Strategic CIO // Team Building & Staffing
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5/2/2014
09:06 AM
Dave Wakeman
Dave Wakeman
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3 Non-Technical Skills IT Managers Should Hire For

IT skills are a given, but don't forget the importance of good communication, business savvy, and personality.

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davewakeman
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davewakeman,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/5/2014 | 10:02:04 AM
Re: Skills that can't be taught
Thank you for your comment. 

I actually think that communication skills and business skills can be learned, to an extent...you may not be Bill Clinton in the speaking department or Warren Buffett on the business end, but we can all improve quite a bit if we really apply ourselves.

As far as cultural fit goes, I am torn on that one from time to time because I worry that cultural fit will be a new excuse to make mediocre companies more mediocre. But I am a guy that went to Alabama, and I adhere to the Nick Saban idea that you have to surround star performers with star performers...but that's a different topic. 
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
5/4/2014 | 7:56:57 PM
Re: Good Question to Ask
"How do you find answers when you don't have them?"

Great question to ask! That one question will give you a peek at their communication skills.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
5/4/2014 | 7:54:10 PM
Skills that can't be taught
Great article Dave.  These skills that you bring up, to an extent, can't be taught. While you can certainly help someone communicate better and make them aware of how decisions impact the business, you can only "teach" so much. Some people will never be good communicators for instance. That, I believe, is part of your personality.

Knowledge isn't everything.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
5/3/2014 | 11:46:46 PM
Re: Good Question to Ask
Very smart question - the candidate has to answer in a S.T.A.R approach and demonstrate his skills in problem solving, which would involve not only technical skills but also soft skills such as communication. It would be very useful in interview to find good IT professionals.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
5/2/2014 | 3:34:24 PM
Re: Good Question to Ask
Let's flip this discussion a bit. What questions drive job candidates up the wall? See 16 Stupid Tech Job Interview Questions: Show Your Snark.
davewakeman
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davewakeman,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/2/2014 | 10:08:03 AM
Re: Good Question to Ask
Great suggestion! I was struggling with a good illustration on that point because sometimes I can just tell if someone is a good or bad communicator and skip that question.

I will keep your question in mind and use that because I think that it really would ellicit a good deal of insight into the person.

Thanks,

Dave 
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
5/2/2014 | 9:53:14 AM
Good Question to Ask
Ethan Banks wrote a blog at Network Computing about  questions he asks when hiring network engineers. I think the most useful one is "How do you find answers when you don't have them?" I think this question dovetails nicely with the skills you outlined. The candidate has to demonstrate some communication skills to explain his or her answer. The reply could also lead to a discussion about company culture. Is it a collaborative organization where questions are encouraged and knowledge is shared, or is it more of a DIY, "throw you into the deep end to see if you sink or swim" kind of place.
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