Soon, you may be able to hire freelancers on LinkedIn and get your work done on the platform, similar to how Fivver and UpWork marketplaces work. Once the job is complete, you’ll get the opportunity to evaluate it and pay the worker(s) through a new payment integration solution. This is the new LinkedIn freelancer market feature.
It’s the latest move by the top decision-makers at the Microsoft company and one that’s bound to have a huge impact across the board. Wondering how exactly the new feature will work? Here’s what we know so far.
LinkedIn is developing a new service known as Marketplaces to allow its 740 million users to find and work with freelancers. This development would pit LinkedIn against publicly traded freelance marketplaces such as UpWork and Fivver.
The news was first broken by The Information, who go on to say that the professional networking site is also considering the development of “a digital wallet to facilitate payments on the new marketplace.”
The Information credits “two people with direct knowledge of the matter” and provides additional details about the potential Marketplace feature. If sources are correct, this service could be up and running by September 2021.
Lately, more and more people are requesting freelance services, both on LinkedIn and other platforms. There is also an even higher number of users openly seeking work on the LinkedIn platform. There’s a particularly strong demand within coaching, marketing, design, and software development services.
In a recent statement, the network’s spokesperson Suzi Owens said the number of LinkedIn users who’ve added “open for business” to their profiles has risen sharply. This is due in part to the onset of the covid-19 pandemic. According to Ms. Owens, LinkedIn’s interpretation is that these people are actively looking for work.
LinkedIn Marketplaces would effectively offer potential employers and service providers a platform to start conversations for the necessary projects.
“We want to build new ways to share more about the services you (can) offer directly through your LinkedIn profile,” Ms. Owens says.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn’s current silence on the matter makes it difficult to find more details.
However, sources say it will blend features from the two most successful freelancer marketplaces – Fivver and Upwork. Businesses will be able to shop for freelancers and compare rates, similar to Fivver. Additionally, they will be able to post job proposals for freelancers, similar to UpWork.
Prospective service providers must optimize their profiles to show up for relevant job offers by activating the Showcase Services feature on their LinkedIn profile. Only relevant user profiles will show up for the various freelancer queries.
An employer impressed by a service provider’s qualifications can then directly contact that user, similar to how Fivver works. Simultaneously, service providers can scroll through job listings and apply for postings that best match their abilities, similar to UpWork. Freelancers will also have the opportunity to pay for ads to help get their name and services noticed.
As with most freelancer marketplaces, payment from the employer is held in escrow and will only be released to the service provider once the job is completed to the employer’s satisfaction. It is speculated that payments will be made via a unique LinkedIn digital wallet, also under development.
Aside from the paid freelancer ads, LinkedIn will profit by charging employers and service providers a small fee.
The marketplace service could be a genius move from LinkedIn. The world is quickly moving to be more remote work over traditional office positions. Fivver and UpWork alone generated nearly $550 million in revenues in 2020, a 37% increase from 2019. As the shift to telework intensifies, freelancer marketplaces will become priceless. Microsoft is likely banking on LinkedIn’s reputation as a professional networking platform to profit off this new lucrative market.
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