By: Bill Peppler
As we approach the end of 2010 and look forward to 2011 several signs are noteworthy regarding technology employment.
Gone are the days of having IT people not interacting with other departments within organizations. The image of the computer guy/gal being tucked back in a closest at an office setting have gone the way of Cobol Programming or supporting Windows 95. Technology staff is one of the most (if not the most) critical part of any organization. This is the main reason why “soft skills” or strong “interpersonal skills” are more important than ever.
But what exactly are “soft skills” and why are they becoming so important to IT professionals? According to Money-zine.com “soft skills” are “best defined as the wide variety of business skills that fall into one of the following three categories: Interactions with Coworkers, Professionalism/Work Ethic, and Critical Thinking/Problem Solving”. Basically, “soft skills” describe your ability for communicating with others in a professional setting, as well as how you conduct yourself in a workplace environment.
If you are currently in a technology position or are considering a technology career, ask yourself the following questions: Can you translate technology to non-techies within an organization? Can you speak in layman’s terms and discuss what impact a particular piece of software or migration will have on an organization’s bottom line? You have to be able to answer these questions and discuss pretty much all aspects of your work with company leadership, including all executive and financial leadership. Therefore, it’s no surprise that “soft skills” are listed as #6 out of the Top Ten Most Desired IT Skills Worldwide, according to research done by CompTIA.
More and more client companies are stressing these skills in the interview process. We hear on a daily basis, “soft skills” are equally if not more important than just technology abilities. Clients are demanding that partner staffing companies are not only technology screening but also an overall screening process that includes a “matching” process that investigates whether you believe they could fit this particular companies culture. (Want to “screen” yourself to see how sharp your “soft skills” are? Try taking this quiz!)
Kavaliro can help both our clients and candidates navigate through this trend in the upcoming year. We consider both client companies and staffing consultants - our clients, and we will never lose sight of either.