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5 Soft Skills Essential for a Successful IT Career

The IT industry wants technical skills and in-demand certifications. What candidates often forget, however, is the bonus presented by soft skills. 

Soft skills previously took a back seat to your professional expertise, especially if you offered a particularly hard-to-find qualification. Today, they’re not the core skills that get you hired. 

What are the most useful soft skills for a successful IT career? Here’s what RightStone’s top clients look for in a new hire. 

Communication 

We still think of IT roles as being highly technical. Part of your ability to do the job depends on your ability to communicate. From emails to proposals to leadership, your ability to communicate project parameters is at the heart of your success. 

Collaboration 

Twenty years ago, the right lone wolf developer could have the pick of any job. Today, employers look for developers who have both technical and collaboration skills. 

Being able to work with others is a core skill, particularly when you work remotely. Remote working requires you to work cohesively and allow room for creative thinking from all team members. 

If you can collaborate, you can get your product to market faster — and that’s what employers look for. 

Creativity 

Although learning in IT can be rote, you have the freedom to run once you get beyond the basics. Here, creativity can flourish, and employers look for creative problem-solving skills. After all, it’s not just your ability to create solutions that matter. You need to solve problems in a way that makes the most sense for your unique end users. 

Negotiation 

Your negotiation skills is a soft skill that not only helps you move up the career ladder but have practical day-to-day uses. You can negotiate with clients to coax them into solutions that make the most sense for their business. You can also negotiate with team members to help them make a deadline. 

And of course, you can negotiate your salary, project budget, and duties to help you win the job you want. Employers see your negotiation skills from the beginning, so don’t be afraid to show them off. 

Empathy 

Empathy is a skill that you need in any position if you want to work for, with, or in service of other people. Empathy not only allows you to work more closely with a team, but it can be your superpower by enabling you to take responsibility for yourself and your work. 

If you have empathy, more people want to work with you. 

Do You Have the Soft Skills Employers Want? 

Employers want to know about your experience, portfolio, and certifications. However, an impressive resume isn’t the only thing you need in a competitive job market. You also need the soft skills that employers want. 

After all, technical skills get a project started, but skills collaboration, communication, and empathy get the job done. 

Do you have what employers are looking for? Let us know. Click here to view RightStone’s jobs board


Promoted Over Your Peers? How to Lead a Team of Co-workers

You got the promotion. It comes with new responsibilities and new benefits. However, it also comes with a unique challenge. As the victor, you now need to navigate a new landscape of leading your coworkers, including a few who wanted the job you got. 

The transition from peer to leader all depends on your first few weeks. Here are our best tips to manage your teammates. 

Get Reacquainted as  Leader 

You didn’t get tapped to lead the team because of a fluke. It was your skills combined with the vision that helped you get started. However, your coworkers may not have seen what your boss did. 

Rather than force a transition, ease into it by meeting with your team members and getting reacquainted. Let them know what you see for the seem and ask them for their input. 

Don’t forget to get and reaffirm your co-worker’s pain points. Now that you have the power to make changes, hearing their concerns and suggestions again may give you a new perspective. 

Earn Your Influence 

You were one of the team on Friday, and now it’s Monday, and you’re the team leader. Your team won’t follow your influence just because you had a title change. 

You won the role because your boss believed you would be a good leader. Now is the time to start showing everyone what you can do. Work hard, listen more than you talk, and start working on earning your influence. It will make the smoothest transition into management. 

Set Clear Expectations 

As a team member, you could go to Happy Hours, laugh at the water cooler, and commiserate with your colleagues. While there’s no ‘us’ and ‘them’ when you become a leader, you need to set clear expectations if you want to lead. 

You now need to figure out how to be approachable and friendly without compromising your impartiality. One of the best ways to do this is to be as clear about your work. Be honest about what you’re looking for, and give useful feedback. 

Being open and transparent will transform your colleagues into a team that emulates your influence. 

Be the Leader Your Boss Knew You Could Be 

Managing your coworkers can be awkward, but there was a reason you got the promotion. Your superiors believe in your ability to lead. And that’s just what you need to do. 

While some things do need to change, you just need to keep being you and be as willing to work for your coworkers’ respect as you were willing to work for the promotion. 

