Given the success of LinkedIn, it’s surprising that no one came up with a business model like Jobcase sooner. It’s one of those concepts that makes you kick yourself for not thinking of it yourself.

LinkedIn defines itself as “the world’s largest professional network” and has been remarkably successful in attracting more than 660 million users in more than 200 countries. But the business description lays bare the limits of the model: It is a community for professional workers, leaving millions of blue-collar workers out in the cold.

This is where Jobcase steps in. Described as a LinkedIn for people without college degrees (or LinkedIn for people who don’t use LinkedIn!), the company has attracted considerable investor interest and has raised $118.5 million in equity capital since February 2018.

It now has 106 million registered users across the US and has plans to launch globally within the next 18 months. Jobcase members can join company hubs representing major employer brands to publish posts, respond with comments to others’ contributions, and follow individual users. Like LinkedIn, Jobcase members can upload their work histories and endorse others with “praises.”

In March, the US labor force comprised 42.5% of people with bachelor’s, master’s, professional and doctoral degrees, leaving a much larger proportion (57.5%) without, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And, given the size of the blue-collar workforce outside the US, especially in developing economies, Jobcase’s addressable global market is much larger than that of LinkedIn.

Employers and staffing firms are well aware that skills shortages are not only an issue in more highly skilled roles. In February, The Conference Board released a study claiming that 85% of companies in “mostly blue-collar industries” reported recruiting difficulty compared to 64% of companies in “mostly white-collar industries” and that these shortages will continue until at least 2030 — a long-term talent problem so significant that the Covid-19 unemployment crisis will be but a temporary hiccup.

And, speaking of Covid-19, at the beginning of April, Jobcase launched a virtual hiring solution that provides employers with a set of tools to quickly and efficiently bring candidates through the hiring process. There are millions of people suddenly laid off or furloughed. “Things have happened so quickly that many of these folks are still processing, not aware of what jobs are available, or have never had to work remotely before,” says Fred Goff, founder and CEO of Jobcase.

Meanwhile, many employers in necessary services are overwhelmed and need help — healthcare, logistics and warehousing, supply chains, customer service, grocery, delivery, etc. “Frankly, this is why Jobcase exists,” Goff continues. “Our community is built to empower all workers and the employers they support. So, along with surfacing more work-from-home jobs, we want Jobcase’s virtual hiring event product to help everyone during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond.”

The Buzz

The playbook for Jobcase couldn’t be more straightforward. The company can see what works and doesn’t work for LinkedIn and can tweak the model to target an untapped category of workers.