LinkedIn can be a vital resource for business and networking. In a time where communication, meetings and presentations have moved online, and office workers have adapted to remote working, the platform has become invaluable for many.
In fact, in 2020 LinkedIn saw an increase in revenue of nearly 20% in comparison to 2019, up to a staggering $8.8 billion. In order to capitalise further on this situation, LinkedIn has developed a new service to help freelancers find work. This service is called Marketplaces and will enable businesses to identify, hire and pay freelancers.
Users can already utilise a number of methods to help them stand out to potential employers. For example, they can add “open for business” to their profiles which shows other users that they are openly looking for work. The number of users using this phrase has soared since the start of the pandemic.
Developing this further, Marketplaces will allow freelancers in industries such as design, marketing, and software development, to easily advertise their services to employers. These employers will be able to compare rates, services and availability of multiple freelancers to help them make the right choice for their hiring needs.
When will it be available to use?
The service is due to launch in September and is expected to replace an existing LinkedIn service called ProFinder. ProFinder currently enables users to search for freelancers and connect with them in order to discuss a potential job. However, Marketplaces will also allow for deals and payments to be made through the service.
Marketplaces will also combine features from existing freelance networking sites such as Fiverr and Upwork. These sites collectively generated nearly $550 million in revenue in 2020 and with an increase in freelance work being taken up during the pandemic, LinkedIn is hoping to make their mark on the industry.
What are the benefits?
As previously mentioned, freelance work has been growing in popularity, even before the start of the pandemic. Using this service, freelancers can pay to promote their skills in the marketplace, boosting their engagement and allowing more potential employers to see their work.
In addition, the process of hiring freelancers will be streamlined from the employers’ point of view too. They can locate, research and connect with a freelancer easily, and even secure a deal and make payments through the service.
The use of a digital wallet on the platform supports LinkedIn’s plans to incentivise content creators and boost the quality of content posted on the site. The company continues to work on improving the platform and expanding its utility, moves that are set to benefit users if LinkedIn gets them right.
Looking at Marketplaces are a number of benefits to both employers and freelancers. Not only will it improve the overall hiring process for both parties it is also expected to increase the number of opportunities for both parties too.
As we are all aware, the pandemic has shifted workers’ mindsets. Many people have discovered that they are more comfortable out of the office environment, working remotely and flexibility. Services such as Marketplaces will allow businesses to employ freelancers without being restricted by location.
This will benefit both the employer and the freelancer. Employers will have a larger pool of talent to choose from and freelancers will not have to worry about relocating or commuting for a specific job. This could increase the number of businesses that consider freelance work rather than a permanent hire.
The question is now, will the service be successful? We will have to wait and see to find out.