Tech professionals are the most sought-after talent in the market, which is indicated by the incredibly low unemployment rate of 1.3% compared to the national unemployment rate of 3.6%. These numbers make it a challenge for companies to hire and retain IT talent, which has created a competitive environment. Companies are now offering significant sign-on bonuses, flexible schedules, and/or fully paid healthcare benefits to snag the next candidate. So how can tech professionals land one of these highly desirable roles? Tech professionals will have to showcase their hard skills, but they will also need to highlight any highly sought-after soft skills to help differentiate them from the competition. We share the top five soft skills sought after in IT employees and how to showcase them during an interview.
SOFT SKILLS vs. HARD SKILLS
The difference between soft skills and hard skills is specificity. Hard skills are specifically related to a job function, whereas soft skills are personal attributes that allow us to work effectively with others. Soft skills help determine a person’s drive, motivation, and passions. Soft skills are much harder to measure since they are personable and subjective than hard skills, which are pretty black and white.
Why are they equally important?
Hard skills help determine if an employee or candidate can perform the job. Soft skills help determine if the candidate will fit in with the company’s culture. Soft skills also indicate a candidate’s ability to grow with the firm. Employers need well-rounded employees to find success.
Companies seek leadership qualities from each tech candidate they meet when interviewing. Leadership skills include decision-making abilities, being results-oriented, and accountability, among other traits. It is essential to convey your leadership qualities as an IT professional during an interview. Sharing stories about team projects you led, any obstacles you and your team overcame, and the final results is a great way to showcase your leadership abilities.
Since technology is ever-evolving, problems arise on what seems to be a day-to-day basis which is why tech professionals need to have innate problem-solving abilities. When interviewing, give examples of how you identified a problem, decoded the issues, and the steps you took to solve it, as this will illustrate your problem-solving soft skills.
CREATIVITY AND INITIATIVE
It seems like new tech is popping up every day, so employers are seeking candidates who possess creative soft skills to keep up with the pace of technology. Taking the initiative to bring creative ideas to life is equally important to hiring managers. Have you ever come up with a concept, mapped it out, and brought it to life? If you have, share your story, as this perfectly encompasses a person who possesses creativity and initiative.
ANALYTICAL THINKING AND INNOVATION
Innovation and analytical thinking go hand-in-hand, and employers are desperate to find IT candidates who have these soft skills as they can lead to discoveries. Being innovative in today’s tech space is more important than ever before. Showcasing your ability to analyze business needs and create solutions will have employers clamoring over your candidacy.
Active learning is a soft skill that will take you to the next level in your career. Being able to learn new tech and new ideas and implement this knowledge immediately is invaluable. Share how you learned about any new tech and how you applied it to make you and your company more successful. Active learning is sure to win over any hiring manager.
LANDING YOUR DREAM JOB
Atrilogy, a DIVERSANT company, is a leader in IT staffing. Our teams have created trusting relationships with their clients and consultants. Connect with one of our recruiters today to help you highlight your soft skills during your next interview.