With the digital skills gap continuing to widen, focuses within the technology industry have shifted towards soft skills. Softer skills, including dependability and interpersonal skills, combined with an openness to learn could be the solution to shortages across the industry.
Although hard skills remain important, they are no longer crucial and employers are searching for candidates with softer skills – a candidate who can work effectively as part of a team and who can interact well with others. In light of this, we have identified the top soft skills tech employers are currently searching for below.
Communication will always be key in any industry and is an essential skill when working as part of a team. Effective communication with your coworkers improves teamwork, with all colleagues on the same page due to clear and direct information and encourages collaboration amongst your peers. Communication also helps resolve – or even avoid – many issues in the workplace as it encourages active listening and professional replies to problems. This also assists in preventing any disagreements that may escalate and create a tense work environment.
Whilst communication is integral to working better with your colleagues, it also creates better relationships with existing or potential clients. An open and honest line of communication builds trust between both parties and can lead to successful professional discussions.
Your time management – or lack of – can significantly impact the rest of your team and their impression of you. For example, if you’re often late to start the day this may lead to your coworkers to think you’re unreliable. By being on time for your working day, you will ensure you won’t miss any important tasks for the day and won’t be playing catch up.
More generally speaking, time management is also important for meeting deadlines. There will likely be a negative impact for not adhering to any deadlines, which could range in severity. To avoid this, you should plan your workload effectively to adhere to any deadlines given to you. When setting your own deadlines, make sure this is realistically achievable before sharing it to avoid any delays or stressful situations. Meeting deadlines and completing tasks in good time shows your colleagues and any higher-ups that you’re trustworthy and dependable.
Organisation and time management go hand-in-hand – it’s hard to be organised without good time management, and vice versa. Showing that you are organised to your employer leads to them placing more confidence in you and giving you multiple responsibilities and projects.
Effective organisation can come in the form of simply staying on top of your workload and completing tasks in a timely manner, or creating schedules for all processes you’re involved in. It can look different for every role, but it mostly comes down to completing work accurately, achieving key goals and avoiding costly mistakes.
The ability to think on your feet and solve problems will open many doors for you in the technology world. This skill means that you can look at a situation objectively and create an appropriate solution – something that is valuable to employers as it can reduce both cost and time.
Critical thinking skills allow you to analyse information and make informed decisions in the workplace by learning more about the situation, considering possible solutions and researching other potential options. Being a good critical thinker also means you’re likely good at observing situations, collecting information and problem-solving.
Being creative links into technology roles significantly, as you have to design creative innovations, products and processes within the industry. In fact, technology jobs themselves create solutions and designs that assist in moving forward companies, or even the wider industry, within tech.
Creativity also enables other soft skills, such as critical thinking, by allowing complex problems to be solved with unique and original solutions. Workplaces that encourage creativity are also more likely to attract and retain employees, as creativity encourages teamwork and collaboration to solve issues in fast-paced environments.
Creativity and curiosity also fit together well in the working environment, with both encouraging learning and upskilling. Additionally, candidates perform better at work when they’re curious, as found in a study conducted by Harvard Business Review. The study discovered that curiosity was associated with better job performance and encouraged colleagues to take an interest in each other’s ideas.