Technical skills still rule when CIOs are considering successful hires.

Cultural fit recognised as crucial.

Research commissioned by Robert Half has found almost half (49 per cent) of Hong Kong IT employers prioritise experience and technical skills when recruiting, despite admitting that cultural fit and a candidate’s overall potential result in successful hires. In addition to this, more than eight in 10 CIOs (81 per cent) made successful hires when evaluating cultural fit – a match between a company’s mission, values and practices with a candidate’s potential, own desired career path and personal values, while just over one in 10 (11 per cent) of hires were deemed unsuccessful. More than one in three (36 per cent) refer to soft skills and cultural fit, followed by potential (29 per cent).

The research also reiterates the importance of training, both during and after onboarding new staff, with upskilling reported as a contributor to successful hires. Indeed, 31 per cent of CIOs say external training and 25 per cent say internal training are key to turning new hires that lack the technical knowledge, but show potential, into successful recruits.

Melissa Lau, associate director of Robert Half Hong Kong says: “Hiring managers’ expectations in today’s market are high. They are generally looking for top IT candidates who do not only possess all the technical requirements, but who also have well-developed soft skills as well as fit in well with the company and team. However, as Hong Kong is battling an ongoing war for IT talent, we often advise business leaders to set priorities.

“Having the required technical skills and experience is a strong indicator of top talent for IT employers,” Liu continues. “However, businesses might potentially miss out on a top candidate if they overlook critical attributes such as soft skills and cultural fit. Disregarding candidates who lack certain non-critical technical skills that can easily be remedied through professional development will only serve to prolong the skills shortage currently crippling Hong Kong’s IT sector.”

In order to hire the most fitting candidate, IT employers need to strike the right balance between experience, skills and personality asserts the company. It is therefore equally important for savvy jobseekers to consider what type of organisational culture they are best suited to, and understand a company’s values and mission before accepting a role.

“Good cultural fit can be a long-term solution for both employer and jobseeker as it enhances job satisfaction, engagement and loyalty – which helps drive higher productivity and better performance,” concludes Melissa Lau.

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