LinkedIn seeks to match skills, not past experience, in Singapore initiative

Professional networking platform unveils pilot scheme in Singapore with the aim to encourage businesses to hire based on a jobseeker's skills, rather than past experience or qualifications, and assess candidates in "a more equitable way".
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

LinkedIn has introduced a scheme in Singapore that aims to match a jobseeker's skillsets to available roles, rather than previous experience. The pilot encompasses a skills assessment tool and covers six job categories, including data analysts and supply chain management. 

Called Skills Path, the programme was designed to help hiring managers identify core skills needed for a new job vacancy and give candidates a "fairer shot" at these roles, LinkedIn's Asia-Pacific managing director Feon Ang, said in a post Saturday. 

The programme comprises a multiple-choice LinkedIn Skill Assessment as well as a video or written assessment that candidates take. If they pass the assessments, they will be slotted to speak with the recruiter. Under Skills Path, candidates also have free access to courses under LinkedIn Learning, so they can plug any skills gaps required for the role.  

Supported by Singapore's National Jobs Council, the pilot currently spans six main job categories including customer service, project manager, recruiter, and sales development, according to Ang. 

Roles would be suggested to jobseekers on LinkedIn based on their skills. She added that those seeking new work opportunities could discover Skills Path roles by setting their profile status to #OpenToWork on the professional networking platform.

"Taking this skills-based approach to opportunity will not only allow displaced workers new opportunities in different industries, regardless of past experience or education, but also help employers expand their talent pool and find the best candidates for open roles," she said. 

Skills Path would enable organisations to evaluate candidates in "a more equitable way". Ang said: "Companies must be encouraged and incentivised to keep an open mind in their hiring processes. I would encourage all companies to hire based on skills, instead of past experience or traditional qualifications, and to invest in developing their hires further afterward."

Citing stats from International Labour Organization, she noted that more than 250 million jobs were displaced last year amidst the global pandemic. But while industries such as aviation and travel were compelled to cut jobs, others such as logistics and e-commerce saw accelerated growth and struggled to find candidates for newly created roles, she said. 

Singapore, too, experienced a mismatch between available roles and workers with the right skillsets, she noted, adding that LinkedIn data revealed there were job opportunities available here. These included software engineers, business development managers, and data analysts.  

She underscored the need to provide more channels for workers to acquire the skills required for roles that were in demand as well as to boost their skills level to stay competitive in the current job market. 

To further support workers' transition to new careers, Ang said LinkedIn would host virtual workshops over the next three months. These would guide participants on how to set up a LinkedIn profile and tap their professional network, as well as provide insights on how companies hire. 

According to LinkedIn, an initial batch of companies participating in the Skills Path programme include CapitaLand, OCBC Bank, Lazada, Carousell, and Zuellig Pharma. 


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