Michael Specht

A blog from Australia looking at technology, management, Human Resources (HR) and recruitment.

Workforce Analytics: Following the employees

March 17th, 2010 · 4 Comments · HR Management ·



I ran across an interesting post from the LinkedIn blog, via Steve Barham from LinkedIn, entitled Where did all the people go from the collapsed financial institutions?. The post was looking at the flow of employees between five major financial services companies:

  • Barclays
  • Credit Suisse
  • Citigroup
  • Bank Of America
  • JP Morgan Chase

LinkedIn Data - Financial Fallout Graphic

This image shows the amazing amount of data that is available from LinkedIn both via public searches and as a premium paying member, to quote the post:

To be specific, other than two acquiring companies (Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch and Nomura acquired Lehman Brothers’ franchise in the Asia Pacific region), Barclays was by far the biggest beneficiary, scooping up 10% of the laid off talent, followed by Credit Suisse at 1.5% and Citigroup at 1.1 %.

While an interesting look at talent movement it got me thinking.

A couple of questions came to mind:

  1. Do you use external talent movement data in your workforce planning/sourcing strategy planning?
  2. Does your workforce analytics program allow you the same sort of analysis?

I would suspect most companies would answer No to both questions. The cynical might also ask why would you want this information. So let’s look at a couple of examples:

Example 1: Your organisation is experiencing rapid growth in one particular area of the business, so you need to recruit more employees. Access this information would allow you to target the “usual suspects” for new talent but you could also look to see if there had been a major exodus to other organisations that may not be on your “usual suspects” list. These organisations may not be prepared for an all out assault on their talent.

Example 2: Can you produce graphs that show where each division of your organisation is getting is best performing employees, covering both internal and external movements? Not a purely LinkedIn example but highlighting similar talent flows.

A final note there is no reason why your HR/Payroll/ERP/People Management/Whatever System should not be launching these sorts of features. For example LinkedIn opened its API up to developers almost 6 months ago.

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 DebExo // Mar 17, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Great questions…I had thought about tracking external movement before the recession but completely lost the thought in 2008. Kudos to those who did not lost track as they are ahead of the talent game as the West comes out of the recession. These questions re-emphasis that analytics is not a short term exercise.

  • 2 Mick Collins // Mar 17, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Outstanding visual – tells a story in a simple graphic.

    We work with our clients to address both of your points.

    In the former example, helping them to devise action plans that will close short- and long-term staff gaps through innovative strategies – though looking at competitors (or other firms that employ significant numbers of staff with the skills you require) is probably not utilized as often as it could be.

    In the latter one, we use TalentFlow diagrams (a variation on Markov Modeling) to highlight the flows of talent around the organization or within a particular job family. You can see how people move between roles, identify ceilings or exit points, and locate the best sources of incoming talent. Such visuals are especially important for communicating internal mobility patters to senior leaders, in a way that no Excel table ever could.

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