Skip to main content

Recruiting insights:

Important soft skills needed for IT roles

soft skills

When it comes to recruiting IT professionals, technical skills are certainly important. But it’s not the only thing that businesses today should be looking for. Soft skills, or non-technical skills, can be just as important in determining a candidate’s success in a role. A gap in soft skills on a tech team can lead to problems, ranging from team friction to missed deadlines and poor results.

More than 61% of employers say soft skills in the workplace are just as important as hard skills. But, which soft skills are most in demand and why?

In this article, we examine the top ten core soft skills and personal attributes which we believe are essential to success in IT jobs today. Read on if you are a business looking for technologists with the skills to thrive. If you are job hunting in IT, prepare to demonstrate these skills in your interview.

The top ten soft skills which are essential to success in IT

1. Effective communication

IT professionals often work in teams and need to be able to communicate effectively with team members, as well as with non-technical stakeholders such as clients and customers. Strong communication skills are essential for tech professionals to be able to collaborate effectively.

Effective communication skills comprise of:

Listening: An IT pro needs to be able to actively listen to the needs of others to formulate a proper solution to a problem.

Speaking: It is essential that an IT pro can speak clearly enough to be able to convey details of a problem or solution – to both technical and non-technical audiences.

Writing: Writing emails and documentation are all part of the life, of an IT pro. Being able to accurately communicate thoughts and ideas in writing will make like easier for everyone involved.

Comprehension: Comprehension is extremely important. The ability to relay AND understand complex ideas is a must-have for all IT hires. Furthermore, the ability to influence is needed for more senior roles such as project managers, senior developers, and architects.

2. Collaboration and teamwork

The ability to work well in a team is crucial in the IT industry, as professionals often need to collaborate with others to complete projects and solve problems. Where once “Lone-wolf” individuals may have thrived, leaders today recognise that tech projects such as software development are best completed when there is a team involved.

Strong collaborative skills include:

Strong team player: IT pros with strong teamwork skills can contribute to a positive and productive team environment, which can lead to better outcomes. Also, because many IT professionals prefer to work remotely, every member of the team needs to be able to work effectively with their peers in a remote capacity.

Knowing when to step up: Working collaboratively may mean taking a step back and doing things in the direction of another member of the team. Knowing when and how to step up or step back can be the difference between a smooth workflow and a missed deadline.

Ability to build relationships: Team members must work together to achieve a common goal. They need to build relationships and resolve conflicts. A person’s ability to work with others is an essential soft skill in any IT team.

3. Problem-solving and critical thinking

IT professionals are often faced with complex problems that require critical thinking. Great qualities in individuals are when they can take a larger business problem and present a technical solution or can brainstorm ‘what-if’ scenarios to come up with new solutions. Let’s break it down further:

Complex problem-solving: IT professionals are responsible for solving complex technical problems, which can include identifying the root cause of issues, designing, and implementing solutions, and troubleshooting hardware and software problems. Problem-solving skills are critical to ensure that these tasks are completed effectively and efficiently.

Critical thinking helps in decision-making: IT pros often need to make important decisions about technology solutions, software tools, and hardware systems. Critical thinking skills enable them to evaluate and compare different options, weigh up pros and cons, and make informed decisions based on the available evidence.

IT jobs require innovation: Innovation is at the core of IT jobs, and critical thinking is essential for developing new ideas, identifying opportunities for improvement, and creating solutions that are efficient, effective, and user-friendly.

Attention to detail: Taking notice of the detail is a critical component of problem-solving and critical thinking in IT jobs. IT pros must be able to analyse complex systems and identify potential issues, often with a high degree of precision and accuracy.

4. Organisation Skills

Organisation is an essential skill in IT roles for several reasons:

Time management: IT professionals must be able to organise their time effectively to meet deadlines and deliver high-quality work. We will discuss this in more detail in point 5 below.

Workflow management: IT roles often involve multiple projects and tasks that require coordination and collaboration with other team members. Organisational skills help IT professionals to manage workflows and ensure that all team members are on the same page.

Data management: IT professionals must be able to manage large amounts of data, including storage, retrieval, and analysis. Organisational skills help IT professionals to manage data efficiently and effectively, ensuring that data is accurate, up-to-date, and easily accessible.

Project management: IT professionals often work on complex projects that require careful planning, execution, and monitoring. Organisational skills help IT professionals to manage projects effectively, including setting timelines, defining milestones, and tracking progress.

5. Time management

IT professionals often have tight deadlines and a lot of responsibilities, so strong time management skills are essential. This includes the ability to prioritise tasks, stay organised, and meet deadlines.

Time management skills are essential in IT jobs for several reasons:

Meeting deadlines: In IT jobs, projects often have strict deadlines. Time management skills help IT professionals to prioritise tasks, plan their work, and manage their time effectively to meet these deadlines.

Increasing productivity: Effective time management helps IT professionals to work more efficiently, which leads to increased productivity. By breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces and scheduling their work effectively, IT professionals can get more done in less time.

Reducing stress: Poor time management can lead to stress and burnout, which can negatively impact productivity and job satisfaction. By managing their time effectively, IT professionals can reduce stress levels and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Improving quality: Rushing through tasks to meet deadlines can result in errors and poor-quality work. Effective time management allows IT professionals to allocate sufficient time to each task, ensuring that they can complete their work to a high standard.

definition of soft skills

6. Creativity

Creativity is an essential skill in IT roles for several reasons:

Innovation: Creativity is essential for developing innovative solutions that meet the needs of users and businesses. IT professionals who can think creatively are better able to generate new ideas and explore different approaches to problem-solving.

