• What Employers Want in New IT Hires

     By Catherine Conlan

    Monster Contributing Writer

    Information technology is a quickly growing field and opportunities abound. If you’re planning to switch to a career working in IT, it’s important you know what employers are looking for. Here are three key qualities you’ll want to cultivate and demonstrate to prospective employers.


    Tech leaders want to see evidence that new hires are passionate about technology, says Shon Burton, longtime tech recruiter and founder of HiringSolved. “This seems obvious, but it's become less common now that it’s a big money maker,” he says.

    IT has become a staple vocation, Burton explained, comparing the career choice to that of doctor or lawyer. “For your company, you want the person who can't get enough, the person who's up late at night reading about tech not because they have to, because they want to.”

    Dan Brodie, vice president of technology for BuildDirect, agreed. “Working in software development isn't a job, it's an art and part of what I look for in employees are those that love to create something out of nothing for the pure beauty and joy of it,” he says. Brodie wants people who “have a passion for learning and sharing their knowledge.” These people “make the best teammates because they embrace working with other brilliant minds and have an inherent hunger to change the world — always driving new ways of thinking. That's a requirement for top talent in this industry.”

    Every company wants their employees to be engaged, but this is especially true when you’ll spend long hours in your cubicle staring at screens. You need to love it. You’ll need the passion to break barriers, to learn and grow.


    Good communication skills will set an IT professional apart from the crowd, says Deborah Sweeney, CEO of SaaS company MyCorporation.com. “We look for IT professionals who are communicators,” she says. “Historically, IT professionals just focus on programming, but those who can communicate successfully are likely to be most beneficial to an organization that needs good inter-team communication.”

    The stereotypical computer nerd with no people skills won’t cut it anymore. Today’s IT professionals need to excel in interpersonal interaction and presentations. They need the soft skills to lead projects and motivate people.

    Knowledge and Experience

    Employers like to see two to five years of relevant experience for IT hires, even at entry level, says Wade Brantley, director of U.S. operations for SaM Solutions. “The good news is that relevant experience is not limited to employment situations. It can also be gained through alternative sources such as internships or freelancing.”

    Dominique Jones, vice president of human resources for Halogen Software, said they are looking for IT professionals who are at the top of their game. “At Halogen Software, we're looking for IT people with the right technical competencies,” she says. “They must be the kind of people who keep abreast of new and emerging technologies, and keep their fingers on the pulse of the latest theories in IT and understand how they apply to the job.”

    IT isn’t a field where you can fake it till you make it or rest on your old skillset. Expect to be tested as part of the application process.

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