LinkedIn just introduced a new feature called “Open Candidates” – a way to signal that you’re open to being recruited for a new job, without letting your boss know.
Historically, the only way to announce to your LinkedIn network that you were looking for a job was to literally make it the headline of your profile. It’s hard for recruiters to miss, but it’s also a giant warning sign to your colleagues that you’re looking for a change.
Once you flag yourself as an open candidate, you’ll show up in recruiters’ LinkedIn searches, even if nothing else about your profile shows you’re looking for new opportunities.
Just go into your LinkedIn preferences and select the “Let recruiters know you’re open” option. You can even choose what kind of opportunities you’re looking for. Here’s what it looks like:
Funnily enough, LinkedIn says this feature idea came from an episode of HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” as the company explains in a blog post:
“There was a great joke made on the HBO series Silicon Valley where one of the main characters signaled on LinkedIn that he wanted to leave the fictional startup. Within seconds, he was hearing from recruiters. This is exactly the experience we want each and every one of our members to have.”
Here’s the scene in question:
Other new features announced today by LinkedIn include “Apply Starters,” which lets you share your LinkedIn profile with recruiters when applying for a job, and “Career Pages,” which let companies highlight all the job growth opportunities available to job candidates and encourage them to apply.
Job recruitment features like these play right into LinkedIn’s core business. Recently, the professional social network announced LinkedIn Learning, a new set of online educational programs designed to give job-seekers the skills they need to stay competitive.
In the longer term, though, LinkedIn’s new corporate overlords at Microsoft have indicated a grander vision for the social network and its vast troves of data. But that will take longer to play out. In the meanwhile, go look for new jobs without worrying about getting found out.