Contract opportunities, anyone? Predicting who is open to work — and who is hiring

I’m excited. Initially, LinkedIn’s vision was to provide economic opportunity for every professional in the world. It’s evolved to providing economic opportunity for every member in the global workforce.

As manager of LinkedIn’s global contingent workforce program, I deal with contingent workforce folks — contractors. Gig economy workers. Professional and skilled. Long-term and short. I know how difficult it can be for companies to find and engage this talent pool.

Contractors have their own set of challenges, especially those who don’t work through staffing agencies. Whether they are active or passive job seekers, this group can be challenging to identify and may find it tough being recognized or noticed by hiring or program managers.

LinkedIn has added several features to help us further actualize our vision. Take our Economic Graph, which allows us to see where gaps exist between skill sets and opportunities around the globe. We’ve now added the ability to see what type of employment members are seeking and we can start to see the waves of where contracting markets are growing stagnant or becoming potential hot spots. We’ll be able to see when, where and which skills shift from — or augment — regular employment to contracting and vice versa.

PREMIUM CONTENT: The Global Direct Hire Market — 2017 update

So what does all this mean to the workforce solutions ecosystem? The war for talent rages. With the ability to understand who is open to contract opportunities, companies — including staffing agencies — can tap new pools of talent more effectively.

Visibility. LinkedIn has created an inferred algorithm that enables us to predict who might be open to contract opportunities based on their profiles. LinkedIn will show staffing recruiters profiles of likely contractors, PLUS those who indicated they are open to new opportunities, based on your provided skill set search.

This grants increased visibility into the contracting world and is a huge time saver for recruiters. Staffing recruiters will be able to see clearly who may be interested in their client’s short- and long-term contract assignments and where to best send their InMails. With more tailored opportunities coming to members, results show that they are twice as likely to respond and 40% respond within 24 hours!

Clarity. LinkedIn users also are able note the type of work arrangements they are willing to consider: full-time, part-time, volunteer or contract opportunities. Contractors can identify themselves and specify their preferred industries. They are able to signal staffing recruiters to ‘come find me’ and are required to revalidate their interest every 90 days so recruiters know it’s a current desire.

With the Contractor flag and inferred algorithm, users can also tell which companies are hiring contractors with specific skill sets, in various locations and at what company size. “Search Insights” identifies companies that current contractors are working at, and have worked at in the past, and ranks them based on contractor hiring. This helps account managers and those in business development roles identify potential companies to focus their business development efforts on.

Showcase Expertise. Staffing suppliers will be able to demonstrate current market opportunities or difficulties to their clients. Those who are able to share and speak knowledgably about recruiting market analysis have a greater chance of being deemed indispensable to their clients — especially among a crowded and competitive playing field.

LinkedIn’s members have the ability to choose, find and be served with opportunities that match their desired work lifestyle. Our clients can utilize their time efficiently and turn connections into staffing wins. Everyone wins.

MORE: The Best Tools for Smart but Busy Recruiters

Erika Novak

Erika Novak
Erika Novak (Halverson) is senior manager of global contingent workforce solutions and strategies at LinkedIn.

Erika Novak

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