Local SMEs driving demand for young, tech-savvy talent: report

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Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Philippines are adopting technologies and hiring professionals with technology-related skills, according to data from Internet firm LinkedIn. In the Philippines, there are more than 7 million members on the network.

LinkedIn’s research found that technology-related skills have the highest year-on-year growth among SMEs, indicating ongoing initiatives to improve their products, services, and operations.

The fastest growing skills of SMEs in the Philippines are:

  • Graphic design
  • Social media
  • Spreadsheet
  • User experience design
  • Email management
  • Virtual Assistant
  • React Native
  • Back-End Web Development
  • Data Visualization
  • Transcription

SMEs are also recruiting young talent to help them achieve their goals, the report said. Generation Y, also known as millennials, make up 77 percent of SME employees, while Generation Z, who have recently graduated from college and are stepping into their first jobs, account for 4 percent. Generation X and Baby Boomers comprise 16 percent and 3 percent, respectively, of SME employees.

While SME owners’ priority is to run their day-to-day operations, the report said spending time to understand skills gaps and develop a talent strategy is critical to the business. SMEs are looking to hire new employees with specific skills and qualities that would help create or maintain an efficient, professional and productive workplace, it said.

However, they often struggle with lean teams and budgets, the report noted. This makes it challenging to recruit young and digitally-savvy professionals who have access to diverse information and career options, it said. As SMEs look to attract the right talents, they can benefit from a more thoughtful approach to hiring, the report added.

“While today’s young professionals have a variety of options when looking for a job, we have found that they are drawn to opportunities that align with their purpose and enable them to develop themselves. Small and medium business owners interested in attracting them to be part of their teams can benefit from being open about their own aspirations, cultivating authentic connections, and sharing growth opportunities available to employees,” said Olivier Legrand, managing director for Asia-Pacific at LinkedIn.

“Finding the right talent is one of the most important decisions SMEs can make in their journeys. While being more deliberate about hiring can take more time and effort, it can save them a lot of issues down the line, and open up more opportunities for business growth,” said Legrand.

For SMEs who are looking to build relationships with talent needed for their growth, LinkedIn shares the following tips:

1. Consider both the hard and soft skills needed for your business.

While the fastest rising skills reflect the efforts of SMEs to take advantage of platforms available today, new innovations may emerge in the near future. This signals to SMEs to also look at soft skills like creativity and critical thinking in the hiring process. These enable talent to respond to potential disruption or seize emerging possibilities for their business. By clearly communicating these when they post on LinkedIn Jobs, SME employers enable the platform to match them to talent whose professional preferences align with their needs.

2. Showcase and celebrate your company’s culture and purpose.

Indicating interest in professional content, SME employees in the Philippines follow 34 percent more company LinkedIn Pages compared to those working in large enterprises. SME employers can take advantage of this by publishing job openings, posts, photos, videos, and articles about what it is like to work in their company. They can also explore LinkedIn’s new Open for Business feature that enables business owners to showcase their services on their page, making it easier for future employees or customers to find them.

3. Offer learning and development opportunities.

SME employees in the Philippines are interested in learning and developing themselves. They are taking online classes on LinkedIn Learning, with courses tagged “Personal Development” topping their interest. SME employers are encouraged to incorporate learning and development programs for their teammates. These can take the form of quick online courses that can be taken individually or as a group.

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