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Assessing Soft Skills Remains a Challenge in IT Recruitment - Expert Tips from Hiring Managers
Date: Monday 10 July 2023
In the world of IT recruitment, there have been many times that what seems like the perfect candidate on paper turns out to be difficult to work with on a day-to-day basis. While they may possess the hard skills for the work that needs to be done, they may lack efficiency with projects that need to be done due to a lack of work ethic, self-awareness, or an inability to work in teams. Also, with a slowdown in productivity, these characteristics can cause tension and frustration in the workplace. To try and avoid this situation arising, interviews that are conducted by hiring managers need to be structured in a way that highlights a candidate's soft skills or the personal characteristics that enable them to interact agreeably with others.
Here are some soft skills likely to be in high demand by employers in 2023, and why they are relevant:
- Communication skills: Fundamentally communication skills are the key to success in any job, as they allow employees to effectively communicate their ideas and work successfully with others. This includes both verbal and written communication, as well as the ability to listen actively and share constructive feedback.
- Adaptability: With the fast pace of technological and social change, the ability to quickly adapt and learn new things is much more important now. Employers need a workforce that can think ahead and adapt to new situations and challenges.
- Collaboration: Working well with others is becoming important as more companies adopt an agile and team-based approach to work. Those who can contribute to a positive team culture and collaborate effectively with colleagues from different backgrounds and disciplines are the most in demand.
- Creativity: With an economy that is continually competitive and coupled with technological advancement, employers are often looking for employees who can bring fresh ideas and unique perspectives to the table. Creativity and problem-solving skills are becoming more valuable in today’s job market.
- Emotional intelligence: The awareness and management of one’s own emotions, and the awareness of the emotional states and reactions of others is a key predictor of the company’s success. Employers really need staff who can build positive relations with co-workers and customers, and who can handle difficult workplace situations in a healthy and productive way.
Typically, in IT recruitment, when candidates enter the interview stage of the hiring process the hiring manager may already consider them suitably qualified with their experience, qualifications, and technical skills. Soft skills will be the main differentiator in many roles. To get a sense of these intangible traits, interviewers should turn to a series of basic questions that can help identify the right candidate for the job.
Seven Soft Skills & Personality Traits that should be tested by Employers
When seeking the right candidate, you’ll know right combination of skills needed to get the job done. Of course, for many roles the Soft Skills and Personality traits are generic. Please see below the top 7 suggested for assessment:
1. Leadership & Management – Particularly for senior positions, managing others and leading by example is essential. It’s important that your candidates can do both.
2. Communication – The ability to communicate well has never been more important in an ever-connected world. Candidates need to able to communicate in both written and verbal formats when conducting your recruitment process.
3. Problem-Solving – As an excellent employee it is all about being able to deal with the problems thrown at you to find the best solution. It is paramount that your candidates are expert problem solvers who can think outside the box.
4. Time Management – We are all super busy. The best employees are the ones who are well able to manage their time by prioritizing the tasks that really matter to deliver what their business needs.
5. Teamwork – Any one employee cannot do everything on their own and so they must work well within a team. Whether as a team member, a leader, or a manager, make sure your candidates work well with others and aren’t afraid to get stuck in!
6. Negotiation – Really important for customer-facing roles, the ability to understand the objectives of both parties and come to a reasonable solution is essential for long-term success.
7. Remote Working – What would have been a hard skill is now a soft skill. Make sure that your next super-star employee tailors all their other soft skills to stay productive and effective in a remote world!
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