Leveraging LinkedIn to Attract Top Talent: A Case Study of Takeda

LinkedIn's principal objective is to facilitate connections among business professionals for networking and job searches, leveraging existing connections. Additionally, the platform offers companies personalized pages to actively search for potential candidates and showcase information about their company culture. This article examines the strategic use of LinkedIn in assisting Takeda EUCAN in discovering, engaging with, and overseeing candidates while enhancing brand awareness.




Takeda Pharmaceuticals International AG, located in Zurich, is an owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. As the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and a prominent figure in the global pharmaceutical industry, Takeda is dedicated to advancing innovation in medicine for the betterment of global patient health. Operating across more than 70 countries, with notable strength in Asia, North America, Europe, and emerging markets, the company's mission is to enhance health outcomes worldwide. The Europe and Canada (EUCAN) Business Unit, based in Zurich, spans 37 countries and houses the EUCAN commercial organization, including the Vaccines Business Unit, alongside key global functions such as Market Access, Global Commercial, Medical Affairs, and Manufacturing and Supply. Takeda's focus in the EUCAN region encompasses five therapeutic areas: gastroenterology, rare diseases, oncology, plasma-derived therapies, and neuroscience.[i]


To solidify its standing as an industry leader, Takeda EUCAN is committed to not only retaining but also attracting top employees, particularly in the relevant therapeutic domains. While there is an existing internal communication strategy in place to ensure employees are well-informed, acknowledged, and motivated, there is a lack of a coordinated effort to attract the best candidates. Specifically, the company's online presence on platforms commonly used by potential employees for job searches is insufficient. The primary and imperative step for the regional EUCAN Business Unit, given its extensive presence across numerous countries, is to address regional social networking and job search platforms. This entails enhancing the company's visibility and fostering brand awareness in a strategic and coordinated manner tailored to its specific areas and markets.


Takeda uses three primary corporate channels: LinkedIn, X (previously knownTwitter), and YouTube. While the global communication team employs all three channels, the regional EUCAN Business Unit presently focuses exclusively on LinkedIn. Concerning YouTube and X, there are explicit reasons for not prioritizing these channels at the moment. Firstly, investing in video content would require additional resources, and there is currently no allocated budget for this purpose. Secondly, the global communication team does not utilize these channels for their digital communication objectives. Thirdly, there is a lack of clear guidance on how the regional Business Unit should effectively utilize these channels.


Facebook is also not a preferred channel for the company, as the global leadership maintains a conservative stance towards this social media network. Moreover, adopting all available platforms from the outset is deemed impractical, considering the need to establish a clear strategy within a vast and traditional organization. Implementing numerous changes simultaneously in such an environment would encounter resistance. Instead, a focused, concrete, practical, and realistic approach stands a better chance of acceptance across various organizational levels. Therefore, the ongoing research concentrates on LinkedIn as the primary social media channel for attracting and engaging with top talent in the EUCAN region.

LinkedIn is a social networking site that operates based on Frigyes Karinthy’s idea of six degrees of separation.[ii] Karinthy states that every person is approximately six people away from any other person via mutual contacts. However, LinkedIn uses three as the special number of degrees, instead of six. The primary objective of LinkedIn is to facilitate business professionals in meeting and searching for jobs through connections with individuals they already know. Additionally, the platform allows companies to create personalized pages for seeking potential candidates and providing information about their company culture.


The present report conducts an analysis of how LinkedIn can be strategically utilized to assist Takeda EUCAN in discovering, connecting with, and managing candidates while concurrently enhancing brand awareness.


Why Does This Subject Matter to the Company?


The global count of social media users has surged by 9.2% since 2019 and is on a continual rise.[i] LinkedIn was initially designed as a professional network but has rapidly transformed into a publishing platform, significantly impacting the social media responsibilities of pharmaceutical companies. Consequently, LinkedIn has evolved into a comprehensive communication tool, serving as a means to disseminate a cohesive corporate message across all published content.[ii] Despite this shift, Takeda EUCAN, like many other pharmaceutical companies, lags behind other industries in fully leveraging online platforms, including LinkedIn. Stephanie Katzman, LinkedIn’s healthcare lead in its Marketing Solutions group, notes, “Healthcare, overall, and pharma is definitely on the developmental side of the LinkedIn spectrum, if you will, from an advertising perspective. But over the past three years, we have seen a huge growth in having these companies consider LinkedIn as a channel.”[iii] Given the site's pivotal role in pharmaceutical recruitment, it is crucial for Takeda EUCAN to establish its presence on LinkedIn ahead of competitors and effectively communicate its benefits to prospective employees.


