November 19, 2019
The technology industry is in a near-constant state of evolution. Workplace culture is also changing, with options such as remote work and flex hours. That’s why it’s important for tech leaders to hire employees who can thrive in a fast-paced environment.
To help companies looking for the right IT candidates and tech pros on the job hunt, we asked 15 members of Forbes Technology Council to share the top areas of expertise as well as the soft skills they’re looking for in potential tech talent.
1. Time Management
We mostly work with software engineers and data scientists, and we all work remotely. It is important that someone possesses sound time-management skills. We use a number of home-brewed tools and processes to help make our contractors effective and efficient. – Adam Ayers, Number 5
2. Machine Learning
We’re growing across the board. One area in particular where we continue to invest is experienced machine learning experts. It turns out that choosing an algorithm to solve a problem for customers is typically just 20% of the solution. Working with teammates who have practical experience applying machine learning to a similar problem at scale can save quarters’ and years’ worth of work. – Guy Yalif, IntellimizeForbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Do I qualify?
3. UX Design
When looking for tech talent, we look for someone who understands the importance of user experience. We put our customers first—we work constantly to provide a better user experience for them and we want our tech hires to do the same. They shouldn’t only know the basics of what UX design is but why it matters and the importance of really understanding the users you’re designing for. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
4. Courage And Openness
Technology is a collaborative and creative work. Being bold to innovate is the key expertise needed to thrive in a fast-paced tech environment. Readiness to accept feedback or ideas from anywhere and being courageous to challenge the status quo are two valuable tips if you want to be innovative. – Anto Joseph, RecVue
5. Willingness To Learn And Apply Skills
In addition to core skills related to the role, curiosity and a demonstrated ability to learn and apply new skills is critical. This can come in many forms, such as a blog, YouTube channel, a home-lab development of a game or application or even a successful side hustle. This is critical in ensuring that the employee can grow with the company. – Ben Wiechman, Arvig
Businesses are moving at an ever-increasing pace, and it takes an awfully long time to find the right person. I look for candidates who can adapt to the quickly changing environment, company goals and job objectives and who wear different hats. Those who take the initiative and motivate others will become true leaders in their organizations. – Sergey Medved, ClearSlide
7. Curiosity, Team Orientation And Passion
With creative or tech talent, we look for specific dispositions rather than any specific skills or expertise. The first thing we look for is a natural curiosity to learn and apply knowledge. We think it’s essential in today’s economy. Second, we like candidates who have a team orientation. Finally, it’s about interest or passion for some aspect of our business, because you need to love what you do. – Andre Yee, Triblio
8. A Learning Mindset
With the ever-evolving technology landscape, we seek talented people who are well-versed in various technical disciplines. However, candidates who thrive at ThreatModeler tend to have a desire and ability to learn new things quickly, such as machine learning or cloud automation tools. – Archie Agarwal, ThreatModeler Software, Inc.
Agility and speed are the new currencies in business today. Hiring people who can quickly adapt and acquire new skills, are curious to learn and explore new paradigms, have the courage to take risks, and can lead team members through ambiguous and fast-paced environments are well poised to succeed in today’s fast-paced, highly technical environments. This is critical for increasing velocity. – Frank Palermo, Virtusa
10. The Ability To ‘Unlearn’ Today’s Standards Tomorrow
One specific area of expertise I look for in tech talent is a passion for continuous learning. New technology is being introduced at an exponential rate. Tech talent who can unlearn what they know today and quickly learn new digital technologies are extremely valuable—particularly if they understand frameworks, architecture and platform structures and can apply that understanding to the latest tech. – Kerrie Hoffman, Get Digital Velocity
11. Ownership And Responsibility
With remote and flex hours, an important aspect that I look for is if the individual showcases a sense of responsibility and ownership of the work being performed. It’s important since the individual can then perform without constant supervision and communicate important issues. This basically establishes a trust factor, which is important when having a remote working environment and flex hours. – Mihir Shinde, B&H Photo Video Pro Audio
12. Love For The Work
It is very important that tech talent loves what they are doing and are passionate about further developing their skills. Only then will it be easy to stay focused and disciplined and maintain strong communication about progress or issues. – Ankit Sharma, Inventive Byte
13. The Skills To Succeed In A Distributed Environment
It’s not one area, it’s all areas, and all are important for the company. In the condition of a talent shortage, we need to hire people where they are available, not in “our town” only. If we want to have a predictable time to market, we must build distributed teams. Period. – Boris Kontsevoi, Intetics Inc.
14. Understanding Of Serverless Architecture
We are looking for software and data engineers who understand serverless architecture. Embracing serverless has allowed us to decrease cost and complexity and increase scalability and agility. – Mykolas Rambus, Equifax Data-Driven Marketing
Focus is a key skill that allows top performers to accomplish more in an exponentially shorter amount of time. It’s not easy. The world today is designed to distract. With the rate of changes impacting modern businesses, the success of a high-performance workplace hinges on its employees’ ability to consistently block out noise and drive forward. That’s why it’s a must-have for our talent. – Luke Freiler, Centercode