Beyond Coding: The Soft Skills That Employers Look for in IT Job Candidates

by Pranav Ramesh
March 28, 2023

Soft skill development has become increasingly important for job seekers and hiring managers alike. But given its elusiveness, professionals have trouble identifying, measuring, and cultivating soft skills. 

Let’s first address what soft skills are.

What Are Soft Skills?

According to Gallup, soft skills are “the ways in which people get along and work effectively together to get work done.” For example, when hiring a service worker, hiring managers look for employees who are personable, warm, and able to manage stressful interpersonal situations. To determine what soft skills may be required for certain jobs, consider what natural tendencies or behaviors lead to high performance in a specific field.

Learn more about why IT employers are looking for professionals with their soft skills.

Soft Skills for IT Professionals

With the advancement of technology, many tasks for IT professionals are now automated. Still, people are at the center of the profession, which means IT employers are looking for candidates with the appropriate soft skills. The following are the top soft skills that employers look for in IT job candidates.

 

  • Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (also referred to as EQ) describes the ability to be in tune with one’s emotions and the emotions of others, along with the ability to control one’s emotions given the situation. 

In a high-stakes, high-stress industry like IT, employers are seeking candidates who understand what those around them are feeling. An IT candidate with a high EQ can tell when their team members are feeling stuck and know how to adapt.

The field of IT also requires employees to work with clients who may not be versed in the technology that will bring their organization to the next level. In these interactions, having emotional intelligence means being patient when explaining complicated processes and being able to recognize when the communication between them and a client is not clicking. This brings us to our next soft skill.

Related: 3 Skills to Include on Your Tech Resume

 

  • Communication & Collaboration

Roles in IT often involve working alone for long periods, but complex projects involve more team members, who all need to be on the same page regarding deadlines, project requirements, expectations, etc. Top IT talent enjoys explaining technical subjects in terms anyone can understand.

Especially in the world of remote work, e-mail is playing a larger role in how we communicate in the workplace. This applies to IT professionals, who frequently need to keep teammates and clients updated on their projects. And when it comes to teaching others about technology, IT candidates need to be able to have excellent verbal and written communication skills.

 

  • Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking, according to Forbes, is “the ability to find trustworthy data, and use it to make decisions.” Employees with critical thinking skills approac