In the Europe and Canada region, Takeda has launched a revamped people strategy with a focus on both attracting and retaining new employees, while simultaneously enhancing conditions for the existing ones. The human resources department is dedicated to cultivating an "exceptional people experience," aiming to create an environment where each individual is empowered to contribute their unique skills and experiences to Takeda. A key objective is to draw top talent that aligns with Takeda's vision of discovering and delivering life-transforming treatments, guided by the company's commitment to patients, employees, and the planet. This goal will be pursued through the strategic use of recruitment tools available on LinkedIn and by building brand awareness.


Goals and Objectives 


One of Takeda EUCAN's organizational objectives is to attract top talent, with supporting objectives that include:

  • Demonstrate the value Takeda can offer potential employees in the EUCAN region, fostering a sense of pride among current employees for their association with Takeda in the EUCAN region.
  • Enhance brand awareness by engaging professionals interested in the pharmaceutical industry, particularly for Takeda EUCAN.
  • Establish Takeda EUCAN as a thought leader in the pharmaceutical industry.

The current report investigates how these goals and supporting objectives can be achieved through the use of LinkedIn and its tools.


Research Focus and Methodology 


The conclusions drawn in the present report are based on secondary sources, with supporting evidence derived from internal and industry reports, internet searches, and data obtained from Khoros—a social media management platform currently used by Takeda for scheduling and posting content related to the company's news. Khoros provides data such as the location and number of followers, industry and job function, engagement rate, as well as engagement and awareness key performance indicators (KPIs) for each post. However, due to limitations in analytics, the analysis of Takeda EUCAN's LinkedIn channel in this study comprises only basic data. The primary aim of the research was to assess how effectively Takeda EUCAN positions itself as an employer of choice for attracting top talent in the pharmaceutical industry and to provide recommendations for enhancing its positioning.


The research is grounded in the two-way symmetrical public relations model and the two-step flow theory. The two-way symmetrical public relations model advocates for dialogue and emphasizes balanced power relationships. This model was chosen because communication in the digital realm, particularly on social media platforms, has evolved into a two-way exchange. It acknowledges that not only do companies communicate with potential candidates, but candidates can also initiate dialogues with companies. Additionally, this model provides an effective means of enhancing a company's reputation among its target audience, where information freely flows between the company and its stakeholders, including potential candidates.


The selection of the two-step flow theory is based on the premise that the flow of influence and information is heightened by opinion leaders—key individuals capable of influencing the beliefs and actions of others in their community. In this context, these influential individuals are employees acting as brand ambassadors, with the ability to sway the opinions of potential candidates.


Profiling Digital Communications Users


The purpose of profiling users of digital communication is to acquire understanding regarding the characteristics and traits of individuals or groups engaged in digital communication, enabling insights into their behavior. These insights, in turn, contribute to informed decision-making, priority management, and the formulation of a practical and tailored approach to digital communication practices. The primary focus lies on factors such as age group, geographical location, industry (including pharmaceuticals), and job function area. Initially, the intent was to concentrate on professionals within the pharmaceutical sector highlighted in the introduction; however, due to technical constraints, such specific insights are not currently available.


Analysis of the Current Situation - LinkedIn Takeda EUCAN



*LinkedIn users, not Takeda EUCAN specific. There are no data available on the age of the Takeda EUCAN followers.

