Advertising the fact you’re looking for work can be a tricky balancing act. 

Of course, you need to somehow say you’re available if you want to put the feelers out, but seeming too keen can devalue your proposition.

A bit like a secret traffic light party, until now candidates have been able to change their Linkedin settings from a standard default to one that says they are open to new opportunities. Crucially, this can only be seen by recruitment professionals with a Linkedin Recruiter license. Matchmakers if you will.

In recent weeks, Linkedin has taken it one stage further – allowing candidates to tell everyone that they’re looking for work. Crucially, doing this adds a green circle around their profile picture with #OPENTOWORK written on it. 

It’s an interesting application, and on the face of it can only have benefits. After all, indicating that you’re seeking new employment makes a recruiter’s job easier, and they know that any form of contact will probably result in a positive response. 

Psychology, subconscious bias and perceived value

There is an element of psychology here though, and often recruitment is often about perceived value. This value is derived from the client – the hiring company – who would generally rather take a new employee from another company (ideally a competitor) rather than a “free transfer”.

This plays to all our subconscious biases, that a person must be good if they’re employed elsewhere. Whereas if they’re unemployed then another company found fault – and if they’re still out of work then maybe their struggle to find new employment paints a picture.

On the other hand, a public display of one’s employment status shows humility, determination and resourcefulness – a bit like the grads you read about handing out their CV at tube stations. So sometimes sticking a flag in the sand definitely does pay off. 

Of course, Coronavirus has changed all this. Thousands of highly talented people are now unemployed, through no fault of their own. Which is why we’re focusing on the subconscious decisions our mind makes – do hiring managers (unbeknown to themselves) prefer a candidate that plays hard to get?

So here’s our question: if you were (or are) unemployed, would you add the #OPENTOWORK sticker to your Linkedin profile?

Please vote and add your reasoning in the comments section on the Marketing Moves Linkedin page:

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