While considering a software developer for hire, what soft skills do you prioritize in addition to job-specific skills?
As a recruiter, you are likely aware that software developers need more than just technical skills to succeed. Strong interpersonal skills and communication proficiency are key markers of job-fit candidates. The fast-evolving and complex marketplace demands a perfect balance of technical and soft skills for hiring.
It's no secret that soft skills are necessary for professional success. However, ever wondered why they are becoming increasingly valuable than ever before?
Well, according to Forbes¹, Deloitte has projected that by 2030, two-thirds of all jobs will require soft skills, and hiring individuals with strong, soft skills is estimated to increase revenue by over $90,000.
Going further, Deloitte, in that survey, claims that soft skills to prioritize include:
- Strong communication skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Time management skills
Additionally, software developers should prioritize other soft skills to ensure further success.
Before assessing, know what the top soft skills for software developers are.
Read more to find out!
Top 14 Soft Skills for Programmers
Time Management has always been significant for all employees despite their work backgrounds. However, for software developers, you should know how effectively they are going to manage their time.
Rather than simply fulfilling their responsibilities, developers should be able to divide their time and act proactively.
When one developer lacks time management skills, it can have a ripple effect on the whole team; if one team member is struggling to meet deadlines, it creates pressure on the rest of the group.
So, when hiring, it's essential to consider a potential employee's time management skills. However, we understand that measuring soft skills like time management takes a lot of work. Fortunately, tools like iMocha provide an effective way for organizations to measure time management skills through its online assessments.
Communication skills are quintessential soft skills for programmers for several reasons. IT professionals choose accurate technical jargon to demonstrate their work and discuss related technological topics.
However, it can be ineffective and often counterproductive when communicating with business people lacking technological background.
That is why, while hiring a software developer, you should ensure that he/she is capable of explaining technical concepts to others in simple and understandable language.
When recruiting, look for potential employees who can collaborate with other developers to solve problems, share ideas, and present features to clients. Effective communication is essential for these daily tasks.
Still unsure about the essential soft skills assessments for developers? Try iMocha's curated soft skills assessments to evaluate communication, language and cognitive abilities for holistic hiring.
Problem-Solving / Critical Thinking
Problem-solving and critical thinking are two important soft skills programmers should possess. One of the top soft skills that engineers can bring to your software development team is critical thinking.
Rather than constantly nagging about the issues at work, software developers should have the ability the analyze the issue, use logic, and solve problems.
Thus, while hiring, you should always look for a developer's ability to think differently when faced with complex issues.
You should seek developers who view these problems as highly-technical algorithms with various paths to success. This approach will have the most significant impact on how your developer approaches and resolves difficult tasks.
If you're concerned about how to evaluate applicants' critical thinking abilities. Use iMocha's critical thinking skills assessment, an effective assessment tool developed singularly for this purpose.
The old saying holds true: when you wait patiently, good things will come your way. Keeping a level head and waiting for the right moment to act can allow you to make sound decisions that may lead to greater success. Patience is key to achieving your goals.
But you must be thinking, what exactly defines patience?
Well, it is an ability to wait, analyze and assess a situation before making the next move.
As a soft skill, this quality is of utmost importance for developers who work in teams. With multiple people working at different speeds and various components to consider, patience is a critical requirement in order to ensure successful teamwork.
We each have our own unique perspectives and beliefs, which may lead to disagreements with our peers. Disagreements can arise from release schedules and code reviews to design choices and sometimes even for unclear reasons.
However, software developers should be able to recognize their team member's strengths and weaknesses and use those to create an effective product. To do this, they must possess advanced communication and interpersonal skills to foster a productive environment.
A developer's success is determined not just by their coding ability but also by their command of soft skills such as patience, empathy, communication, and time management.
This explains why, as a recruiter, you should prioritize people management skills, which are required for effective collaboration with the team. It even helps to foster a cohesive work atmosphere, which is usually more important than coding.
If you are wondering how to assess people management skills effectively, take a look at iMocha’s people management skills test.
One of the top soft skills for software developers is confidence. It is an essential ingredient for success, which has echoed repeatedly in motivational quotes. Without a strong sense of self-belief, taking the necessary steps to achieve success can be difficult. Therefore, having confidence is an invaluable asset in a candidate.
As a recruiter, you have an eye for recognizing candidates with the potential to be successful. You observe a person with good posture and a smile and envision them as self-confident.
However, it is also important to seek individuals who view challenges not as impediments but as opportunities for growth. They should possess a strong sense of confidence, identify potential solutions, and demonstrate the ability to make beneficial changes. Those who are undeterred by failure and remain eager to develop a new approach should be prioritized.
Want to accelerate your hiring process? Learn how iMocha can assist you in finding and evaluating people with the necessary soft skills to expand your team.
