May 12, 2005

How soft skills can add zeros to your salary


Success is 1per cent hard work and 99 per cent public relation. All of us know this but never knew this will strike the technology professionals also. And if you thought this is just one of the tips management gurus give, here are the facts.

"The world belongs to those who are a complete package and that's true for the technology sector also," says Geetanjali Khatri, global head, recruitment for Kanbay Accurum. Companies are more keen on recruiting techies with good communication skills now than ever because of the increasing client needs.

"This is the second coming of the IT sector which is propelled by real business needs. Clients and consumers are the most important and so is interacting with them," says Rajul Garg, COO and VP of Induslogic.

Garg says that given a choice he would actually recruit for a person who can interact with the clients and communicate the company's stand.

Anuradha Chowdhary who specialises in recruiting people for the technology sector says, "Clients actually impress upon candidates who are good talkers apart from having the desired skill sets."

She goes on to add: "One of the candidate who I placed in a Gurgaon-based MNC is earning more than many of his peers, just because he was able to sell himself well."

Kanbay Accurum has a well-planned group discussion and panel interview to check the level of communication skills in a candidate. "We basically test a person's ability to tackle a difficult situation in panel discussions," says Khatri. "We look for lifetime learners who can understand business goals and have skills to put them across to other people," she added.

Many technology companies actually have the position of a business analyst for someone who is a combination of a technology professional and a business manager. A technically qualified person with a decent management experience and understanding of how to drive technology to attain business goals can become a business analyst in a tech company.

The starting salary for such a rank is about Rs 7-8 lakh per annum and of course increases with experience. Software companies sure need programmers. But what will the programmers do if there no projects. To get new projects you need people who are glib talkers who can sell ideas and attract new businesses.

Hence project getters are definitely more required than project implementers. So, you could be a project getter along with a programmer.

Founder, chairman and managing director Virinchi Technologies Ltd, Vishwanath Kompella says, "You can be from any industry but you definitely require a sound and deep knowledge of that industry, network within the industry and also have above average communication skills.

With that, if you are also a top people’s person you automatically become a hot cake for the recruiters! Recruiting you would be big news for the software company. Your appointment will appear even in press the next day and you still can get away saying, ‘Java for me is an island for reclusive holidaying’.”



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