Hire for These Top Soft Skills for Better IT Team Building

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on December 7, 2015

IT teams are notoriously isolated and introverted – but they don’t have to be. As Big Data becomes big news and technology becomes an ever more pervasive part of doing business, companies whose IT staff embrace a strong team-building ethic are more likely to provide an “edge” over more lone-wolf competitors.

Here are the top “soft skills” to look for in IT candidates in order to encourage better teamwork:

  1. A focused work ethic. IT professionals value ability and work ethic highly. A team member who is willing to work hard, get the project right, take initiative, and go the extra mile to bring work in correctly and on time will encourage the rest of the team to meet high standards while standing out as reliable and trustworthy.
  2. Seeing “both pictures.” The best team members see both the details and the “big picture.” In IT, this often means seeing both the flaws in a project or strategy and the ways in which the team members’ internal dynamics converge or conflict on the way to solving those detailed problems. Behavioral interview questions that ask candidates to take multiple perspectives can help you choose the right candidate.
  3. The ability to persuade. Communication isn’t always high on the priority list for IT professionals, but to work well within a team and to connect with leadership, good communication skills are a must. The best IT professionals can communicate effectively within a team and also teach the nontechnically minded members of the company what they need to know in order to make informed decisions about the company’s growth and its tech needs.
  4. Taking a proactive approach. Look for candidates with a habit of anticipating problems before they arise and working to ensure that the problem will be a nonissue. Good planning helps, as does experience and the willingness to solicit perspectives from other team members in order to ensure that nothing is overlooked.
  5. Adaptability. IT professionals know that change is inevitable – their job requires them to keep up with ever-changing needs, software, and equipment. Adaptable team members are willing and able to step in wherever needed. The combination of adaptability and a strong work ethic can make a team more resilient and prevent “skills gaps” from harming productivity.

At TERRA Staffing, our experienced recruiters help companies connect with the best new talent in the Seattle area. Find one our branches today to learn more.

Categories: Employee Engagement Ideas, HR and Management Advice

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