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The top 3 soft skills tech leaders look for in candidates

Study highlights the transferable soft skills that will help professionals land a tech job.

New research by Salesforce recruitment firm Mason Frank has uncovered the most sought-after soft skills that tech leaders are looking for in candidates. 

With demand for IT and software skills still far outstripping supply, many hiring managers looking to fill tech roles within their organisations are taking a more flexible approach to sourcing new talent—and the results of this new research will also be invaluable to budding technologists looking to kickstart their careers.

By focusing on upskilling candidates with valuable, transferable soft skills, tech leaders are opening the door to a wider and more diverse pool of talent, and developing the technical expertise they need from the inside. Analysing self-reported data from Salesforce professionals and hiring managers, as well as information from 100 recent Salesforce job adverts for roles across a multitude of industries, Mason Frank was able to determine the three soft skillsmost commonly requested by tech leaders.  

The top three most in-demand soft skills by tech leaders are:

#1 Communication 

When you’re the only person in the room that fully understands a tech platform, communication skills are vital. Tech professionals are often called upon to troubleshoot issues, explain processes, or justify the value of a platform or service to users and stakeholders—at all levels of technological awareness.That’s going to be a lot easier if you’re able to communicate clearly, effectively, and patiently, both written and verbally.

#2 Problem solving

Much of working in a tech role is about knowing how to use your chosen technology to overcome challenges within a business. Being able to identify snags, apply your knowledge, and design effective solutions is essential in any role. The roadblocks you face may not always be technical, so being able to think creatively and deploy solutions to common challenges like user adoption and security best practices will be a bonus. 

#3 Project management

From implementation to data migrations, you’ll tackle a multitude of different types of projects as a tech professional. Being able to carry those projects from planning to go-live—on time and on budget—is essential to keeping your platform performing at its best. Task prioritisation, time management, and strong organisation skills are all part of effectively managing and executing projects, and having them on your resume will be a huge advantage if you’re looking for a tech-related role.

Reacting to the findings, Zoë Morris, President at Mason Frank, said:

“As demand for technical skills continues to grow, and experienced tech talent gets harder to find, we’re seeing more and more organisations shift their focus onto soft skills.”

“Employers need to fill these tech roles, but there’s a growing understanding that looking for a candidate for a tech job that knows everything is like looking for a needle in a haystack—a very expensive needle at that,” says Morris. “The ins and outs of software or infrastructure platforms can be learned, but soft skills are far harder to teach.”

As the world becomes increasingly digitised, businesses in every industry are searching for people who can help them make the most of their investment in tech platforms. As a result, there’s been a boom in even the most typically non-technical organisations looking to add positions like Administrator, Business Analyst and Developer to their internal teams. 

“This appreciation of the impact of soft skills is why companies are much more open to hiring for potential than they’ve ever been,” concludes Morris.“If you’ve got these transferable skills that employers are looking for, now is a great time to get into tech.”

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