5 soft skills tech employers should look for when hiring

Improve your evaluation and hiring process by adding these to your checklist. By Satyaki Sarkar

In today’s constantly changing world, the race for excellence has made expertise in one’s field indispensable. However, that is no longer the only criteria employers need to address when recruiting pros who will increase their company’s productivity. Soft skills are as much a necessity as hard skills to cope with the changes being wrought by digital transformation. So here are the five top soft skills you should look for when analysing your pool of candidates to make sure you’re hiring the right fit.

1. Ability to adapt to change
Any organisation, especially in the IT industry, undergoes a transformation and evolution on a constant basis, to address the needs of consumers and the high market demand. As such, the ability to adapt is one that is not only invaluable but also intrinsic to an employee’s success. Unless a person can take feedback, learn from their errors, and adapt themselves to fit the needs of the situation, as well as learn new skills from time to time, he will never be able to satisfy the growing needs of the industry, or excel at his work.

2. Ambition
An employee who is complacent and inclined to sit out the tough projects is a redundant hire. Look for those who display passion, an interest to learn more, take on bigger roles, and display an interest to know their career and responsibility graph in the organisation. An employee keen to realise his potential will only take the company forward.

3. Team player?
The ability to work well with others is an essential, fundamental skill that any employee in any organisation needs to have. No employee works in isolation, and all it takes is one employee who can’t work well with others and it is like a rotten apple that spoils the whole barrel. Productivity is the first thing that falls and is closely followed by other distressing situations. So find out if the candidate has worked in a cross functional or matrix set-up. What is their track record in team participation in their earlier employment?

4. Potential for leadership
Leadership is a skill that very few possess, and even fewer understand. All employees harbour ambition and it is their best interest to be display leadership potential. However, what they perceive as leadership might be dictatorship. So when vetting candidates pose situational questions to gauge their understanding of the term. Look for independent thinking, maturity, the ability to deal with setbacks, willingness to speak up as well as take charge when the going gets tough.

5. Do the values resonate?
It might be the last thing on your list, but it’s important you don’t take this lightly. You need to find out if the candidate you’re planning to hire shares your company’s values and ideals, and understands the company culture. If not then you’re likely to have an employee who won’t be able to engage well with the company or colleagues. This is demotivating for the employee resulting in lower productivity, and a tough situation for his manager. Low employee morale is never a good thing.

Photograph: Pressfoto/ 

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