Recruiting technical specialists with the necessary soft skills is a challenge for many organizations. Over two in three (68%) Dutch IT-based contractors see that their clients are having the right talent to attract. This while communication skills are becoming increasingly important by companies. In addition, more than a quarter of IT professionals (29%) find that the lack of solid soft skills has adverse effects on the implementation of IT projects.
This is evidenced by the IT Contracting Soft Skills Report of Hays recruitment organization among 124 IT contractors; These are IT professionals who work for a client on a project basis. The research shows that adequate communication skills are often in the top three of the required soft skills in IT vacancies. Communicative skill is defined as the most important for project managers (75%) and consultants (83%) for achieving increased efficiency and productivity (78%) and for driving and motivating employees (82%). In addition, three quarters of respondents (76%) indicate that soft skills are important for effective communication with clients.
Soft skills as a priority
Over 94 percent of respondents indicate that communication skills greatly influence the choice of a client to hire them or not. Also, 84 percent believe that soft skills in the future are as important as technical skills. Stef van den Broek, Business Director at Hays: “Companies find it difficult to find suitable ITs. It is clear that developing the right soft skills deserves more attention before an even bigger gap arises between supply and demand. ”
Despite the fact that IT is aware of the importance of communicative skills, only 30 percent actually takes the time to upgrade these skills. This group is mainly doing peer review feedback (58%), attending network events (48%) and following courses (35%). The biggest obstacle to improvement is time shortage (53%), followed by more recent day-to-day activities (30%).
Tips for companies
Van den Broek claims that this is not only for IT, but also for companies. Hays recommends checking the soft skills of both their current and future employees. “When identifying a lack of internal communication skills, it is important to draft an action plan to improve this. Also, naming popular soft skills in a vacancy can ensure that IT professionals are appropriately qualified. In addition, it is important to assess a candidate not only on technical skills but also on the communication skills present, “said Van den Broek.