One of the top soft skills for software developers is collaboration, it is essential to successful teamwork. Collaborating with others may seem straightforward, but it is not easy in practice. Each team member has their own areas of expertise, communication style, and objectives, and working together is more than just pushing code to a repository.
To assess candidates on their team collaboration skills. You can use this team collaboration skills assessment to check their ability to take the initiative and drive a project to completion. This will help you easily evaluate their skills and better understand how they might fit into your team.
Having a strong sense of self-awareness involves having a deep understanding of oneself. An appreciation for the work developers do to create and maintain applications, websites, and other technology. That is why self-awareness is regarded as one of the top soft skills for software developers.
Self-awareness is an essential soft skill for web developers, allowing them to engage in learning activities to improve their current work continually. By striving to exceed their assigned duties, web developers can use self-awareness to identify opportunities to learn new skills and enhance their capabilities.
When hiring a software engineer, always strive to evaluate and observe if they are self-aware of their present expertise. Having better personality attributes that allow them to use criticism as a stepping stone to perform better is appreciable.
Being accountable involves taking ownership of one's actions, behavior, decisions, and performance - professionally and personally. This means being held responsible for job performance and interactions with colleagues, customers, and suppliers in the workplace. Making sure to hold oneself accountable is essential for any successful organization.
A key element of professional growth in any field is recognizing and learning from past errors. When team members own their blunders, their colleagues can use them to spot similar issues in the future.
If you are wondering how to assess a candidate's accountability skills, iMocha's ownership and accountability assessment effectively measures their capabilities and gives you better insights about their accountability skills.
Being open-minded implies that you are prepared to listen to other people's thoughts and perspectives and contemplate the potential that you are incorrect or that your own viewpoint may change.
Someone with a know-it-all attitude is frequently unappealing. As a result, you should determine whether a person has a cooperative attitude and how well they listen to others when they give their thoughts.
The point is if you want someone on your team who is willing to experiment with their code and potentially uncover new vistas. As a result, you should assess their openness to these activities.
Leadership is one of the most misunderstood roles in technology. Many people equate leadership with rank and authority; nevertheless, leadership does not imply being in control. Leaders, on the other hand, are those who bring out the best in their colleagues and the firm as a whole.
Candidates with leadership skills display collaborative behavior and the capacity to overcome barriers that may occur in information and knowledge exchange.
In order to evaluate candidates’ leadership skills, make the interview process conducive for the candidate to bring out their enthusiasm.
Software engineers with emotional intelligence possess unique qualities that enable them to excel in their field. They are able to remain composed when faced with stressful situations, show empathy to their colleagues, and intuitively understand how to respond to their environment.
This emotional intelligence is an integral part of the best soft skills for software engineers, serving as a foundation for successful human interactions.
They should be able to read the emotions of their peers to foster a productive environment. This could involve offering encouragement when the team is feeling down or diplomatically declining an individual's idea when it does not fit the overall goal.
If you're contemplating what is the correct way to evaluate the emotional intelligence of candidates. Check out iMocha's emotional intelligence skills assessment, an effective assessment tool developed singularly for this purpose.
Negotiating effectively can be a key factor in achieving mutual understanding between two or more parties. Without the necessary negotiation skills, employees might be unable to arrive at a logical solution that is satisfactory to all parties involved, which can have a negative impact on the business's profits and employer-employee relations.
In order to assess your candidate's negotiation ability, evaluate by asking a direct question, and check how they drive and influence a discussion. It will help you understand their ability to employ emotional intelligence to accomplish desired objectives.
Attention to Details
Employees with a commitment to accuracy and precision do not accept mediocrity. They take the time to ensure that their work is of the highest possible quality and consider mistakes that could have been avoided.
This attention to detail leads to work far superior to that of employees who lack a basic level of care and focus. Fair or unfair, there are thousands of job candidates for a single post, and by making their application pinpoint perfect, the candidate sends a signal that they genuinely want the job.
iMocha's cognitive tests can be used to evaluate an applicant's attention to detail, making the process easier for recruiters. Candidates exhibit their commitment to the job and determination to succeed by completing these assessments.
Are you looking for a reliable way to assess the soft skills of candidates? iMocha offers comprehensive role-based aptitude tests designed to accurately evaluate soft skills. Give it a try!
What are the 3 most important soft skills for a software engineer?
Having all of the top soft skills for software developers outlined in this article is advantageous for a candidate. However, no applicant is perfect. Hence, the three most important talents to look for in a software engineer are:
- Problem Solving Skills
How to measure soft skills?
Using situation-based questions based on real-life workplace encounters is one of the best and most commonly used approaches for assessing soft skills. However, this method is prone to human mistakes. Recruiters can thus use online assessment systems to assess candidates' soft skills accurately.
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¹ Yolanda Lau (2021) Soft Skills Are Essential to the Future of Work https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2021/01/20/soft-skills-are-essential-to-the-future-of-work/?sh=757f52961341