-       21% of people aged 18-24 use LinkedIn

-       60% of people aged 25-34 use LinkedIn

-       17% of people aged 35-54 use LinkedIn

-       3% of people that are 55+ years old use LinkedIn


Location and number of followers (top ten countries that belong to the EUCAN region)


*Data retrieved from Khoros for the period January 1, 2020 – July 21, 2020

1.     Italy – 25,002

2.     UK - 24, 839

3.     Spain – 18,105

4.     France – 14,435

5.     Switzerland – 13,643

6.     Ireland – 11,401

7.     Canada – 10,836

8.     Germany – 10,680

9.     Belgium – 6, 827

10. Portugal – 6, 789




*Data retrieved from Khoros for the period January 1, 2020 – July 21, 2020

1.     Pharmaceuticals

2.     Medical device

3.     Research

4.     IT

5.     Higher education

6.     Health, wellness and fitness

7.     Chemicals

8.     Retail

9.     Marketing and advertising

10. Management Consulting


Job function area


*Data retrieved from Khoros for the period January 1, 2020 – July 21, 2020

1.     Sales

2.     Research

3.     Business development

4.     Operations

5.     Healthcare services

6.     Marketing

7.     Quality assurance

8.     IT

9.     Education

10. Engineering


The predominant demographic on LinkedIn comprises individuals aged between 25 and 34 years, constituting 60% of the user base. This signifies that a majority of users fall within the millennial generation, born between 1980 and the mid-2000s. Millennials prioritize working with inspiring colleagues in a purpose-driven company that offers employee training opportunities.[ii] Takeda EUCAN can leverage these insights when crafting content for LinkedIn. However, adopting this approach necessitates the company's commitment to delivering on these promises in practice. Failure to do so may lead new employees to feel deceived, impacting their satisfaction and confidence in their choice of employer. Such discrepancies could harm the company's reputation and diminish its ability to attract top talent. It's essential for traditional companies, like Takeda, to recognize that modern channels, such as social media, offer numerous benefits but also increase transparency through two-way symmetrical communication.


Moreover, Takeda EUCAN has the opportunity to adopt a more proactive recruitment strategy by exploring candidates outside the pharmaceutical or healthcare industry. The focus could shift towards individuals with diverse and adaptable skills who, although not initially from the pharma sector, could be trained within it. While emphasis is often placed on specialization and a continuous career path within a specific industry, generalists—individuals possessing multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge, along with a broad range of interests and skills across various areas—are pivotal for driving innovation.[iii] Takeda can leverage LinkedIn Recruiter, a global talent pool facilitating the identification, recruitment, and relationship-building with candidates from diverse industries in the region. Additionally, utilizing talent pipelining and targeted job postings through LinkedIn Jobs can help the company establish a pool of qualified applicants.


PESO Model for LinkedIn 


The PESO model is used to guarantee the comprehensive implementation of communication activities across all available media within a company. Although the model primarily discusses media in the context of marketing, its principles are also applicable to recruitment communications.


The following PESO model (Table 1) illustrates how Takeda in Europe and Canada utilizes LinkedIn for its recruitment initiatives.


Table 1: PESO model for the Takeda EUCAN LinkedIn account.

Media Type


Analysis of Takeda EUCAN LinkedIn Account

Paid media


The company post sponsored job ads (marked “promoted”).

Earned media

Third party endorsements

A Great Place to Work®, Fair Company (in Germany) mention Takeda in their posts.

Shared media [1]

Social media

Talent acquisition team share job openings on their LinkedIn personal profiles.

Owned media

Company's own content

Takeda EUCAN has career portal, applicant tracking system, and a website featuring employee stories. LinkedIn posts about employee experience are published only at the global level.


While a majority of posts concerning employee experience are disseminated at the global level, HR and communication specialists at the regional level have the opportunity to customize the global approach for content related to attracting top talent, aligning it with regional needs and priorities. Currently, there is insufficient coordination among different teams and areas. A potential solution involves developing a strategic editorial calendar for LinkedIn, facilitating the coordination of post scheduling and tracking their effectiveness. Additionally, key leaders in the EUCAN region could leverage their personal LinkedIn profiles to share the company's business updates and job opportunities. They can add a personal perspective on why they enjoy working at Takeda and why they recommend the company as a reputable and fair employer, effectively serving as brand ambassadors.


Takeda EUCAN LinkedIn SWOT Analysis


In evaluating the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of EUCAN's LinkedIn presence, a SWOT analysis has been performed and is outlined in Table 2. This analysis draws from the LinkedIn SWOT analysis conducted by the Fern Fort University [i]. The aim of this assessment is to provide Takeda EUCAN with insights into its areas of proficiency, areas for improvement, potential risks, strategies for risk mitigation, and opportunities for optimizing LinkedIn usage.


