Under the Microscope: LinkedIn Launches a Professional Services Marketplace

LinkedIn’s new service called Marketplaces will allow 740 million users to find, connect with, and book freelancers. Taking on numerous platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Business Talent Group, The Second Shift, Communo, and many more, this Microsoft-owned service fulfills a growing need for white-collar work connection. 

The announcement of their new endeavor raises many questions: Will LinkedIn accelerate the gig economy’s rise for knowledge work? Will their new services pose a threat to staffing agencies? David Francis, Head of Research at Talent Tech Labs, weighs in as we dissect their latest service. 

@TalentTechLabs David Francis discusses @LinkedIn’s newest service, Marketplaces, in their latest blog: Click To Tweet

What Is LinkedIn Marketplaces?

As one of the largest professional networking platforms, LinkedIn is the perfect place for a platform like Marketplaces. The primary goal is to tap into a small but growing market for websites that connect primarily white-collar professionals, such as app developers and accountants, with businesses or individuals who want their services. Contract and freelance work have seen significant spikes due to Covid-19, with individuals finding new ways to earn an income without having to leave their homes.

“The news is not too surprising given LinkedIn had already been working on a marketplace product with Profinder, and for a company whose goal is to be the world’s talent graph, it’s probably pretty important to serve this segment of the workforce. Offering independent professionals a path to companies looking to hire is a natural extension of their platform, and there seems to be demand for it.”

-David Francis, Head of Research at Talent Tech Labs

Marketplaces Timeline

The official launch of LinkedIn’s Marektplaces is slated for this September. While the announcement is certainly exciting, there is still discussion about the service’s development and depth.

“I don’t think the service will be competitive with staffing unless Linkedin starts employing the folks that find work through the service. The more likely scenario is staffing companies themselves end up leveraging the product to find workers amenable to project-based/temporary work.”

David Francis, Head of Research at Talent Tech Labs

The executives at Microsoft are still developing the feature and have discussed adding features to secure payment. Currently, Microsoft is developing a digital wallet for users to conveniently and securely store money. An extension of this feature under consideration includes allowing future customers on LinkedIn’s Marketplaces to make payments for a freelancer’s service using a digital wallet tool.

@LinkedIn announced their newest service, Marketplaces. Join @TalentTechLabs and TTL Head of Research, David Francis, for a discussion on the impact of this announcement: Click To Tweet

How Will This Affect the Industry?

LinkedIn Marketplaces’ look and feel will be similar to Fivver, allowing customers to shop around for services and compare rates. It will be exciting to see whether the new Marketplaces service will gain traction among users.

“I question whether they’ll be able to compete toe to toe with specialized providers, with agencies already having a large hiring segment on platforms like Upwork. In any case, I think Linkedin’s new offering is a bullish sign for the industry as a whole, a validation of the model, and I’m excited to see what they bring to market.”

David Francis, Head of Research at Talent Tech Labs

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