New IT Skills: Why Communication, Accountability, Initiative Are Hot Now - InformationWeek

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New IT Skills: Why Communication, Accountability, Initiative Are Hot Now
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tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
5/29/2015 | 10:59:48 PM
Re: Lots of Hot Air from the sources
"And let's not forget the most popular policy - crying to Congress to uncap the H1B Visa quota in order to bring in cheaper foreign workers who are paid approximately 30% less than what a company would have to pay an American for identical skill sets."

@asksqn: I agree. Unless the visa policy is sorted out, there can be no resolution to this issue. Companies cannot plan their hiring policies as the visa conditions keep changing. Sometimes, there's an abundance of labor from outside and sometimes you can't find anyone. There has to be a stable policy when it comes to H1B Visa.
asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
5/29/2015 | 2:41:23 PM
Lots of Hot Air from the sources
And let's not forget the unwritten but official American tech co. policy of not hiring any females or anyone over age 30 regardless of education, knowledge, skill sets or abilities.  And let's not forget the most popular policy - crying to Congress to uncap the H1B Visa quota in order to bring in cheaper foreign workers who are paid approximately 30% less than what a company would have to pay an American for identical skill sets.  And yet the official meme from American IT is that there aren't any "qualified" Americans for the job.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
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5/29/2015 | 1:16:38 PM
Re: New IT Skills: Why Communication, Accountability, Initiative Are Hot Now
"If leadership wants team work, communication and accountability it has to start with them."

@SaneIT - So true and yet apparently so hard to find that IT leader who is capable of bringing together a group of people and managing their dynamics for optimal performace instead of just trying to make everyone a clone of themselves.

One other trait I wish people would explore more is resourcefulness.  To me, it doesn't matter if you know how to execute IT task A, B, or C by heart - I think it's more important to know - what do you do when step 19 doesn't work?  Or does someone have the ability to take the information they already know and apply it to a completely new or differently situation?  
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
5/29/2015 | 8:29:35 AM
Re: New IT Skills: Why Communication, Accountability, Initiative Are Hot Now
That's a very astute observation and I agree but it's not anything new.  In the US we've sold rugged individualism as a measure of success.  I do think we're becoming increasingly less social in many aspects but we are also seeing a shift in what social interaction looks like.  The old management style of "he wears the same shirts as me, he must be a good guy" doesn't cut it and this is a top down problem.  If leadership wants team work, communication and accountability it has to start with them. 
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
5/28/2015 | 5:12:36 PM
Re: New IT Skills: Why Communication, Accountability, Initiative Are Hot Now
@zerox - We may have discussed this already in another column but in case we haven't, I'll reiterate.  It is always surprising to me that so many job descriptions "require" skills like teamwork and communication but generally speaking, everything in the US school system is geared toward just the opposite: competition and personal achievements.  

Is it any wonder employees don't possess these skills to the degree they are needed to be successful in the workplace?  Especially in skill-oriented positions like IT?
zerox203
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zerox203,
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5/28/2015 | 12:16:50 PM
Re: New IT Skills: Why Communication, Accountability, Initiative Are Hot Now
This is a weird area to discuss - because, these skills are important, but the way they're employed in the hiring process often leaves much to be desired. You mention nebulous definitions, and that doesn't help, but it's not just that; things like 'teamwork', 'initiative', 'problem solving' and 'communication' are invariably going to find themselves in just about every job listing. Fair enough, who wants to hire someone without them, but you need to do more than just put them on a bullet list. I think it was smart of CompTIA to give skills a grading that includes 'crucial', forcing managers to say whether a skill was essential or just desirable. I think that's key here - when you look at those vertical 'environment' skills, I picture something like 'experience in X subindustry preferred'. That's fine. Preferred, not required, or you might have some trouble filling that job.

Two I absolutely agree with are customer service and adaptibility. You can't get frustrated when serving non-IT internal customers; that's your job! New languages are easier to pick up than ever, standards are better than they've ever been, so there's no excuse not to be adaptable. To me, what a lot of this really amounts to is this; you want to hire someone who comes into work and feels like your company's goals are also their goals, and your projects, are also their projects. If something extra comes up, that's fine, because they want to finish the project. If collaboration with someone else is required, that's fine, because they both enjoy the work and they're already familiar with each other. That's a nice vision, but employers need to accept that a) a perfect version of it is never going to happen and b) they have a role to play in making employees feel like that's where they're working. 
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