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One of the hardest tasks for IT managers is hiring staff. What combination of technical skills, enthusiasm and experience are needed for each opening?

They might take a lesson from the stories of several new IT hires outlined in a recent Computerworld U.S. article. Being flexible, taking on new tasks and asking questions matter a lot to their employers, the youngsters discovered, would let them grow.

In that case, managers should think about what opportunities they can offer younger employees to foster those soft skills, to encourage them to accept responsibilities and urge them to ask questions.

While in some ways doing an assignment in school is just like doing one at work — there’s a problem to be solved — one young staffer interviewed noted that on the job knowing the company’s technologies, previous commitments and way of doing things is essential. technologies and procedures a company uses, one young hire observed. That’s why those communications skills are so important.

One information systems graduate  hired to do anything that was available at a startup that builds mobile platforms, eventually ending up happily working on front-end design of the firm’s products.

“Folks who are new out of college have ideas about what they’re going to do that are too fixed,” says a CEO. “The first 100 days or even year at your first job you’re going to learn a ton about what you are good at.”

If so, managers have to ask what they are doing to ensure they get the best out of their new hires.