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Pros & Cons using Linkedin's 'Open to Work' badge

In the dynamic landscape of job hunting, LinkedIn's 'Open to Work' badge has become a prominent feature, offering job seekers a platform to express their availability. While it comes with its share of advantages, there are also potential drawbacks to consider. In our blog, we delve into both sides, featuring quotes from our expert team of recruiters to provide a balanced perspective. Packed with useful information aiming to help candidates also improve their personal Linkedin brand.

The Advantages

“Some career opportunities aren’t advertised online as the employer and their recruitment partners will headhunt independently before advertising the role. Having an ‘Open to Work’ badge on your profile alerts employers you are on the market, allowing them to reach out to you directly to discuss the role and business.”

  • Charlotte Grant, Senior Recruitment Consultant, Oxford

When candidates use the badge, they often receive support and advice from the LinkedIn community, creating a positive networking environment. The environment encourages those from all backgrounds and sectors to comment and message any potential vacancies that could help a candidate. 

"It helps us identify candidates actively looking in specific industries, streamlining our outreach efforts."

The Disadvantages

“Having an ‘Open to Work’ badge will encourage employers and recruiters to contact regarding opportunities they may have available. This can lead to you being bombarded by roles that may not meet your requirements. You may find it more beneficial to reach out to a local recruiter in your area and set up a meeting to discuss your expectations and goals so they can present you with vacancies that match your criteria.”

  • Charlotte Grant, Senior Recruitment Consultant, Oxford

Some employers may perceive 'Open to Work' as a sign of desperation, leading to unconscious bias. While it's a helpful filter, it might exclude passive candidates who are open to new opportunities but not actively job-seeking. Candidates might receive a flood of job offers, making it challenging to sift through and find the right fit.

There has been some discussion about the ‘Open to Work’ badge should only be accessed and viewed for recruiters. We spoke to Emma Welsh, Head of Technical & Professional Perm Division at The Recruitment Group.

“I believe that having the Open to Work badge visible for all to see is a real positive, this way even if you are not a recruiter yet you know your company is hiring, and you can identify who within your network is open to work. It is a powerful tool.”

  • Emma Welsh, Head of Technical & Professional Perm Division, Head Office

The biggest benefit of using the ‘Open to Work’ feature is to increase your visibility to recruiters and attract relevant job opportunities. It also allows you to strategically maintain a professional image, not alerting your employees or customers you are seeking a new role.

On the other hand, the only time using this feature could be detrimental is if you make it visible to all connections and your employer finds out. Being in this situation is not the best and can lead to tension and friction in the workplace. Also, it could tarnish any progression opportunities with your employer.

“When searching for candidates for live vacancies to reach out to, it is beneficial to see who is open to work. This badge means I can send messages to them already knowing that they are open to work and would maybe be more inclined to discuss the role I am recruiting for.”

“I also don’t hesitate to send messages to people who don’t mark themselves as “open to work” as I speak to many candidates who aren’t actively looking for a new role but are always keeping an eye out for new opportunities.”

  • Amy Large, Permanent Recruitment Specialist - Technical & Professional Division, Head Office

There can be many new opportunities on the horizon as we help candidates with our guides and tips to make their future our focus. Check our blog providing top 10 interview tips, as we ignite your spark.

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