Soft Skills: What They Are and Why Health IT Pros Need Them

Feb 23, 2023
min read

Healthcare companies looking for IT talent value technical skills in candidates, but they also look for talent with soft skills.

Soft skills are personal attributes that relate to how effectively a person works with other people. Communication skills, leadership skills, time management, problem-solving and empathy are all examples of soft skills.

While difficult to measure, these interpersonal skills complement hard skills and are critical to work success. In fact, research conducted by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center concluded that 85% of job success comes from having well‐developed soft and people skills.

Today, employers are putting a premium on these skills. A 2021 review of 82 million job postings by education nonprofit America Succeeds found that 7 out of the 10 most requested skills in job postings were soft skills including interpersonal communication, leadership, problem-solving, and detail oriented.

To successfully advance in their careers, it is clear that Health IT pros will need to rely on both hard skills and soft skills.

What is the difference between hard and soft skills?

Hard skills are obtained through hands-on experience and/or education. They are job-specific skills that relate to specific knowledge and/or specialized technical skills. Soft skills are innate personality traits, social skills and interpersonal abilities that are naturally developed throughout life.

What soft skills are most important for IT Pros?

Being successful in the technology sector today requires a mix of hard and soft skills. While hard skills provide the know how to do things like coding, developing software or managing systems, soft skills are vital to moving projects forward, working efficiently as a team and adapting to challenges. All critical to job success in IT.

Here are some of the soft skills every tech professional needs and why they need them:


While working with computer systems and software is an important part of IT jobs, so too is the ability to effectively convey ideas and communicate highly technical information in a way that teammates and non-technical colleagues can understand. Good communication skills involve the ability to clearly share ideas both verbally and in written communication.


Many IT projects are executed by teams which makes the ability to integrate and work well with others an essential skill for accomplishing tasks and achieving common goals. Strong collaboration skills involve being able to manage conflict, negotiate, cooperate, mediate and delegate.

Problem-solving and creativity

IT projects often require creative ideas to improve processes and solve problems. IT pros who are strategic and creative thinkers can look at issues in a different way and apply out-of-the box thinking to develop solutions that move projects forward.


Things change rapidly in tech-driven jobs, making adaptability a must have soft skill for IT pros. Adaptability means being able to adjust to changes in processes, projects, technology and clients as well as being able to learn new things on the fly. Responding well to changes helps tech talent become more resilient and allows them to thrive in their careers.

Time management and organization

Tight deadlines, development cycles and project schedules are a constant reality in tech fields. Good time management and organizational skills are essential to successfully executing against these deadlines and schedules. To stay on top of the many moving parts of IT projects, IT pros need to develop the ability to prioritize, establish goals and remain organized. All skill sets that drive efficiency and productivity.

Don’t forget to highlight your soft skills in your Abra profile to attract the best healthcare IT job opportunities. Don’t have a profile? What are you waiting for – sign up today!

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