The hiring process is daunting enough, especially in today’s market where competition is high. Even more, technology careers are booming and companies know that if they want to succeed, they must hire top IT talent.
A degree? Great, but others have the same degree? Hard skills in your industry? Necessary, but perhaps not enough. Broad technology experience? Essential, but sometimes too broad or not focused enough. Many candidates you are up against have all these qualities, which demonstrates that great candidates — and great employees — need an edge over the pack.
Greatness in employees is often seen through what has conventionally been called “soft skills.” But, as hiring guru Lou Adler points out, the top 20 soft skills that define greatness can hardly be called soft.
In his article These 20 Soft Skills Define Greatness, Adler looks at more than two decades of performance-based hiring practices and concludes that those employees who “got ahead the fastest had the strongest ‘soft’ skills.” But Adler goes further in his message to find these skills in the hiring process:
In fact, these soft skills are so important they should not be called soft. Instead they should be called “The Essential Traits of Success.”
Here’s the list:
- Developing others
- Taking responsibility
- Strategic thinking
- Project management
- Cultural fit
The point is that great candidates become great employees who become great leaders in their company.
But, as Adler suggests, many of these “soft skills” are not readily assessed in interviews and even less so as part of routine evaluations in a company. The earlier these traits can be identified (i.e. during the interview), the greater the contribution that new employee can make. Discerning these essential skills in potential employees is just good business.
How do I ensure that my soft skills come through loud and clear during the interview process?
Often it helps to have someone else help you identify and present these qualities of success throughout the interview process. Gifted recruiters spend time with great candidates because they know what the client company wants in their talent. That investment of time up front allows recruiters to make the initial pitch for you and the prep you properly for that all important interview.
That’s why building relationships is the greatest quality of successful recruiting. And relationships are the “soft skill” that makes Core Technology Solutions stand out from the rest.