Landing a job in IT and tech is changing. Heloise St Pierre, Assistant Vice President Technology at Robert Half in Canada, and Maria Sartori, Associate Director, at Robert Half in Brazil, explain why soft skills for tech jobs in Canada are key in helping candidates to find a new role or gain promotion. Across the industry, there is a shortage of candidates with good soft skills for IT and tech jobs. Every day, we meet people looking for a new role or promotion; and every day, we see them struggling to convince employers they are the right person for the job. They might have the best technical experience in the world, but if they can’t communicate well during an interview, and provide evidence of their soft skills at work, it’s becoming harder for them to progress.  But when they are being recruited for technical roles, why does having soft skills really matter? In the past five years, the market has grown with opportunities, and those with technical skills have been in high demand. But a tightening job market in 2024 across Canada means that employers are scrutinizing their hiring processes and becoming more selective. They want to find the near perfect employee to help them through the next chapter; they are looking for agile and flexible communicators and those with a sense of ownership and responsibility.   Soft skills for tech jobs in Canada matter. So, how can technical candidates respond to this challenge? Here are our recommendations as Robert Half talent solutions professionals:   Practice and Build Confidence in Your Soft Skills There are simple steps candidates can take, and we can help them, too. First, we’ll invite them to consider how their personality and behavioural preferences might be impacting their career progression. Then we’ll consider areas in which they would like to improve. This will often take the form an interview role play. Through practice like this, we can explore how candidates communicate their skills and experiences and provide evidence of working with others. It’s also a good chance to engage them in the type of conversation they might come across when looking for a new job in tech or any industry. We can also discuss their career history and make suggestions about improvements and changes, to give prospective employers more confidence in the hiring process.  In both cases, we can help them to identify times when they have communicated well, worked in an agile and flexible way or taken responsibility on a specific project, for example. With the right kind of support from us as a recruiter, and openness from them, technical candidates can make small but important changes to their written and spoken communication skills – and consider their soft skills more broadly.  But they can also help themselves. At work, they could regularly contact someone they haven’t spoken to before, for example. They could use the opportunity to present themselves and find out more about the other person’s role. This will help them to practice selling their skills to others, in an environment that will also promote collaboration and empathy. They could also go into the office to meet others or attend a work event in person. They don’t have to go from zero to one hundred straightaway – a big networking event might feel like too much, too soon – but with small steps, they can step outside their comfort zones.  Want to know which skills to have on your resume? Read Robert Half’s article Skills to Put on a Resume Employers Will Actually Read (With Examples!) These steps will help them to develop their soft skills for tech jobs in Canada, and build confidence to communicate their experiences with future employers.    Soft skills for the future In the future, we believe soft skills for IT and tech jobs in Canada will become even more important for roles. As businesses navigate their way through the highs and lows of the economy, the ability of their teams to communicate, remain flexible, and take responsibility, will be pivotal. That means technical candidates with well-rounded soft skills to balance, have a unique opportunity to help businesses during these times. But those without them will find it harder to progress. So, if they want to stay competitive in their careers, and remain a top candidate to hiring managers, technical candidates will need to develop their soft skills much more, in preparation for interviews, and beyond.    Ready for the future of tech and IT in Canada? Download the new Robert Half Canada tech e-book to learn more about Building Future-forward Tech Teams   --- Héloïse St Pierre has been a part of the IT recruiting industry for over 13 years. For the past 10 years, she has been working with Robert Half, where she has recruited for both full-time and consulting jobs. She has also overseen the Eastern Canada territory for our technology practice group, where she has helped many clients find the right talent for their organizations. Maria Sartori is a chemical engineer, a graduate of UNICAMP with a postgraduate degree in Finance from the same institution. She began her career in the recruitment field in 2011, contributing to the startup of Robert Half's Campinas office. Currently, she serves as an Associate Director, overseeing Technology, Engineering, Sales, and Marketing at the São Paulo office.