Employers in the tech sector look for soft skills and emotional intelligence just as much as technical expertise in potential candidates, according to research from recruitment firm Randstad Technologies.

In an analysis of job advertisements posted on its website, Randstad said soft skills or emotional intelligence, such as being self-aware and having the social skills to interact well and empathise with others, are just as important for employers.

Strong communication and teamworking skills are as important as tech knowledge © iStock/Sky Nesher

The analysis found that team players are highly sought after, with two-thirds of employers (66 percent) looking for those who could collaborate and work well with others. Candidates with strong communication skills were the second most popular with over two in five employers (43 percent) mentioning this term in their job advertisements.

In addition, over a quarter of employers looked for excellent organisational skills (28 percent) and over one in five (22 percent) mentioned good time management.

Ruth Jacobs, managing director of Randstad Technologies, said: “To stay competitive and ensure long-term success, businesses require not just the technical expertise of employees but also their soft skill-set. Particularly when it comes to face-to-face interaction or winning new business, soft skills are essential.”

Recent research by the Development Economics group estimated that soft skills are worth £88 billion per year to businesses. “That is why employers are increasingly seeking out candidates not just with impressive qualifications to offer but also strong communication skills, passion and the ability to work effectively within a team,” said Jacobs.

According to the research, employers also frequently mentioned desirable personality traits together with specific soft skills in the list of things they were looking for. At the top of the list were efficient and productive candidates with almost a third of employers (31 percent) including the term “effective” in their list of desired skills.

And almost one in five employers (18 percent) stated they were looking to hire someone with demonstrable “passion”. Having the right attitude is also just as important, with employers mentioning personality traits such as flexibility, accuracy, and the ability to show initiative and enthusiasm, said Randstad

Jacobs said: “Often when there is a roster of great candidates with impressive CVs, having the right attitude can differentiate you from the crowd. These days professional success is more than just about having the technical expertise, as employers look for well-rounded candidates that can contribute to the success and performance of a company.”

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