Microsoft and LinkedIn will help job seekers and employers move to a skills-based economy 
 
Skills have become the new currency in the post-pandemic world and Microsoft Corp. and LinkedIn are laying the foundation for a skills-based economy through new tools and platforms that connect skilled job seekers with employers.

Microsoft has helped over 30 million people in 249 countries and territories gain access to digital skills, of which over 150,000 are from the Philippines.

From laid-off factory workers to retail associates and truck drivers, millions of people turned to online learning courses from GitHub, LinkedIn, and Microsoft during the pandemic to help prepare for and secure the most in-demand roles, including customer service, project management, and data analysis.

LinkedIn and Microsoft initiatives

Microsoft Asia President Ahmed Mazhari said, “For us to emerge stronger from the pandemic, reskilling needs to be at the center of our economic reset. Together with LinkedIn, we are doubling down our efforts to re-design work in the region by supporting the development of a more inclusive skills-based labor market, creating more alternatives, greater flexibility, and accessible learning paths that connect people more readily with new job opportunities.”

“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 250,000 organizations make a skills-based hire,” said Olivier Legrand, managing director and vice president, Asia Pacific & China, LinkedIn.

Some of these tools for companies to make skills-based hires this year include:

LinkedIn Skills Path

Skills Path brings together LinkedIn Learning courses with Skill Assessments to help recruiters source candidates more equitably — based on their proven skills. LinkedIn is piloting Skills Path with various companies, including BlackRock, Gap Inc., and TaskRabbit, committed to broadening their hiring practices to better include candidates with diverse experiences.  

Expressive and personalized LinkedIn profile features

These will help people share more about themselves, their career, and goals more authentically and engagingly. This includes a video Cover Story that allows job seekers to demonstrate their soft skills to recruiters and hiring managers. Seventy-five percent of hiring managers believe a standard resume is insufficient in evaluating a candidate’s soft skills, and almost 80% believe video has become more important when evaluating candidates.  

Expanded access to LinkedIn’s Skills Graph

This will help create a common skills language for individuals, employers, educational institutions, and government agencies to help improve workforce planning, hiring, and development programs.  

Career Coach

Microsoft will supplement LinkedIn’s work to promote far-reaching digital skills opportunities, including Career Coach, a Microsoft Teams for Education app powered by LinkedIn that provides personalized guidance for higher education students to navigate their career journey.

Career Coach offers educational institutions a unified career solution for students to help them discover their goals, interests, and skills using an AI-based skills identifier and LinkedIn integration that 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. 

Microsoft’s plan for the Philippines

Microsoft’s “Para sa Bayan” program, aims to positively impact 25 million Filipinos over the next three years by stimulating digital transformation, building coalitions for responsible innovation, closing the skills gap and enhancing employability, and creating sustainable societal impact. Within this greater effort are strategic programs and partnerships aimed towards students, government agencies, private organizations, communities, and associations. 
 
Education is Microsoft’s key focus, thus it collaborates with the Department of Education (DepEd) to transform the said sector with technology. Before COVID-19, Microsoft and DEPED have embarked on a project that provides free Microsoft 365 accounts to over 20 million public school students and 900,000 teachers in 48,000 schools all over the country. To date, over 400,000 teachers have been trained in Office 365, Teams, and other digital teaching tools. Microsoft is continuously working with the DepEd in other projects to ensure that Filipino teachers and students gain relevant digital skills. 
 
Microsoft is also partnering with the Philippine government to upskill up to 800,000 government employees and 5 million students to foster economic development and inclusive growth.  
 
It will also partner with the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines, ABS-CBN, Philippine Airlines, IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines, Grab Philippines, and CloudSwyft.

“COVID-19 has increased the need for digital skills, and we are committed to meeting that need however we can—paving the way for a more resilient Philippines and allowing all sectors of society to contribute to the country’s economic recovery. We will continue to partner with the government, the private sector, non-profits, and NGOs to have a whole nation approach,” said Andres Ortola, general manager of Microsoft Philippines./