Real time skills knowledge – so what does LinkedIn data add?
Knowing about your workers’ industry, connections and skills helps regional city leaders deliver city growth.
Rather than looking backwards in the ‘rear view mirror’ at Census data, LinkedIn data empowers regions with a near real time view of changes taking place in their economy, enabling action to be taken early to manage growth opportunities and support change.
We know the mayors and local government managers in Townsville, Sunshine Coast – Noosa, Greater Newcastle, Wollongong, Launceston, Darwin, Geelong and Hobart are able to design more responsive local policy with their LinkedIn data. Here, we outline some practical guidance on how:
LinkedIn real time knowledge
While no two cities are the same, there are some clear policy implications we can draw from the current analysis of LinkedIn data.
First, the Health industry is one of the top 3 employers for all eight cities. Financial Services is also strong with all except Darwin, and Construction is a top 5 industry for all except Hobart. This supports the long suspected trend that regional cities are growing faster in service industries.
Second, there is a diversity of connections in and between cities, with Hobart having the strongest local connections (32 per cent) and Sunshine Coast/Noosa lowest of the eight cities (17 per cent). In this group, Geelong leads with the highest number of connections nationally (60 per cent), while the number of International connections range from the highest in Darwin (27 per cent) to lowest in Newcastle (18 per cent). This is important because connectivity enables the flow of people and ideas between cities and creates movement, energy and ultimately – city growth.
Third, skills with the highest mobility are a mix of hard skills (Software Engineering, Social Media Marketing) and soft skills (Business Development and Relationship Management, Management and Leadership); reinforcing service industries need the support of technical as well as personal skills for growth.
So what does this mean for city leaders, mayors and managers?
The growing service industries need recognition and support from local leaders.
With Health a growing industry, local government can stimulate a critical mass in health sector growth by applying planning controls enabling precinct development to cluster activity around key existing infrastructure (e.g. a Base Hospital).
Networks and connections are critical for new ideas, investment and growth.
How does your city stack up? Geelong could actively increase external connections through structured (yet targeted) engagement with regions that complement its skills and emerging industry needs. Places like Launceston, Townsville and Newcastle could stimulate overseas links through use of trade shows and by hosting delegations to stimulate greater connectivity with international markets and customers.
Mobile skills are both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills, helping to identify training priorities.
Leaders can support development of hard (Software Engineering, Social Media Marketing) and soft (Business Development and Relationship Management, Management and Leadership) skills through incentives and programs that deliver courses locally – helping to ensure workers are well prepared to take up work opportunities locally and globally.
While each city has its own challenges and opportunities emerging, this latest LinkedIn analysis accelerate our ability to understand and take action on practical things that make a difference now (rather than waiting five years to get the show on the road).
The implications of this near real time ‘line of sight’ through regional city economies transforms our thinking about what is making our regional city economies ‘tick’ as well as our capacity to be timely in the actions we take making our cities grow.
We look forward to extending our work in partnership with LinkedIn to cover even more cities very soon, pushing the boundaries of our insights and analysis to further inform city leaders and policy makers in their work to stimulate the growth of our nation’s Great Small Cities.