The Intangibles of Employees and Consultants

Written by Scott

Topics: Uncategorized

Last week I got a surprise offer to be a part of a roundtable discussion with some medical and IT professionals for a graduating group of Healthcare Informatics students from a local technical college this coming Friday. So I’ve been thinking of the kinds of things I want to say and get them to think about…

I want to talk about the assumptions they have–both about potential jobs and employers–and then squash those like a bug.
Ok, not quite…but to get them to think outside of the box they’ve just put themselves in with their assumptions and to think about some of the intangibles (the “soft skills”) they can bring to the table, and the importance of doing that in this economy. I’d compare it to the timeframe of about 1999-2001 or so, when the IT industry was being flooded by people with MCSE certifications…they have the cert, they had the test knowledge, but so many of them were absolutely clueless in real-life troubleshooting or experience. (We called them “paper MCSEs”). How will they set themselves apart?
If I had any desire to hire employees (I still do not, and as things continue to grow, would be looking at bringing on independent contractors and/or further developing some of the agreements I have with other tech companies), I would be looking for things like:
–the ability to understand and use logic
–the ability to prioritize
–being teachable, wanting and eager to learn, curious
–trustworthiness
–being personable, pleasant to be around
–the ability to speak/write non-technically to end-users
What would you add to the list? What things do you look for in the people you do business with?

  • I like to start with the basics:–Breathing–Able to handle bodily functions without managerial assistance–Some level of cognitive activity (basic math and writing abilities are a plus)Based on past management experience:–The ability to read, understand and follow simple instructions (Average writing ability is a plus)–Appropriate dress, talk and behavior–The ability to be on time to work. Indeed, to actually show up at work–Able to lift more than the weight of their ego–Sense of humorA manager I was hired to replace had these qualifications for his hires:–Boobs (Bigger was better)–Legs (Longer was better)–Butt (Preferably accentuated by lowriders or tight pants)–Low IQGuess which former employee of mine I was thinking of when describing past management experience?The woman he hired and I fired.

  • Still like my title more "Intangibles: U Can't Touch This."