Report: PH firms prefer to hire workers with skills over education or experience

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A new report from LinkedIn has found that skills will continue to pave the way for economic recovery and growth and eventually become the new currency for workers in the future workplace.

More companies in the Philippines would prefer to hire candidates with skills over qualifications such as education or experience, the study said.

On top of hiring externally, companies in the Philippines were willing to tap existing talent to fill open roles. To help their employees learn new skills, many companies now have a dedicated training program.

Another finding is that HR played a more prominent role during the pandemic, such as taking the lead in training employees. “As we move into the post-Covid-19 era, HR will be at the forefront of company strategy,” the report said.

It was last year that skills rose to the fore — workers were starting to acquire new skills, and organizations began to practice skills-based hiring, the report observed.

This trend is expected to continue, the report said, with more companies in the Philippines preferring to hire candidates with technical skills (38%) and transferable skills (28%) over traditional qualifiers like education (12%) and minimum years of experience (16%).

Three in five companies are open to hiring employees from another industry if they match the job requirements, according to the report.

“As organizations look beyond assessing a candidate solely based on traditional qualifiers and turn their focus towards skills, they can plug vital gaps while reaping the rewards of a more diverse and adaptable workforce,” it said.

External hiring is not the only way to acquire skills in demand, the report said, with companies becoming more open to tapping their talent from within to fill available roles.

Nearly 9 in 10 companies in the Philippines are willing to hire internally as they can leverage existing employees’ insider’s perspective (65%), provide a sense of progress to employees (65%), and encourage loyalty (45%).

However, companies must provide training programs to aid employees in learning the relevant skills, it added. Companies in the Philippines look for three soft skills, particularly when hiring internally, namely, problem-solving, adaptability, and ability to work in teams.

“As a result of the pandemic, new roles have been created and existing ones have evolved. Hiring talent with the right skills set for these roles is very important to organizations,” Feon Ang, vice president for talent and learning solutions in Asia Pacific, at LinkedIn.

“These days, it matters less that the talent has the traditional qualifications or industry experience. Going forward, we can expect to see a skills-based economy take shape, with skills becoming the new currency for workers in the future world of work. I encourage all individuals to adopt a growth mindset and keep learning to stay relevant.”

To implement a hiring process based on skills, HR leaders are tapping on the power of data and insights, the report noted.

More than 9 in 10 companies in the Philippines understand the importance of using data-driven insights in their hiring decisions. The top areas of data usage are in identifying skills needed in the future (57%), getting information to measure employee performance (57%), and knowing the top technical skills required for a particular role (57%).

The study said data can also help companies design practical employee engagement activities. With 37% of companies in the Philippines experiencing higher employee attrition due to Covid-19, companies have to double down on employee engagement efforts to help employees stay inspired and connected.

According to the report, flexible working plans are the most effective activity in boosting engagement level, and this is especially important with hybrid and remote work here to stay. On average, companies in the Philippines aim for a mix of 46% remote employees and 54% physical employees.

Ang said: “With skills being an engine of growth now and into the future, HR and business leaders must be equipped with advanced tools like data analytics. These tools can help them identify both potential candidates who have those set of skills and internal hires who can be reskilled.”

The roles and responsibilities of HR will expand, especially in employee training and engagement, the study stressed.

During Covid-19, the report saw an expansion of HR’s roles and responsibilities. In the Philippines, 56% of companies said HR played an essential role in employee training and development, and 60% cited employee engagement as another important area of HR’s role.

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