Singapore employers favour hard skills over soft skills: Poll

Most employers here favour technical skills over soft skills as a talent shortage bites into businesses, says a new survey.

It noted that 65 per cent of bosses polled put practical know-how over emotional aptitude.

It also found that project management, statistical analysis and data mining, and computer skills were the most in-demand technical skills.

When it comes to soft skills, problem solving, teamwork and verbal communication were almost universally in demand.

The least sought-after soft skills were negotiation abilities, time management and flexibility, according to the survey by recruitment company Hays Asia, which polled 3,000 employers in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.

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

Despite the findings, he 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".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2019, with the headline 'Singapore employers favour hard skills over soft skills: Poll'. Subscribe