Many Netflix employees extol the virtues of the company’s generous benefits package and positive corporate culture. However, one interesting aspect that often garners positive attention is actually Netflix’s termination policy.
If you are wondering why employees embrace Netflix’s approach to assessing whether a worker should stay or be let go, here’s what you need to know about their unique approach.
The “Keeper Test”
Netflix understands that to build strong teams, every member needs to provide value. As a means of determining whether an employee is meeting the needs of the business, they are subject to the “keeper test.”
With the keeper test, managers consider one key question: If the employee was considering leaving Netflix for another company, would I strive to convince them to stay? If the manager would answer that with a “no,” then the person is either terminated or encouraged to leave on their own.
The approach is designed to ensure that only “highly effective” workers are retained. Not only does it ensure that mediocre employees don’t bog down their teams, but it also motivates employees to always be at their best, as everyone is subject to the seemingly ruthless evaluation.
Netflix has also employed a formal tool, known as “360,” to give everyone the ability to review anyone else in the company, including CEO Reed Hastings. Additionally, it provides every worker with insight into why any person has been let go, a critical part of the company’s transparency-focused culture.
Together, they help managers to determine which employees are actually worth keeping. Additionally, it even leads to shakeups at the upper levels of the corporate hierarchy, serving as a non-traditional playbook for making retention decisions.
Is Emulating Netflix Wise?
Ultimately, when combined, the keeper test and 360 are meant to promote objectivity when it comes to hiring decisions. It removes emotions from much of the process, as whether an employee is liked is less important than if they are effective and productive. While this can certainly be beneficial, it doesn’t mean Netflix’s model is ideal for every business.
In some cases, the risk of being quickly terminated can lead some to constantly fear being fired, even if they don’t make a mistake. This can increase stress and potentially harm productivity, even in top performers if they have a tendency toward anxiety.
Similarly, it relies on management being able to set emotion aside at all times, which isn’t something everyone can do. Further, a good employee who is well liked may be better in your company than a tremendous talent whose personality clashes with the rest of the team, something that can breed conflict and harm overall productivity.
However, that doesn’t mean that companies can’t learn from Netflix’s approach, particularly if there is a tendency to keep mediocre workers without just cause.
If you would like to learn more about effective internal policies, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions or concerns with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.
Toxic workplaces are incredibly damaging to morale and are often considered the leading cause of employee burnout. While most professionals would never willingly accept a role in such an environment, it is often hard to understand the severity of the situation until you are in it personally. At times, this occurs once you begin a new job. In others, the existing culture morphs into something toxic over time, leaving you a bit stuck.
If you find yourself in a toxic work environment, there are things you can do to make it more manageable. Here’s how to get started.
Resist the Urge to Join In
When it comes to a toxic culture, the old adage, “if you can’t beat them, join them,” should not apply. While going along with the crowd may seem like the easiest way to avoid becoming a target of negativity, it is almost guaranteed to damage your reputation both inside and out of the company. This can make it harder to secure new opportunities when the need arises.
Similarly, it can also reflect poorly on you as an employee. Even if a workplace is toxic, that attitude rarely extends to everyone. If those above you on the ladder notice your change if behavior, it can harm your ability to grow professionally.
Build a Support Network
Having colleagues or other professionals you can trust in your corner can make it easier to survive in a toxic workplace. If you have a few coworkers you can rely on it may be easier to keep your spirits up and avoid negative incidents.
Additionally, having a large professional network increases your odds of learning about new opportunities in companies with more favorable conditions. Then, you may be able to make a speedy exit to greener pastures if you feel that is the best course of action.
Enhance Your Skills
Even the most toxic workplaces have something to offer. If you get a chance to join interesting projects or acquire new knowledge, make sure to take advantage of them. This gives you more to showcase on your resume, increasing the odds that when you apply elsewhere that you’ll impress the hiring manager.
Document What Happens
If you are exposed to toxic events, make sure to keep copious notes about what occurs. Save any emails, record information after meetings, and otherwise track what happened and when it happened.
By documenting everything, you give yourself the evidence you need to either push for change or to simply protect yourself, both of which can be valuable in their own right.
Ultimately, by following the tips above, you can survive a toxic workplace. Then, if you feel like you need to make a change, you can do so at your own pace and without undue pressure to escape. If you would like to learn more about how to deal with a toxic environment or are seeking a new position, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable recruiters and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.
Highly effective IT teams don’t happen by accident. Instead, they are carefully crafted, bringing together the right mix of skills, experiences, and even personalities to ensure the team can collectively thrive.
