One of the most exciting elements of LinkedIn is the platform's unique dataset. LinkedIn has the professional histories and career movements of more than 433 million people on file - the possibilities of what can be done with such insights are endless. Through LinkedIn, for example, we can determine what career paths people most commonly follow in certain sectors and what jobs people with certain skills and attributes end up finding the most career satisfaction (through longevity) in.
It might sound far-fetched, but LinkedIn has the capacity to match each person to their perfect job, based on their noted skills and passions.
Don't believe me?
Research has already shown that algorithms are better at making hiring decisions than humans, and such data matching is undoubtedly the future of recruitment. And no one's better placed to facilitate this coming trend than LinkedIn - now, they just need to find ways to highlight those insights and put them into actionable process.
The platform's been working on how to do this, through advancements to their Recruiter platform and smaller data innovations like University Finder, each of which gives us a glimpse into what their vast data set can help us find. And today, they've announced another step on their journey towards that next level, with the announcement of 'Premium Insights', a new set of tools that'll enable you to get more in-depth data on any company you look up on the platform.
Here's how they work.
First, it's worth noting that Premium Insights are not available to all users, only those with Business Plus, Sales Navigator and select Talent Solutions subscriptions will have access.
If you're able to access the new options, you'll be able to get a whole range of new info on each business, based on their connected LinkedIn activities.
The first option on this front is 'Total Employee Count', which provides an inside look into a company's growth trends.
Using LinkedIn's listings, the total employee count shows fluctuations over time, which can be helpful when looking to identify investment targets, potential business partners and even companies that might be looking for your services (i.e. companies that are expanding rapidly need recruitment services, new premises, IT solutions providers).
There's also a new listing of 'Employee Distribution by Function', which can give some insight into how a business works and where they're putting their biggest focus, helping to better focus your outreach.
The 'New Hires' section, meanwhile, lists the company's employment trends and where the business is growing.
This can provide additional context into the areas the company is seeing expansion, which offers a range of research benefits.
There's also a section called 'Notable Alumni', which, LinkedIn says, can help you to identify new companies to keep your eye on.
If you notice a group of employees from one of your competitors moving to a new venture, for example, you can bet that new business is going to be one you'll also need to keep an eye on.
And there's also a 'Total Job Openings' listing which highlights the job postings that each company has made available on LinkedIn over time, highlighting growth trends and focus areas.
LinkedIn says the use cases for such data 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."
Definitely, there's a lot of value in these tools, and as noted, they once again reveal a glimpse into the potential of LinkedIn's professional data insights, something that no one can match them on, and an aspect they really need to utilize to boost the platform's value.
While LinkedIn is, generally, fairly slow to roll out changes and updates, it's clear from these various research projects that utilizing their data insights is one of their key focus points - and it should be, because the value they can uncover through such efforts is incredible. As such, you can expect to see more data tools like this coming from LinkedIn in future, with advancements in job matching, skills identification, career services and data tools.
This is where LinkedIn truly holds the most potential. Despite criticism their user interface and groups and other tools on the network, the platform has the opportunity to change the game in recruitment and HR and become a crucial tool for all businesses.
Updates like this show that they're on track to achieve just that.