Freelancers, rejoice: LinkedIn announced that its LinkedIn ProFinder freelance marketplace is now available throughout the U.S.
LinkedIn began testing LinkedIn ProFinder last October, and group product manager Vaibhav Goel said in a blog post that the number of freelancers on the professional network has grown 50 percent in the past five years, adding that LinkedIn ProFinder is aimed at connecting consumers and small businesses with professional services. Goel added:
In its pilot stage, the platform already features more than 50,000 freelancers across more than 140 service areas–each of whom have been hand-picked based on their expertise and high-quality recommendations.
So why is this important to LinkedIn, and what do we see for ProFinder’s future? Well, with our network of more than 450 million members, we feel we can play an important role in driving and supporting the gig economy. In fact, as part of our pilot, we’ve dug into our own LinkedIn data to glean more insights about this new and growing sector of the workforce.
Those insights include:
- Florida, Texas and Colorado were the three states that showed the most freelancer growth.
- The highest freelancer populations were found on the East and West Coasts.
- The healthcare and pharmaceutical industries have seen 50 percent growth in freelance workers over the past five years, compared with 21 percent for non-freelance workers.
Finally, Goel explained how LinkedIn users can begin tapping into LinkedIn ProFinder:
Ready to get started? Head to LinkedIn.com/ProFinder to submit your project request. Once your request has been submitted, we’ll send it to the most aptly qualified professionals, starting with those in your network or extended network first, and you’ll receive up to five detailed proposals in response. As you review them, you’ll be able to see your common connections–something you can only get on LinkedIn–and review the profiles of potential hires to see their experience, skills, samples of their work and recommendations from their past clients. All of these mechanisms are in place to ensure you’re hiring the best person for the job and doing so with confidence and trust.
LinkedIn users: What are your initial impressions of LinkedIn ProFinder?