In Career Coaching, Career Dvelopement, Coaching, LinkedIn, Open To Work

Reimagining the LinkedIn “Open to Work” Banner: A Shift in Perspective.

In a recent discussion with a client, they mentioned an Ex Googler recruiter’s article stating that the ‘open to work banner is a red flag to recruiters and to avoid these candidates. The fu ny thing is, it wasn’t the first time I’d heard this sentiment about the banner. I was  intrigued by what was mentioned, I had to read it. I did, and now I’m getting involved in the chat about the effectiveness of LinkedIn’s “open to work” banner, with much debate over its implications for job seekers and recruiters.

There are many points raised that I agreed with in part and in equal measure disagree. Here are the two main pointers that got me going:

Point 1

‘There is a truism in recruiting that the best people are not looking for jobs, and therefore, those people would not be advertising that they’re looking for work.

POV: I understand where they’re coming from, as many in the talent management industry could argue that a retained assignment is the better way to recruit where typically headhunting would feature and therefore engage with employed talent, as opposed to contingent, i.e. a hiring company, has engaged w multiple recruitment consultant to identify talent who are available on the market as per the specification. Wearing my career coach hat, the statement isn’t necessarily always the case. If you’re not looking, why does that make you the ‘best people’? It sounds like an archaic privileged lens and one from decades ago. The business landscape has changed, and so have the needs and priorities of professionals.

Point 2

When it comes to recruiting, it’s all about a power dynamic. The recruiter wants to want you, not the other way around. With t at banner activated, “because you need something from me, that means that I have the power in this conversation, and that can be a turn off’.

POV: Again, I agree with the sentiment that in any relationship, who doesn’t want to be wanted? That said, let’s not abuse this power and employ a mindset based on equality. After all, both parties have skin in the game. If a person meets the client brief, they deserve not to be ignored because of an ego or a banner but included in a conversation to determine facts versus assumptions. More and more professionals are moving into a space where their values and beliefs need to be firmly aligned, more so now than ever before with an employer. It doesn’t necessarily make them a ‘bad’ candidate because they’re openly saying I’m looking for my next career opportunity. Surely it’s more about their personal branding, value proposition and what they’re communicating on the platform. Why not coexist instead of shaming?  Both parties are part of the missing pieces to complete the hiring puzzle. Amidst the differing opinions, one thing remains clear as a Learning and Development professional who works across Executive, Leadership, Career Coaching and Organisational Development: the banner doesn’t have to carry the negative connotations often associated with it

.• You were fired

• You’re not good enough

• Something must be wrong with you

• You’re rubbish at your role

• You’re a problem

• You’re a waste of my time

• Rejected by organisational change

• You’re desperate

A shift in mindset

A shift in mindset and a tad of consideration could mean so much more for hiring personnel and everyone involved. Imagine a scenario where recruiters approach candidates with the “open to work” banner activated without preconceived ideas. Instead of assuming the worst, with the use of a different lens and perspective, they see an opportunity for:

Fewer assumptions

By refraining from jumping to conclusions based on the presence of the banner, recruiters can approach candidates with an open mind, free from biases.

A wider ‘qualified’ talent pool

Embracing candidates with the “open to work” banner expands the talent pool, allowing recruiters to tap into a diverse range of skills and experiences.

More exploratory conversations

Engaging with candidates actively seeking opportunities opens the door to meaningful conversations about their career goals and aspirations.

Identifying the right candidate

Rather than dismissing candidates based on superficial assumptions, recruiters can focus on finding the best fit for the role based on skills, experience, and cultural alignment.

Satisfying your client’s needs sooner

By considering candidates with the “open to work” banner, recruiters can expedite the hiring process and meet their client’s needs more efficiently.

The development of a relationship

Viewing candidates as potential partners in the hiring journey fosters trust and rapport, laying the groundwork for future collaborations.

A potential future new client

Embracing candidates with the “open to work” banner not only benefits the current hiring process but also opens doors to potential clients in the future, as candidates may transition into hiring roles themselves.

The banner

The “open to work” banner shouldn’t be regarded as a red flag but rather as an opportunity for connection, collaboration, and mutual growth. With a shift in mindset and perspective from recruiting and hiring professionals,  they’re able to approach candidates with even more empathy and openness, there is the possibility of unlocking the full potential of the recruitment process to benefit all parties involved.

The Debate

I know this thinking behind the banner will apply to just a few recruiters and not the many. If you’re a candidate in search of your next role, don’t let a couple of negative thoughts derail you from your objective, but be mindful of what you’re selling.

As a recruiter, if this resonates, don’t let a banner get between you, the perfect candidate, yours and your client’s success. Inclusivity, self-expression, and personal branding are also choices.

I’m sure LinkedIn introduced it to the professional community to raise the visibility of their value proposition to be seen and heard.

#careercoaching #opentowork #LinkedIn #hiringprofessionals #talentmanagement #inclusivity #nobias #recruiters #mindset #evolvinglandscape

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