The Soft Skills for Hard Core Technical Professionals blog is maintained by Profitable Growth Partners, LLC. It provides a venue for the exchange of ideas on the topic of skill-sets that are required for today's technical professional.

Friday, May 25, 2007

CIOs Are Looking for Soft Skills


In a new survey by technology recruiters Robert Half, they poled 1,400 CIOs. CIOs were asked, “In which of the following areas do you think your IT staff could most use improvement?”

  • Technical abilities............................................................ 25%
  • Project management skills.................................................. 23%
  • Verbal and written communication abilities............................... 15%
  • Organizational skills.......................................................... 14%
  • Interpersonal skills............................................................ 12%
  • None/no improvements needed.............................................. 3%
  • Other/don't know.............................................................. 8%

While “technical abilities” were ranked first as a single classification, the combination of verbal and written abilities, organizational skills, and interpersonal skills, in other words those abilities that are typically thought of as “soft skills,” accounted for 41% of the areas that need improvement.


“Technology changes rapidly, making it crucial for IT staff to constantly learn new skills to keep pace with industry advancements,” said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “While it’s ultimately up to the individual to keep his or her technical abilities current, the best employers invest in ongoing professional development for employees at all levels.” Lee continued, “Professional development programs also can aid a company’s recruitment and retention efforts. In today’s competitive IT hiring market, employees want to work for firms that encourage them to build new skills and assume more challenging responsibilities.”

We all know that technical professionals need solid technical skills, and most organizations budget for training programs that help technical pros keep pace with industry advancement. However, in order to take advantage of the technical skills, CIOs are beginning to recognize that they need to upgrade the soft skills of their teams as well.

Randy Bancino

Profitable Growth Partners, LLC.

2 comments:

Doctor Rick said...

I'm a practicing psychiatrist,and I can tell you that "soft skills" are absolutely necessary in my field. If people don't feel understood,they won't come back.

Profitable Growth Partners said...

Thanks Doctor Rick. We couldn't agree more! As Stephen Covey says, "seek first to understand, and then be understood." Soft Skills, especially emotional intelligence are key to excelling in almost any profession.

-Randy