• Saurabh Sharma

How LinkedIn can become more user centric

Updated: May 23

COVID-19 pandemic has created a global health and economic crisis. Unemployment numbers look grim. Over 38 million people (over 23% of the civilian US labor force) have filed for unemployment. International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that the total number of unemployed in the US could rise to as high as 47 million.


Below is one example of how a large online platform can become more user centric in these extreme times. There are many other, and bigger global platforms that can also explore similar opportunities and help people.


What can LinkedIn do?

LinkedIn can help its 630 million registered users worldwide by making it easier for them to monetize their skills, expertise, and ideas. This can be done by:


1. Helping users rent their time

2. Helping users get investors


These two initiatives wouldn't just help people, but also catapult LinkedIn to the position of the world’s largest marketplace for talent and private equity. It will allow LinkedIn to be much more than an advertising platform for recruiters.

How can they do this?

It requires a mindset shift on two levels:

ONE: From job-driven to skill-driven

TWO: From a job seeker to a job creator



ONE

From job-driven to skill-driven


By thinking this way, LinkedIn can help users in renting their time through the platform.


Reimagine the profile page and consider a "Services" tab


Reimagine the profile page and consider a "Reviews" tab




IMPORTANT


[A]

Many skills and professions are compatible with the consulting model. Also, many people readily think in terms of “renting their time,” but not everyone is like this. Thus, there's also an opportunity for LinkedIn to coach and guide professionals, assist them in developing a new mindset, and help them in monetizing their skills.


[B]

Pricing also needs deeper analysis. For example, to ensure that both the young and the more established professionals have the same opportunity, we might want to consider a basic pricing tier that keeps everyone at par. This will give everyone on the platform a fair chance to succeed.

Needless to mention that these features will need to be tested iteratively and will need to be refined continuously after the first release.



TWO

From a job seeker to a job creator

LinkedIn can help users in raising capital for their ideas. Entrepreneurship can have a multiplicative effect because an investment in one business or non-profit can benefit many.


Consider a "Project Funding" view


Consider a "Project Reviews" view


What's in it for the society?

  1. Overcoming the ongoing job crisis: Professionals who are going through a job crisis, or have always wanted to work for themselves, will now be able to access a network of hundreds of millions of people, who are looking for help from people with skills and expertise.

  2. Heralding a new era of entrepreneurship: Professionals and entrepreneurs who have technologies, patents, business ideas, or maybe even a team, will now be able to connect with potential investors of all sizes. This will help people in getting their business off the ground and start a new era of entrepreneurship and investment at a global scale.

  3. Kindling a new mindset: Support people by helping them free themselves from the "employee mindset." Help them reconsider their assumptions and look at themselves as professionals with skills and ideas that can be monetized.


What’s in it for LinkedIn?

Unlock new revenue streams through paid services. For instance:

  • Verification Fee: Vetting users and checking their credentials for education, professional experience and quality of network. Once users have their credentials checked by LinkedIn and endorsed by other highly skilled users on the platform, their profile can be labeled as “LinkedIn Verified” or they can be showcased as “Trusted Members.”

  • Transaction Fee: LinkedIn can also charge a fee or keep a percent of every skills-based transaction that happens on the platform. Users will have incentive to enter into a transaction via LinkedIn, as opposed to taking the conversation offline, because the platform gives them a list of pre-verified and skilled professionals who they can transact with.

By being a buffer between clients and service providers, LinkedIn will enable professionals across the globe to trust each other and collaborate at scale.

These are just some of the possibilities. There are many other ways for large platforms to help their users globally.

Created in partnership with Rodney Johnson with feedback from Diana Hubbard


Disclaimer: All opinions and ideas are personal. They don’t represent opinions or policies of my present or past employers. Rights to all the logos, designs and registered trademarks rest with their respective owners. No ownership is claimed.


Photo credits: Andrea Piacquadio, Italo Melo, Mwabonje, Christina Morillo, Tim Mossholder

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