The Armada Group is pleased to announce the addition of our “live chat” option on our new website.  Effective immediately, visitors will have the ability to interact with an Armada representative in real time.  The addition of this new service is to fulfill Armada’s commitment to our talent and client communities in providing the best available service possible.   

 

 

If we’re being honest about ourselves, we try to fit a 12-hour day into eight or nine hours. It’s not just you; it’s the IT field in general. It stands to reason that IT professionals gain the most when they maximize time in their areas of expertise, and minimize time in the areas that other experts can perform on a higher level.

There’s always a SQL database to maintain, or a network to patch – and there’s always an empty occupation to be filled, but there are better things you could be doing to lighten your load without stressing out over a vacancy.

So, like anyone performing at maximum efficiency, you partner with a staffing firm. What’s next?

  1. Consultation. This allows the firm to analyze current staffing situation compared to optimal productivity.  The agency develops an understanding of your operations as well as the peculiar and unique methods that set you apart from other businesses. This is arguably the most crucial step, as the efficacy of the partnership relies on a complete understanding.
  2. Collaboration. After the agency comprehensively understands your needs, the firm and your business collectively create and implement a plan of the next steps. The agency understands both the IT portion AND the recruiting facets; hence, it is important to trust your agency here – they know what works!
  3. Implementation. This is the handoff period. This is where the agency starts putting the system you’ve jointly created into place. The Silicon Valley staffing agency is able to use their developed talent network to find you top candidates for your positions.
  4. Work. With the firm now fully handling your recruiting plan, you can get back to the 1s & 0s, default gateways, and PHP source code. This is where the firm operates and refines the plan, based on the comprehensive solution. This also reduces operating costs and lowers churn (and coincidentally, your blood pressure).

All staffing firms are not created equal. That’s why we’re here. At the Armada Group, we’re a Silicon Valley based IT staffing firm, specializing in on-demand solutions, and while our full, proprietary methodology is a little more involved, it has won us several awards, including “Best of Staffing,” several years in a row. We also offer a complimentary 8 point consultation to benefit you, and to demonstrate our subject matter expertise so you’ll see why we’re the best. If you are looking for a Silicon Valley based staffing agency, contact our team today.

 

 

Businesses make or lose money by image. And that image costs a significant amount of money to create and maintain using branding.

And it works. Brilliantly.

So, don’t reinvent the wheel; brand yourself as a candidate if you’re on the hunt. And, as an IT professional, what better way than to do so using social media? (HINT: there isn’t one) Here are a few tips to help you along the way:

  • Keep your LinkedIn profile clean and polished. This is likely to be the first site a recruiter will check. Also, make sure it includes keywords a recruiter will be likely to search for. In this case, it’s perfectly acceptable to use some tech jargon as long as there’s still plain English somewhere in there.
  • Clean up your Facebook, especially any crazy college years. No future employer wants to see a picture of you performing keg stands just a few short years ago. This also applies to lewd memes or profanity.
  • Don’t appear desperate. Maybe I’m judgmental, but when I see a name like “Joe Looking For Work Smith” on LinkedIn, it’s not good, and certainly not professional. I would probably – no, definitely – veto that candidate immediately. Clean and polished.
  • Create a video. Ever see a video on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter? Exactly. They’re becoming more and more popular; this is one way you can certainly stand out. Embed it into your media presence, or create a YouTube video with a link in your profile.
  • Participate on IT specific forums, and demonstrate your subject matter expertise. It should go without saying to use the same sort of language and tone that one would use in an office setting.
  • Contribute to open source projects. There are TONS out there, and while this looks good on a resume anyway as experience, it allows you to interact within a community that may know someone. IT is a huge small world.
  • Let people know you’re looking. But, as we mentioned above, don’t be obnoxious about it. There are times to be direct, and times to be subtle – your relationship with the person you’re talking to will be a defining factor. A periodic update letting your connections, followers or friends know that you have a lot to offer helps, too.
  • Be positive, and be confident. It can be difficult for unemployed candidates to stay positive – but it’s necessary. The technology world has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation.

If you’re unemployed, we’re here to help you. At the Armada Group, we maintain a wide variety of world class talent with skills just like yours. We also work with some of the largest and fastest growing companies in the world, and we want to help you find the right career opportunity. If you are looking software developer jobs in Silicon Valley, contact our team today.

There seems to be a stigma attached to hiring that, in today’s economy, anyone can find a qualified IT candidate, to the dismay of many great HR professionals. The IT industry has an enormous skills gap where many managers simply cannot find enough qualified candidates. Consequentially, it’s not uncommon to find candidates in a position where they’re underqualified or simply in the wrong place for a mutually beneficial career opportunity.

Often, a skilled recruiter or staffing agency is able to avoid these situations. The problem often arises when one has a particular IT talent, but doesn’t have the required understanding of hiring and recruiting. Here are five mistakes technical managers make while recruiting.

