LinkedIn announced immediate availability of a set of company insight analytics to its premium products including Sales Navigator, Business Plus, and Talent Solutions. The new reports provide company employment intelligence from the LinkedIn database which competing sales intelligence vendors would be hard pressed to replicate.
Product leader and strategist Megan Kamil blogged, “The use cases for these insights are limitless. From the market research associate gathering relevant information on key market and competitive landscapes to the investment professional trying to uncover the next ‘hot’ company, this information will be valuable to any business professional.”
The new Total Employee count provides a two-year graph of LinkedIn employment trends. The trend data can be quite useful for evaluating a company’s recent trajectory. LinkedIn also provides the average tenure. Low tenure needs to be interpreted carefully as it could be a sign of either rapid growth or an unhappy workforce. Had they also included an employee churn rate this issue would be clarified.
While employee counts are available in other services, the LinkedIn data is likely to be more accurate for companies with a high percentage of professionals. Firms with a high percentage of blue collar, seasonal, or part-time workers are more likely to be undercounted. Be aware, though, that larger companies often appear as multiple companies (e.g. overseas subs, major divisions, or acquired companies) in LinkedIn, so they could also be subject to an undercount.
Also quite useful is employment by job function as it allows sales reps and analysts to evaluate where the bulk of employment is within an organization and how it is shifting. This information is particularly valuable at startups as it provides an indicator of product maturity. For example, a firm that is engineering focused with few sales and marketing positions may be pre-revenue.
However, if sales and marketing functions spiked last quarter, the firm may be readying a product launch. Such a shift can be detected in the New Hires report.
The other two new reports are Notable Alumni and Total Job Openings. Alumni may be useful for tracking former execs at a long-standing client to their new place of employment. Such tracking may find new startups not on a sales reps’ radar along with potential connections or talking points.
Total Job openings are displayed by month and broken out by function and seniority.
LinkedIn is beginning to leverage its 433 million profiles to provide unique insights for its premium services. A logical next step for them to take would be predictive modeling based upon their executive data. For example, an analysis of the hiring ramp at retail and logistics companies in November provides insights into how optimistic the industry is about the upcoming holiday season. Similarly, unannounced layoffs at companies just before the quarter ends might be picked up well before public companies announce their earnings. As LinkedIn also has a large dataset of hiring data, the firm could also begin providing insights on the open positions at companies. Unfortunately, the Job Openings report does not link to position details or allow for prior period analysis.
“This is just the beginning of the deeper, more advanced company insights we aim to deliver as part of our Premium experience on LinkedIn,” said Kamil.
If Microsoft is to obtain a strong ROI on its pending LinkedIn acquisition, it needs LinkedIn to more broadly develop analytics and tools which leverage the unique LinkedIn crowdsourced dataset. Imagine the value to sales and risk departments (e.g. credit, purchasing) of providing hiring trends over time and by position within Microsoft Dynamics.
One firm that is already providing hiring data analytics in their sales service is CB Insights for Sales which uses the Indeed hiring database for its reports. Users see a report similar to the LinkedIn Total Job Openings report, can view the open positions by function and level for current and prior periods, and drill down to both open and closed positions. Thus, a sales rep could view the required skillset for the new VP of Product or CMO to better understand her mandate.