But figuring out what such a team should look like isn’t always easy. However, there are certain traits that are common among top-performing IT teams, allowing them to serve as potential indications of the viability of the group’s composition.
If you are wondering what hallmarks are part of highly effective IT teams, here’s what you need to know.
For a team to thrive, they need to align in a few key areas, including with the broader mission, the values of their peers, and the priorities of the leadership team. When it occurs, everyone is working toward the same collective goals, keeping everyone on target. Additionally, when every team member believes in the mission, this can boost morale, job satisfaction, and productivity, providing them with intrinsic value as a source of motivation.
Highly effective IT teams genuinely identify as part of a team. They exhibit self-awareness regarding how their actions impact those around them, giving them an additional source of guidance when they need to make decisions or solve problems. Additionally, they recognize that success is based on the cumulative work of the group, not the accomplishments of the individual. The perspective can increase teamwork and their willingness to help each other when problems arise, enhancing the sense of cohesion.
A team can only be effective if they have a strong leader. Without proper guidance, the group will typically not flourish. Often, this involves having a manager who works as a coach and mentor, and not just a person delegating tasks. Further, open communication and transparency are necessities, ensuring everyone has vital information whenever something new comes down the pipe.
Genuinely stellar teams understand there is always something new to learn. Whether it’s a new approach to managing a project, a unique way to solve a problem, or an emerging technology that can provide value, they are open to exploring it. When it comes to knowledge, effective teams are never stagnant, and they typically aren’t fearful of change if it could potentially lead to better outcomes or increased efficiency.
Strong IT teams feel inherently supported by each other. Typically, this means everyone has a voice and feels like they belong, creating an atmosphere that allows for constructive debates that don’t devolve into morale-crushing arguments.
Ultimately, it involves a sense of inclusion, the understanding that everyone is valued and that what they bring to the table is relevant. Without that, team members may be fearful when it comes to expressing their opinion, and that can stymy the group’s success.
All of the traits above are commonly found in highly effective teams, so forming a team that exhibits these characteristics may increase your project success rates. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking IT professionals to join your staff, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your company’s goals today and see how our services can benefit you.
While having the right mix of skills and experience is critical to landing a new role, how you dress and present yourself during your job interview can also be a factor in whether you are selected for the position. By putting additional effort into your appearance, you can inspire confidence in the hiring manager. Plus, by learning to control your body language, it is possible to use your mannerisms to your benefit.
If you are wondering how to make the best impression possible, here is what you need to know about your appearance and body language during an interview.
How to Select Your Attire
How you look plays a role in how you are perceived and can significantly impact your first impression on the hiring manager. People will make assumptions about your competence, intelligence, attention to detail, and trustworthiness based on your appearance, so selecting the right attire is an essential part of preparing for an interview.
First and foremost, all of your interview clothes need to be in good repair. Holes and stains are guaranteed to leave a poor impression, so they need to be avoided at all costs. Similarly, every piece needs to fit well, as loose clothing makes a person appear disheveled while items that are too tight may seem inappropriate in a professional setting.
Additionally, you want to make sure your attire isn’t rumpled when you arrive. While you may not be able to prevent every wrinkle before you come in for your interview, ironing your outfit before you leave home can be beneficial.
If you aren’t sure what sort of clothing is appropriate for the environment, always err on the side of more dressed up and conservative. In many cases, business casual is a solid choice, but it’s hard to go wrong with a classic suit and tie or similar outfit if you aren’t sure what the hiring manager expects.
Master Your Body Language
During your interview, your body language can be just as important as the words you use when answering a question. By using positive body language, like sufficient eye contact and smiling, you increase your odds the hiring manager will see you as a competent professional.
Similarly, learning to maintain an open posture can help you seem friendlier and more self-assured while using power poses and standing or sitting up straight can make you appear more confident.
When you rehearse your interview responses prior to the meeting, spend some time reciting your answers in front of a mirror. This will allow you to observe your mannerisms, giving you a chance to adjust your body language to send the ideal message.
Ultimately, your appearance and body language do matter during a job interview, so working to improve them both can increase your odds of being selected for the role. If you are interested in learning more about how you can make a positive impression on hiring managers, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you.
When managers picture crafting a robust IT team, they typically focus on hiring individuals with specific technical skills that are vital for reaching their goals. However, if you neglect to add a skilled business analyst to your staff, your tech projects might not be a successful as they could be.
Business analysts perform a unique function, acting as a link between your IT team and the rest of the organization. Typically, they have experience in both the tech space and in business, giving them a solid understanding of each groups perspective and enabling them to work with tech pros and other business professionals to find solutions and reach compromises.
