Friday, 14 May 2010

How the New LinkedIn Feature Could Give You the Inside Track

LinkedIn have recently introduced a new feature that enables users to follow companies they are interested in, called Company Follow. On the surface it’s a small change, but it could have major implications for both LinkedIn’s individual users and companies. Company updates will let you know about profile changes, new hires, recent departures and promotions within an organisation.

Nearly a million companies already have their company profiles on the professional networking site, and as the LinkedIn blog puts it:

“Starting today, you can be in the loop on new developments, potential business opportunities or even job opportunities by following companies of interest to you… Most importantly, this feature can deliver insights - you may be surprised at - such as the pace of hiring at your nearest competitor or the start of a whole new industry as you see web technology companies hiring geography teachers (for e.g.).”

I think it's a really smart move on LinkedIn's part. LinkedIn has always been known as the professionals social network or B2B networking playground online, so this feature makes sense. LinkedIn users can follow a company, by just selecting the Follow button on the companies profile or a member who is associated with a particular company. They'll be able to easily view the companies they are following and they will also receive recommendations on companies they might be interested in following.

So,where do you begin? Here's a few tips to get you started...


Companies use LinkedIn for various ways such as building a community, gaining new talent, or watching its competition. The Company Follow feature will ensure greater success for using LinkedIn to it’s fullest potential.

1. A new stream of followers and potential employee opportunity can be built. There is no restriction on the amount of companies a person can follow allowing a followers to build.

2. Pay attention to the competition. If anyone can follow you so can any company so know who is paying attention to you.

3. They said what? Know what the conversations surrounding your business are whether you like it or not. It’s better to know than not.

4. Keep your employees happy. By following your competitors you will know if they are in need of someone who could be found in your company. This provides you with an unique opportunity to keep your employees happy in ways that matter most.

5. Follow freely. You won’t be blocked so follow your competitor to protect your company and find ,if needed, new employees.

6.You may want to keep an even closer eye on what information you and your employees put on LinkedIn now – it was changes to profiles there that revealed that Apple had bought Intrinsity, and that was even before the introduction of this feature.)

Job Seekers

1.Be selective of the companies you follow. It’s imperative to follow companies where you will be of greatest value and that have a good reputation.

2.Discover what hidden jobs these companies may have by staying current its news.

3.Who’s coming and going? Find out what jobs are opening or closing and why.

4.Promotions. A friendly congratulations to an employee receiving a promotion can garner itself into a beneficial networking relationship.

5. Know what “Top Dogs” have joined with the company. By knowing what Executives or Senior Managers have joined you can insight into what the company is doing, accomplishing, or needing, which could be window of opportunity.