Making Money from LinkedIn – the Corporate Phonebook and the Wall Street Analyst

LinkedIn is finally starting to use the ton of information it is holding. A new cool feature called “Company Profile”, allows anyone to see “hidden”, “private”, companies’ data that was never available before. I believe this data can be much more informative than expensive Wall Street analysts’ reports or boring, half fabricated financial reports.

You just type in a name of a company and get the following information:

  • New promotions
  • New hires
  • Which universities they hire from
  • Which companies do people leave to
  • Median age of employees
  • Recent title changes
  • Gender distribution

The information can be used in numerous ways. For example, the turnover rate of employees can be a superb indicator for  business success. This number is usually not reported by either public or private companies. With the help of LinkedIn such information can now be obtained with high levels of confidence.

One can also see what the trends among employees are. Assuming that employees have the best internal information on how the business is doing, watching their decisions can be quite remarkable.

Looking above we can see Microsoft employees are moving to Google, Amazon and Yahoo! (last one might become a funny move). Some Google employees are moving to FaceBook. Off course, there is lot of data still missing to get accurate conclusions. For example, it is quite possible that in absolute numbers a lot less people are leaving Google than joining.

The most common titles are also fascinating. Microsoft’s top title is Program Manager; While Google’s top title is Software Engineer. This tells you a lot about the culture and strategy each one is taking.

We can also note Google has younger employees (29 Vs 33 for Microsoft) and a lot more Women (38% vs. 30% for Microsoft).

All this data reminds me of an argument I had with an MIS manager in a large enterprise. He insisted that the internal phonebook would not avialble be in a downloadable format (EXCEL, Text, Outlook) . He wanted the phone book to be available in online web only version. When I claimed it makes the sales people life very difficult, he said that “we don’t want our employee contact information moving around the globe”.  

Not only LinkedIn provides all this information, it actually follows past and future employees. The funniest part is the information LinkedIn provides is more complete, more updated and easier to find with internal MIS applications, which are cumbersome and contain multiple errors.

All in all,IMO, more information brings better decision making for the ones who are fast enough to adopt the new tools for their usage.



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