What unbundling of LinkedIn tells us about the future of work.

The world’s largest professional LinkedIn, now in its 16th year, feels like the end of an era. 

One that’s corporate, hierarchical, spammy and not too dissimilar to college career fairs, paid networking groups and jobs “too good to be true” we receive from recruiting firms and staffing agencies. 

But today, we’re seeing an “unbundling of LinkedIn” with a whole ecosystem of programs, services and technologies to better serve the 500 million+ professionals across different geographies, sectors, interests.

Why LinkedIn represents the end of an era

The core components of the platform reflect the priorities of its shareholders: ¾ of revenue comes from employers and professional recruiters. 

What’s broke & new opportunities to replace it: 

Broke. The resume: constantly evolving set of keywords. A LinkedIn resume reflects the things you’ve done, yet fails to reflect your true potential such as your grit, ability to collaborate with others and professional skills you’re developing on evening and weekends.

New opportunities include: 

Professional networks with shared interests and emphasis on peer education: Dev.to for developers, Girlboss for female business owners.  Where people want to hang out on evenings and weekends. 

Professional networks with peer reviews and recommendations: TrustedFor for suggesting in-network experts for specific projects.  Where shout-outs are fun and feels more like a social network than writing performance reviews.  

Labor marketplaces where individuals can build their own services business with public profiles and reviews from happy customers. Where your hobbies and side projects can turn into meaningful extra cash. 

Broke. The promised land that lives behind a paywall. Want to connect with like-minded people, apply for jobs or find better work? It’ll cost you $29.99/month. 

A free plan on LinkedIn offers only the ability to see the last 5 people who have viewed your profile.

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New opportunities include: 

Come for the tool, stay for the network: SaaS tools will deliver utility and community by creating profiles and the ability to open-source designs, templates and projects that users share and continue to use from one job to the next. 

As tools invest in brand and community, LTV will shift from employer-focused to user-focused, people will take their favorite tools to their next project or company.

Figma Community: The ability to “Publish publicly” has been integrated into the core workflow and requires two clicks from the user. 

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Webflow Community: The ability to share your work, build an audience and allow users to clone your work.

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Broke. The serendipitous InMail with a catch: messages via InMail is a mix of business services and highly curated jobs from recruiters and employment agencies. What’s the catch? To apply to these roles requires another subscription on Hired.com, or other career platforms with similar hoops to jump through before you’re able to apply for a job or talk to a real person.

As communities become more focused on connecting with peers, hiring managers will play a larger role in finding and closing top candidates.

Speaking at a conference is no longer enough, candidates want to understand a manager’s values, leadership principles and career trajectory. 

New opportunities:

Mentorship platforms: two-sided marketplaces where high potential talent learn from leaders from other companies.

Plato HQ: a community of product and engineering leaders at top tech companies with over 460+ mentors on the platform.

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Managed marketplaces: high-touch platforms that thoroughly vet talent and deliver a well curated candidate pool.

Tend: a managed marketplace for hiring bartenders and hospitality workers for high-end venues and events.

In addition to thoroughly vetting candidates, Tend also provides liquor license and takes on liability to deliver a turnkey experience for startups, DTC stores, art galleries and businesses where experience matters most.

Tend customers include WeWork, Peerspace and events-heavy businesses.

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Tenders have high-end experience from luxury hotels, notable restaurant groups and trusted names in the industry.

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