Microsoft to help 250,000 firms make a skills-based hire

By Kate Birch
Having already helped 30 million people gain access to digital skills, and 6 million across APAC, Microsoft and LinkedIn extend commitment to companies...

Since the onset of the pandemic, Microsoft, in partnership with LinkedIn, has helped more than 30 million people across 249 countries and territories gain access to digital skills, of which close to 6 million are from across Asia Pacific. This tops the tech giant’s initial goal of 25 million globally last June. 

Millions of people turned to online learning courses from GitHub, LinkedIn and Microsoft during the pandemic to help prepare for and secure the most critical skilled jobs, including customer service, project management and data analysis. 

And now, with skills set to be the new currency in the post-pandemic world, Microsoft and LinkedIn have moved into the next stage of the initiative and are extending through 2021 free LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn courses and low-cost certifications that align to 10 of the most in-demand jobs, and in addition extending their commitment to help 250,000 companies globally make a skills-based hire in 2021.

In order for people to emerge stronger from the pandemic, “reskilling needs to be at the centre of our economic reset”, says Microsoft Asia’s President Ahmed Mazhari. “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 labour market, creating more alternatives, greater flexibility, and accessible learning paths that connect people more readily with new job opportunities.”

Commitment to help 250,000 firms make skills-based hires

LinkedIn plans to help 250,000 companies globally make skills-based hires this year through new and existing hiring products, providing new ways for job seekers to demonstrate their skills and new tools for employers to connect to candidates.

“More and more, we are seeing skills-based hiring becoming critical in our world of work,” says Olivier Legrand, VP, Asia Pacific & China, LinkedIn. “We’ve seen people across the globe express a desire to learn and build their skills, and organisations too are hiring based on skills instead of traditional qualifications.”

Committed to helping everyone shift towards a skills-based economy, “we will continue our efforts to equip jobseekers with the right resources to pick up new skils, and connect them to opportunities, as well as aim to help 250,000 organisations make a skills-based hire.”

These include:

  • Pilot of LinkedIn Skills Path A new way to help companies hire for skills. Skills Path brings together LinkedIn Learning courses with Skill Assessments to help recruiters source candidates in a more equitable way — 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.
  • New expressive and personalised LinkedIn profile features will help people share more about themselves, their career and goals in a more authentic and engaging way. This includes a video Cover Story that allows 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, and almost 80% believe video has become more important when evaluating candidates.*
  • Expanded access to LinkedIn’s Skills Graph will help create a common skills language for individuals, employers, educational institutions and government agencies to help improve workforce planning, hiring and development programs.

Microsoft to supplement LinkedIn’s work

Microsoft is bringing together every part of the company to 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 personalised guidance for higher education students to navigate their career journey. 

Also, as part of the initiative, Microsoft has worked closely with its nonprofit partners to help provide wrap-around support with coaching, mentoring and networking to nearly 6 million learners worldwide. 


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