Communication v Technical Skills

Within GCS Technology's network and support team, something we've noticed recently is that more and more employers are prioritising social and communication skills over technical ability.

When recruiting for IT support workers, hiring managers are looking to engage people with strong interpersonal skills and, ideally, those who have previously worked for a managed service provider since this is likely to indicate a better level of social aptitude.

Many candidates with this background are receiving better financial offers than people who have worked exclusively in internal support. From what we have seen over the last 3 months, this difference can be up to £5,000 per year in a permanent job.

In fact, candidates who have worked exclusively within internal support are finding it increasingly difficult to compete within the market.

Many IT workers with this background end up "between jobs" for up to six months, watching as those judged as more socially competent remain employed. Even companies who are recruiting strictly for internal support positions prefer people with more social nous. Although there is no client facing element of these roles, workers who will be strong communicators and exist comfortably within the company framework are far more desirable than those who may be more technically able but struggle with interpersonal skills.

Our advice for any jobseekers with a solely internal support background is to put some time into research before attending any interview. Through a combination of company websites and social networking sites, especially LinkedIn, it is possible to find out about the company culture of the place where you're looking to work. It's even possible to learn something about the interests of the individual who will be interviewing you, offering an opportunity to build rapport, engage the interviewer and prove that your interpersonal skills match your technical aptitude.

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