Tech Fundamentals – Five Tech Skills Your Company Needs

Tech Fundamentals – Five Tech Skills Your Company Needs

By Nick Dmitrovich with Chris Kotul, Managing Director, Chester Inc. Information Technologies

Chris Kotul

There’s no two ways about it; the modern workplace is demanding an increasing level of proficiency across a wide array of technology skills. More so than ever, companies that are able to remain competitive in today’s markets can be defined by the sum total of the specialists in their employ. There’s no such thing as a general employee anymore; employment rosters today are more like a list of key experts in their respective fields.

Even if you looked at jobs that would have formerly been considered a “regular” position, for example a bank teller or a general manager, you’ll notice they’re often using complex software and other tech skills to fulfill their duties. And it doesn’t stop there. Every industry has great examples of the rise in tech skills. Construction managers are working from mobile offices more often than brick-and-mortar ones. Nursing students are being trained on new devices with each passing semester. Distributors are digitally tracking their entire inventories. The list goes on and on.

With that in mind, what kinds of skills should employers be looking for as they fill their open positions and build out their companies? We’ve done some digging and have identified several characteristics that would make great additions to almost any company. Let’s take a look.

 

Communication, Still on Top

Effective communication, regardless of medium, is still ranked as the number one most-sought tech skill employers need. Digital correspondence is more prevalent in every type of industry than it’s ever been, and it’s more important than ever too. But, this isn’t a new topic; we’ve known about this for years. Why is communication still considered a sought-after trait?

It’s literally the mechanism by which our expertise is conveyed to our clients. Communication is still highly sought-after because, frankly, most people are not very good at it. The sender believes their message is heard and understood by the recipient, when in reality that’s not typically the case. When the two parties of a conversation come from two different backgrounds, it’s easy for things to get convoluted and misinterpreted.

Also, without faulting the education system, communication skills are not really taught in schools. Grammar rules are, but not necessarily the clear expression of ideas. In most cases, it’s an inherent, natural skill that people either have or they don’t. Finding it among your applicants can be tricky, but profitable in the ways it will boost your efficiency and client interactions.

 

Security-Mindedness

You need an IT team that has the patience and ability to properly vet solutions before implementing them into your business. They need to know security is more than just a firewall and anti-virus. It’s also backup and disaster recovery, vendor management, change control, user training, and making sure your applications are updated and secure.

“Data security and redundancy is crucial,” Kotul explained. “Being on the bleeding edge of tech has its rewards, but it comes with big risks. IT pros are innovators and problem solvers by nature, but sometimes in their quest to solve the problem as quickly as possible, they forgo the steps necessary to ensure security.”

 

Adapt and Overcome

Things are going to change, and as we’ve seen, things are likely going to change fast. Companies need fast learners that can master a new piece of technology quickly and then use their knowledge to train other workers – qualities rather reminiscent of a teacher, really. It can be hard to tell in a job interview whether a person has these abilities or not, but an eagerness to master new technologies and a little “nerdiness” can be very telling on this front.

“Someone that is passionate about tech in their personal life will apply that passion to their professional life,” said Chris Kotul, managing director, Chester Inc. Information Technologies. “I look for technology enthusiasts when hiring technicians, engineers, and architects. My technical staff understands and appreciates how fast technology changes and has proven their dedication to adapt to those changes through training and use. Having that dedication and knowledge available ultimately helps us help our clients grow their business by getting the most out of their tech investment.”

 

Basic Web Wizardry

A good working knowledge of internet-based technology can be very valuable for your company. We’re not talking about a full-blown web developer here, but rather, someone who understands the front-end management of your website, social media platforms, your company’s blog, and email marketing systems. The day-to-day management of your online presence can go a long way toward boosting your company’s image and should be a task shared by several people on your team.

“Content management systems and social media platforms are getting easier to manage every day. The key to success on the web is to have strategy and organization infused in your web presence and social media plans. Coordinated updates, tweets, and blog posts go a long way to display a reliable and consistent message to your customers,” Kotul said.

 

IT Experts that Understand Your Company

Whether your IT department is a single employee or a whole team of individuals, it’s important they have a firm understanding of all of your company’s departments, how they work together, and the goals they’re working towards. Part of this harkens back to good communication skills, but more importantly, an IT professional’s ability to be fully engaged with your company and have the foresight to address concerns that could impede the progress of your teams can be very valuable.

“The days of your IT department being a cost center or “necessary evil” are long gone. Well-integrated and maintained tech is vital to almost every aspect of every business. Having tech experts that understand your business and its processes leads to systems and services that easier to implement, manage, and use,” Kotul said.

 

Foundational Skills

Almost every company uses software comparable to the Microsoft Office suite of programs: things like Excel, Word, or others. There are a lot of different kinds out there, but they all share some fundamentals that mirror one another. At this point in our culture, a good working knowledge of programs like these is almost essential for success in both the academic and workplace setting – to the point that it would almost seem concerning to encounter an individual who lacked even a rudimentary knowledge of how these programs work. Yet, it still happens. Since these skills are almost foundational for training on other more technical programs, their presence among your applicants is very important.

 

Know What to Look For

Being able to recognize the kinds of skills among employees that can take your company further is, in and of itself, a skill that your management team should be equipped with. Knowing what to look out for could bring your company huge benefits down the road, particularly with staff members who are able to remain current with technology and keep your company competitive.

Category Features, Tech Lab