Many people think of LinkedIn as a tool to network with individuals. While LinkedIn is certainly useful for this purpose, it can also provide invaluable information about which companies you should target during your job search.
Did you know that LinkedIn now allows you to follow all the activity related to a particular company? You do this by searching for the company on the site and clicking “Follow Company”. This step adds the company’s activity to your news stream on LinkedIn in the same way that adding a connection adds their individual activity. This is an absolutely invaluable tool for seeing the “comings and goings” at a company you’re targeting. In addition to giving you a sense of whether the company is hiring at all, it allows you to see the backgrounds of the candidates who are landing jobs there. Although it may be frustrating—or even painful—to see who’s beating you out for particular positions, having that information is also priceless for knowing how to position yourself as a stronger candidate going forward. One more bonus: you can tell when someone was hired for a position even if the company doesn’t directly contact or notify you.
The Follow Company feature on LinkedIn also allows you to see how many other people are following that company. If thousands of people are keeping an eye on things, chances are good that you have a lot of competition for open positions there. Additionally, LinkedIn includes very useful information such as the average tenure of employees at the company, the male/female ratio of the staff, and the median age of employees. Larger companies sometimes even indicate which specific universities a high percentage of their staff attended.
The new Follow Company feature on LinkedIn is a fabulous tool for job seekers trying to appropriately direct their career search. Check it out!