Don’t Let Communication Skills Get in the Way of a Good Hire
What is one of the worst reasons to pass on an IT job candidate? Communication skills.
Difficulty understanding a candidate’s speech during your initial conversation is not a good reason to exclude an otherwise competent, experienced IT Professional. Granted, there are some positions that require excellent verbal skills but in general, IT candidates who haven’t yet mastered English should not be immediately disqualified. Some reasons for this include:
- The first interview is often conducted by phone or on SKYPE. In person, verbal communication is naturally enhanced.
- Most of us can learn to understand an individual’s speech differences and idiosyncrasies after a short period of working with them face-to-face.
- New employees are usually highly motivated to adapt to their environment, and their communication skills will improve over time.
I have worked with many employees and clients whose speech was initially difficult to understand. In every case, the communication issues were resolved within a few weeks. And in every case, these individuals became valuable team members or clients. I consider some of them friends for life.
At a time when we face a shortage of qualified IT workers, we need to find ways to be more inclusive with applicants. Technical capabilities, work ethic and team compatibility are the qualities that will drive an organization forward. Don’t let minor communication problems limit the potential of your team. After all, Princeton never regretted its decision to hire a German immigrant with very poor English skills for a top spot in the physics department. His name was Albert Einstein!
Writen by: Andrew C. Jackson, President BravoTECH