Hays’ Jane Bamford looks at the most important soft skills for tech workers and how they can best showcase them to employers.
While technical or ‘hard’ skills are important for tech professionals in 2023, they’re not the only ones that employers look for when hiring.
Given the responsibilities that people working in tech now have, and the number of stakeholders you’ll be expected to work with, ideal candidates will also need the right soft skills.
Based on the results of surveys distributed among employers, we’ve established the soft skills that are most in-demand among tech employers in 2023.
A learning mindset
Sustained success in a tech role relies heavily on continuous learning. If you’re a less experienced candidate, employers need to know that you can come on board and respond well to training, especially if some concepts are unfamiliar to you.
Even if you’re further along in your career, or have a high level of technical ability, that knowledge will fast become redundant without learning.
Flexibility and adaptability
Given the challenges many organisations face when implementing their digital strategies, you’ll need to be able to adapt to ever-changing goals, problems and even responsibilities.
A track record of cross-training and meeting deadlines will put jobseekers in good stead.
Ability to adopt change
Change adoption depends on leadership and change management, but the team’s receptiveness to this is just as important.
If you’re looking for a senior position, think about ways you can influence your people to adopt change. Those in a more junior role must react well to new processes and ways of working.
Whether you’re a developer, a security architect or a project manager, you’ll need to find solutions to a range of problems.
Of course, experience is useful, but employers will benefit from people who can offer a fresh perspective and new ideas on approaching challenges.
This is a highly desirable skill to have in any industry, and it’s no different in tech. Among respondents to our surveys, this was the one that was most selected.
In a hybrid working world, it’s important to engage as effectively with those sitting next to you as it is with those on the other side of the world.
How to show that you’ve got these soft skills
If you’re applying for a new role, simply listing these soft skills in your opening statement, either on your CV or at the start of your interview, won’t do. The hiring party will have heard these buzzwords from everybody, and you won’t stand out.
Instead, make sure you give examples of using these soft skills and the benefit they’ve brought to your past employers.
For example, instead of saying: “I’m a problem solver”, you can explain under a role in your job history: “I created a purpose-built X, saving our team Y hours per month in manual processes”.
Here are some ways that you can demonstrate these soft skills on your CV or in an interview:
- A learning mindset: List the skills you developed in your past roles and how they helped.
- Flexibility and adaptability: Think about a time you had to adapt to changes in a project or organisation structure.
- Ability to adopt change: Give an example of the result of what happened when you adopted change.
- Problem-solving: Explain how you’ve been creative in finding solutions, and what the result was.
- Communication: Talk about times you’ve collaborated with large or remote teams to deliver a product or project. How many stakeholders have you worked with? Were any external?
Although hard skills are key to success in tech, these will vary from role to role. To impress key stakeholders and hiring employers, you’ll need to show that you’ve got the soft skills above and can use them to contribute to success. Think about how you’ve done this in the past – if you haven’t, it’s time to start now in your current role!
By Jane Bamford
Jane Bamford is the director of technology solutions for Hays EMEA.
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