LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking platform, has joined the list of companies like Fiverr and Upwork that have created an employment market for global freelancers.
The online platform known as Marketplace will allow freelancers on the LinkedIn network to connect with potential clients who are willing to hire them.
LinkedIn announced plans to launch a limited test of this service in February with the intention of complementing companies’ recruitment needs and helping individuals who lost their jobs due to the pandemic find work.
According to the company, this feature is finally available to worldwide users on the LinkedIn network, opening up the opportunity to hire from anywhere with no restrictions on locality.
The company, owned by Microsoft, has been conducting private tests of the service in the United States since its initial announcement earlier this year. Since then, close to 2 million members of LinkedIn’s worldwide user base have shown interest in this feature.
This isn’t the first time LinkedIn has attempted to link freelance and gig workers with the numerous numbers of employers who need their services.
The company already offers a freelance connection feature called “ProFinder,” which allows users to search for and connect with appropriate freelancers by subject.
The need for this service
Suzi Owens, a spokesman for LinkedIn, said in a statement that since the pandemic began, the number of LinkedIn members who put “open for business” in their accounts has risen dramatically.
The phrase “open for business” suggests that such individuals are actively looking for a job, a need LinkedIn hopes to fulfil with the launch of this service.
Who will be MarketPlace focus?
LinkedIn Marketplaces will focus on white-collar occupations in disciplines like design, marketing, and software development. The company says it plans to launch a total of 250 categories with plans to extend to 500 in the future.
Employers might also use the website to compare specific freelancers’ fees and the types of work they provide.
This move puts the LinkedIn Marketplace up against popular platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, which are publicly traded online freelancing job boards.
As of 2020, the two websites generated nearly $550 million in revenue, a 37% increase over the previous year.
“Remote work, and the talented freelancers who work remotely, will increasingly be the norm.”
Hayden Brown, Upwork’s CEO.
LinkedIn has announced that Marketplace will not be charging any fees at the moment as it does for its other recruitment tools, but will establish the basis for how LinkedIn might charge fees in the future.
According to product manager Matt Faustman, “We will address the pricing point, but we decided not to for now”.
“For now, there is no way of negotiating a fee for work, nor for invoicing, and those looking to find people are not required to give any specific guidance on fees until they get into a deeper conversation with a candidate. When it comes to reviews, clients can review those they have engaged, but the individuals can not leave a review for the clients, “he added.