There was a time when all you needed to succeed in an IT career was top-notch technical skills. However, in today’s hypercompetitive, hyperconnected world, candidates need much more than technical acumen to thrive on the job.  Now that IT has moved away from a solely utility function into a driver of organizational success, soft skills – specifically communication skills – are more important than ever.

IT professionals today communicate directly with management and leadership, other departments outside of IT, and in many cases, directly with end-users and customers. They must be able to break down complex technical problems and explain them to a nontechnical audience. If you want to run a fully functional, strategic IT department, you must seek candidates that possess critical communication skills.

The Importance of Written Communication

More and more IT jobs require writing and not just the writing of code. Depending upon the position, IT team members are tasked with: Sending emails, writing wikis, creating user manuals, writing requirements for a project, submitting a ticket for quality assurance assistance, making a pull request for an open development project, adding project notes, contributing to reports, etc. There are very few technical jobs left in today’s market that do not require strong writing skills.

All Tech Projects Require Collaboration

No IT job exists in a vacuum. Technology today is almost always about solving a complex problem, and no complex problem can be solved alone.  Not only do you need your team members to come to the table with ideas, but they must also be able to listen to others.  In today’s environment, tech teams collaborate regularly with departments outside of IT, which means working closely with people who do not come from a technological background.   Today’s IT professionals must be diplomatic, they must be able to negotiate effectively, and they must be able to ask the right questions in order to help the team move towards solutions.

The Ability To Teach

Many positions in IT require teaching skills. Overseeing beta testers, training employees on a new process or product, and conveying system requirements to designers all requires the ability to break down concepts for the intended audience. You don’t need to find someone with a teaching degree, but a strong candidate will be able to break down complex problems, answer questions, and guide the audience towards the solutions they seek.

Hiring tech talent in today’s competitive market is no easy feat. Not only must you identify technical skills, but you must also look for soft skills and long-term cultural alignment.  The experts at Systems Personnel, the Buffalo region’s premier tech recruiting firm, can match you with professionals who have the hard and soft skills you’re looking for. Contact us today to learn more about the ways in which we can help you achieve your technology recruiting goals today, tomorrow and well into the future.

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