Singapore employers prioritise skills over education, experience: LinkedIn survey

Nine in 10 employers in Singapore also look inward to fill open roles.
Nine in 10 employers in Singapore also look inward to fill open roles.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Employers in Singapore seek to hire those with communication skills, problem-solving skills and strategic thinking over those with traditional attributes, professional networking platform LinkedIn said in a report.

Looking into the future of work, its survey found that 39 per cent of companies in Singapore look for those with technical skills, and 31 per cent look for transferable skills. This exhibits a preference over hiring based on traditional qualifications such as education (8 per cent) or work experience (12 per cent).

To close skills gaps, three in five companies may hire those from outside their industries, the survey found.

Nine in 10 employers here also look inward to fill open roles, with 65 per cent using existing employees to leverage insiders' perspectives. By hiring internally, the same number of respondents want to provide a sense of progress for staff and 55 per cent wish to encourage loyalty.

Companies must then upskill employees to meet needs, which may require human resource (HR) to take on more responsibilities. The report found that almost 60 per cent of companies in Singapore said HR plays an important role in employee training and development.

Fifty-seven per cent also indicated that HR plays a significant role in shaping business strategies during Covid-19, compared with less than half prior to the pandemic. This increases to nine in 10 companies in Singapore when discussing its role post-Covid-19.

Ms Feon Ang, LinkedIn's vice-president of talent and learning solutions for the Asia-Pacific region, said: "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."

The inaugural LinkedIn Future of Talent report compiles information from research carried out by market research firm GfK in January 2021. Among 3,500 respondents from small, medium and large enterprises from across the Asia-Pacific region, 505 HR personnel, senior-level hiring managers or top management from Singapore participated in the quantitative 20-minute online survey.