LinkedIn champions skills-based approach to revamp hiring in the post-COVID economy

  • LinkedIn equips over 30 million people globally with digital skills through collaborative initiative with Microsoft
  • New resources from LinkedIn and Microsoft to help 250,000 businesses hire candidates based on their skills in 2021
  • Steady trend of professionals seeking jobs outside their field as they switch industries
  • Transferable skills including communication, problem solving and digital literacy most wanted by employers
Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn EMEA Emerging Markets, Middle East & Africa at LinkedIn

Dubai, UAE: Companies must rethink their approach to hiring if they are to adapt to a dynamic labor market, improve workforce diversity and close the ever-increasing skills gap, say Microsoft and LinkedIn. Data from the world’s largest professional network finds that professionals in the UAE continue to harness transferable skills by moving into different industries or functions, where they may not have previous experience. 

Digital skills in particular are in demand, with data forecasting that the technology sector will add 150 million jobs globally in the next five years. In June last year, LinkedIn and Microsoft announced that they would offer free learning paths mapped to jobs that are in-demand to help members find jobs in an ever-changing economy.

As the world witnessed significant changes last year, so did the way we work and hire. For companies to succeed, they need to assess candidates on their skills and potential as much as their formal qualifications and work experience to ensure a fair recovery and successful future.

To help get people into jobs and employers to implement a skills-based hiring strategy, Microsoft and LinkedIn are launching a range of new tools and platforms designed to connect job seekers with employers. 

Skills-based hiring essential

To encourage employers to think differently about hiring practices, LinkedIn and Microsoft are partnering to help 250,000 companies around the world hire candidates based on their skills in 2021. LinkedIn is piloting Skills Path – a new way to help companies hire for skills – and creating a common skills language through the LinkedIn Skills Graph to help people, companies and governments improve workforce planning, hiring and development programs. 

Ali Matar, Head of LinkedIn EMEA Emerging Markets, Middle East & Africa at LinkedIn, said: “Traditional hiring practices of assessing candidates based on their formal qualifications and experience means that so many capable people that are currently unemployed, or facing unemployment, risk being locked out of the job market; a trend that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic crisis. While there is a growing understanding that skills are the engine of business growth, we want to help employers improve the diversity of their workforce, fill vital skills gaps, and ensure that workers don’t get left behind.”

Helping the UAE get back to work

In the last nine months, LinkedIn has helped 30 million people around the world, including more than 870,000 in MENA learn digital skills through our free online learning courses – with over 250,000 members in the UAE and 150,000 in Saudi Arabia benefit from these courses. The courses are now available to everyone for free until the end of 2021 at LinkedIn and Microsoft have launched new features and resources to help job seekers make their skills stand out to potential employers, and help employers move to a skills-based economy:

  • Cover Story is a new feature on the LinkedIn profile that can help people share their story in a more authentic and engaging way through video. If you’re a job seeker, Cover Story is a great way to share more about your career goals and showcase your soft skills to recruiters and hiring managers through your profile. Cover Story is being rolled out globally.
  • Career Explorer is an interactive tool to help people find jobs that match their skills. Using LinkedIn data, job seekers can see how their skills can lead them to new career opportunities, what additional skills they may need, along with LinkedIn Learning courses that can help fill those gaps. 
  • LinkedIn members can showcase their proficiency for hard skills with Skill Assessments and earn a badge which gets added to their LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn members with five or more skills listed on their LinkedIn profile are discovered up to 27x more in searches by recruiters, and those with a Skill Assessment badge on their profile are 20% more likely to get hired. 
  • LinkedIn members can use the #OpenToWork profile photo frame to signal to employers that they are looking for new opportunities. More than 6 million people are using the #OpentoWork photo frame, and they receive on average 40% more messages from recruiters and are 20% more likely to receive messages from the broader LinkedIn community. 
  • Job seekers can also access free LinkedIn interview preparation tools.  
  • Microsoft Career Connector will place 50,000 job seekers in tech-enabled jobs over the next three years. This new online platform will focus on learners who have built skills via Microsoft’s nonprofit and learning partners.

About LinkedIn:

LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful and transforms the way companies hire, learn, market, and sell. Our vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce through the ongoing development of the world’s first Economic Graph. LinkedIn has nearly 740 million members and has offices around the globe.