LinkedIn has removed an obstacle preventing some members from using the professional social network to find their next job: The possibility of their current boss finding out. On Thursday, the company released its Open Candidates feature, which lets members privately notify recruiters that they’re open to opportunities — without exposing themselves to their current company.
Additionally, businesses receive updated career pages that can help them better market themselves to potential hires.
In research conducted in the past year, LinkedIn claimed that 77 percent of professional workers are open to their next job opportunity. However, the fear has been that any signal made on a profile could get back to an employer, which is why the Open Candidates feature was developed to let anyone operate stealthily. It’s perfect for those who are open to change, but aren’t precisely set on making a move … yet. “This is a signal to recruiters that you want to hear from them,” explained Eric Owski, LinkedIn’s head of talent brand products.
To use Open Candidates, access the jobs homepage on the social network, select preferences, and scroll to the section labeled “Let recruiters know you’re open.” Toggle the setting to notify recruiters that you can be contacted, and then complete the fields below, such as the job type and title you’re interested in (which will be used to guide recruiters, but won’t limit searches), availability date, location preferences, and a short introduction about yourself. All of these details will be used to target recruiters and will be kept confidential from not only your employer, but also any affiliated companies.
In order to prevent profiles from becoming stagnant, enrollment in Open Candidates lasts for only three months. After that, it’ll turn off, and you’ll have to start over again.
For human resources staff who use LinkedIn’s Recruiter app, eligible candidates will appear in a new spotlight tab. There’s incentive to review these potential applicants because it’s believed they’re twice as likely to respond to recruiters as the general LinkedIn population.
So far, this feature has been tested in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia. Owski said that 40,000 people per day have opted into this experience, with close to 1 million candidates total, out of the 450 million on the social network.
LinkedIn is also releasing company career pages that let applicants learn more about firms through the experiences of current employees. Companies can use these pages to highlight what makes them unique. “If you think about the way people look for jobs, they encounter one that’s good for them, but the first question after that is what does the company do? Who are they? What are their values? What do they stand for?” Owski said. The new career pages give companies an opportunity to attract prospective employees.
Company culture and values can be deciding factors for 66 percent of applicants looking at new opportunities, according to a LinkedIn survey. Owski told VentureBeat that members particularly want to hear from employees about their experience working at a company.
The career page is divided into clickable tabs that provide information about the firm and any open jobs, and includes a “life” section that can be used to highlight the company’s culture and vision. Recruiters can even personalize the page based on specific audiences. There’s also a lot of emphasis on photos and videos.
Further down the page is an employee perspectives section, which incorporates content that current workers have posted through LinkedIn’s publishing platform. Public insights are also displayed to show information around the company culture, causes employees care about, and more. “It allows companies to tell an authentic story, but with control,” Owski said.
Access to the new career pages is free for members, but there’s a price structure for companies interested in participating. The amount depends on the chosen package and starts at $10,000 annually. There were more than 30 customer companies in the charter group, including Uber, Apple, IBM, AB InBev, Shangri-La Hotels, World Vision, and Undertone. In early tests, LinkedIn claimed more engagement with content and a 60 percent increase in page views per visitor, with a 175 percent increase in the number of job views.
The new pages are available on the desktop right now and will be available on mobile in a week or two.
With the release of these two features, LinkedIn hopes to not only improve the quality of applicants a company receives, but also to raise the profile of the firms so the right expectations are established on both sides. After all, applying for a job is one thing, but building a long-lasting employee-employer relationship results in success for both sides.