Recruitment in any industry is a difficult process. Finding staff that are not only qualified to the role, but fit into your company (and will stay with you) is important if you want the process to be sustainable and financially prudent.

In the tech industry, there are even more considerations and pitfalls when trying to attract the best talent. To find out what recruiters in the industry were looking for (and struggling to find), tech job recruitment specialists, Modis, spoke to 500 IT decision makers. So, what do they want, and how can candidates show it?

Teamwork and interpersonal skills

31 percent of recruiters said that teamwork and interpersonal skills were the most difficult skills to find. While so-called ‘soft skills’ may not be the most obvious requirement recruiters look for in tech roles, this highlights how important these skills are. While working in tech and IT does often require a mind with the ability to focus on and complete tasks without supervision, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work with other people. When applying for roles in the industry, candidates should emphasize their ability to work harmoniously with others and give practical examples to support their claims.

Project management

While management of others is a specified role and doesn’t necessarily need to be a requirement of every tech job, the ability to manage your own projects is vital. Surprisingly, it seems to be lacking in many candidates, with 21 percent of decision makers saying it was the hardest skill to find when looking for appropriate staff. So, what do interviewers look for?

“They have to have a methodology,” Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group says. “Maybe they use software, or a book, or they just have years of experience.” Demonstrate your process when applying for roles and use real life examples when possible to give your experience a practical edge. You could even demonstrate a plan using your process with knowledge of the company you’re applying for to really show off your skills.

Security and infrastructure

You don’t have to look far in the news to find a story about hacking, leaked documents or a company’s website being compromised. So, it makes sense that recruiters see practical knowledge about security and infrastructure to be an important part of any tech recruit. However, 22 percent of those surveyed said it was still one skill area they struggled to find staff with.

Stay up to date with trends and news in the industry, mainly because this will help you do your job more effectively, and mean you can spot threats early. However, it will also demonstrate to an employer that the security of their business is a priority to you and make you seem like a safe pair of hands.

A loyal track record

A proven track record of employee loyalty is always a good sign of an employee’s intentions. Over half of recruiters surveyed (58 percent) said a candidate with five or more years at their previous post was a more attractive prospect to them. While this isn’t something job seekers can necessarily work on as a skill, it should factor in to your decision making when assessing job prospects and changes in role. If you’re thinking about changing your current role after only a short space of time, consider the reasons you’re doing it, and the ramifications of a patchy resume. Lots of short stints at different companies can appear inconsistent and ‘flighty’, so sticking out a job for a few extra months, even if it’s not your thing, can mean a stronger looking track record for the future.

There are some huge skill gaps when it comes to tech recruitment. While some of them, such as security and infrastructure, can be addressed with training, others such as social skills are often inherent. The tech industry, by its nature, does attract candidates with analytical minds. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t be analytical and social, but it means if you are, and you demonstrate loyalty and an ability to take control of project and drive it to the next level, you’ll have recruiters knocking down your door.

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