Hiring Engineers? The Four Most Important Soft Skills to Look For

There’s no better feeling than recruiting a rock-star engineer candidate. As they make lasting contributions to your organization, you’ll never forget the critical role you played in bringing them on board.

Making these difference-making hires means knowing who to look for. This requires fully grasping what skills and traits are integral to the role.

Initially, there are hard skills – the technical know-how and discipline-based qualifications required to get a foot in the door.

Given that most engineering candidates brim with hard skills, you need other criteria to distinguish your ideal hire from the pack. This is where soft skills come into play—those intangibles that define someone’s value and aptitudes in executing their work.

Read below as this blog examines the four most critical soft skills for engineers:

Soft Skill #1: Engineers Must Be Exceptional Communicators

With the rate at which technology continues to evolve, explaining intricate details to clients grows increasingly challenging.

Many engineers find themselves overly immersed in the “hard skill” details. They’re proficient when it comes to the nuts and bolts—but they’re stuck in this technological world. Thus, their effectiveness hits a wall because they cannot speak through terms that their clients comprehend.

Realistically, all most clients want is their problems solved—not a lesson in abstract theory. They merely wish to know why your product or service is valuable. 

The engineers that translate these technical details to resonate with clients will contribute most to their employers.

This soft skill also pays dividends with other less technical departments within your organization.

Soft Skill #2: Engineers Must Be Savvy Problem Solvers

Consider framing your interview in a manner that clearly illustrates a candidate’s ability to solve problems.

It’s keen problem-solvers who keep your company running with optimal efficiency. They’ll accurately and insightfully weigh the pros and cons involved with any given solution. Weighing risks and mitigating roadblocks is no sweat for someone owning this trait.

With excellent problem solvers, once a project is underway, you’ll experience unparalleled peace of mind. It stems from the luxury of knowing the work will be executed and 100% delegated—other than when you ask for progress reports.

Soft Skill #3: Engineers Must Be Efficient Organizers 

It’s worth noting that organizational skills are simultaneously hard and soft. 

More specifically, all code must be well-structured and maintained, which is a more technical facet. 

Where organizational skills become soft is with the following abilities:

·         Punctuality

·         Task management/prioritization

·         Taking on the correct amount of work

(Pro tip: As a leader, you can empower your staff by providing various apps to help them hone their organizational skill set. 

Soft Skill #4: Engineers Must Be Inspiring Leaders

Your company is only as strong as its weakest link.

Therefore, every engineer your hire must possess leadership skills that inspire everyone around them to further dedicate themselves and deliver results. This notion rings true whether it’s someone on the highest rung of the corporate ladder or an entry-level talent. 

CEOs and hiring managers must recruit candidates who are self-starters that take accountability for themselves. Beyond that, your new hire should feel a sense of ownership regarding your organization. Whether it’s you, their colleagues, or their subordinates, your ideal engineer must be invested in their teammates’ performance. 

A candidate boasting standout leadership skills is someone with a big-picture vision that positively impacts the entire organization.

Are you on the hunt for versatile candidates possessing a wealth of both hard and soft skills? Then contact RHM Staffing today and gain access to the top engineering talent on the job market.