However, you do need to select the right business analyst to experience these benefits. This includes knowledge of data analytics, change management, and much more. If you want to strengthen your IT team, here’s how to select a business analyst to help you do just that.
Understand the Core Responsibilities
If you want to hire a top business analyst, it is critical that you understand the core responsibilities typically associated with these roles. Overall, they are usually tasked with identifying changes to processes, services, systems, and products that will facilitate positive change, such as increased efficiency and productivity.
They assist with determining project requirements, analyzing existing processes, and crafting recommendations, ensuring that a new solution is both technically viable and filled with features and capabilities that provide the end users with value. Additionally, they help the end users and IT team to communicate effectively, acting as a translator between the two segments of the business.
Critical Skills and Experiences
When you need a highly capable business analyst, it’s important to locate a candidate with the right combination of skills and experience. While every business analyst usually has more experience in either IT or business, it is crucial that they have a solid foundation in both areas. Otherwise, their lack of understanding on one side may hinder the success of the project.
For example, if a business analyst is highly knowledgeable on the business end but doesn’t have experience with the IT specialty involved, they may struggle when it comes to determining technical feasibility. This means their recommendations might not be ideal.
When it comes to hard skills, cost-benefit analysis, analytics, and process modeling should all be priorities. For soft skills, focusing on communication, problem-solving, conflict mediation, and interpersonal skills is often essential.
Additionally, most successful business analysts will have formal education that assists them in their role. This could include either a technical bachelor’s degree, such as computer science or information technology, or a business degree, depending on which area they gave greater focus. In some cases, they may also bring additional certifications to the table, though this may not be a necessity depending on your company’s or project’s goals.
Making the Right Hiring Decision
As you start looking for a business analyst to join your team, it’s vital you identify the technologies involved. Otherwise, it will be difficult to determine if the job seeker has the required level of technical expertise.
Additionally, you want to find a business analyst that meshes with the company’s culture as well as the IT team. This increases the odds they will connect with other professionals in the business, making it easier for them to perform their duties successfully.
If you are looking for the ideal business analyst, the recruitment specialists at The Armada Group can help you find the right candidate. Contact us to discuss your vacancy today and see how our services can benefit you.
Mobile devices have become valuable tools in the business world, allowing employees to accomplish important tasks from nearly anywhere. Now that smartphones are in the pocket of seemingly every person, companies require skilled mobile application developers to ensure that their apps meet the needs of their staff or their customers.
Successful mobile app developers have strong skill sets focused on this specific niche, and they can often command high salaries in exchange for their expertise. If you are wondering what skills you need to land a six-figure job as a mobile app developer in San Jose, here’s what you need to know.
Mobile App Developer Salaries in San Jose
In San Jose, mobile application developers commonly make more than six figures. The average base pay is approximately $136,000 per year, around 32 percent higher than the national average.
Additionally, even salaries on the lower end tend to surpass $100,000. This means, by choosing this tech specialty, earning a lucrative paycheck is certainly a possibility. However, professionals do need a strong skill set if they want to break into the field.
Mobile App Developer Technical Skills
To be a successful mobile app developer, a specific skill set is necessary. First, a thorough understanding of mobile user interface design is essential, as a high-quality UI has a significant impact on the overall experience.
Additionally, cross-platform development skills are often required for higher-paying mobile app developer roles. This ensures the selected candidate can produce apps that work on both Android and iOS, and potentially even Windows phones.
Programming skills are also a must, including languages like Java and C#. Web development languages like CSS and HTML 5 are also highly desirable, along with knowledge of mobile platform APIs.
Job seekers who bring robust backend computing skills to the table are also more likely to find a position that pays more than six figures. Anything from database management to security can fall in this category, representing a range of core competencies that allow the developer to thrive.
In most cases, a four-year degree is a requirement for mobile app developer positions, such as a bachelor’s in computer science or a similar major.
Essential Soft Skills for Mobile App Developers
A range of soft skills is also highly valuable in the mobile application development field. Strong communication and collaboration skills allow for more effective project teams, increasing the speed of development and potentially the quality of the outputs. Organizational skills are similarly valuable.
Since mobile app development can involve artistic design, creativity and a keen eye can help in the creation of attractive UIs. And, as with most tech jobs, problem-solving and troubleshooting skills are usually required.
Ultimately, if you possess the skills listed above, you can potentially earn a six-figure salary as a mobile application developer in San Jose. If you are interested in learning more or are looking for new employment opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled team members today and see how our services can make taking the next step in your IT career easier than ever.