  1. Keywords can be learned overnight. Often, technical managers listen for certain acronyms or keywords to vet a candidate – just because a candidate is able to define a “variable” in a colloquial sentence doesn’t mean they’re a Java programmer. Knowing how to declare a variable and write an if/then statement doesn’t lend them any credence.
  2. A week of lost productivity is bad. Several months are worse. If you’re looking for a networking technician, taking the first person with a CCNA doesn’t always make sense. Make sure they have experience and references to back it up. Many technical managers want to fill a spot yesterday. If you don’t maintain a list of passive candidates, it will take time to find the right fit.
  3. Hiring underqualified personnel. This isn’t always as simple as it seems. Initially, it seems very straightforward – does the applicant know the subject matter and have the degree or certification required? Rooting out who is really qualified is something that takes practice and skill. A resume says only so much; experience in asking the right questions – and listening for the right answers- is paramount.
  4. Talk too much. The interviewer should be asking the questions and listening to the answers. Many technical managers like to ask a few basic questions then rave about the advantages of their company and their job for the remaining allotted time.
  5. Hire the wrong business culture. Skills are the obvious first priority – but hiring the right person also entails the candidate with a viewpoint and methodology that is in lockstep with the company and team. The wrong culture and mindset can cause personality clashes and generally raises the likelihood of turnover, thus costing more money.

Technical managers have a wealth of experience in their role – and there’s something to be said about that. However, it’s also fair to say that their role is not hiring, but managing current employees.

No matter what your recruiting process is, we can help. The Armada Group is a Silicon Valley based staffing agency specializing in many areas of on-demand talent. We specialize in bringing the most elite candidates to some of the fastest growing and most innovative companies in the world. Contact us today to see how we can help you. If you are looking for a technical recruiting agency in Silicon Valley, contact our team today.

For some reason, the IT industry places a different emphasis on certifications than other industries. Perchance it’s because there are so many “self-taught” IT professionals who understand the subject matter but never set foot in college. Or perhaps it’s because IT is such a wide vertical that even a degree can’t teach you everything. Whatever the case, there’s no doubt that certifications provide one of the best measures of demonstrating subject matter expertise.

With that in mind, your career path will help determine which certifications are right for you. Here are some of Microsoft’s certifications to help advance your career:

MTA, or Microsoft Technology Associate, is the most basic MS certification, and usually entails an entry-level (if even that) understanding of the subject matter. The MTA is presently offered in Server, Desktop, Database, and Developer categories. The MTA by itself will not likely land you a job, but it may help familiarize you if you’re new to the field.

MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) is a more common “entry-level” certificate and proves a solid understanding of the fundamentals. This is widely accepted as the standard in beginning an IT career, and is offered in servers (Windows Servers 2008 and 2012) desktop, (Windows 7 and 8) applications and database roles.

After the MCSA is the MCSE (or MCSD for developers) which is a notch above, and is the pinnacle of Microsoft’s certifications since the retirement of MCM/MCSM/MCA programs at the first of the year. The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert certification is for the elite, and requires documented hands-on experience – as well as the MCSA – prior to testing. Servers, databases, and developers (MCSD) all have this as an option.

The Microsoft Office Specialist and MOS Expert are unique to the applications field. The MOS is the base; while MCSA is the middle and MOS (Expert) is at the top.

When examining credentials, the most important factor to consider is “where will this take me, and is it worth the time, effort, and cost?” The best way to discern the above is to plan out a career path with where you want to be, and then ascertain which certifications will get you there.

This is when talking to a staffing agency becomes the logical next step. At The Armada Group, we know what certifications are important, and as we deal with many different talents, we can help you in terms of finding the right career opportunity for you. We work with some of the most innovative and fastest-growing companies in the world, and we want to help you find the opportunities you’re looking for, and develop the experience along the way. If you are looking for technical employment in Silicon Valley, contact our team today.

Software Developer Jobs Silicon Valley CA

Software engineering is a broad spectrum of an occupation and has a wide variety of different roles. There are hundreds of software applications to work on, from one designed in-house to a massive enterprise application. With so many diverse options, how do you market yourself to stand out?

  • Diversify. If you’re shooting for a specific niche, ignore this step; however, you will also pass by potentially dozens of other opportunities while you’re doing so. If you’re looking for more options beyond a specific niche, broaden your horizons, especially on your resume. Focus several bullet points on your accomplishments in a narrow area, but continue to expand your knowledge. This changes prospective employers from seeing you as a C++ or Oracle implementation expert to a true engineer with a variety of skill sets.
  • Start a blog. Blogs can increase web traffic and a following, but they also provide a tool that separates you from many other software engineers. Moreover, it offers you an opportunity to showcase your subject matter expertise, as well as interact with others – and maybe learn a thing or two in the process, while informing visitors. Put the link on a resume or LinkedIn profile and it allows a recruiter to see your skill sets before they even contact you, generating interest.
  • Network. This cannot be understated. Find a local networking group and meet people. Follow up with them via LinkedIn, Twitter or email. Establish rapport.
  • Social Media. While probably the most obvious, this is often the most mismanaged. The beauty of social media is that you can market yourself as a true expert in engineering and your specific role simultaneously. You are able to share valuable information with your personal network. Build your personal network and provide valuable resources to them. Also, join LinkedIn groups and participate in discussions to establish thought leadership.
  • Pair with a staffing firm. Staffing firms understand the value of the overall concepts in your given field, as well as the individual accomplishments and where they’re the best fit. They know what businesses are looking for, and they know what you have to offer. In many situations, this is the best of both worlds, because agencies look for the best candidate for a company, and the best company for a candidate. This makes for an ideal match and long-term job satisfaction.

At The Armada Group, that’s exactly what we do. We take time to get to know you, and what you have to offer in order to better pair you together with a company where you can be successful. We work with some of the most innovative companies in the world, and we want you to be a part of our success. If you are looking for software engineering employment in Silicon Valley, contact us today. 

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