Waident Technology Solutions: IT Takes Back Seat to Soft Skills

Candidates who decide to interview at Chicago-based Waident Technology Solutions often return scratching their heads.

Contrary to what they expect to encounter during an interview at an IT company, they are not bombarded with technology-related questions; in fact, technology barely is discussed.

“When I write a job description, I [list] the technology [requirements], but what I’m looking to hire for is people skills,” said John Ahlberg, president of Waident Technology Solutions.

Based in the Chicagoland area, Waident’s five-member staff provides IT support to companies across the United States.

Strategic Hiring Process

Ahlberg said the most strategic proficiency his IT professionals must boast is people skills; the technical skills are almost secondary because, even though their work involves dealing with technology, they work with end users on a daily basis.

He reiterates the importance of soft skills — skills that are hard to effectively capture on a resume — in the hiring process. “[I tend] to hire someone who has business and people skills, someone who can communicate, someone who actually understands what responsiveness means and [knows] how to call somebody and say, ‘OK, what’s your problem? I’m here to help,’” Ahlberg said. Even if a problem takes several days to fix, he can rest easy knowing his employees are communicating with end users rather than ignoring them.

What differentiates the recruiting process at Waident is that Ahlberg makes it a point to look past an individual’s resume and focus on the person’s talent. So for instance, if a…


Deanna Hartley

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