Have you checked out the newest innovation at LinkedIn? It’s called Profinder. This is a simple, but sophisticated offering from the top professional social media option on the ‘Net. If you offer a product or service, this new tool can match you up with prospects needing your professional specialty.
What Is ProFinder?
This platform allows LinkedIn members to post their need for services to connect with other LinkedIn member professionals that offer similar assistance. If a project appeals to you, this tool permits you to respond in the affirmative with a brief message and proposal.
You can tailor your LinkedIn profile to emphasize your talent, skills, and willingness to provide assistance. Your brief response to prospective clients also gives you the opportunity to quote your expected fee for your help to these fellow members.
How Does It Work?
As noted, it’s simple, but effective. The following summarizes how LinkedIn’s ProFinder works.
- LinkedIn members post projects for which they need professional help.
- ProFinder professionals (also LinkedIn members) respond with their interest.
- Job poster evaluates the ProFinder profile.
- When the project poster is interested in the ProFinder professional, he/she will send a notification of their interest level or request an interview or proposal.
- ProFinder then attempts to obtain agreement on the project parameters, deadlines, and/or compensation offered.
As you can see, it is simple. Those posted projects that don’t interest you can be ignored; you need not respond.
Will It Work?
LinkedIn has a proud history for professionals – and recruiters. Since its 2003 launch, LinkedIn has attracted over 400,000,000 (yes, 400 million) users. Top employment recruiters now use LinkedIn as a primary tool to evaluate candidates for positions.
While ProFinder has positive initial positive reviews on their initial Beta rollout in the San Francisco local market, some experts have questions about its long-term viability. LinkedIn is strong and established.
Among the expert observer questions are the following.
- Can LinkedIn depend on its members to list lucrative projects for other member professional freelancers?
- Will LinkedIn seller-members respond positively to the projects offered?
- Will job posters list and give preference to fellow member professionals?
- Can LinkedIn’s financial strength overwhelm the competition (other professional job boards)?
At first glance, this is a natural progression of LinkedIn’s mission, e.g., to connect professionals with each other for mutual benefit. Some experts wish LinkedIn had offered this opportunity sooner, avoiding the possibility of missing the market.
ProFinder has the ability to make a significant impact on the connection of companies with top freelancers ready to help. With millions of executives, freelancers and talented professionals who are LinkedIn members, companies can find freelancers who will perform their ‘magic’ for clients.
ProFinder is easy for members to post projects and equally easy for freelancers to respond to projects that fuel their interest. The success of LinkedIn’s venture will be sealed over time, based on the attraction for company members to post interesting projects and the response level of professional freelance members to the available projects.
Don’t forget the ‘money’ component. Freelancers must become enamored with the compensation offered for displaying their specialties.
This new platform was successful in its Beta rollout in San Francisco. LinkedIn hopes it will enjoy similar success around the rest of the US – and the globe. Time will tell. Stay tuned.