top of page

Future of Work | 7 Most In-Demand Soft Skills By Singapore Employers

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

We gave an overview of why soft skills matter in our 5W1H guide. In this article, we dive into what are the soft skills that Singapore employers are looking for and how you can start to build them.


Table of contents

1. Communication

Tips to improve communication skills

2. Work Ethic

Tips to improve work ethic

3. Teamwork

Tips to improve teamwork skills

4. Problem Solving

4 Steps to approach any problems

Tips to improve problem-solving

5. Growth Mindset

Growth mindset vs Fixed mindset

Tips to improve growth mindset

6. Adaptability

Tips to improve adaptability

Actions you can take to be more adaptable

7. Leadership

Tips to improve leadership skills


With rapid globalisation and an increasingly educated workforce, competition has been toughening long before the pandemic hit. Economic indicators have consistently reflected a Singapore economy faced with challenging circumstances. COVID-19 was the final nail to the coffin.

While people have always talked about the importance of soft skills, its urgency and absolute necessity can be felt today. In an uncertain post-pandemic economy, soft skills such as adaptability and creative problem-solving are likely going to make the difference in whether a business sinks or swims.

There are overlaps in recurring mentions of soft skills that Singapore employers are looking for (read this Straits Times Op-ed that provides a landscape view on skills and this CNBC article on how mid-career workers are upskilling). We have found the most comprehensive sweep to be NTUC LearningHub’s Employer Skills survey.

Conducted during Singapore’s Circuit Breaker (April 2020), the survey identifies 10 soft skills that businesses are actively seeking as their top priority.

Top 10 NTUC LearningHub Adaptive Skills
No surprise there that adaptability and resilience skills take the number 1 seat
Top 10 NTUC LearningHub Digital Skills
And of course, digital skills are in-demand with remote work the new norm

With the ‘work-from-home’ era set to stay, it’s also worth mentioning that skillsets in web design (31%) and digital marketing (44%) are amongst the top 10 digital skills identified. A not-so-subtle plug, but while you’re here, check out the courses we have Hatch to help you find employment in these thriving sectors!

Without further ado, here are the 7 soft skills that Singapore employers are looking for (2020 edition)

Communication soft skills

1. Communication

Communication soft skills cover a two-way street: to convey ideas clearly and to listen empathetically to others.

To convey

Great communicators take nuanced approaches when interacting with others in different situations. Take for instance team project discussions which can sometimes lead to unproductive or hurtful clashes of perspectives. An individual who is skilled in communication can tactfully deliver his disagreement while avoiding conflict. Based on their knowledge of their audience’s response, they can adjust their communication styles to articulate ideas with precision and extra sensitiveness when needed.

To listen

Good communicators are also active listeners. This means they put in conscious effort to comprehend what the speaker is saying. While they are at it, they keep an open mind towards new ideas because they seek first to empathise. In the long-term, this establishes rapport and builds trust between colleagues and stakeholders.

Listening soft skill traditional chinese character
For our non-native Chinese speakers, this is the traditional chinese character for "listen"

Some tactics of active listening:

  • Paraphrasing what was said to clarify understanding

  • Asking questions

  • Not interrupting and jumping straight to problem-solving mode

Digital and Non-verbal communication

Digital communication via emails, instant messaging platforms and video conferencing platforms is an undeniable mode of communication in the 21st century working world. Even in written text, subtle cues in tonality are reflective of an individual’s professionalism and friendliness.

Communication can also be implicit through body language and gestures, tonality and facial expressions. Experts generally agree that