LinkedIn ProFinder Expands Nationwide to Help You Hire Freelancers
August 24, 2016
The freelance economy is on the rise. In fact, the number of freelancers on LinkedIn has grown by nearly 50% in just the past five years. As the workforce evolves, we, too, are evolving to ensure we’re creating opportunity for the expanding sector of professionals looking for independent, project-based work in place of the typical 9 to 5 profession.
Last October, we began piloting a brand new platform in support of this very endeavor and today, we’re excited to announce its nationwide availability. Introducing LinkedIn ProFinder, a LinkedIn marketplace that connects consumers and small businesses looking for professional services - think Design, Writing and Editing, Accounting, Real Estate, Career Coaching - with top quality freelance professionals best suited for the job.
Whether you’re looking for someone to design your custom wedding invitations, file your personal taxes, or write copy for your small business website, LinkedIn ProFinder makes it easier for you to hire the right freelancer for the job by leveraging the power of our trusted LinkedIn network. 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. Did you know, for example, that the South is a burgeoning region for freelance talent? Here are a just a few of the insights we uncovered:
Set your sights on the South. When looking at net growth and decline in freelancers by state, the Southern states of Florida and Texas were two of the three states showing the most freelancer growth in the country. Colorado was the other top contender.
The Coasts take the cake. When ranking states/districts with the highest freelance population overall, the East and West Coasts topped the list.
Honing in on healthcare. Healthcare and pharmaceutical industries have seen more than 50% growth in freelance workers over the past five years compared to 21% growth for non-freelance workers.
The gig economy is a growing and influential part of the modern workforce and we aim to provide the same type of value for these independent workers as those in more traditional 9 to 5 professions. On the other side of the coin, we strive to extend this value to our members looking to hire these types of white-collar freelance professionals. If you have a home improvement or repair project, there are a number of established on-demand marketplaces available for those needs. But what if you’re looking to buy your first home? Or you’re in need of some professional coaching as you navigate your next career move? Finding the right person for these types of professional services can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. With LinkedIn ProFinder, we aim to do the heavy lifting to quickly and easily connect you with the best-suited and most qualified professional freelancers for the job.
Ready to get started? Head to https://www.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.
ProFinder is available in the US only for now. We look forward to hearing your feedback and continuing to improve the experience to help you find the best freelance hires for your projects. For more insights and how-to’s from our ProFinder team, be sure to checkout our ProFinder blog.
*The results of this analysis represent the world seen through the lens of LinkedIn data. As such, it is influenced by how members choose to use the site, which can vary based on professional, social, and regional culture, as well as overall site availability and accessibility. These variances were not accounted for in the analysis. The sample is comprised of LinkedIn members identified as freelance professionals based on profile headline, summary, title and/or current position.
For the freelancer migration and growth/decline per state analyses, data was collected from Aug 2015 to Aug 2016 and movement was determined by members’ location change, as LinkedIn membership is correlated with actual population. The analysis only considered members who had an active profile with a valid location as of Aug 2015.
Freelance industry 5 year growth was determined from an analysis of Jan 2011 and Jan 2016 freelancer profiles, separately. The percentage of increase for each industry group was then calculated via the industry specifications in the members’ profiles.