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Non-Tech Skills to Look for in Tech Workers

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 04-16-2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Previous
    Being Accountable
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    Being Accountable

    Beware of employees who are always "asking for an extension" on a deadline. You can tell them that while this probably worked in college, it's not acceptable in the real world.
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    Collaborating as a Team Member
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    Collaborating as a Team Member

    Few employees succeed as solo acts. When interviewing, find out what candidates have done to add value to a group. Give bonus points if they did so for an initiative with the business side.
  • Previous
    Writing Emails/Memos That Look Professional
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    Writing Emails/Memos That Look Professional

    Well-rounded tech employees realize that attention to detail matters. Before sending an email or memo, they check spelling and grammar. They don't use texting 'shortcuts.' They're concise, while presenting clearly defined ideas.
  • Previous
    Staying Flexible
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    Staying Flexible

    Given the rapid shifts of business and technology, IT pros must quickly shift gears on projects, immediately adapting to new concepts and goals.
  • Previous
    Interacting Pleasantly
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    Interacting Pleasantly

    We recognize that not all tech folks are social butterflies. But they should treat others in a civil–if not friendly or even engaging–manner. After all, you don't want an IT department full of moody, aloof hermits.
  • Previous
    Solving Problems
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    Solving Problems

    As a team exercise, you may want to introduce puzzle-based contests, to encourage IT staffers to come up with new ways to respond to intriguing challenges.
  • Previous
    Keeping Cool
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    Keeping Cool

    Sure, a tech department can get tense when chaos ensues. But high performers understand how to lead by example by remaining calm and focused under duress.
  • Previous
    Observing Critically
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    Observing Critically

    It's not enough to gather and report on data–IT employees should 'see' the stories within the metrics which will reveal game-changing, actionable patterns and trends.
  • Previous
    Dressing the Part
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    Dressing the Part

    Yes, there are plenty of days in which jeans and T-shirts are the norm. And that's fine. But when key stakeholders, outside partners and clients are in the office, team members should know they need to wear business-appropriate attire.
  • Previous
    Committing to Integrity
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    Committing to Integrity

    Without integrity, an employee will never acquire the most important 'asset' that CIOs and colleagues seek: trust, which is the mortar that holds an IT department together.
 

As a CIO, you want your IT employees to command a high level of hard skills–specifically their tech experience and know-how, as demonstrated by certifications, degrees and work history. But how much attention do you pay to the less tangible soft skills and traits that still prove so critical? Soft skills cover a wide range of essentials relating to communications, team work, creativity and overall professional comportment–qualities that are apparently in relatively short supply these days: More than nine out of 10 surveyed senior executives said they struggle with skill gaps within their workforce, and 44% said soft skills are missing. (As opposed to just 22% who cite a lack of tech skills.) Two out of five execs believe the skills gap is most prevalent in the tech sector–second only to the manufacturing industry. Given this, consider the following 10 "non-tech" skills and qualities that you should look for in job candidates, and help develop within existing team members. They were adapted from a number of online resources, including those posted by Monster.com and QuintCareers.com.

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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