The best skills technology leaders should look for in their candidates are hard and soft skills. Hard skills are quantifiable abilities that enable an employee to perform a specific task, such as writing code or using a foreign language. On the other hand, soft skills are non-technical abilities that help employees interact, communicate, and work effectively with other people.
Problem solving is a skill that’s needed in every job. It helps you identify your goals, find solutions, and craft a plan of action. It is crucial for digital and technology leaders because it can help them anticipate new market trends and effectively prioritise their team’s workloads. If a candidate doesn’t have strong problem-solving skills, they might be unable to adapt to changing business conditions or handle unexpected events with ease.
Here are some ways you can evaluate whether or not a candidate has strong problem-solving abilities:
- Ask them what they would do if they were unable to solve an issue at work (e.g., “If one of our servers crashes during rush hour traffic when we have hundreds of customers trying to access our website…what would you do?”)
- Ask how they would resolve an ongoing conflict between two coworkers (e.g., “What would happen if two employees disagreed over which features should be prioritised on your team? How would you resolve this disagreement?”)
Critical thinking is a skill that allows you to analyse and evaluate information. It’s the ability to think critically about what you read, listen to or see on social media in order to make decisions — but it also helps you spot bias in other people’s opinions.
The ability to apply critical thinking skills when evaluating evidence makes you a better decision-maker because it can give you both sides of an argument and help you find the truth.
This soft skill is crucial to have as it shows a candidate has the ability to think and act on initiative and independently when the time calls for a concise decision to be made.
Creativity is one of the most important skills to look for in technology leaders. In a fast-paced environment, it’s critical to be able to think on your feet and improvise solutions as you go along.
When working with teams, creativity helps you come up with innovative ways of tackling problems or meeting new challenges that were not anticipated at the start of the project.
Creativity also matters when dealing with global issues: while looking at local cultures can help you understand how people may react when introduced to new technologies or products, being creative allows you to think beyond what has already been done before and establish new ways of doing things differently in order for them to succeed in foreign environments where they would have failed otherwise.
Coordinating With Others
The ability to coordinate with others is an important skill for a technology leader. The role requires communicating and collaborating with people from many different backgrounds, cultures, companies, industries and disciplines. You must be able to motivate a team of people who may have varying priorities. This means that you need to be flexible enough to consider all their needs when making decisions about the future direction of your organisation.
Working in this industry requires an innovative mindset that relies on creativity rather than rules. So if you want your employees to think outside of their comfort zone, you need to give them space for experimentation as well as direction from above when needed (and even then, provide feedback regularly so that they know what direction needs improvement).
Judgement and Decision-making
Judgement and decision-making are important skills that technology leaders should look for in candidates. They are essential to the success of any organisation, but they can also be learned and improved over time.
The ability to make good decisions is a skill that can be learned, improved upon, and refined over time. When you are looking for an employee who will be making critical decisions on your behalf (and acting as an ambassador of your brand), it’s essential that these qualities shine through in their interview answers.
The most important skill a leader should look out for is the ability to adapt quickly. If you are not able to keep up with the pace of change, make judgment calls or collaborate with others, then your job becomes obsolete. The future of work will be defined by those who can innovate and execute their ideas faster than anyone else. Therefore, finding candidates with these skills should be one of your top priorities as the hiring manager for a technology company.