When hiring developers and engineers, one of the mistakes a number of companies make is only looking at the ‘hard skills’ that the potential candidate is bringing to the table. While it’s true that those skills are extremely important, it is essential not to forget the soft skills that are needed to truly thrive in this environment. The following are some of the most important skills to have. Ensuring that your potential hires have these skills, as well as their hard skills, helps to guarantee a better overall employee fit.
A lot of patience
Patience truly is a virtue, particularly in this field. Often, there will be times of frustration where things aren’t working properly. It is important for people to be able to take a step back, take a breath, and remember that getting something right takes time.
Patience is also very helpful when it comes to talking with others who might not be as technologically knowledgeable. They need to be patient when they are explaining things to people without getting frustrated that those non-techies do not understand them. Someone who loses patience quickly is likely to be a problem.
Good communication skills
Good communication ties in nicely with patience. It is important to be able to communicate well in person, as well as through email and other forms of writing. Whether they are providing information to their team, their boss, or clients, they need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively.
Great listening skills
A big part of communication is being able to listen. Not listening properly and not getting clarification before moving ahead on a project can cause some serious issues. It could delay a project or cause reworks that are going to be expensive. Listening skills are very important, and they are something that should be looked for during the interview process.
The ability to deal with feedback
Developers and engineers should be able to provide constructive feedback to those they are working with. They should have sound reasoning for the feedback they are providing and be able to explain it to their colleagues or their bosses calmly and effectively. It is just as important that they are able to accept constructive criticism. It is a part of life in this business and if they can’t accept it without becoming upset, it might not be the job for them.
Whether working on a single project or multiple projects, understanding and employing proper time management is essential. Great organisation and time management skills are critical, and without them, it means projects will be delayed. While this is a soft skill that the employee should have, it might also be a good idea for companies to provide time management tools and techniques that everyone can use.
The ability to be flexible
Things do not always go according to plan and it’s important for developers and engineers to know this, and to be able to deal with issues that seem to pop up out of nowhere. They need to be able to adapt to these issues and to be willing to tackle them when they arise.
One of the other important elements to have as a developer or engineer is the ability to work in a team. No matter how brilliant they might seem, if they are not able to contribute to and work with a team, it’s going to be a problem. The ideal hire will be helpful, easy to approach, and willing to work together to overcome problems.
These are some of the most important skills that should be looked for when bringing on new engineers and developers to your team. Failure to account for these soft skills often means a team is going to have friction and be ineffective.
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