Are you open to work?

IT Recruitment is a wild ride.

Not long ago, a social media storm erupted after a former Google recruiter suggested steering clear of the LinkedIn “Open to Work” green banner.

In his view, it screamed “desperation,” making candidates less appealing. In a nutshell, he argued that as a company, you want to feel the exclusivity and desire for someone to work specifically for you, not just any company.

Using the banner, according to him, signals a willingness to settle for anything.

There’s also this widespread belief that top-notch professionals don’t actively seek jobs; you have to pluck them from wherever they are.

When I first read this, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I vehemently disagree.

While I get the rationale—wanting to maintain an air of exclusivity—I see LinkedIn as an excellent tool for candidates to swiftly signal to us recruiters that they’re open to a professional change.

Moreover, this openness encompasses various life situations, from unfortunate layoffs to those still working but dead set on a change.

In our daily grind at NBS IT Recruitment, we deal with all sorts of candidates, including those with the “Open to Work” tag. Contrary to the assumption, most aren’t desperate. Perhaps it helps that we’re focused on the IT world, which has seen better days but is far from a needy group.

In our view, having the banner signifies a willingness to 1) listen (no small feat) and 2) be reasonable in a potential negotiation.

Often, no matter how attractive your offer is, if they’re not in the mood, there’s no convincing them. We’ve all been there. Another telecom company calls with a better deal, but if you’re not “in the mood” (usually mad at your current employer), there’s nothing to be done.

Why emphasize being reasonable? When contacting someone content in their current job, they might have unrealistic expectations for a change. It’s like they’ll only budge if they hit the jackpot, and that’s usually a non-starter.

So, when someone is open, they’re open to a sensible negotiation. If you think the banner means you won’t have to make a compelling offer (in every sense), you’re sorely mistaken. You get the chance to explain, but then you have to seal the deal.

It’s a touchy subject. When I first posted these thoughts on social media, they went viral. Thousands of views, hundreds of likes and reactions—a rarity on my account. It shows this topic strikes a chord with people.

The vast majority, at least in the Spanish job market, thinks somewhat like me, for various reasons. But what catches my attention is that people still support the Google recruiter’s idea and back the ban on the banner, with various explanations in line with what was mentioned earlier.

This leads to a deeper reflection. No matter how black and white something seems to you, there will always be someone who sees it differently. Trying to deny that reality is not only a mistake but also robs us of a broader view of the world.

Reading the arguments of those who disagree with me hasn’t changed my mind (which could have happened—I’m not closed off), but it has opened my mind to consider their perspective, sometimes saying, “Oh, I see!”

Social media is a powerful tool if used correctly, as illustrated in this case.

And you, are you desperate for work (just kidding, in case)? We have job offers that might pique your interest and a team that aims not to judge but to listen to each person’s unique situation.

The new year is approaching, and many already have their minds on the festivities but an eye on 2024 and the opportunities it might bring. Historically, December is a good month for job hunting.

Good luck!

Javi & Lucho