Microsoft Simplifies Skills-Based Hiring To Combat Job Pandemic

Image credit: iStockphoto/Blue Planet Studio


The world is facing a second pandemic: job loss.

But is not because of less work available; the job scopes have changed as companies digitize and become more data-centric as part of their efforts to remain agile and resilient. 

With many companies seeing the need to automate and deploy artificial intelligence, blue-collar workers such as factory workers, retail associates, and truck drivers are being laid off. Yet, companies are finding it difficult to fill the new digital-based jobs.  

So, Microsoft launched a global initiative last June to retrain workers for the digital economy. To date, the company announced that 30 million people in 249 countries and territories benefited, with close to six million in the Asia Pacific. 

Now, the software giant is looking to extend its commitment to help 250,000 companies worldwide make a skills-based hire in 2021, targeting the talent pool it created. 

“Skills will be the new currency in the post-pandemic world. Over the past year, we’ve seen the pandemic affect people all across the world, including those who could bear it the least,” said Ahmed Mazhari, president of Microsoft Asia. 

“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,” he added.

To help globally make skills-based hires this year, the company is launching: 

  • A pilot of LinkedIn Skills Path, a new way to help companies hire for skills, brings together LinkedIn Learning courses with Skill Assessments. It will help recruiters source candidates based on their proven skills. LinkedIn is already piloting Skills Path with BlackRock, Gap Inc., and TaskRabbit.
  • Customized LinkedIn profile features will help people share more about themselves, their career, and their goals more authentically. 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 critical 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 improve workforce planning, hiring, and development programs.
  • Career Coach, a Microsoft Teams for Education app powered by LinkedIn, will provide personalized guidance for higher education students to navigate their career journey. Career Coach offers educational institutions a unified career solution for students to 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. The company believes it will help them grow real-world skills and connect with mentors and peers all in one place.
  • A new online service, Career Connector, will provide 50,000 job seekers worldwide with the opportunity to secure a tech-enabled job over the next three years. It will focus on learners who have built skills via Microsoft’s nonprofit and learning partners, emphasizing women and underrepresented minorities in technology. 

Image credit: iStockphoto/Blue Planet Studio