A year after the COVID-19 pandemic struck, many countries like the Philippines are still on lockdown with limited economic activity. The resulting unemployment accelerated a hiring trend in the job market—it mattered more that a candidate possessed the skills needed to succeed in a job rather than having traditional qualifications.
Workers have expressed a desire to learn and build their skills. Globally, people have spent 43 million hours acquiring a new skill in 2020. Organizations are recognizing the importance of skills. In fact, in APAC, 77% of hiring managers and recruiters have made skills and competencies the focus of job descriptions at least once in the last year.
Last year, Microsoft and LinkedIn noticed a potentially growing skills gap and committed to helping 25 million people build digital skills for in-demand jobs through various initiatives. They’ve helped over 30 million people globally get reskilled for these jobs. In Asia, they’ve seen close to 5.5 million people build new digital skills through these initiatives to succeed in the reshaped digital economy.
Olivier Legrand, LinkedIn Managing Director & Vice-President, Asia Pacific & China, said, “More and more, we are seeing skills becoming the new currency in our world of work. We’ve seen people worldwide express a desire to learn and build their skills. Organizations, too, are hiring based on skills instead of traditional qualifications. LinkedIn, together with Microsoft, is committed to helping everyone shift towards a skills-based economy. In 2021, we will continue our efforts to equip job seekers with the right resources to pick up new skills and connect them to opportunities, as well as aim to help 250K organizations make a skills-first hire.”
This year, LinkedIn and Microsoft want to help more people understand, develop, and connect their skills with opportunities. They will offer free LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn courses and low-cost certifications that align with 10 of the most in-demand jobs through December 31, 2021. They will also provide new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub, and Microsoft to help everyone — students, jobseekers, members, employers — move to a skills-based future.
To help young learners adopt a growth mindset for future success:
- Career Coach, a Microsoft Teams app powered by LinkedIn, provides personalized guidance for higher education students to navigate their career journey. Career Coach offers educational institutions a unified career solution for students to discover their goals, interests, and skills using an AI-based skill identifier. LinkedIn integration aligns a student’s comprehensive profile with job market trends and helps them grow real-world skills and connect with mentors and peers all in one place.
To help job seekers who have picked up new skills connect to opportunities:
- Microsoft Career Connector intends to place 50,000 job seekers in tech-enabled jobs over the next three years. This unique online platform will focus on learners who have built skills via Microsoft’s non-profit and learning partners.
LinkedIn will be releasing new expressive, inclusive, and personalized profile features that will enable people to share more about themselves, their careers, and goals more authentically and engagingly to help members stand out in their professional communities.
- Video Cover Story enables job seekers to demonstrate their soft skills to recruiters and hiring managers. 75% of hiring managers believe a standard resume is insufficient in evaluating a candidate’s soft skills. Almost 80% believe video has become more critical when it comes to vetting candidates.
- If you’re a freelancer looking to grow your business, you can attract new clients by talking about your services. You can create a dedicated Service Page right from your profile, listing the services offered, empowering you to reach LinkedIn’s global community of nearly 740 million members.
- If you’re looking to build your following and engage your audience, video is a great channel to showcase your expertise and passions.
- For those who love sharing unique insights and are working towards increasing their following on LinkedIn, turning on the New Creator Mode in your Profile dashboard makes it even easier to share your story in real-time. With the creator mode on, you can:
- Build your following by adding the “Follow” button to your profile
- Connect more conveniently with those interested in your expertise by adding hashtags at the top of your profile. For example, #design or #mentorship.
To help even more organizations hire for skills:
- Assessing candidates based on qualifications alone means that many are at risk of being left behind. LinkedIn is committed to helping 250K companies make a skills-first hire in 2021 through its new and existing hiring products.
- LinkedIn Skills Path, a new way to help companies hire for skills, brings together LinkedIn Learning courses with Skill Assessments to help recruiters source candidates more equitably—based on their proven skills.
These efforts build on LinkedIn and Microsoft’s previous initiatives to bring the ecosystem together to support the reskilling of Asia’s workforce for inclusive economic recovery.
- In FY20, Microsoft worked with governments and more than 30 non-profits across Asia to increase the employability of 1.2 million people entering the labor market.
- Microsoft continues its pursuit of social inclusion through skills development by bringing skills resources to everyone, everywhere, and meeting them where they are by extending its commitments to support educational institutions and NGOs.
- Microsoft plans to invest $50M in over 150 non-profits to skill 5M underserved individuals and connect them to jobs and livelihood opportunities worldwide. Today, anyone can work from anywhere, no matter where they are located, which opens up a wealth of opportunities to those with the right skills competencies to secure new employment.
The recent announcement builds on Microsoft and LinkedIn’s global skills initiative harnessing digital technology and data on jobs and skills from the LinkedIn Economic Graph, free access to LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn and the GitHub Learning Lab, and Microsoft Certifications and LinkedIn job-seeking tools.