Article: LinkedIn’s two decades in moving the world of work forward with a skills-first approach

Learning Technology

LinkedIn’s two decades in moving the world of work forward with a skills-first approach

The importance of a professional networking and learning platform is now greater than ever in this fast-evolving climate, as skills take centre stage.
LinkedIn’s two decades in moving the world of work forward with a skills-first approach

When LinkedIn was launched in May 2003, it was going into uncharted waters and new territory. Its emphasises on members’ professional lives rather than personal pursuits, was unfamiliar then. Even posting your professional experience in public might have been seen as disloyalty to your company. However, rather than falling victim to them, LinkedIn challenged and changed these perceptions. 

Twenty years later, the company has built itself up as the world’s largest professional network with over 930 million members, including over 3 million in Singapore. One connection is made every second on LinkedIn in Singapore, and globally, 8 people are hired every minute on LinkedIn. Around the world, over 60 million people visit LinkedIn’s Jobs page every week, and conversations on the platform are increasing year-over-year, with the professional community presenting a captive audience for the 63 million businesses on LinkedIn to engage. Whether companies are looking to hire and develop talent, market and sell their products and services, or understand real-time labour market trends, LinkedIn’s unique data, insights and AI-powered technologies help them grow. 

Today, the relevance of a professional networking and learning platform is more than ever in this fast-evolving world of work to connect talent to businesses and vice versa. 

“Our mission has been creating economic opportunities for every member of the global workforce since day one. Through the years, we have evolved to address this by providing a unique view of the economy through a skills-first lens,” said Frank Koo, Head of Asia, Talent and Learning Solutions at LinkedIn. “Momentum is already building, as we can see how both employers are shifting their mindset to put skills at the centre of their hiring process and talent development and how members showcase skills and invest in learning. 

“However, we’re still in the early days of a paradigm shift where there are massive possibilities of how businesses and their workforce can have greater agility.” 

The future of skills is marked by accelerated change

Jobs are transforming at a rapid rate. This has put more focus on learning and development (L&D) leaders who are at the forefront of strengthening a skilled workforce in a period of accelerated macroeconomic shifts and digital adoption.​

For professionals, even if you are not changing jobs, the job is changing on you. In Singapore, according to LinkedIn data, skills have changed by 36% on average since 2015, and this pace of change has accelerated during the pandemic. At this rate, skills needed for any particular job in Singapore could change by close to 50% (46% to 51%) by 2025, with each job likely to see four new skills. For example, for an Operations Manager in the country, skills have already changed by 43.6%, which is a startling number. A skills-first strategy for developing a company’s talent then becomes extremely critical to enable and empower a resilient workforce for the long run.

Providing for upskilling and internal mobility opportunities is an essential talent strategy

LinkedIn’s members are adding skills to their LinkedIn Learning profiles like never before, with as many as 286 million skills back in 2022. Even L&D leaders are stepping up, given that 93% of them in Singapore agree that proactively building employee skills will help navigate the disruptive future of work. In other words, reskilling and upskilling have become critical strategies for organisations and employees equally to wade through these unpredictable times. For companies especially, it also ties into reducing hiring costs, with 77% of L&D Leaders also believing that it’s less expensive to reskill a current employee than hire a new one.

Skill-building has an equally powerful role to play when it comes to internal mobility, which directly feeds into talent retention. LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report highlights how 98% of business leaders in Singapore are concerned about employee retention and how 7 in 10  provide learning opportunities to improve employee retention. 

This is not surprising because data shows that 75% of employees would stay longer at a company if there were more skill-building opportunities, and 9 in 10 L&D professionals agree an engaged learner is an engaged employee​. After all, employees today crave career progression within the company because it showcases that the company is invested in their growth. Inevitably, it leads to higher engagement rates.

Building a culture of internal mobility can be a game-changer for overall organisational culture, as LinkedIn data shows that companies that excel at internal mobility retain employees for nearly 2x as long and end up retaining them for 5.4 years compared to 2.9 years for those that don’t do it well​. If you want to ensure your critical talent doesn’t leave, then it's high time to align upskilling with career growth journeys within the organisation. 

Empowering the company leadership to lead the way

A culture of learning and internal mobility needs to be strengthened by the leadership. For example, for AIA Singapore, six months after the launch of the LinkedIn Learning programme in their company, 94% of the employees activated their learning licenses. The average user was found to have spent nearly two hours each learning on the platform over that time of six months. ​The CEO was a leading advocate of this strategy, and even the department heads came up with a variety of ways to drive learning within their teams, from impressing its value to people managers to curating and recommending playlists of courses on relevant topics for employees. 

Additionally, the company asked employees two questions on how they felt about the development opportunities offered at the company. Year-over-year, those two questions saw the biggest increases within the survey, leading to an overall higher engagement score. This is the impact of skilling when championed by leadership and with the right tools and technologies.

Drive a disruption-proof business strategy with LinkedIn

Learning not only drives higher employee retention and engagement but also builds workforce skills for business transformation.​ LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. One of the ways it does so is to map skills using data and insights from its Economic Graph to know what the core skills are to enable your workforce to stay ahead of the curve. 

This is evident in how quickly the platform has dialled up the library of content in tech offerings to address the needs of today’s workforce and the fast-evolving business environment. There are over 100 AI Courses spanning sandboxing, Git-hub and several hands-on training modules that LinkedIn has made available for free until the end of June 2023 to keep the learning culture in full swing. This will help company leaders to keep a pulse on the shifting business landscape and empower their talent to lead growth and transformation. After all, the future of your organisation starts with your people. 

“We know that the world of work is constantly changing, from the technologies we use to do our jobs to the skills we need to develop in our careers. And today it’s driven by AI,” said Georgina O'Brien, Director - Learning & Engagement, APAC at LinkedIn at People Matters L&D Singapore Conference recently. Her keynote session outlined critical insights on how organisations can take the lead when it comes to building an agile workforce. Undoubtedly, the current business climate is impacted by disruption, with one of the driving forces being Generative AI. “We are in an era driven by rapid advances in automation and emerging technologies, with new opportunities and accompanying challenges. A mindset of continuous learning is more important than ever,” she said. 

LinkedIn identified generative AI as the fastest-growing AI-related skill among professionals in 2022. Globally, the number of jobs on LinkedIn mentioning GPT also increased by over 50%  from 2021 to 2022. 

“At LinkedIn, we’re committed to creating a skills-first labour market that matches businesses and people based on skills, ushering in a world of work that is more dynamic, equitable, and resilient through this environment of constant change,” added Koo.

To learn more about how LinkedIn Talent Solutions can empower you to lead in the future of disruption, click here. 

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Topics: Learning Technology, Learning & Development, Skilling, #PMLnDSG, #FutureOfWork

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