New LinkedIn Feature Helps Users Find a New Job Without Alerting Their Employer

LinkedIn Unveils New Features at Annual Showcase

By Roy Maurer Oct 6, 2016
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Eduardo Vivas, head of product for LinkedIn's Talent Solutions

LAS VEGAS—For the first time, recruiters can use LinkedIn Recruiter to find job seekers who have signaled their interest in new opportunities.

LinkedIn announced a new feature Oct. 6 called Open Candidates, which will let users announce to recruiters their openness to changing jobs, while keeping that decision hidden from their current employer.

The new feature is being piloted across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, and LinkedIn plans on expanding it throughout the remainder of the year.

"Our profiles today are a representation of where we are, not necessarily where we want to go," said Eduardo Vivas, head of product for LinkedIn's Talent Solutions business. "Imagine if a job seeker in product management planned to move to New York City in several months. Now, every company looking for a product manager in that area would have a chance at snagging that person. That's never been possible before," he told attendees at LinkedIn's Talent Connect 2016, the company's annual user conference.

Here's how it works: LinkedIn users can signal openness to change jobs through the Preferences tab on the Jobs home page. "To protect member privacy we're only surfacing that within LinkedIn Recruiter, and we won't share that information with anybody at their current employer," Vivas said.

When recruiters hover over an Open Candidate's profile summary, a dropdown box appears with details on roles the person is interested in, his or her willingness to work remotely or relocate, the available start date, and more. "You could previously only get this through an interview," Vivas said. "Now you have it upfront so you can qualify candidates that much faster."

Recruiters can also save profiles of candidates they are interested in and be notified when they're ready to hear about new opportunities.

"It's taking off like wildfire," Vivas said. One million people have used the feature since it was recently launched.

LinkedIn also wants recruiters to be able to find candidates who show their interest by starting the application process but then fail to complete it. "Open Candidates will help you reach candidates who've told us that they're open to new opportunities, but there's another talent pool that's been sitting just beyond your reach," Vivas said. "There are plenty of candidates who start applying to jobs, but many don't finish. One estimate suggests that as many as 74 percent drop off after they arrive at your careers site. Maybe they were applying on their phone, maybe there were too many questions or maybe they were just too busy."

These potential candidates have shown interest in the company and specific roles, but recruiters haven't been able to act on that intent until now. "We're now giving [applicants] the option to share their profile when they start applying to your job, which will double or potentially triple the number of candidates in your applicant pool," Vivas said. "You can only get access to these candidates on LinkedIn, because it's the only site on the Web that knows who the candidates are before they even start applying."

Recruiters will receive a weekly e-mail digest with a listing of application starters. "As it turns out, application starters are just as interested as the people who completed the application and are four times as likely to respond to recruiter outreach as the average candidate," Vivas said.

This feature has launched in the U.S. and Canada and will expand to all other markets by the end of 2016.

Vivas and his team also announced a redesigned desktop user experience that is coming soon, an overhaul of the Career Pages product, a smarter messaging function, a personal assistant bot to help with scheduling meetings, and Recruiter System Connect, an enhanced integration between LinkedIn Recruiter and customers' applicant tracking systems.

"This integration saves time by reducing the need to toggle back and forth between systems to access candidate information and makes it easier to seamlessly collaborate while getting the most accurate and up-to-date information on any candidate," Vivas said.

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