JobKeeper Ending Is Seeing Employers Finally Start to Value Skills Over Qualifications


It’s a tale as old as time. You spot a great-looking role, only to discover the hiring manager is asking for five years of industry experience. Though you’ve accrued a killer skill set that’s most desirable for the position you’re applying for, you’re let down by your “lack of experience”, nevermind the fact you’re eager and capable of learning the ins and outs of the job on the spot.

But work is currently underway to rewrite the experience vs. expertise debate, and it’s about time. While qualifications and experience have been valued most highly in the past, there’s a new movement towards prioritising a candidate’s skills and potential above these checkboxes.

This week, Microsoft and LinkedIn have teamed up with a goal to help 250,000 companies shift towards a skills-first hiring approach. The tech companies plan to carry out this initiative with new and existing hiring products.

Over on LinkedIn, new products will allow for people to share more about their job aspirations for the future. “We’re launching new LinkedIn Profile features to help our members better represent themselves in a more authentic way, and share their career goals and aspirations,” a press release reads.

The Cover Story feature will allow members to upload a short video to their profiles. The feature makes for an easy way to introduce your personality and demonstrate your soft skills to recruiters and hiring managers.

The new Pronoun fields give members the opportunity to add gender pronouns at the top of their profile, and the data shows this new feature is beneficial across the board. 70% of job seekers believe it’s important that recruiters and hiring managers know their gender pronouns, and 72% of hiring managers agree and believe it shows respect.

In addition, a new Service Pages feature allows freelancers to list their services, to ultimately help them attract new business and showcase a broad range of skills a CV may not encapsulate.

As for Microsoft, the new partnerships builds on the tech company’s existing efforts to help workers through the challenging events of the pandemic and its effect to the workforce. Last year, Microsoft launched a global skills initiative that helped more than 30 million people around the world build digital skills for in-demand jobs.

Now, in 2021, Microsoft is extending free LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn courses to continue this important work. It has also announced a new digital service called Career Connector, which will provide 50,000 people, with an emphasis on women and underrepresented minorities, the opportunity to secure a tech-enabled job over the next three years.

The news comes just days after the Australian Government’s JobKeeper program was ended.

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