LinkedIn has created a freelance marketplace. Launched on Wednesday, “LinkedIn ProFinder” asks employers to submit contract jobs in categories such as design, writing, or financial services and promises to send them up to five free quotes from LinkedIn users in response.
Connecting freelancers to work has become a big business for other companies. Thumbtack, a company that uses a similar match-making strategy by asking workers to submit quotes for jobs from wedding planning to accounting to home repair, charges workers a fee each time they bid on a job. Last year, its investors valued the company at $1.3 billion. Upwork, which is better known for the professional services that LinkedIn seems to be targeting—categories on its homepage include design, writing, and legal work—handles more than $1 billion annually in freelance work. Freelancers pay between 5% and 20% of every paycheck to the site.