LinkedIn on the Value of Alumni

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    At Evernote’s EC4 Conference today, Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder and chairman, discussed with Evernote CEO Phil Libin the ongoing value that ex-employees have to companies.

    ZDNet’s Rachel King writes that a company’s former employees, or alumni, said Hoffman, become ambassadors for that company, if the experience was positive. And the experience shouldn’t end when employment ends.

    LinkedIn practices include networking events for company alumni, following through on Hoffman’s emphasis on making the employer-employee relationship a two-way street, according to King.

    LinkedIn also made news this week with the announcement of its new university ranking system. The site is using a relatively large data set of users, at over 300 million, and a small data set of schools, listing 25 universities and colleges for each of the eight career areas currently included. LinkedIn used its data on education, job titles and employers to create the ranking: “We define a desirable job to be a job at a desirable company for the relevant profession,” it summarized in a blog post explaining the ranking process.


    Tod Massa, director of policy research and data warehousing at State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, told Inside Higher Ed, “I am no fan of rankings, let alone ranking institutions, but as a way of differentiating programs based on outcomes, I find this terribly interesting.”

    Commenting on the negative reaction to the LinkedIn ranking system coming out of some schools, Calvin Wolf writes at Digital Journal, “knowing that LinkedIn will help measure their outcomes, colleges and universities may finally get real about job placement for graduating seniors.” Playing devil’s advocate with himself, he also describes a scenario in which employers simply chase graduates of high-ranking schools from the list, assuming value but actually lessening the collective influence of those school alumni.

    Kachina Shaw is managing editor for IT Business Edge and has been writing and editing about IT and the business for 15 years. She writes about IT careers, management, technology trends and managing risk. Follow Kachina on Twitter @Kachina and on Google+


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