LinkedIn uses this knowledge to display recent hires, related companies, recent promotions, top locations for employees, and so-called “headliners” (people who get lots of profile views and mentions in the press). The data has also been used for company comparison purposes. You can see which companies employees usually come from and leave for, as well as which companies the current employees are most connected to.
This is a very smart move because it essentially leverages important data that LinkedIn already has in its database. The connections and meta data is already collected on most of these companies, as well as the movement between them.
Turnover at a specific firm? Simply check how often people change companies after a certain timetable at one specific firm.
Company Hiring? Check to see how many additions of that company have come into profiles recently
New Funding? How many executivesC level employees has a company hired.
The possibilities are endless and LinkedIn is now essentially turning that power over the users who can mine this information. I do not know if any of the queries above are possible, but it certainly seems like good information to be able to search.
It is also being reported that this information may be widgetizable (yes I just used that word), and spread elsewhere. This is a great move for LinkedIn as they get the content off the page. This will only increase utility of the data being collected on site, then redistributed elsewhere, but also hopefully inspire people to add more data.