AS AI TRANSFORMS WORK: Research cites important role of talent development

With skills needed for a job changing by a staggering 68% by 2030 due to the impact of AI, 91% of companies in the Asia Pacific (APAC) say they plan to enhance their people’s skills and abilities in the new year.

Today, the top five skills that hiring managers in APAC consider the most important in the era of AI show are a combination of both hard and soft skills–problem-solving abilities (35%), communications skills (27%), critical thinking (25%), AI skills (19%) and IT & web skills (17%).

Feon Ang, Vice President, LinkedIn Talent Solutions and Managing Director, APAC, says, “In the past year, the narrative was dominated by technological advancements, particularly the integration of AI into business workflows. The resulting surge in demand for AI expertise reflected the challenges many businesses faced in navigating this transformative shift and incorporating cutting-edge technologies into their operations. However, we are now witnessing a pronounced shift towards skills – both technical and soft skills – to thrive in the era of AI. Investing in people’s growth is no longer a perk but a strategic imperative, considering that our workforce is the driving force behind companies’ success in an era shaped by both AI innovation and collaboration with AI.”

Previous LinkedIn research[1] has found that professionals in the Philippines are willing to embrace AI in the workplace. Seven in 10 (70%) Filipino professionals want to learn more about AI, and more than half (55%) already use generative AI in their jobs. Filipino professionals are optimistic that AI will positively transform their careers, with almost all (97%) saying they are excited to use AI at work and believe it will help them progress (95%).

Soft skills, alongside the ability to learn, are becoming increasingly important

A staggering 88% of employers in APAC markets LinkedIn studied have observed substantial changes in the skills and qualifications they prioritize in job candidates due to the pervasive impact of AI and automation in their industries. Companies are placing emphasis on candidates who possess not only AI expertise but also soft skills and a capacity for learning.

In Southeast Asia (SEA), according to LinkedIn’s latest Workplace Learning Report, an astounding 95% of Learning & Development (L&D) professionals believe that human skills are increasingly becoming the most competitive in our economy. In particular, “Communication” has topped LinkedIn’s most in-demand skills list across all countries in APAC – in the Philippines, Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, and Singapore. This is not surprising in a new world of work where AI tools are freeing time for professionals to excel in jobs only people can do, like building relationships and collaborating with others.

In addition, 40% of APAC hiring managers consider an individual’s potential for growth and ability to learn the most critical factor when evaluating internal and external candidates.

Creating a culture of continuous learning to stay relevant

A large majority of companies in APAC (91%) are also focused on preparing their employees for the future world of work by enhancing their skills and capabilities, believing that this will lead to increased confidence and job security. In fact, APAC HR professionals are offering online training programs (44%), and internal learning and development sessions focused on generative AI (43%) to do so.

As companies increasingly invest in learning opportunities, the focus on creating a learning culture has soared, becoming a top priority for L&D professionals in 2024 across all APAC markets. In fact, 91% of them in SEA say they can show business value by helping employees gain skills to move into different internal roles.

Creating a culture of continuous learning in its workforce has been part of Security Bank’s priorities as it invests in enhancing its employees’ skills. “LinkedIn Learning has become our comprehensive learning and employee engagement hub, offering everything in one place. During the pandemic, SBC Academy implemented a ‘learn anytime, anywhere’ strategy utilizing LinkedIn Learning, enabling learners to access learning materials remotely in their homes. Emphasizing flexibility and convenience, this approach allows individuals to pursue their learning objectives on their terms,” Eileen Reyes, First Vice President, SBC Academy Head of Security Bank, said.

Attracting and retaining top talent through internal mobility

A recent survey of APAC leaders has revealed that internal mobility is becoming an increasingly important factor in attracting and retaining top talent within organizations. The survey found that 48% of APAC leaders identified providing career progression opportunities as their key priority this year.

Close to 4 in 10 (37%) of hiring managers see career growth opportunities as key to retaining top talent, along with competitive salary and workplace benefits (39%). In addition, close to half (49%) of APAC employers believe that highlighting opportunities for career advancement and increasing internal mobility are the top two ways to attract talent. These findings suggest that organizations in the APAC region would do well to focus on internal mobility as a key strategy for attracting and retaining top talent in the years to come.

To assist companies in their pivot towards a skills-centric approach, LinkedIn has introduced innovative AI-powered experiences, featuring:

  • Tools such as Recruiter 2024, LinkedIn’s AI-assisted recruiting experience, enables hirers to quickly access high-quality candidate recommendations by using natural language search prompts and rich data from millions of professionals and companies, ensuring they are able to shortlist talent based on skills they need. These features will ramp to all APAC customers in English-speaking markets from end February.
  • To empower companies to build the skills they need for the next decade of work, we’ve launched AI-powered coaching in LinkedIn Learning–a chatbot experience that offers real-time advice and tailored content recommendations, all personalized for learners based on their job title, career goal, and skills they follow. This is currently available to APAC customers in English-speaking markets. We’ve been focused on expanding our in-demand skill library, including AI courses that have seen a 5X uptick in learners.
  • In early March, we will launch new career development and internal mobility features within LinkedIn Learning to help guide employees to critical skills, develop skills that matter to grow, and connect to the best-fit opportunity at their organization. This will be available in English, Hindi, Japanese, Indonesian and Malay, amongst others.

Ang says, “Business leaders recognize that they cannot rely on old talent playbooks in this new era of work that’s being reshaped by AI, where skills needed for the same job will change by 68% by 2030. Every minute, LinkedIn helps 7 people get hired and 140 hours of learning content is consumed.  Building on this, we’ve supercharged our hiring and learning solutions to help companies recruit and retain the best talent.”

In the Philippines, leading digital solutions provider Globe said they are dedicated to investing and leveraging advanced AI-powered employee learning experiences to adapt and thrive in this fast-evolving business environment. “LinkedIn Learning’s AI-powered coaching is a groundbreaking feature that greatly enhances the overall learning journey of our employees. Using AI tools enables our employees to gain valuable hands-on experience and a deeper understanding of AI, accelerating the adoption and habituation of the practical and ethical use of AI in real work settings,”  Renato Jiao, Chief Human Resource Officer at Globe, said


LinkedIn’s latest research was conducted by Censuswide, among a sample of 4323 Hiring managers (middle management+) aged 18-77 in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, USA, India, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, China, Netherlands, Sweden, MENA, and Brazil. The data was collected between 15.12.2023 – 04.01.2024. [Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct based on the ESOMAR principles.]

[1]Research conducted by Censuswide and based on 1527 workers in the Philippines aged 16+ between 23.08.23 and 29.08.23. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct, which is based on the ESOMAR principles.