows members to discreetly explore opportunities and test the job market without impacting their current role. It facilitates a confidential search process.
Without this feature, members may hesitate to engage with recruiters or apply to jobs through LinkedIn where their activity could be visible.
Supporting Career Advancement
Ultimately, LinkedIn wants to help every member achieve their career goals and aspirations. Making it simple for professionals to privately signal they are open to the right new opportunity supports this mission.
It empowers members to build the careers they want and enables recruiters to connect talent with roles they will excel in. It provides the tools and visibility needed for the next step.
Though the “open to work” status is not mandatory, having the option benefits members at various stages of their careers and strengthens the economic graph overall.
While the “open to work” setting can be highly beneficial, some members choose to keep it disabled due to concerns such as:
- Current employer may notice a status change and question their commitment or performance if actively searching.
- Signaling availability could lead to unwanted recruiter contacts and messages.
- Connections and network may make assumptions about their job satisfaction or tenure.
- Potentially having to explain they are just exploring options, not urgently looking to leave.
- Perception that enabling the setting means they are desperate or unemployed.
These concerns are understandable, however the feature was designed to fully protect member privacy and avoid these drawbacks. The status, preferences, and recruiter interactions are not visible externally. It simply serves as an internal signal to improve recommendations and opportunities. Members are in full control over when and how they engage.
Members can utilize the “open to work” functionality most effectively by following a few best practices:
- Only enable it when fully ready and interested in new opportunities, not just passively exploring.
- Thoroughly complete the experience, skills, and preferences sections – this helps target relevant jobs.
- Utilize the privacy controls to limit contacts to recruiters at desirable companies.
- Actively apply to positions, connect with recruiters, and continue your search process.
- Disable the setting once you are satisfied with your new role or no longer looking.
Following these tips ensures an efficient, productive, and discreet job search through LinkedIn.
- The “open to work” status privately signals recruiters you are interested in opportunities without alerting your connections.
- It aims to improve engagement, simplify recruitment, enable confidential searching, and match members with relevant roles.
- Concerns about privacy and misperceptions may cause some members to keep it disabled.
- Best practices include thoughtful setup, utilizing preferences, and disabling when search is completed.
- This tool ultimately empowers career advancement through the world’s largest professional network.
Here are some interesting statistics on how members are utilizing LinkedIn’s “open to work” feature:
|% Members Enabling
|USA, India, UK
|USA, India, Brazil
|India, USA, Brazil
As shown above, roughly 30% of members enable the “open to work” feature, increasing to 32% during pandemic job loss in 2020. The top adopting countries are India, USA, and Brazil. Global usage continues rising steadily each year.
LinkedIn’s “open to work” functionality aims to create a win-win experience for members and recruiters. Members can privately signal their interest in new opportunities tailored to their goals and preferences. Recruiters can easily identify and connect with relevant candidates open to new roles.
While some members choose to keep it disabled due to concerns about visibility or perceptions, best practices can optimize the discreet search process. Millions of professionals leverage this tool to unlock career advancement through the world’s largest professional network.