Over 3 in 5 Singapore employers favour hard skills over soft skills: Poll

The Hays Asia Salary Guide 2019 showed that project management, statistical analysis and data mining, and computer skills were the most in-demand technical skills. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - More than three in five (65 per cent) Singapore employers favour technical skills over soft skills as a talent shortage drives businesses to favour practical know-how over emotional aptitude.

This is according to the Hays Asia Salary Guide 2019, which tracks salary and recruiting trends based on survey responses from over 3,000 employers in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.

Project management (56 per cent), statistical analysis and data mining (47 per cent) and computer skills (37 per cent) were the most in-demand technical skills.

For these hard skills, Singapore employers are least interested in Web architecture and development framework (9 per cent), UX or UI design (9 per cent), and programming languages (11 per cent).

For soft skills, problem solving (81 per cent), team working (80 per cent) and verbal communication (74 per cent) were the most in demand.

The least sought-after soft skills were negotiation abilities (25 per cent), time management (45 per cent) and flexibility (47 per cent).

Mr Grant Torrens, regional director of Hays Singapore, said: "As industries and roles evolve and expand, the skills in demand are ever-changing. Businesses in Singapore have been redefining the technical competencies required to grow and prosper."

He added that job candidates can benefit from staying updated on industry developments and constantly upskilling and reskilling to maintain competitiveness and leverage in the employment market.

Despite the findings, Mr Torrens said employers should still factor in soft skills when considering a new hire, as they are needed to "complement even the deepest of knowledge and widest breadths of experience".

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