What’s the Persona of Your Company? Examining the LinkedIn Company Directory

Combining both third party plus member data, LinkedIn can reveal a persona –and social capital– of our companies

LinkedIn announces it’s ‘company’ pages (your company is likely there) that displays both status updates of content created by members, as well as pulling in third party data about companies in this unique mashup. The center column displays people in your network, new hires, promotions, and the most viewed profiles.

While I see this as a minor new feature release, it could pave the way to some interesting models on how the intranet is now in public. There are plenty of opportunities to compare across companies, to help both current management of companies understand their workforce, new employees making decisions on which company they want to work at, and ‘outbound’ professionals to scope out prospects.

The sample size
First, remember that the data is only of those who are participating on LinkedIn, don’t assume it’s your entire workforce. What’s interesting is that for many employees, this is the first time they’ve ever been able to see the majority of job titles on LinkedIn, tenure, and other data that is typically held tight (or non-existent) by HR.

Retention Rate (at tech companies)
People leaving too soon can quickly add up to major costs. It’s safe to say that those that are active on LinkedIn are highly networked, have high social connections, and are more likely to be mobile

Regarding tenure, or really, ‘retention rate’ of the employees I found the following interesting

Hitachi, 3.5 years
Oracle 3 years
IBM 3 years
Microsoft 2.5 years
Yahoo 2 years
Apple 2 years
Google, 1.5 years
Facebook, 1 year

Update: Louis Gray has taken this to another level, I planned on doing this, but didn’t have the time, great job.

Roles and Education
It was interesting (yet not surprising) to confirm that a majority of Facebook’s employees on LinkedIn were engineers: 26% and 10% are from Stanford, and 6% from Berkeley, with a medium age of a mere 27.

At Google, which prides itself in it’s marketing prowess also has 23% SW engineers, with a medium ripe age of 29

Expand on this Platform: My Wishlist
Some interesting features I’d like to see from this company directory could include:

  • Creating job satisfaction ratings for previous and current jobs (help determine who likes to work where)
  • How connected is the average company? A more connected company is likely to have more relationships, clients, and partners
  • Creating a company directory, at least at the executive level (consumer created org charts)
  • Show which one of the employees is the most connected (interesting for sales and recruiters)
  • Average years of working experience per employee per company (determine maturity or youth of company)
  • What’s the average connections per employee per company (help determine social capital)
  • Industry comparisons between highest educated, longest tenure, etc.
  • Create a heat map that shows where employees are located
  • Which companies hired the most per college rate (example: Stanford students has strong affinity to Facebook, etc)
  • There’s an opportunity here for this platform to expand and offer more data about a companies persona, and how it relates to the rest of the market. I look forward to future iterations and improvements.

    Update: thanks Brian Keith for the typo alert

    • http://www.bsbnyc.net Ben Bloom

      Probably the consumer org chart would be good to mix with Cogmap (www.cogmap.com) which is like a wiki for org charts.

    • http://www.mattbrowne.com Matt Browne

      Very interesting data analysis. I can see how this might raise some privacy concerns from some businesses. Though the information was always accessible, it wasn’t aggregated or centralized, and as a result, most people didn’t care.

      LinkedIn should consider a feature similar to Facebook where you can remove certain news events from your public time-line.

      I don’t think LinkedIn wants to create an environment where companies have to go around the system to recruit the most contested applicants.

    • http://kawika.blogs.com Kawika Holbrook

      Perhaps I’m missing it, but another feature would be to actually add your company. Half of the employees at my company are LinkedIn members, but we don’t have a company page.

    • patricia

      where did you find retention rates???

    • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang

      Patricia

      They used the term “tenure” which is the same as retention rate.

    • patricia

      yeah, i didn’t see that either. Where is it on the page? (wow, you respond quickly!!!)

    • http://www.louisgray.com/live/ Louis Gray

      Jeremiah, looks like we were thinking on the same lines. I put together a graph on Yahoo! vs. Google vs. Apple vs. Facebook vs. Microsoft vs. Intel.

      LinkedIn Company Detail Shows Silicon Valley Carousel
      http://www.louisgray.com/live/2008/03/linkedin-company-detail-shows-valley.html

      LinkedIn opening up this data will keep company marketeers and PR on the alert to see how their data is being portrayed, just as they should be watching their coverage on Wikipedia, for in this case, it’s their employees’ collective data that is pushing the details, without a filter, and just maybe, the truth will reveal more than they had ever imagined. I know I’ll be spending a lot more time poking around LinkedIn now myself.

    • http://www.niallkennedy.com/ Niall Kennedy

      Tenure data does not necessarily correlate to employee retention data, especially for new and/or growing companies.

      LinkedIn calculates a tenure number for employees in their current position. If you have been employed at Forrester since October you currently have a 6-month tenure at the company. Lots of new hires will skew the tenure number, showing the average person working at a growing company such as Facebook has been there X months.

    • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang

      Good point Niall. It would be interesting if LinkedIn showed both Tenure of role, and overall retention.

    • http://evildoerexposer.wordpress.com/ FU LI

      Not only is a Companies Persona revealed, but their heart, soul and e viscera. LinkedIN is selling your company employee data at the same time they are taking money from you to post jobs. Think about that, not even Head Hunters would do such a thing. Join the campaign to change your screen name to FU LI and keep the wolves at bay.

    • Pingback: links for 2008-03-23 | sofarsogeek.org 2.0

    • http://www.comunidadenlared.com Jose Antonio

      I am sorry, but I can´t find “tenure” anywhere.

      Best!

    • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang

      Tenure is on bottom right module on the company page

    • Pingback: Anna Miotk » Archiwum bloga » Jak sprawdzić rotację pracowników w firmie?

    • http://mint.com Damon Billian

      One thing about Tenure:

      The data is going to be heavily skewed in the tech industry to short tenures, something that will also be reflected on a geographic level as well. Tenure at a company like Yahoo,located primarily on the West Coast at least, will be much different than an older company located on many parts of the East Coast.

      Companies in the Valley are notorious for poaching top talent from other orgs, something that is relatively unusual in other parts of the country & may not be portrayed well in this data. Still interesting info from LI, nonetheless.

    • patricia

      I wonder if tenure is only displayed if you have an upgraded (i.e., paid) LinkedIn account. I’m using it for free & tenure is MIA.

    • http://www.manta.com paula volio

      Jeremiah,
      You should really visit http://www.manta.com for the world’s largest company intelligence site with 45 million company profiles, as well as a great CRM tool to share information, build piplelines, create contacts and collaborate. If you want to talk, let me know
      Paula Volio 614-682-5106.
      elsfrGiot to

    • http://www.cortera.com/ Kayla

      Sorry about the html mishap in the previous comment. The name of the business information site is Cortera and it is located at: http://www.cortera.com/

    • http://www.niallkennedy.com/ Niall Kennedy

      Tenure data does not necessarily correlate to employee retention data, especially for new and/or growing companies.

      LinkedIn calculates a tenure number for employees in their current position. If you have been employed at Forrester since October you currently have a 6-month tenure at the company. Lots of new hires will skew the tenure number, showing the average person working at a growing company such as Facebook has been there X months.

    • JimmieBlake

      When I need to know who was hired this week or who got a promotion, I just take the gang and go to one of the Phoenix restaurants nearby. News travel fast by word of mouth. It's great what LinkedIn did, though, having all that data you can't find out from colleagues really does the trick and gives the right to information you must know, but didn't know where to get it from. Too bad it only aims at those who are participating on LinkedIn.

    • Massage In Framing

      Good stuff. It is interesting to read comments.