Desired Skills and Characteristics



Updated August 24, 2022
Technical Recruiting and Hiring

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Once you have clarity on what success looks like for the role, the next step is to come up with a set of competencies and characteristics that will make that success likely, including specific technical skills, nontechnical skills, and traits and values.

While seriously considering each of these buckets is important, it’s wise to be careful not to end up with a list of rigid (and uninspiring) check-the-box criteria. If your criteria are too rigid, you might overlook some of the most promising candidates, especially if the role itself is a little ambiguous or is expected to evolve in the future.

Desired Technical Skills

When compiling a list of competencies needed for an open role, an obvious starting point is to define what technical skills are needed for the job. Technical skills relevant to software engineering positions most commonly include familiarity with or mastery of a software-related domain (like machine learning or cloud infrastructure), a coding language (like C++), or a tool or framework (like Apache Kafka). Technical skills more broadly involve actionable knowledge related to math, science, finance, and project management, technical writing, and many other fields.

A list of desired technical skills also flows from the outcomes and responsibilities you determined for the role. What technical skills are necessary for success?

These skills may not be strict requirements, but the more concrete they are, the better you or your team can judge them from a candidate’s profile (for instance, when screening resumes) and assess them in interviews or work samples. A good list of skills will also help candidates better understand the role and whether they should apply.

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