LinkedIn has traditionally been 95% spam emails, 2% endorsements for witty banter, and 3% useful networking. But those numbers might have just been skewed to 90/2/8 with the addition of a new Open Candidates feature, which helps you secretly look for a new job.
The feature lets you privately indicate to recruiters that you’re looking for a new job. The idea is that you can snoop around the job market and see what openings might be available, without annoying the people you’re currently working with.
In a blog post, LinkedIn describes Open Candidates as “a new feature that makes it easier to connect with your dream job by privately signaling to recruiters that you’re open to new job opportunities. You can specify the types of companies and roles you are most interested in and be easily found by the hundreds of thousands of recruiters who use LinkedIn to find great professional talent.”
There’s a hidden motive for LinkedIn here: the only people who can view Open Candidates are recruiters who have paid for LinkedIn Premium. That stops just anyone seeing your open candidacy, but also means that paying for a Premium subscription is the new price of entry for headhunters.
LinkedIn also says it will block colleagues or recruiters from your company from seeing that you’re an open candidate, although that won’t stop a determined HR person from keeping tabs on you.