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LinkedIn ProFinder Is Looking Out for Local Talent Like You

LinkedIn ProFinder Is Looking Out for Local Talent Like You - blog post image
  • Gregg Christofferson
  • March 03, 2017
  • Comment(s) | 2
  • Posted 3 years ago

The word is out! There is a new freelancer for hire site to compete with the very celebrated and honored Fiverr and Upwork. This service is brought to you by a social network website you might have heard about, LinkedIn, and its hitting the San Francisco freelancer market like a storm.

How Did LinkedIn Profinder Start?

No, it isn’t Beatlemania, but something in the ball park of strong interest for small local businesses in the San Francisco area. LinkedIn started their ambitious new venture small with a pilot program to encourage members to connect with independent contractors and freelancers. Needless to say, they struck oil. This is how LinkedIn’s latest product, LinkedIn ProFinder was born. You could say it’s still in its infancy compared to the major league freelancer sites in the marketplace, but ProFinder is leaving a walloping imprint on how freelancers and contractors connect.

Who Can Use LinkedIn Profinder?

LinkedIn ProFinder is open to everyone in the U.S. It has its own marketplace where consumers and businesses connect with those proposing professional services such as design, writing and editing, accounting, real estate, and career coaching. LinkedIn’s group product manager, Vaibhav Goel, realized that the freelance economy is accelerating. Statistically, the number of freelancers on LinkedIn has grown to 50 percent in just a short span of 5 years. There’s no denying that the way people work is changing and LinkedIn is evolving to create opportunities for an increasing sector of professionals seeking for independent, project-based work, instead of your conventional 9 to 5 workday.

How Does LinkedIn ProFinder Work?

It’s very simple and effortless. A business owner or manager visits the ProFinder website and replies to the “What service do you need?” query that can be found on the home page. Choose from any of the services relevant to your needs such as photography, content writing, legal and an array of many more. Once that has taken effect, ProFinder guides the user straight into several questions that help evaluate the particulars of the inquiry. The user clicks on the “Get Free Proposals” button to finish the request. Then ProFinder goes off to find up to five responses from local freelancers within 24 hours of the request.

What’s the cost for LinkedIn Profinder?

No, money doesn’t grow on trees. Obvious, “sigh” yeah we know. It’s probably also safe to say that if LinkedIn went through all this trouble to create a service, they want to reap some rewards too. Absolutely! However, here’s the deal. ProFinder is free for anyone looking to post a project and hire freelancers. This works out great! Since it encourages a lot of small business especially in the San Francisco area, which is the leading city in the U.S. for requests of proposals on ProFinder. If you are a freelancer, make a pitch of up to ten proposals at no fee. However, after that you have to set your sights up high and go for the LinkedIn Premium Business Plus subscription. This is a $48 per month plan, which allows you to carry on submitting proposals.

Why is LinkedIn Profinder More Profitable?

A $48 per month fee might sound a little cheeky, but if you compare it to other freelancer websites using ProFinder leaves you better off. Why? Well, let’s do the math. Upwork takes a fee of 20% for the first $500 billed with the client. Then they have a 10% commission for lifetime billings with the client between $500.01 and $10,000. While Fiverr charges $5 for each gig, hence the name. Out of that $5, they take their $1 cut and then you have to wait two weeks after the completed job to withdraw the money earned. Fiverr’s preferred payment solution is PayPal, so you know they want their piece of the pie too. There goes another 2.9% plus $0.30. After taking out Fiverr and PayPal fees, you are left with $3.58. Pretty pathetic, right? While with ProFinder you don’t have all those hidden costs, it’s a once a month fee and you can work out a payment solution with the client that suits you.

Speaking from my own experience, I just recently tried it out for kicks and managed to score two new clients within two months using ProFinder and it paid off. I earned $2,000 from these two jobs within this period, which more than covered the $48 per month subscription. Not to mention once you begin gaining a reputation on ProFinder clients start to reuse you for different projects, might even recommend you to a friend or close business associate of theirs. This would eliminate the need of shelling out the subscription fee altogether. Profinder seemed to work very well for me and now that I'm running my own digital agency, I have even started using Profinder to find my own freelancers.  Sure, you can hire a cheap freelancer anywhere else in the world on sites like Upwork and Fiverr, and for certain use cases, especially for a small business owner or start-up founder trying to grow and scale their business, this is an ideal solution. But there are certain things you are going to need a local freelancer for, like project management, videography, photography or other projects you prefer to work with someone in person and for these cases, Linkedin ProFinder is ideal.  And even if your project does not require a local freelancer, many business owners like the peace of mind knowing their freelancer is close by and accessible if needed. Other plus to using ProFinder freelancers is that the premium subscribers also get access to LinkedIn Learning. And since you can check out your freelancers profile on LinkedIn, you can quickly see if they are keeping up on there education and latest trends in the industry.

What’s The New Human Capital Economy?

No, ProFinder didn’t invent it, but they are sure taking advantage of it. LinkedIn was mainly a place for white collar business professionals to network and grow their careers. However, ProFinder is catering to the growing shift to a “gig economy”. A “gig economy” refers to a job seeker who is a free agent and the employer to employee relationship is nothing more than a business transaction. Everybody who’s anybody wants to be in control of their own job path, no one reads job boards anymore and meaningful employer-employee relationships are done through marketing. The growing amount of working class, who find it difficult to make ends meet, even though they work a full-time job is growing at an alarming rate. Many households have to take on additional work apart from their day job. Freelance work helps to cope with this increasing desire to make a little money on the side for overwhelming expenses.

How Small Businesses Can Benefit from The New Human Capital Economy?

Small businesses in the San Francisco area have got this down to a ‘T’. They no longer waste their time and money posting jobs or trying to gain access to resumes on employment agency’s databases. Alternatively, they use a cutting-edge approach to acquire new local talent. They focus on making their business a positive place to work for. They consider the best ways to make it a place people want to stay and work at. Nowadays, it’s all about retention hiring and avoiding employee burnout. Why? Hiring is a nuisance to deal with. But we are dealing with a generation where job hopping is no longer a stigma and workers want to be in control of their own careers. ProFinder helps to breakdown a person’s proficiencies so all of their skill-sets are discovered. Businesses can take full advantage of their multi-talented hired hand, and in turn, this makes the freelancer feel more appreciated for their knowledge and ultimately job satisfied. The money a small business saves on hiring, could be wisely spent on giving their new found star freelancer a much deserved bonus. Now who can leave a job like that?

So kiss hierarchy and your Dolly Parton ‘Nine to Five’ song lyrics goodbye, because it looks like that ship has sailed. Certainly LinkedIn hasn’t reinvented the wheel with ProFinder, but they are answering to a trend that is calling out more rambunctious than ever before. The need to freelance to fulfill your own career goals, or to supplement a full-time job for economic reasons currently exists. All LinkedIn did was extend its functionality; and freelancers and business owners are cool with that.

COMMENT (2)

    • Anonymous
    • 06-Mar-2017 06:43 AM

    Awesome Gregg, well written and it's nice to hear your view of what we are doing! It's exactly in line with our vision of continuing to close all gaps in the workforce, and connecting out members to opportunity.

    • Carla Deter
    • 06-Mar-2017 07:27 AM

    I agree with Daniel - very well written. As a LinkedIn ProFinder professional as well the service has propelled my business in the past 6 months greatly. Thanks for sharing this.

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