Table 2: SWOT analysis for LinkedIn.



  • Popular professional channel among companies and job candidates
  • Efficient search filtering
  • Possibility to create a detailed profile
  • Powerful tool to promote the company
  • Limited options for communicating directly
  • Current employees are not sharing or commenting company’s posts
  • Lower engagement on the platform
  • Paid subscription is necessary for the most useful LinkedIn features



  • Nominating current employees as Brand Ambassadors
  • Simplifying the training process and motivating employees to share content online
  • The network is expanding globally
  • Integration with Instant Messaging/Skype for better communication
  • Regulations for maintaining privacy
  • Rise of new professional networking sites
  • Hacking instances
  • Fake accounts
  • Sharing non-authorized content
  • Possible negative feedback from ex-employees


To capitalize on opportunities and attract top talent, Takeda EUCAN must address operational weaknesses in its approach to employee experience. Research indicates a higher employee turnover rate compared to competitors[ii]. Additionally, the heavy workload per employee has contributed to psychological stress among individuals. Recent years have seen a decline in employee morale due to company culture and politics. Furthermore, inadequate performance appraisal practices have resulted in lower work morale and limited promotion opportunities for existing employees[iii]. To position itself as an appealing choice for top talent in the region, the company needs to prioritize improvements in the work environment and conditions. By crafting relevant, useful, and authentic content based on real employee stories, increasing activity on LinkedIn, and appointing Brand Ambassadors, the company can actively engage in attracting top talent in the region.




[i] Global Digital Report. 2019. We Are Social – Global Digital Report. [online] Available at: https://wearesocial.com/global-digital-report-2019 [Accessed 4 January, 2024].


[ii] MM&M. 2016. Pharma Companies turn to LinkedIn to Engage [online] Available at: https://www.mmm-online.com/home/channel/campaigns/pharma-companies-turn-to-linkedin-to-engage/ [Accessed 4 January, 2024].


[iii] XTalks. 2016. LinkedIn May See Increased Use Among Pharma Marketers Thanks to InMail Function. [online] Available at: https://xtalks.com/linkedin-pharma-marketers-228/ [Accessed 4 January, 2024].


[i] Management Study Guide. 2020. Models of Public Relations. [online] Available at: https://www.managementstudyguide.com/public-relations-models.htm [Accessed 4 January, 2024].


[ii] Ognyanova, K. 2017. Multistep flow of communications: Network effects. In P. Roessler, C. Hoffner, & L. van Zoonen (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Media Effects (pp. 1 - 10). New York, NY: Wiley-Blackwell.


[i] Khoros. 2020. The 2020 social media demographics guide. [online] Available at: https://khoros.com/resources/social-media-demographics-guide# [Accessed 4 January, 2024].


[ii] Anderson, B. 2020. A Guide for the Ages: What You Need to Know to Attract a Multigenerational Workforce. [online] Available at: https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/diversity/2020/how-to-attract-multigenerational-workforce [Accessed 5 January, 2024].


[iii] Gates, B. 2020. We need more Rogers. [online] Available at: https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/Range [Accessed 5 January, 2024].


[i] Fern Fort University. 2020. LinkedIn SWOT Analysis/Matrix. [online] Available at: http://fernfortuniversity.com/term-papers/swot/1433/733-linkedin.php#:~:text=SWOT%20analysis%20is%20a%20strategic,in%20its%20current%20business%20environment [Accessed 5 January, 2024].


[ii] Essay 48. 2020. Takeda Pharmaceutical Limited SWOT Analysis. [online] Available at: https://www.essay48.com/term-paper/15490-Takeda-Pharmaceutical-Company-Limited-Swot-Analysis [Accessed 5 January, 2024].


[iii] Essay 48. 2020. Takeda Pharmaceutical Limited SWOT Analysis. [online] Available at: https://www.essay48.com/term-paper/15490-Takeda-Pharmaceutical-Company-Limited-Swot-Analysis [Accessed 5 January, 2024].