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Soft skills hiring managers are telling us they look for in great IT professionals

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New technologies and frameworks come out every year those who don’t update their skills could find themselves less competitive in the marketplace. However, technical skills aren’t the only aspect hiring managers look for in IT professionals.

In fact, LinkedIn’s Talent Trends Study found that 91% of companies state they have issues with current and new employees lacking adequate soft skills.

In my 30+ years in IT recruiting, I have noticed the increased importance hiring mangers are placing on soft skills in potential IT candidates.

But what are the soft skills hiring managers are looking for in great IT candidates?

1. Communication

Depending on the organization you work for, network engineers and system administrators need to correspond with clients and/or team members on a daily basis. It is critical for network engineers to actively listen to customers and/or team members to fully understand their problems to properly troubleshoot. Great communication skills help workflows running smoothly to ensure a more efficient network.

2. Creativity

Creativity is a big part of innovation for companies. The ability to think “outside of the box” (I know that is cliche, but you would be surprised how much it comes up when talking to hiring managers) to come up with unique solutions that are effective and innovative. Companies want people to think of innovative ways to run their business, improve customer experiences, and quality of services.

Most successful companies and people are successful because they do not follow a manual; they come up with their own.

3. Adaptability

The ability to think quickly on your feet, recognize problems and offer viable solutions is a skill hiring managers seek for. 

Being a network engineer means you must be willing to change. With automation making significant changes in the networking world you must be adaptable with new technologies. 

A good question to ask yourself to test your adaptability is “are you one of the first people to complain if plans change?” Being adaptable will make you a more marketable IT professional to hiring managers.

4. Teamwork

Your ability to work with other people has never been more important in IT. Most professionals rarely work alone. There typically are various engineers, developers, administrators, and analysts with different specialties working on a project

Your ability to work with others is a must in the IT and business world.

5. Organization skills

IT professionals are always juggling project deadlines and other tasks. Your ability to organize your projects and other workflows is a critical skill employers look for. 

Organization really comes down to two key aspects. Planning and prioritizing.

6. Emotional intelligence

IT professionals are frequently working with a team to solve various issues facing a company. When working in a team difference in opinions of how the project should be run inevitably arises.

The ability to interact with others with differing opinions in a calm and respectful manner is extremely rare. However, emotional intelligence is a skill that hiring managers highly value and look for in candidates.

7. Growth Mindset

Having a growth mindset as a network engineer might be the most important soft skills employers look for.

The CEO of Kenik, a network analytic company, put it perfectly. “Right now, we’re in a world moving as fast as the ISP world did back in the 90s. Every few weeks there’s something new.” 

As a network engineer it is essential to have a growth mindset to keep up with the new technologies. You must be updating your skills to stay competitive in today’s market. Check out some of other blogs related to specific job titles on how they can stay competitive!

Make the change!

At this point in our article, you are probably wondering how to develop these soft skills? Don’t worry! We have you cover. Check out how to improve your soft skills in our article: 3 steps on how to improve your soft skills.

If you are interested in learning more about opportunities in the IT space feel free to schedule a call with one of our recruiters using the link here.

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