Are you looking for your next leadership role?

RightStone is placing highly-skilled candidates into IT leadership roles right now. Get in touch to learn how you could find your next position. 


4 Reasons Why You Should Consider Hiring Temp Workers

Many hiring managers think they know the value temp workers provide. Some believe that temps are a thing of the past. In reality, temp workers are a core part of the U.S. workforce that may even be underutilized. 

Temp workers offer valuable skills, almost on-demand, and they do so without slowing down your business. The story of temp workers in the U.S. is a long one, and these essential employees have shaped the American workforce for the better in surprising ways. Do you need to scale your team? Here’s why you should consider hiring temp workers.  

Scale Up During Your Busy Season 

Whether you’re a ‘seasonal business’ or not, your industry likely goes through predictable peak periods where your teams are run off their feet. 

Hiring temporary workers helps you meet your needs during peak periods without worrying about paying the bills during your slower months. 

For example, you might choose to scale up before the holidays as clients prepare their sites for the season’s traffic. 

Get the Talent You Need During Short-Term Projects 

Do you have new or occasional clients who have unique needs? Taking on specialty projects requires an employee who offers those skills. But few can afford to hire these team members as permanent employees. 

Using temporary or contract workers means you can get the skills you need when you need them without worrying about finding something for them to do 365 days a year. 

Introduce Employees to Your Company on a Trial Basis 

More and more employers hire based on culture and personality rather than skills. Screening for culture isn’t easy. Moreover, even if you think the candidate is a great fit, they may decide the job isn’t for them a few months down the line. All of a sudden, you need to start the process over. 

Choosing the temp-to-hire route allows you to bring on new team members to experience the culture for themselves. The contract gives both of you an out at the end of the working relationship, which saves you from re-hiring a few weeks or months down the road. 

Save Money on Hiring 

Hiring a new employee is expensive. Back in 2015, Deloitte said the average company spent $3,500 on hiring a new employee. Given the talent shortage in IT and other industries and increase costs, you can expect it to be higher in 2020-2021. 

Working with contract employees saves your team from spending resources and productivity on finding one employee and gets you the talent you need faster. 

Ready to expand your team?

At RightStone, we know how vital temporary employees are in IT. We’ve helped change the game. Get in touch to learn more about how we place candidates with the skills and personality to help your business succeed. 


Ready to Expand Your Team? 3 Signs It’s Time to Hire

As a business owner, you know that when you hire is as important as who you are. Adding a new employee too early or too late could derail even your best-laid plans. How do you know when it’s time to take the leap and put out the ad? These are the three signs it’s time to find a new helping hand. 

You’re Missing Out on New Opportunities 

You know you’re ready to grow your business, and prospective clients want to join in on the fun. However, you can’t find time in your production schedule or calendar to bring on a new client much less serve them well. So, you have to let them go, essentially handing their business to your competition on a silver platter. 

Missing out on new opportunities is a classic sign you need to hire. A new member of staff costs money, but they help your current team add value to every account and enable you to take on new ones. 

Your Top Performers Struggle to Meet Deadlines 

Everyone misses a deadline once in a while. However, when you reach a point where you’re paying overtime hours and your team still can’t pick up the speed on their turnaround times, then they may need the extra help. 

Hiring an extra pair of hands takes work off everyone’s plates so they can get the job done on time. 

You Need to Pitch In Every Day 

As a leader, you have a lot on your plate — like the fate of your business. You need to focus on big picture goals and management. If you’re not at the helm of your company, it doesn’t take long for a business to go off-course. Once it does, it could take months to right it again. 

While every leader should get involved in the day-to-day work, it shouldn’t dominate your schedule. Your team needs you at the helm, steering the ship. 

If you find yourself rolling up your sleeves and doing the legwork more often than not, then you could be in need of a new employee. 

Do You Recognize These Signs? 

Hiring strategically has as much to do with the timing as it does the candidate. If you are turning away business, watching deadlines fly by, and find yourself in the weeds, then you likely need to hire ASAP. 

Are you on the hunt for an extra pair of hands? RightStone can help. Get in touch to learn how the RighStone 360 process can help you get the candidates who will grow your business. 


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