Personality Traits to Look For in IT Candidates

Employer Insights

Personality Traits to Look For in IT Candidates

Technical skills are not the only credentials to look for when hiring contract IT employees. As important as hardware, software, and maintenance expertise are, these alone are not enough to identify the best candidates. The personality of the potential hire is just as important to consider.

The history of IT staffing is filled with stories of brilliant technical minds who failed to adapt to the real world demands of corporate environments. Save yourself and your company the expensive hassle of committing to the wrong applicant by looking for these personality traits in any candidate you vet.

Personable Attitude

IT does not take place in a vacuum. Your IT staff, regardless of their title or responsibilities, will likely have to work with both clients and fellow employees. If they are not friendly, patient, understanding, and likeable, they could end up alienating the very people they are meant to serve. Make sure that any candidate you select has the skills necessary to get along with others.

Business Sense

In the 21st century, IT is an essential tool for supporting and furthering the aims of a company. It is integrally linked to the broader business objectives of any institution. That is why fundamental business skills like maintaining budgets, analyzing markets, and planning strategically are crucial traits for successful contract IT professionals. Without a thorough understanding of how business works, information technology projects can easily hurt more than they help.


As the size of IT teams grows, and becomes increasingly distributed, leadership skills are essential for any contract IT professional. Being able to manage a team, keep them on task, reward their successes and discourage their failures is essential. Even if you are hiring for a position that does not have seniority over others, you will want to ensure that the applicant has the leadership skills to thrive as they move up the corporate ladder.


As any technology expert will tell you, effective IT relies on having a plan B, and often a plan C or D. Contract professionals that cannot think on the fly, adapt to changing situations, and abandon strategies in a timely manner will only cost your company money. Evaluate whether your prospective candidates are flexible enough to react when the unexpected happens. Also, determine if their skill set is varied enough to fully embrace alternative strategies.


Contract IT professionals, like all professionals, have to be accountable for their actions. In the world of IT, it is easy to blame the machines or the users, or to make excuses using complicated technical jargon. The best contract IT professionals can recognize when a problem is their fault, take responsibility, and humbly go about correcting it. Without this personality trait, bad ideas are simply perpetuated.

Considering all of an applicant’s skills, not just their technical expertise, is a crucial part of the IT staffing process. To learn more about what to look for in successful contract IT professionals, contact us today.

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