Thursday, July 28, 2011

Follow Companies on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has had a Follow Companies feature for a while, and it means exactly that: follow companies and their updates within LinkedIn, without being connected to anyone in the company. Once you follow a company, you can see who in your network is employed at that company, and how distant your relationship is.

The image above shows a snapshot of the Harlequin company profile on LinkedIn. You can see a blurb about the company, information about anyone in your alumni group that is employed at the organization, as well as your LinkedIn connections to people in that company. Clicking on the Careers tab will also show any available jobs, as posted on Linkedin (though you are usually redirected to the company website for an application). If you explored the New Hires tab, you could see the profiles of new hires, as much as that user allows according to their privacy settings.

You can also see any employee traffic, such as position changes or promotions, that the user has recorded on LinkedIn, as well as links to mentions about the company in the news, as shown below.

For librarians, there are many libraries listed on LinkedIn, as well as publishing, software and tech companies, in addition to the universities and colleges, not to mention the many companies who may have a special library in your preferred industry, such as law, finance, manufacturing, or healthcare, just to name a few. It can't hurt to start monitoring their activity on LinkedIn.

However this is only the activity recorded within LinkedIn. For example, if a person does not update their profile when they move to a new company, you may not know if a company has made a new hire. The Follow Company feature still provides very useful information about organizations, their employee turnover, the number of hires that they are making, and indicates if you have anyone in your online network who could get you closer to a permanent or contract position or offer a recommendation.

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