When you hear soft skills, you may wonder what it means. Like software, soft skills are innate, internal, and interpersonal skills that help people maximize their hard skills. Soft skills are so named because; you mostly don’t have a certificate to show for it. They reflect who you are independent of your educational and professional IT certifications.
Soft skills include your communication skills, how you perform under pressure, your collaborative skills, etc. As an employer, it’s okay to want the most qualified person for the job, but much more than the certificate, you should look out for these soft skills too when recruiting your IT hires.
As an employer, probably recruiting the first set of your IT hires or filling a vacant position, one uncompromising soft skill you will want to look out for is integrity. Yes! Integrity can’t be compromised, as your IT hires have to people you can trust wholeheartedly.
The top signs of persons with integrity include the ability to give an honest report. They would also be forthcoming and straightforward. While this skill is not easily observed except when tested or the situation demands it, there are a set of interview questions you can ask to determine the strength of a person’s integrity.
You can ask questions that border on past experiences like:
-What was your response to a situation that tested your integrity in the past?
-Can you tell lies to protect the company’s image?
Now, it’s not so much about the answers the applicant gives, but about how they answer the questions. Someone with integrity will not lie for any reason; instead, they will find ways to tell the truth in a way that won’t harm the company.
This is another very essential soft skill for an IT hire. Intelligence isn’t just about your school grades or awards. Intelligence is how well you can apply all the lessons you’ve learned since growing up to do a seemingly difficult task. To put it simply, intelligence is the activities you do that gets you out of a difficult situation, especially when you don’t know what to do.
As an IT employer, you shouldn’t just employ an honest person. They should be someone that is proactive and can think on their feet. You can assess this type of skill when interviewing by asking ‘on the spot questions’ unrelated to the technical field. Questions that require fast and on the spot thinking.
The goal is to check the thinking pattern and how fast they can think. Another quick method to determine this is to play a game. Games such as ‘Chess game’ or caught in the maze require your intelligence to play effectively.
3. Time Management Skills
There will be times when your IT Company will have to meet tight deadlines. The best approach to get the work done is to prioritize tasks in order of deadline. It is important your employees are people that understand the significance of keeping to time and managing time effectively.
The time management skill will ensure they know how to prioritize tasks when necessary. You can assess this skill by asking hypothetical behavioral questions. You can also give some sets of mini-tasks within a stipulated time and see how well and how fast they get the job done.
4. Communication Skills
The ability to communicate with people on a personal level will go far in growing your IT Company. It’s easy for IT recruiters to get caught up in the technology and forget to pay attention to the candidate’s communication skills. There is a fine balance between being tech-savvy and having a friendly personality – so you need to be clear on which quality the candidate possesses.
As a recruiter, you need to know that your employee also has a soft side and is willing to connect with people personally. If the candidate doesn’t seem capable of doing that, it may be a good idea to find someone who does!
Besides, if the candidate can connect well with those in charge, they’ll likely do a better job – and the results will reflect that. It’s one of the many reasons that soft skills are essential in today’s IT industry.
Being creative is non-negotiable. The ability to be creative goes hand in hand with being intelligent. The only twist is that being creative gives you the edge of seeing more than one way to get a task done. With the ability to see more than one approach, you are usually at the forefront of most tasks. A creative person has a highly active and imaginative mind that makes innovation a part of them.
Being innovative is a soft skill, but like intelligence, it also comes with being creative. This means that being creative allows you to have more than one or two soft skills. As a recruiter, one skill you have to set your eagle eyes on when searching for soft skills in your IT hires is the ability to be creative.
You can test the skill by asking hypothetical behavioral questions or giving a task that demands creativity.
Dragging employees around or giving instructions for every little detail can be tiring. You need employees that are self-motivated and can work independently with little or no supervision. The thing is, you may not be able to assess a person’s self-motivation easily.
However, you can determine how self-motivated he is by checking the number of extra-curricular activities he has done before. These should be well highlighted in the resume. You can also ask questions like:
-How did he get to know about the job vacancy?
-Have you been in any leadership position before?
-Give instances where you worked with little or no supervision?
One of the things you should look for when it comes to a potential candidate is their interest in learning more about the industry in which they’re interested in working. If the candidate seems excited about the opportunity they’re applying for, they’ll probably be happy to help you.
If the applicant asks questions that show an interest in understanding the company more, they’ll likely do even better. This indicates that the candidate is interested in the company and can easily take the initiative.
If you get a chance to meet such an applicant behind the desk, take advantage of this opportunity – you’ll get a great feeling from their personality that could easily transfer to the position you’re looking to fill.
Some IT tasks require the ability to work effectively with a team. As a recruiter, you need to watch out for people that can work and cooperate well with others on the same task. Some skills required to achieve teamwork include excellent communication skills and the ability to follow instructions.
This is because cooperation can only be achieved when communication is effective. For instance, if the job role is coding, you may not need to worry about teamwork that much, but if the applicant roles involve networking or administration, they will definitely need to work with a team. You can check the resumes to see instances of teamwork done in the past.
The Right Hires Will Have The Necessary Soft Skills
Recruiting IT hires demands that you sharpen your eagle eyes and sense to recognize soft skills to promote your IT Company. Most companies now have IT departments that need people with hard skills like computer programming, software engineering, website designing, etc. And truthfully, there a lot of people with these qualifications.
However, you also need people with soft skills that are self-motivated, good communicators, and enthusiastic about the company’s growth. The right hires are people that have balanced soft and hard skills. With these people in your team, your company can grow to its potential. And you do want that, don’t you?