LinkedIn has quietly launched ProFinder, it's online talent marketplace.
It was first released in last fall, but at the time it was a bit unclear how serious LinkedIn was about ProFinder. That's no longer the case.
ProFinder, not surprisingly, is targeting the same market as Upwork, Freelancer.com and the other online talent marketplaces that connect freelance talent with businesses.
Linkedin's post The Gig Economy is Seeing Double makes this very clear. So does their website. The chart below from the ProFinder site shows the types of talent you can find on their site.
If you wander over to Upwork's site, you'll see pretty much the same list.
It makes perfectly good sense for LinkedIn to target this market given that they're the main social networking site for white collar professionals.
What's been a bit surprising is that it's taken them so long to do this.
We suspect it has to do with LinkedIn's main source of revenue - helping recruiters and companies hire full-time employees. Providing direct access to contingent workers may have been seen as potentially competitive with their customers.
But as their chart below shows, the number of freelancers on LinkedIn's site has grown substantially over the past 5 years. It's simply become too big a business to ignore.
LinkedIn's entry into this market is another clear signal of the growth of the gig economy and the increasing role contingent talent is playing.