Design: Creativity is also essential in the design of user interfaces, websites, and applications. IT pros who can think creatively can create visually appealing and user-friendly designs that enhance the user experience.

Development: Creativity is also important in the development of software and applications. IT professionals who can think creatively can come up with novel solutions to complex technical problems, resulting in more efficient and effective applications.

Collaboration: Creativity is also important in collaboration and teamwork. IT professionals who can think creatively can contribute new ideas and approaches to projects, enhancing the overall quality of the work and fostering a more collaborative and productive work environment.

7. Perseverance

Perseverance is an important skill in IT roles for several reasons:

Complex problem-solving: IT roles often involve complex and challenging problem-solving, and perseverance is essential to overcome obstacles and find solutions to difficult problems. Perseverance helps IT pros stay focused and motivated when faced with challenging technical issues.

Continual learning: The IT industry is constantly evolving, and IT pros must be willing to learn and adapt to new technologies and tools. Perseverance helps IT pros to stay committed to ongoing learning and development, even when faced with difficult or unfamiliar concepts.

Attention to detail: IT pros must pay close attention to detail to ensure that their work is accurate and meets quality standards. Perseverance helps IT pros stay focused and maintain a high level of attention to detail, even when working on tedious or repetitive tasks.

Project completion: IT projects can be lengthy and complex, and it can be easy to lose momentum or focus over time. Perseverance helps IT pros to stay committed to project completion, even when faced with unexpected challenges or setbacks.

Customer satisfaction: IT pros often work directly with customers, and perseverance is essential to ensure that customer needs are met, and expectations are exceeded. Perseverance helps IT pros to stay committed to delivering high-quality products and services that meet customer requirements.

8. Analytical abilities

An analytical approach is an essential skill in IT roles for several reasons:

Problem-solving: An analytical approach helps IT pros to break down complex problems into smaller components, identify patterns, and develop effective solutions.

System design and architecture: IT pros must be able to design and develop complex software systems and applications. An analytical approach helps IT pros design systems and applications that are efficient, scalable, and meet user requirements.

Data analysis: IT pros often need to analyse large amounts of data to identify patterns, trends, and insights. An analytical approach helps IT pros identify relationships between data sets, develop models and algorithms, and generate insights that can be used to inform decision-making.

Performance optimisation: IT pros must be able to optimise the performance of software systems and applications. An analytical approach helps to identify performance bottlenecks, analyse system behaviour, and develop effective optimisation strategies.

Quality assurance: IT pros must be able to test software systems and applications to ensure that they are of high quality and meet user requirements. An analytical approach helps to identify defects and develop effective testing strategies and processes.

9. Accountability

Humility is a great quality in both individual contributors and leaders on IT teams. Taking ownership of their work and of their mistakes shows the IT pro is willing to learn and grow.

Accountability is an important skill in IT roles for several reasons:

Responsibility for systems and data: IT pros are often responsible for critical systems and sensitive data, such as customer information and financial data. Being accountable means taking ownership of these responsibilities and ensuring that they are managed appropriately.

Quality assurance: IT pros are often involved in developing, testing, and deploying software and systems. Being accountable means ensuring that these systems meet quality standards and are delivered on time and within budget.

Compliance: Many industries have regulations and standards that must be followed, such as HIPAA for healthcare or PCI-DSS for payment processing. IT pros must be accountable for ensuring that systems and data are following these regulations.

Collaboration: IT pros often work in teams and being accountable means working collaboratively with others to achieve shared goals. This includes communicating clearly, following through on commitments, and holding oneself and others accountable for their contributions. Teams that lack accountability often do not collaborate well together or with other teams.

Continuous improvement: Being accountable means the IT pro takes ownership of their own learning and growth. In the fast-paced world of technology, it is important to continually develop new skills and knowledge to stay up-to-date and remain competitive in the job market.

10. Passion

Passion is an important skill in IT roles for several reasons:

Drive to learn: A passion for technology can fuel a desire to continuously learn and improve skills, which is essential for success in IT roles.

Creativity and innovation: Passionate IT pros are often more likely to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions to complex problems.

Collaboration and teamwork: Passionate IT pros are often more willing to collaborate with others and work as part of a team to achieve shared goals. This can be particularly important in larger IT projects, where multiple individuals or teams may need to work together to achieve a common objective.

Customer focus: Passionate IT pros often have a strong focus on customer needs and are dedicated to delivering high-quality solutions that meet or exceed customer expectations. This can be particularly valuable in customer-facing roles such as technical support or consulting.

Resilience and persistence: Enthusiastic IT pros are often more resilient and persistent in the face of challenges or setbacks. A passion for the work can help keep individuals motivated and focused on finding solutions to difficult problems.

It really doesn’t matter how senior or junior they are, the difference between the great and the mediocre in tech is passion.

Soft skills: How can we help?

IT pros who possess many of the above soft skills are more likely to be successful in their roles and make a positive impact on the businesses they work for. They are also more likely to enable that individual to interact effectively and harmoniously with others.

If you need a hand in finding a candidate with suitable soft skills (as well as technical skills), we would be happy to help. As a specialist recruitment agency with a clear focus on IT and digital roles, we can build your IT team quickly, with maximum effectiveness and minimum fuss.

Contact us here to find out more.

Leave a Reply

/* For Sub Menu itmes*/ /* Tag code */