The top soft skills employers look for in tech professionals and how to prove you’ve got them

Robert Beckley, Regional Director, Hays ANZ

While technical, or ‘hard’ skills are important for tech professionals in 2023, they’re not the only ones that employers look for when hiring. 
Given the responsibilities that people working in tech now have, and the number of stakeholders you’ll be expected to work with, ideal candidates will also need the right ‘soft’ skills, or social skills or emotional intelligence.
Based on the results of surveys distributed among employers, we’ve established the soft skills that are most in-demand among employers in the technology industry in 2023. If you’re embarking on a new challenge this year, we’ve also outlined how you can demonstrate your strengths in these areas when applying for roles.

Top 5 soft skills for tech professionals in 2023

5. A learning mindset

Sustained success in a tech role relies heavily on continuous learning. If you’re a less experienced candidate, employers need to know that you can come on board and respond well to training, especially if some concepts are unfamiliar to you. Even if you’re further along in your career, or have a high level of technical ability, that knowledge can quickly become redundant without learning.

4. Flexibility and adaptability

Given the challenges many organisations face when implementing their digital strategies, you’ll need to be able to adapt to ever-changing goals, problems and even responsibilities. A track record of cross-training and meeting deadlines will put jobseekers in a strong position.

3. Ability to adopt change

Change adoption depends on leadership and change management, but the team’s receptiveness to this is just as important. If you’re looking for a senior position, think about ways you can influence your people to adopt change. Those in a more junior role must react well to new processes and ways of working.

2. Problem-solving

Whether you’re a developer, a security architect or a project manager, you’ll need to find solutions to a range of problems. Of course, experience is useful, but employers will benefit from people who can offer a fresh perspective and new ideas on approaching challenges.

1. Communication

This is a highly desirable skill to have in any industry, and it’s no different in technology. Among respondents to our surveys, this was the one that was most selected. In a hybrid working world, it’s important to engage as effectively with those sat next to you as it is with those on the other side of the world.

How to demonstrate your soft skills

If you’re applying for a new role, simply listing these soft skills in your opening statement, either on your CV or at the start of your interview, won’t do. The hiring party will have heard these buzzwords from everybody, and you won’t stand out.
Instead, make sure you give examples of using these soft skills and the benefit they’ve brought to your past employers.
For example, instead of saying “I’m a problem solver”, you can explain under a role in your job history: “I created a purpose-built X, saving our team X hours per month in manual processes.
Here are some ways that you can demonstrate these soft skills on your CV or in an interview: 
  • A learning mindset: List the skills you developed in your past roles and how they helped. 
  • Flexibility and adaptability: Think about a time you had to adapt to changes in a project or organisation structure. 
  • Ability to adopt change: Give an example of the result of what happened when you adopted change. 
  • Problem-solving: Explain how you’ve been creative in finding solutions, and what the result was. 
  • Communication: Talk about times you’ve collaborated with large or remote teams to deliver a product or project. How many stakeholders have you worked with? Were any external? 
Get more advice on your CV with Hays. 

Top in-demand soft skills: what to remember 

Although hard skills are key to success in tech, these will vary from role to role. To impress key stakeholders and hiring employers, you’ll need to show that you’ve got the soft skills above and can use them to contribute to success. Think about how you’ve done this in the past – if you haven’t, it’s time to start now in your current role. 
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About this author

Robert Beckley is a Regional Director based in Melbourne. Having worked in the Australian IT recruitment market since 2006, Robert leads the Hays Information Technology business in the ANZ region. Robert has a Master’s degree from the University of Birmingham, and two decades of industry experience.

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