New initiative to employ job seekers in Singapore based on skills, instead of past qualifications, titles

This Skills Path initiative presents an alternative route for candidates to get hired.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - More job seekers here can look forward to getting hired based on their skills — instead of traditional yardsticks such as past job titles and educational qualifications — under a new programme designed to promote skills-based employment among companies.

This Skills Path initiative presents an alternative route for candidates to get hired, said professional social network LinkedIn in announcing the pilot on Friday (Aug 13).

"Today, it is far more relevant to hire workers based on their existing skills, and invest in their development thereafter, through on-the-job training or learning courses," LinkedIn added.

This comes as more companies shift away from conventional hiring practices to discover potential employees and plug their skills gaps amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year, some growth sectors such as e-commerce, for instance, struggled to find workers to fill newly created roles.

The new programme, supported by the National Jobs Council, builds on LinkedIn's efforts to help job seekers demonstrate their competencies, as well as support firms in expanding their pool of talent with diverse experiences.

Companies that have come on board to offer roles under the initiative include CapitaLand, Carousell, foodpanda, Lazada, NTUC Enterprise, OCBC Bank, Zalora and Zuellig Pharma. These firms are hiring for positions such as recruiters, data analysts and supply chain coordinators.

LinkedIn Asia-Pacific managing director Feon Ang called on more organisations to join the programme to meet the demand for skills, adding that the company has plans to expand its Skills Path initiative globally.

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"This also signifies the start of our rallying cry to everyone who can help. The transition to a skills-based economy is not a task that can be solely undertaken by a single entity," she said.

Under the Skills Path programme, suitable opportunities will be suggested to job seekers on the LinkedIn platform from next month. This will be based on their proven skills.

Job seekers pursuing open roles through the programme can pick up the required skills with free learning courses on LinkedIn and validate their skills after. They can improve their applications by submitting a video or written introduction to showcase their soft skills.

Shortlisted candidates can expect to speak to a recruiter within two weeks.

Currently, six types of roles will be available under Skills Path: customer service personnel, data analysts, project managers, recruiters, supply chain coordinators and sales development professionals.

To improve the employability of workers, LinkedIn will also be offering more help through virtual workshops. The workers will learn how to set up a profile on the platform and gain insights on how firms hire, among other tips. The workshops will run from this month to November.

Future of work

Participating firms believe the programme will pave the way for the future of work.

Zalora chief people officer Louise Pender said skills will be the new currency in a post-pandemic world. "In the modern workforce, a candidate's future potential and the skills they have will be more important than their past work history," she added.

Foodpanda Singapore's head of people Judit Hordai said investing in inclusive hiring practices that embrace a wider range of qualities and perspectives gives it a competitive advantage.

She added: "Not only will it help level the playing field for all applicants, but it also provides us with access to an even more diverse talent pool of Singaporeans."

This article was first published in The Straits TimesPermission required for reproduction.