Data from LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2020 revealed that the majority of Filipinos believe that having strong connections is important to get ahead in life. However, up to 60% believe that they do not have strong enough networks that can help connect them to opportunities. This may suggest that many are unsure of how to go about building their networks.
Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, it is all the more important for professionals to stay connected with their networks and even form new connections, to gain access to opportunities now, and in preparation for the future.
“We’re facing uncertain times as a global community. We are seeing organizations and workers everywhere impacted. During challenging times like this, we believe it is all the more important to build stronger networks. This can potentially aid us in seeking out new opportunities even as we weather through, and recover from this crisis,” said Olivier Legrand, managing director of LinkedIn Asia Pacific.
In the Philippines, it is found that compared to other age groups, 84% of Gen Z identify with having weak or no networks. Boomers, on the other hand, are most likely to have moderate to strong networks (68%).
Barrier to opportunities
In fact, younger Filipinos — who are building their careers or attempting to start their own business — feel that this lack of networks and connection is the second most difficult barrier to overcome to opportunities. This indicates that there may be a knowledge gap on just how exactly to go about building a reliable professional network.
Those who have stronger networks have the added advantage of accessing opportunities they want through connections. At LinkedIn, this is what the company calls the “network gap,” and it is influenced by various factors. For example, Filipinos who come from top schools are most likely to see their networks as strong or moderate, and those from major cities are most likely to believe they have strong or moderate networks. Narrowing the network gap is, therefore, a key step in ensuring more equal access to opportunities for all.
Narrowing the network gap
Through the LinkedIn platform, professionals from all over the world can reach out, seek advice, and learn from others. Younger professionals should get in touch with others if they need help, and those in a position to give advice or support are encouraged to do so as well.
In addition, resources such as LinkedIn Groups can help professionals connect with, and learn from, other professionals in the same industries they hope to venture into. LinkedIn members can also utilize the Skills Assessments tool, which will allow them to show competency in different skills, as well as help recruiters and hiring managers to locate candidates who have the skills they require. These may be a way to bridge the gap for members who feel they have weaker networks.
During this time, LinkedIn has also committed to connecting businesses with urgent and essential hiring needs to people who have the right skills via access to free hiring resources. The talent marketplace initiative launched across the globe by offering free job postings and promoting urgent jobs and hiring resources to help critical industries in the frontlines find talent quickly.