Soft Skills – Just as Important in IT as Technical Skills
Though advanced technical skills are obviously an important aspect in hiring, they are easier to acquire than soft skills, which really give IT candidates an edge over the competition.
What are soft skills? The Department of Labor lists soft skills as communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking and professionalism.
They are the intangible traits that allow for efficiency and collaboration on an IT project or within an IT team. According to a recent Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey, critical thinking/problem solving, professionalism/work ethic, leadership and written communications skills are the top four soft skills gaps.
The Intersect Group’s IT recruiters recently placed a candidate who possessed a number of soft skills which our team knows to be important to the efficiency of an IT department. After the candidate met with the application services team with one of The Intersect Group’s clients, the client knew they had to find a way to bring her on, even though there wasn’t an open requirement at the time.
This success story not only conveys the importance of soft skills, but also the importance of a human touch when it comes to hiring. Great candidates often fall through the cracks with an applicant tracking system, because they aren’t afforded the opportunity of an in-person meeting or interview.
For more information on the importance of soft skills in IT, check out this CIO article.