J&J, Pfizer, Novartis are the in-demand pharmas among job-seekers, LinkedIn says

Hiring and keeping good employees is as much of a challenge in the drug business as it is anywhere else. So, it's always nice to know that would-be job seekers think your company is swell.

Here's the latest gauge of drugmakers' status in the world of recruiting: LinkedIn ranked the 100 most "InDemand Employers" in the world, using a combination of various stats drawn from its membership ranks and its members' online activities. Pharma didn't exactly dominate the list--far more tech companies populate it, for instance. But a few drugmakers stood out.

Pfizer ($PFE), for instance. The pharma behemoth came in at 17th on the list, with 71,000 employees on LinkedIn and a heavy bent toward the sales side. The company's "top skills"--as determined by LinkedIn endorsements, surveys and the like--were pharma sales and sales effectiveness. Close behind, in 21st place, was Novartis ($NVS), whose ranks also won kudos for sales effectiveness, but picked up an additional backing in oncology. The Swiss drugmaker has 50,000 workers on the site, LinkedIn says.

Bayer won 28th place, with 15,000 employees on LinkedIn and similar sales endorsements to Pfizer's. Somewhat farther down the list was Roche ($RHHBY), in 51st place, with 39,000 workers on the site and endorsement that leaned toward oncology and biotech, rather than sales. GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) continued the sales-oriented trend in 75th place; some 68,000 of its employees are active on LinkedIn.

But the highest-ranked drugmaker was Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), whose LinkedIn image extends past pharma and into devices and FDA expertise. About 52,000 J&J employees are on LinkedIn, and according to FiercePharmaMarketing research, the company maintains several different pages on the social networking site.

Which brings us to a caveat: The LinkedIn image ranking isn't just about a company's attractiveness to potential applications. It says as much about social-media strategy and employee networking--specifically on LinkedIn. So, if you're disappointed to see your company left off this list, try stepping up the action on the site. If not, don't despair. Your recruiting efforts may be paying off somewhere else.

- check out the LinkedIn list

Special Report: Top 10 pharma companies by employees - 2014 - Novartis - J&J - GSK - Roche - Pfizer - Bayer