13 July 2017

Here's why the skills you have are going to help you get one of tomorrow's jobs

Legrand shows how LinkedIn is making breakthroughs connecting present-day skillsets with emerging job requirements.
Legrand shows how LinkedIn is making breakthroughs connecting present-day skillsets with emerging job requirements.

Olivier Legrand, MD, Asia Pacific, LinkedIn, says that many of us may already be partway towards meeting the requirements for the jobs which are most demand in the industry today, only we don't realise it.

In his keynote Job titles are out, skill sets are in during at the Singapore Computer Society's Tech3 Forum, Legrand said that LinkedIn is not just the platform to matchmake job seekers and employers, but also the company that will put members in touch with the right company, the right jobs and the right skills to acquire in order to stay relevant for the future.

Legrand spoke about LinkedIn's drive to offer more value to the approximately 3.3 billion workers and up to 50 million employers globally. against its 500 million members and 7 million active employers today. Some 30,000 schools are currently on the platform as well.

Legrand explained that there is an opportunity to help all stakeholders through analysing the skillsets that each member has and linking those skillsets with the skillsets actually required for new types of jobs. This is a completely different approach to the traditional focus of match-making members and employers by existing job titles. The company has been asking peers to endorse LinkedIn members for various skillsets for some time, and has amassed some 10 billion of these endorsements so far.

"The 10 billion skills endorsements actually shared by our members...allow us to have a unique view to have a skills taxonomy and what kinds of skills are needed to do the jobs," he said.

As an illustration, Legrand pointed to the crying need for data scientists and how few members currently have related job titles today. An analysis of data scientist-related jobs by skillset on LinkedIn reveals a list of skills that existing members may already possess, or possess to a significant degree, he said. Such insights allow employers to reach out to more people by disregarding their existing job titles, for LinkedIn to suggest new skills for the educational industry to offer, and for members to acquire, he said.

LinkedIn will be there every step of the way to empower members to take control of opportunities, he added. "We are investing in algorithms and machine learning to point you in the right direction," he confirmed.

In the case of data scientists, candidates need to have data knowledge, analytical skills and programming capability. There are 84,000 people on LinkedIn with the right job titles, but 576,000 who have at least five of the skillsets that data scientists are known to require. Casting the net further, Legrand said that 10 million individuals on LinkedIn have one or more of the 10 required skills.

"We're able to massively grow the talent pool about eight times through that exercise," he said. "We identified adjacencies in skills that would allow us to potentially invest in reskilling people who already have (what) it takes to be data scientists."

Legrand also shared the skills which are most in demand in Singapore, and noted that they are generally digital-related.

The skillsets most in demand in Singapore.
The skillsets most in demand in Singapore are mostly digital.

Legrand emphasised the importance of lifelong learning in a world where work requirements are continually evolving. "It's a reality," he said. "Your career path is not always a straight line. Stay open-minded, flexible and adaptable. The jobs of tomorrow will be different from those of today."

Legrand profiled Wui Liang Heng, Country Head, Singapore @ BankBazaar International, a fintech company focusing on mobile payments, as a prime example of a person who had undergone a mid-career switch because he believes in the new digital era. Heng made the effort to reach out on LinkedIn to people who were or had been in startups, which eventually led him to where he is today.

Legrand encouraged members in their pursuit of lifelong learning to emulate Heng, researching people on LinkedIn  and contacting them. The platform allows members to see what others are reading, liking and sharing in terms of professional content so that they can reach out in a meaningful way.

Legrand also spoke about best practices for creating a LinkedIn profile, using CEO of PerX Technologies Anna Gong's profile as an example. Some tips include:

- Add a summary with keywords, not buzzwords

- Add a photograph - the profile is is 21x more likely to be viewed by others

- Include your current position - the profile is 18x more likely to be viewed as a result

- List relevant skills – those with five or more skills are 17x more likely to be viewed by others

LinkedIn Asia Pacific has 13 offices in nine markets.

Held annually, the Tech3 Forum features luminary speakers and examines hot topics revolving around technology, talents and trends.