Finally, Wall Street Factors Talent into a 'Best Companies' List

February 27, 2013

Motley Fool treats talent as a stakeholder in new rankings, powered by LinkedIn data

What separates the one-hit wonders from the iconic greats?

Is it stage presence? Pyrotechnics? Big hair, even?

Whether you’re talking about “showbiz” or actual “biz”, here at LinkedIn we think Talent is the most important driver of long-term success.  The companies that rock at attracting, developing, and retaining highly-skilled people today will be the legends of tomorrow.  Unfortunately, for business leaders and investors alike, there’s a “talent measurement gap” that prevents companies from prioritizing their employees ahead of more well-defined metrics on the balance sheet, like net income or free cash flow.

As a researcher at LinkedIn, I get to leverage the world’s most robust professional data set, to help companies close the “talent measurement gap.”  And last year, some of my team’s measurement work caught the eye of some wise investment minds at The Motley Fool.

Today, the Motley Fool unveiled its list of the 25 Best Companies in America for 2012, powered in part by LinkedIn data.  What sets their list apart from other investment rankings is exactly what inspired us to collaborate with them on this project: an emphasis on Talent. The research team at the Motley Fool considered how well each company served all of its stakeholders last year: including investors, customers, employees, and the world at large.  To help measure the “employee” piece, LinkedIn granted The Motley Fool behind-the-scenes access to our full set of InDemand Employer Rankings, which score the most sought-after employers based on billions of interactions between members and companies on

The end result is a unique mix of public companies, based on analysis that goes far beyond the balance sheet.  Not all of LinkedIn’s InDemand Employers were eligible* for consideration, but those companies that ultimately made Motley’s Top 25 fall into three “InDemand” rockstar categories:

  • “InDemand” Icons:  Companies like Google(#4), PepsiCo(#13), Starbucks(#20) and IBM(#24) have massive widespread appeal as places to work, not only in the US, but globally.  Which is why they also made LinkedIn’s Top 100.
  • “InDemand” Moguls:  Companies like Under Armour (#10), Coach (#11), and VF Corporation (#19) are popular retail brands, but appeal to a slightly smaller audience as potential employers.  They were ranked between 101-175 on LinkedIn’s list.
  • “InDemand” Movers & Shakers: Teradata (#2), Biogen Idec (#6), and Brown-Forman (#14), were ranked 175+ on LinkedIn’s list last year, but we’ve seen a steady increase in the rate of professionals engaging with them on LinkedIn in recent months.

Which of these icons will grace us with an encore in 2013?  Will any of the Movers become chart-toppers?  Stay tuned to our blog as we release more “InDemand” rankings throughout the year.

And for talent acquisition and HR professionals, LinkedIn also released the Talent Brand Index, a powerful tool to help any company measure and improve the strength of its talent brand.

(*) To be eligible for The Motley Fool’s list, companies must have a minimum 5-year track record as a public company.  Subsidiaries were not eligible.  LinkedIn was excluded from The Motley Fool’s rankings, and our own InDemand rankings, to maintain objectivity.