Top Soft Skills to Look for in IT Talent

October 16th, 2015

Just because a software developer can write code that compiles cleanly the first time around doesn’t mean they’re the right fit for your open position. There’s more to IT jobs than technical competence. Most technical work is done as part of a team, which means leadership, followership, and interpersonal skills are also needed on a daily basis. Look for the following soft skills when you assess a technical job candidate:

  • Communication.

Technical workers need to be able to communicate clearly with their technical peers, their management, and end users. Written communication skills are as important as verbal, due to the need to write technical documentation. If communication will be a major part of the job, asking the candidate to give a presentation as part of the interview process is helpful.

  • Problem solving.

Whether designing an application or resolving a production issue, technical jobs are about coming up with solutions. Ask the candidate to work through a real problem your team has encountered. The specific solution they come up with isn’t as important as the approach they take to solving it.

  • Business knowledge.

Technical knowledge will help the IT team build the solution right, but it’s business knowledge that will help make sure the right solution is built. The more your IT team understands about your business needs, the more effectively the technical solutions they implement will satisfy them.

  • Motivation.

The ideal employee cares about more than just their paycheck. They care about making a contribution, getting the job done, and making sure it’s done well. Motivated employees will step outside their job description when necessary to solve a problem. They’ll push through when schedules are tight, to make sure the project gets completed.

  • Adaptability.

Technology changes quickly, so you want your employees to be eager to keep their technical skills up-to-date. Most technical workers want to use the latest technologies, so that’s not usually a problem. More difficult is the ability to adapt to nontechnical changes. When business priorities change, resulting in changes in project priorities, that can be frustrating to IT staff. Look for job candidates who will be able to take these changes in stride, and contribute their best – even when things change.

InReach IT Solutions assesses candidates for both their technical and soft skills to make sure they can do the job.  Contact us to find out how our services can help meet your staffing needs.