What skills should your candidate have beyond being good at IT?

IT sector job candidates will clearly need to have the requisite technical skills. But there is much else that can give them an edge.

Finding the best candidates for IT posts is an ongoing challenge for recruitment professionals and employers alike. There may be many fine CVs out there, but sometimes there are other skills that can make a difference.

For that reason, it is worth digging deeper into the backgrounds, attitudes and temperaments of candidates to identify the characteristics that define a truly outstanding candidate.

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Indeed, this is the sort of thing that is often categorised under the heading of ‘soft skills’ and can make a major difference in two ways.

  • It can act as a tie-breaker when there are candidates with comparable skills and experience chasing the same position
  • These skills may come in particularly useful in the job in various situations

How can you choose what matters most?

Deciding what extra skills are the most relevant is an important task in recruitment as defining the core competencies for any role; the difference being there are fewer hard and fast rules when choosing which extra personal qualities matter the most.

A good way to help decide what makes the difference is to consider two kinds of extra attributes: Those that are good to have in any circumstances and those that may be particularly useful for your company.

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What extra qualities are generally useful?

There are a number ofattributes that can be particularly attractive to many employers:

  • Long service: If a candidate has remained in their previous post for a long time, it suggests they have been strongly committed to the roles they have undertaken. They would be more likely to remain in the post for the long term, so an employer can invest in them without worrying that they will soon have to find a replacement
  • Team player skills: If people can demonstrate that they are co-operative, do their best to get on with a diverse range of people and share common goals, that will make them an asset rather than a problem
  • Versatility: It may be the job for which you are recruiting is a specialist role, but the benefits of versatility cannot be underestimated. If someone is able to offer extra support to people in other parts of the business or using other IT functions, that could make them an even more valuable employee

What skills may be specifically useful for your firm?

For your own firm, you may have some particular attributes that are specific to its needs. For instance, if it is a small firm, the importance of getting on with people on an individual basis will be particularly valuable, while customer service skills will be extremely useful in a public-facing role.

At Rare Skills, we know having the right staff is essential to meeting your business goals. We aim to help ensure we match people up with roles in a way that enables every firm to not just meet its requirements, but exceed them.

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