LinkedIn has recently announced that it has expanded its Pro Finder service to even more freelancers and other small business professionals. This will no doubt help make it easier for users to connect with service providers and help fill open projects and opportunities faster than before. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect for LinkedIn.
Ever since the launch of Angie’s List (www.angieslist.com), people have been able to search for and find quality individuals to complete tasks and projects. Now, with the creation of companies like fiverr (www.fiverr.com) taking care of low end projects to organizations such as UpWork (www.upwork.com) and Guru (www.guru.com), users can be put in touch with high quality resources either fresh from top notch graduate schools, or on break from Big Four consulting firms. Additionally, places such as WeWork (www.wework.com) and Workbar (www.workbar.com) make it easy for freelancers or self-employed professionals to find available business space and meeting areas.
What’s always been missing from these services is the ability to tie in recommendations (or complaints) for workers with your professional and personal network. LinkedIn Pro Finder can finally bridge that gap. Once an employer recommends a freelancer, that recommendation currently is visible to all other LinkedIn users viewing that profile. But let’s take it a step further. If I’m looking on Pro Finder for a freelancer with specific skills, it would be extremely helpful to prioritize results that have been recommended by connections. That saves time and helps reinforce the value of my LinkedIn network. For example, if I’m looking for someone that writes quality API documentation, I can go two routes…I can ask my professional colleagues for recommendations and hope they get back to me, or I can use one of many freelancer sites to search for someone with the right qualifications and sift through all the recommendations from people I don’t know. With LinkedIn Pro Finder, I should be able to do both at the same time. Let’s hope LinkedIn develops that functionality soon!
If LinkedIn developed this capability, Lauren from the above image becomes instantly more credible as a freelancer for me because she’s got recommendations from my colleagues. Now that’s helpful!
Of course, here at Engageware we can think of other ways to save time with LinkedIn Pro Finder. Regardless of who an employer is trying to hire, whether it’s short term or permanent, there is always the drudgery and back and forth with setting up a meeting time for an interview or discussion. And unless you’ve got nothing better to do than sit and monitor your inbox all day, getting an appointment quickly is an important task if you’re either looking to be hired, or performing the hiring. We’ve all been in situations where the email exchange goes something like this:
- 12:00p – Let’s connect. How does 2pm look? Or I could do 4?
- 12:35p – 2pm is tough. Let’s do 4.
- 1:50p – Sorry, but 4pm is no longer good. Will have to wait until tomorrow.
- 2:03p – I’m out tomorrow, but free now? Can you still do 2?
- 5:04p – Tomorrow at 3 is open.
Only Engageware has the online scheduling tools through our Perfect Scheduling and Dynamic Availability features to make it easy for people to connect and create conversations that drive business. It’s simple and easy to use and best of all, employers and freelancers alike could easily use it within LinkedIn Pro Finder. If you’re hiring, create a link and embed it within your replies to qualified candidates. Let them choose a time to talk to you that is guaranteed to be available.
If you’re a free-lancer, embed a link in your profile so that interested employers can get on your calendar easily and quickly within a couple of seconds instead of several email exchanges.
The time is right for capitalizing on the growth in the freelancing and independent contractor market. With tools from LinkedIn and Engageware, users can find and meet with well qualified candidates easily and perfectly!