The reality we face, post-pandemic, is that many individuals feel far more willing to shift positions, seek out new challenges and change employment gears. Job seekers desiring a more flexible work schedule where they can catch some early morning surf then head to the local coffee shop, and even remote workers looking for more freelance opportunities. And, it’s likely they have that green Open-to-Work banner on their LinkedIn profile picture.

Sometimes the best candidates aren’t always those deeply committed to a full-time position, who need to be subjected to the poaching and enticement process. Sometimes they are. But, that banner doesn’t tell you their story. So, do you engage or ignore?

Recruiting And ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’

It is obvious and understood that employers will always desire the best candidates to interview and then offer employment to. I mean, why wouldn’t they? It is important, however, to understand where we glean those top-tier candidates.

While cherry-picking from the top of the tree might seem like the best approach, are you, as a recruiter missing out on some premium, available and more reachable fruit? Yes, this fruit analogy can be taken too far, but you wouldn’t want to suggest a rotten apple as a potential candidate to your employer who has faith in your abilities and skills to pick the best for the position.

So the question for many of us becomes whether seeking out those with the Open-to-Work banner is worth it. Are these candidates just low-hanging fruit?

Of Course, They Are Open To Work

There seems to be less fear and trepidation about an employee’s openness to other opportunities than a few years ago. Employees feel less obligated to a company and sense more freedom to be open to new opportunities. Not to mention the unfortunate layoffs many have encountered recently.

As recruiters, we should understand this mentality. Feeling less obligated and advertising their open-to-work status does not diminish their value in their current position or the position you are searching to fill.

Most would agree that candidates would definitely consider it if a recruiter came knocking with a tempting offer. Whether they currently have a full-time position, recently let go or simply doing their own thing. They’re clearly open to work.

So does using the banner make the potential candidate seem desperate for work and less desirable to an employer? If we as recruiters have a more open mind, then most definitely not. Unfortunately, some of us are a bit closed-minded about this.

The open-to-work banner signals to LinkedIn sourcing and us as recruiters that the candidate is willing to consider an opportunity that might suit them. After all, if a potential candidate has opted for the banner but their skill set and experience are not up to standard, we won’t even give them a second look anyway.

Discarding The Stigma Associated With The Open-To-Work Banner

The open-to-work banner seems to be disassociating from the stigma previously associated with it. Many were initially skeptical about it, saying it does not speak well of the candidate or could put employment seekers in a difficult situation should their employer find out they are looking for alternative work.

While the jury is still out on whether using the photo frame is a good option, opinions on using the open-to-work to recruiters are swinging in a far more positive manner. As it should.

After all, it’s about the candidate’s skill set, their first impression on LinkedIn, and if their abilities and experience fit the required position. So why do we ignore candidates with the open-to-work banner? I suggest discarding that mentality and opening ourselves up to the many talented individuals out there searching for new opportunities. Let’s not let this LinkedIn feature work against potential quality candidates or better yet, us.

Yes, they are open to work. Not low-hanging fruit, but eager and passionate for new opportunities.

Taylor Moon

Taylor Moon is the Director of Content at She's a seasoned Content Director with a demonstrated history of working in various industries, predominantly in digital marketing and technology. As a hiring manager throughout her career, she's worked closely with recruiters and HR and acted as a sourcer and recruiter in various roles, bringing a unique perspective into topics.