People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.

The most-watched professional services stock is ...
Looking at the aggregate data, we see that 51job (Nasdaq: JOBS) is above the rest in terms of watch interest, the percentage of people keeping an eye on communications stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. And for good reason. Longtime contributor Rick Munarriz named 51job as his best stock idea for 2011, and the stock is up 36% since.

Here are the rest of the top 15 most-watched companies in the industry; their watch interest; and the stocks' CAPS rating, revealing the sentiment of our investing community.

 

Company

Market Cap (millions)

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Watch Interest

1

51job

$1,788

***

35.8%

2

Barrett Business Services

$161

*****

6.7%

3

Resources Connection (Nasdaq: RECN)

$881

****

6.5%

4

Corporate Executive Board (Nasdaq: EXBD)

$1,393

****

4.2%

5

Manpower (NYSE: MAN)

$5,038

***

3.3%

6

Hill International (NYSE: HIL)

$206

*****

3.3%

7

Dun & Bradstreet

$3,957

***

2.7%

8

VSE

$154

*****

2.2%

9

TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI)

$724

***

2.2%

10

SFN Group

$711

*****

2.2%

11

Navigant Consulting (NYSE: NCI)

$507

****

2.0%

12

Robert Half International

$4,436

**

1.8%

13

Korn/Ferry International

$1,018

***

1.8%

14

Equifax

$4,723

***

1.8%

15

Acacia Research

$1,339

***

1.6%

Source: Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.

Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts such as Manpower or are watching an up-and-comer such as Barrett Business Services, it pays to watch. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Click here to start now.

Dan Dzombak's musings and articles he finds interesting can be found on his Twitter account: @DanDzombak.

51job is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.