Certain skills are vital to specific professions. Salespeople need to be great communicators and put people at ease, while managers must serve as objective yet empathetic leaders. When it comes to tech employees, certain assumptions can keep you from hiring the right person. We tend to think of these roles as solo positions without a lot of leadership opportunities, but as the tools we use in business evolve year after year, so do the skills necessary for the people who design and fix them. Look for these three surprising skills regardless of whether you need one IT guy or a whole team of developers:
"A tech employee who wants to come in and do the same thing every day is not one you need."
What it means: Laypeople tend to think of technology as a world guided by a rigid set of rules. In actuality, tech is as flexible as language, and a person can achieve the same outcome in many different ways. In fact, adaptability is part of the job description, whether you realize it or not. Tech teams have to put out all sorts of fires on a daily basis, from software to server issues and everything in between. A tech employee who wants to come in and do the same thing every day is not one you need.
What you need: Look for applicants with a detailed variety of job positions or assignments on their resume. A degree in computer science helps, but it's not always necessary. In fact, self-taught tech gurus often have a knack for ingenuity that's vital to their position.
What it means: The majority of employees want some sort of career development from their employers, meaning businesses need people with mentoring experience. In fact, according to a report published by Business Insider, the demand for this skill has increased 73 percent. What's more, companies are willing to pay handsomely for this type of talent - the average salary for a job posting with "mentoring" as a keyword was nearly $93,000. Tech employees with this skill can become an essential part of your employee development offerings, helping your staff diversify their abilities.
What you need: You want applicants that have experience assisting other people. If you're considering a recent graduate, look for student teaching experience. Otherwise, look for people who've designed training programs with their previous employer. Also, check the candidate's hobbies or volunteer experience for anything that encompasses being a mentor, such as working with children.
What it means: As with mentorship, the ability to collaborate is highly sought after. It's easy to see how the people in your programming department need to be able to work together, but what about the person responsible for troubleshooting printer problems? In fact, teamwork is just as essential in this case. Your tech support is responsible for working with every other team in the business, not just his or her own.
What you need: Look for a resume full of group projects. One that lists only one or two examples of collaboration could imply the applicant doesn't work well as part of a team and wasn't given any further group assignments. You can ask for elaboration during an interview or phone screen, but it's a good idea to keep this tidbit in mind.
In addition, you want an applicant who describes both their accomplishments and those of their entire team. This shows they take pride in working as part of a group and aren't the type to focus only on themselves.
Need help sorting through your applicants to find the right employee? Contact the Orange Tree sales team.