While the COVID-19 pandemic affected our home and workstyles across the globe, we’ve learned that in terms of employment, the IT sector stabilized more quickly than other industries and is poised for growth. As our workforces come to rely more and more on technology in most major industries, and considering now that at least one-third of workers expect to connect remotely, long gone are the days where IT professionals worked in a siloed portion of an organization. They are integral in the planning and strategic development for an organization in creating systems that scale with change, and their work is woven through almost all departments in any given company.
With influence and reach throughout organizations, recruiters and hiring managers are looking for IT professional with not only technical experience, but also increased business acumen, strategic influence and fresh thinking. Of course, .net, Java and anything Mobile are still on the radar of sought-after skills. But with the net widening for new or enhanced technology as companies expand their work models and transform operations and infrastructure, we are seeing a greater need to focus on the tech as well as soft skills in IT hires.
The soft skills as you can imagine are not very different than what a non-tech position would require, but you might say they are amplified: a person with expert, certified tech skills deals in information that is specialized and not something everyone has been trained to understand; however, an effective IT team member now needs the ability to translate this specialized knowledge into business outcomes that are applicable to all team members, technical or not. Tech know-how with communication skills? The combo makes for a very powerful and attractive candidate.
A combination of tech and soft skills in demand, include, but are not limited to:
Adaptability and Flexibility:
As organizations changed work models overnight, their tech teams were primarily responsible for making sure operations still flowed, colleagues could log on to work and that systems were secure. And they needed to be able to do this amidst health concerns, economic instability and in the face of changing safety guidelines. That level of being able to work with the ebb and flow of a changing environment and pivot direction is critical.
Communication and Collaboration:
With workers sitting in different locations, systems needed to be quickly implemented to facilitate workflow continuity. Now, even as employees return to the office, project management protocols may have changed, and of course, there is still planning for any future uncertainty through emergency-preparedness and disaster management. Our IT professionals organized these changes to systems and networks, and also needed to ensure that teams were apprised of the changes and trained on how to use them.
Cybersecurity, network security, mobile computing security all fall under the umbrella of information Security and all are key elements in any organization for protecting data. With connections coming in from all over the world, often accessing sensitive company data, CIOs have noted a need for security experts who can protect the integrity of their organizations.
Clouds and Mobile
For years now, our heads have been in the clouds and will remain there for the foreseeable future! Cloud architects and designers are critical to creating universally accessible, yet regulated and compliant systems that protect data but also allow for more efficiencies in terms of productivity and costs. Workers need scalable access, especially when there could be unexpected changes in work environments – like sudden work-from-home mandates. And for workers to have access to the info they need, this goes hand-in-hand for companies to develop mobile applications, which is also a two-fold development priority, as organizations deploy mobile tools for their customers as well in the course of doing business.
Diverse thinking, abilities and experience
With Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) becoming an all-compassing term, it has risen as a top priority for tech workforces; employers are interested in talent that can bring a fresh perspective to the table, offering different approaches to challenges and business outcomes based on their lived experiences. For DE&I, not only do we focus on race, ethnicity and gender, but it extends to age, education, neurodiversity and much more; the goal is to create a workforce more reflective of the world around us and to put into practice a more equitable work environment where everyone can thrive.
We’ve long scratched away the inaccurate stereotype of the IT person who works in an isolated area of the organization. Our IT professionals keep our businesses in operation; their problem-solving abilities and approach to organizational shifts, whether proactive or reactive, keep the wheels turning. Their roles require a balance of tech, business and interpersonal skills that recruiters and hiring managers will continue to zero in on in their search for the top talent.
At Matlen Silver, we’ve cultivated relationships with IT candidates who consistently add value to the organizations they work for. Our clients trust that our selections and recommendations will exceed their expectations. Contact us today to discuss your hiring needs for IT of the future.