“Focus on soft skills,” as leaders have long been told. And, in times of enormous disruption, like the pandemic, focusing on these qualities is more crucial than ever.
According to a report by West Monroe, a business and technology consulting organization, more than three-quarters (78%) of HR leaders have grown increasingly focused on hiring technology professionals with strong soft skills. 67% say they have turned down a job offer because an applicant lacked soft skills.
Technical skills such as cloud and automation will remain in high demand, but soft skills will become even more valuable in a quickly changing hybrid workplace. Here are the top five skills that engineering and IT leaders want in 2022.
Communication is an essential soft skill for IT professionals. Internally within projects and teams, as well as externally with clients and stakeholders, technology is all about accurately relaying messages.
To communicate effectively, one must be clear in both writing and speech. A person should also be able to properly describe complex challenges and solutions.
It’s about describing why a product or solution works rather than just how it works. Remember that not everyone a person communicates with will have a technical background or understanding.
In 2022, businesses should hire employees who are coachable and ready to learn. New business realities emerge on a daily basis, such as the back-and-forth transitions from remote to in-person work, supply chain limitations, and the push for more sustainable computing techniques.
Engineers and IT teams will need to continuously add to their toolkit, regardless of what technical abilities they already have, and coachability will help them do so. Engineering managers require people who are eager to learn and improve: Are they open to suggestions? Do they actively seek out knowledge in order to gain a better understanding? Can they iterate and adapt their strategy in response to changing company priorities? These are the types of questions that will be asked more frequently in 2022.
Individual contributors and IT team leaders alike benefit from modesty. People demonstrate their willingness to learn and progress by taking responsibility for their work and imperfections. Teams that lack accountability have a hard time collaborating with one another or with other teams.
Building technology is all about addressing problems, but one can’t solve a problem unless one knows what the user is going through.
Because of their inability to empathize, tech professionals may become annoyed by stakeholders who do not share their viewpoints due to their inability to communicate in an understandable manner. This is exacerbated when tech experts don’t grasp the larger business goals they are attempting to meet, which can lead to a lot of confusion and miscommunication.
Many applicants try to downplay issues because they don’t realize that businesses recruit people to solve problems. Glitches, stumbling blocks, and potholes are all part of the job and provide opportunities for learning. The ability to apply information to solve problems and generate workable solutions demonstrates that one can handle and flourish at the job. Building a soft skills resume requires discussing mistakes and what can be learned from them.