How to find open to work candidates on LinkedIn

Tips for utilizing LinkedIn hiring tools.

Laptop with blue LinkedIn logo

With more than 800 million users worldwide, LinkedIn can be a potential goldmine of candidates for your company’s open positions. How can you find those candidates that meet a position’s needs and are available for new opportunities?

LinkedIn provides tools for recruiters who want to identify individuals to approach regarding new opportunities. With a few clicks, you can search the deep well of talent—and easily determine whether potential candidatesy may be interested in speaking with you. Here’s how you can find Open to Work candidates on LinkedIn. 

Tips for finding Open to Work candidates on LinkedIn

When professionals join LinkedIn, they can indicate they are open to work. Users can set parameters for the job titles, types, and locations they will consider and determine who sees their status. Active job seekers often display their “Open to Work” status to all LinkedIn users. Individuals who are casually looking or want to keep their status private can choose only to reveal their willingness to explore new opportunities to recruiters outside their current company.

When recruiters search for candidates with skills, experience, or goals that are compatible with an open position, they’ll be able to identify individuals who are publicly searching by the #OPENTOWORK frame on their profile photos. This feature makes it easy for busy recruiters to identify potential candidates and review their profiles quickly.

However, if someone has restricted their status to recruiters only, the #OPENTOWORK photo frame will not appear. To identify those individuals, you can perform a Spotlight Search:

  1. Log in to LinkedIn Recruiter.
  2.  Perform a search for suitable candidates using your desired parameters.
  3. Click “Open to New Opportunities'' at the top of the search results page. If that option doesn’t appear, click on “More” to see all the available spotlight options to narrow your results. 
  4. Review a candidate’s profile. Click on the candidate’s profile summary and hold the cursor over the Open to Work icon to see the information they shared with recruiters, such as whether they are looking for full- or part-time work or remote opportunities.

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Other ways to use LinkedIn to find your perfect hire

In a perfect world, it would be easy to find the ideal new hire with a single LinkedIn search. While you’ll likely find some good prospects, it’s not always that simple. The person who seems ideal on paper may not be open to new opportunities or may not be exactly what you’re looking for on further inspection. 

That doesn’t mean LinkedIn isn’t a useful tool, though. There are several other strategies for finding candidates who might not otherwise be on your radar but could be the exact person you need for a role. 

Approach candidates who look perfect for the job but are not Open to Work

Even if someone’s profile doesn’t explicitly indicate that they are open to new opportunities, they might still be interested in talking to you. Some people may be in the earliest stages of considering a change, or feeling uninspired or unchallenged in their current role but not sure how to proceed. A recruiter reaching out could be exactly the push they need to be more proactive.

Approaching candidates who aren’t currently looking for new opportunities can also help you build your network for future opportunities. Staying in touch with someone with the skills your organization needs could pay off in the future.

Join recruiter groups

LinkedIn offers various groups that cater to different industries and roles. Joining recruiter groups can help you grow your professional network and learn ideas and strategies for improving your LinkedIn recruiting efforts. Other recruiters can offer insights into more effective search terms, for example, to help you access a deeper candidate pool. 

However, you should also explore groups for job seekers looking for leads and support for their job search. If you find a candidate in search but aren't sure of their status, check whether they belong to any groups that others who are actively seeking employment belong to. It may not be immediately evident on someone’s profile that they are seeking a new job—but if they belong to multiple groups focused on job hunting and recruiting, that’s a good sign. 

Don’t let borders restrict your search

Don’t limit yourself to candidates in your local area or even the U.S. for remote or flexible positions. If your perfect hire is in another country, don’t let it deter you. Oyster can help you get them up and running on your team without the usual legal complications.

About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, engage, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.

Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world—with reliable, compliant payroll, and great local benefits and perks.

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