14 Traits You Want To Look For In A Top Tech Hire

Originally Published in: Forbes

March 19th, 2018

 

Hiring for any position can be a challenge most of the time. You want the perfect candidate that will not only fit in your corporation but has the most talent for the role. This means you need to weigh not only their information technology skills, but soft skills as well, in order to decide who you should make your offer to.

Given a wide range of needs, it’s hard to know what abilities or skills to value over others. To help bring some clarity on what to look for, 14 members of Forbes Technology Council provide the traits they typically seek when hiring to their tech teams, from innate curiosity and desire to learn to passion, discipline and integrity. Here’s what they said:

1. A Curious Mind

Beyond just core technical skills, I look for candidates with genuine intellectual curiosity. A curious mind will never stop learning, ask real insightful questions and conduct themselves with humility. – Rohit Chatterjee, Keystone

2. Speed And Agility

I look for people who believe change is the new norm. Stability and staying under the radar for job security is no longer an option, nor is it relevant. I want people who understand the global landscape and how the pace of change is occurring at a pace never seen before. Speed and agility are now more important than risk aversion and layered processes to avoid loss. – Joe Logan, Graphic Controls

3. Integrity

This tells me if the candidate is committed — to their word, their co-workers, and their ideals. Someone with high integrity has a willingness to learn new skills and technology, confidence in their decisions, and an openness to accept they don’t have all the answers. – Ed Adams, Security Innovation, Inc.

4. Quick Thinking

In the past, I used to look for future leaders in my new hires. While many of them would develop into leaders within the organization, I found the strongest ones had one trait that helped them stand out: being a quick thinker. This trait helps team members deal the fluidity of the technology world, as well as adapt and overcome daily obstacles in their work. – Scott Fuller, R3ST

5. Passion For Their Domains

One key trait that I look for is how much passion candidates have for their domain. Have they gone out of the way to build skills, demonstrate expertise with projects beyond their normal work, have they kept themselves involved in the knowledge network, do they contribute to various forums in their field. – Rajat Mohanty, Paladion

 6. Continuous Learning

Look for a pattern of continuous learning, either from peers on the job, open-source contributions, structured training or tech community involvement. Expect all of these from top-tier talent. – Chris Sullivan, Ampion, Inc

7. Understands Culture Needs

We look for technical experts who understand and relate to our mission of using technology to engage and energize the human spirit at work. Each member of the team can provide better solutions if they relate to our mission and our customer’s ambitions of building stronger workplace cultures through technology. – Doug Claffey, Energage, Inc.

8. Look To Add Value

Technology is an ever-evolving field. In 1997, there was no Amazon, Facebook, Twitter or cloud. The internet was just beginning. However, 20-plus years is a reasonable career. I look for people who have the humility and ability to continuously learn and improve. I like people who spend less time resting on their past achievements and more time adding value. – Ashish Bansal, Capital One

9. People Skills

People skills — particularly emotional and social intelligence — are the trait that is very difficult to teach. Most other aspects of our business — such as research, analysis and strategy development — can be taught. As a small company, personality and ability to work well with others, including peers, managers and reports, is critical to success. – Michael Gurau, The Beacon Group

10. High Competence And Low Arrogance

We look for people who have the golden ratio of high competence and low arrogance. Having exceptionally high competence in the required area is the price of admission. Having some humility or a lack of arrogance is an important filter. People who maintain this golden ratio tend to continually improve, and that makes them great people to invest in. – Omar Tawakol, Voicera

11. Teamwork

A key trait we look for when it comes to hiring is whether the candidate can collaborate well with the other execs on the team. It is so important for us that the management team works well together executing toward shared goals and vision, and having a team that has individuals working against each other means friction that slows us down. – Tom Kemp, Centrify Corp.

12. Passion

Passion is key. I’ve learned (the hard way), that the smartest person in the room may not be the most successful. Someone hungry, with a drive, is unstoppable. – Mario Ciabarra, Quantum Metric, Inc.

 13. Seeing The ‘Bigger Picture’

We look for individuals who can showcase previous work and demonstrate understanding of the role it played in the “bigger picture”, thinking beyond “code.” Equally important is an understanding of the user — this obviously varies with role spec and the nature of the business — but in our ad tech world, understanding workflow and error traps is key when writing or designing software. – Chris Dobson, The Exchange Lab

 14. Emotional Discipline

Emotional discipline and maintaining one’s cool under stress help long term. The company’s culture starts at the top, and there is enough conflict outside of work to have to come into an environment full of infighting and a lack of respect. – Dr. Rao Papolu, Cavirin Systems, Inc.

Written by:

Forbes Technology Council featuring Chris Dobson

CEO, The Exchange Lab

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