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How to Compare the Size of Talent Pools by Location

Posted by Eric Putkonen on 10/06/2015 in Recruiting articles |

Today will be a very practical post that covers what I recently did for research when a hiring manager said he was open to hiring in other locations (anywhere in the US) and asked for suggestions on which locations to target that might have large talent pools.

This can be done for any skill set, but I was looking for Java developers with Spring, Hibernate, and Web Services.

Thank you Esther Vargas (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Thank you Esther Vargas (CC BY-SA 2.0)

First, go to LinkedIn.com and type in the search bar “java spring hibernate web services.”  LinkedIn treats all terms with AND operators, so we will only get results that have all of them listed in the profiles.

When the results come, be sure to select “People” because right now you are getting results for any groups, posts, people, etc.  When you select people you get a little over 200,000 professionals.

In the left bar, under Location, you will see that in the United States that there are a little over 57,000 people with these terms listed in their profiles.  Other countries are listed below that.

Now, not all professionals create a LinkedIn profile.  A few months ago, Paul DeBettignies wrote a blog post titled “Survey: 20% Of IT Pros Are Not On LinkedIn…Some Thoughts.”  This statistic was from a survey done by Stack Overflow.  So 57,000 LinkedIn profiles contained the terms java, spring, hibernate, web, and services; but this may not be all the professionals out there (and there could be about 15,000 more professionals out there who do not have profiles).  I think that for high demand talent this number is low and more than 20% are not on LinkedIn.  But for what we want, it does not matter.  Think of this as a survey with 57,000 respondents.

Next I wanted to drill down into the locations. I wanted to do metropolitan areas by population, so I got the list of US cities by population from Wikipedia.  The list shows New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, etc.

Let’s start with New York City.  In Location, go to the “+Add” and type in “new york” and stop.  You will see “Greater New York City area” pop up and click on it to add it.  You will see that when the location is added, it will give you the number of profiles in this area…which is currently 5,898 profiles.

LinkedIn ResultsThen you add the other cities you wish to compare.  The list is always shown from locations with the most profiles to less number of profiles.  To the left is a screen shot of my results from LinkedIn.

As you can see, you can now say that although there are over a million more people in Los Angeles (a percentage difference of 34% in Los Angeles’ favor)…for the skill set targeted, there is a 43% difference between Los Angeles and Chicago – with Chicago being the one with more professionals with the targeted skill set.

Having more population does not mean having more of the target talent you are looking for.

In my recent research, I think I added almost 50 major cities and metropolitan areas.  LinkedIn then gives you the list sorted by number of profiles containing the keywords and you can then do further analysis (as you see fit).

From this you could go even further and create a talent density map showing which cities have the most of the target talent you are looking for (Java, Spring, Hibernate, & Web Services for the below map).

 

Actually, this map was a side project that I did because I wanted to see what the talent distribution looked like (visually). I also included cost of living indexes for those locations (if you click the location), so you can see where the talent is and the comparative cost due to the location’s cost of living.  It took a while to learn how to create this, so I won’t go into how to do this.

Being able to compare talent pool sizes is kind of handy, so I hope this might be able to help you.

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