Education, Career and Personal Development

Critical Core Skills That Employers Want

Published by SkillsFuture Singapore

According to the Skills Demand for the Future Economy Report 2022, employers have been increasing their demand for specific soft skills, also known as Critical Core Skills.

Here are 16 Critical Core Skills that employers have identified as key to their businesses.

Diagram of the 16 Critical Core Skills


Based on a study by the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL), out of the 16 Critical Core Skills, the 3 most important ones are:

1.      Self Management
2.      Influence
3.      Creative Thinking

Depending on your job role, some Critical Core Skills could be more important than others.  Scroll down to read more about:

1.      the full list of Critical Core Skills that can have a positive impact on your career and,
2.      the steps you can take to close your skills gaps.

The 16 Critical Core Skills Explained

Thinking Critically


1. Creative Thinking

Creative Thinking is your ability to consider and connect multiple ideas and information to form solutions or develop new ways of working. Known to champion innovation and creativity, individuals who exhibit creative thinking tend to be experimental and enjoy thinking outside the box. They are often the ones pushing boundaries and reshaping current processes at work. 

2. Decision Making 
Decision Making involves the process of implementing a structured decision from multiple sources of information.

3. Problem Solving
Problem Solving refers to the ability to handle difficult or unexpected situations by generating effective and efficient solutions.

4. Sense Making 
Sense Making is about interpreting and analysing information to identify or recognise patterns and opportunities. 

5. Transdisciplinary Thinking 
Transdisciplinary Thinking allows us to apply concepts from multiple disciplines to supplement our knowledge to make decisions and solve problems.

Interacting with Others

6. Building Inclusivity 
Building Inclusivity represents the skill to manage relationships across diverse groups.

7. Collaboration 
Collaboration is about managing relationships and being a good team player.

8. Communication 
Communication skills encompass the art of conveying and exchanging information effectively and clearly.

9. Customer Orientation 
Customer Orientation is the ability to build relationships with customers, both internal and external, to anticipate their needs and solicit feedback to deliver an effective customer experience.

10. Developing People
Developing People is a leadership quality that seeks to empower individuals themselves and others to learn, and develop their strengths to enhance performance.

11. Influence
Influence is your ability to demonstrate empathy and communicate well. Individuals with influence tend to have high emotional intelligence. They can build effective relationships with people and influence behaviours, beliefs, or attitudes to achieve desired outcomes.

Staying Relevant

12. Adaptability 
Adaptability is the ability to exercise flexibility in behaviours or approaches to respond to changes.

13. Digital Fluency
Digital Fluency is about knowing how to use the right digital tools across work processes and activities to solve problems, drive efficiency and make information sharing easy. 

14. Global Perspective 
Individuals with a Global Perspective demonstrate an awareness and understanding of global challenges and opportunities.

15. Learning Agility
People with Learning Agility are able to make use of different learning approaches to facilitate continuous career development.

16. Self Management
Self Management is your ability to take ownership of your effectiveness, personal brand and well-being.

Individuals with this skill have a high level of self-awareness and practise self-care. They can identify red flags such as stress triggers and take steps to resolve such situations.


Next Steps


Critical Core Skills are skills that build skills. Here are steps you can take to equip yourself with the skills to stay ahead.

1. Sign up for Courses to Close Your Skills Gap

Click here for a list of courses for Critical Core Skills. 


2. Learn about Workplace Learning

Effective methods of developing Critical Core Skills include on-the-job training and peer learning. For managers and employers, find out more about workplace learning here.


3. Learn more about the 16 Critical Core Skills

To learn more about the 16 Critical Core Skills that matter to you, click here.


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Last updated on 30 Apr 2024