When you are looking for a new job, finding a company that offers more than just a competitive salary is a must. If the cultural fit isn’t right, you might not be satisfied in the role, even if the compensation package meets your needs.
Often, assessing a company’s culture during the hiring process isn’t easy. While you may be able to gain insights from the organization’s website and social media pages, or through employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor, these only provide a glimpse into the environment. Luckily, they aren’t your only options for determining cultural fit.
If you want to make sure the company’s culture is the right fit for you, here are some questions you can ask during your interview.
What Do You Like Most About Working Here?
While the question may seem obvious, or even bordering on cliché, it’s also incredibly valuable. If the hiring manager can quickly provide a meaningful response, that’s usually a good indication the environment is positive. In contrast, if they struggle to give you an answer or their response feels shallow, that could be a sign of trouble.
Ideally, the hiring manager should be able to share details about why the company is a great employer. Then, you can consider their perspective and see if those aspects are similarly enticing to you. However, if they can’t, that could signal the company’s culture is lacking in some regard, and it may be wise to continue your job search.
How is Feedback Usually Delivered?
Asking about feedback creates multiple opportunities for you to assess the company’s culture. First, managers that provide guidance regularly are often invested in the growth and development of their teams, as long as they focus on being constructive. In contrast, if the hiring managers only answer involves annual performance evaluations, it could indicate they aren’t as focused in those areas.
Second, how feedback is provided can be critical to your job satisfaction. For example, if a business favors peer review, and that isn’t a paradigm you prefer, that might make the job a less-than-ideal fit. However, if you appreciate continuous, small doses of feedback and that’s the approach the manager uses, you may feel more confident about the cultural fit.
Who Else Is on the Team?
In nearly any job, you’re going to spend a significant amount of time interacting with your teammates. By asking this question, you can gain a variety of insights about their personalities and positions, both of which can clue you into the company’s and group’s cultures. This may allow you to assess whether it’s a team you’ll mesh with or if conflicts may be inevitable.
Ultimately, by asking the questions above, you can gather valuable information that can allow you to assess whether the company is the right cultural fit, ensuring you only accept a role in an environment that meets your needs.
If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out new employment opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your ideal company culture today and see how our expertise can benefit you.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are increasing their presences in the business world on a seemingly daily basis. These technologies have the ability to automate repetitive tasks, identify trends in unstructured data, and even make predictions that can assist companies with critical decisions.
However, organizations can only take advantage of the technologies if they have a system to support it. For smaller companies, designing a proprietary machine learning platform may be out of reach. However, thanks to open source, that doesn’t mean they can’t create a functional solution based on their unique needs.
While using the open source approach may seem risky, particularly since you don’t have full ownership over your creation, when leveraged properly, it can actually be the ideal approach. If you are interested in building a machine learning platform, here’s how to make the most of the open source options available.
Explore Existing Offerings
When you want to use open source to craft your ideal solution, you don’t want to merely grab the first option you come across. Instead, explore each one to learn its strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to choose the best approach based on your existing systems, coding preferences, or overall goals.
Today, there are multiple open source options available, including many from leading technology companies. For example, Salesforce opened up their TransmogrifAI, the machine learning library used in the company’s Einstein AI platform, that works best with structured data. Oracle’s Graphpipe may be a better option for smartphone and IoT device-oriented machine learning models where cloud-based servers are in play. And, of course, there is also a significant amount of machine learning code available from Google.
By taking a close look at the open source options that are available, you can identify existing solutions that can help you craft your ideal platform based on your needs and goals. This can be a significant timesaver, ensuring you begin your project in the best position possible.
Embrace the Community
When you use an open source approach to creating your machine learning platform, you also gain an additional benefit beyond having access to reliable starting code; you can also leverage the community. Companies and developers on sites like GitHub are more than willing to look over your code, provide suggestions, make tweaks, or even help you find errors.
By embracing the community, businesses with small development teams can make progress more quickly, resulting in a more robust solution in a shorter timeframe. Plus, they can help your IT pros learn and grow in the machine learning development arena, allowing them to enhance their skills and knowledge along the way.
Ultimately, by leveraging open source, you can build your next machine learning platform quickly and efficiently. If you are interested in learning more about the power of open source, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our development expertise can benefit you.
As a means of securing the highest caliber of IT talent, more companies are embracing remote teams. Not only does this broaden their available talent pools, it also ensures a person’s physical location is largely irrelevant when it comes to hiring. As long as the employee has access to a reliable internet connection and the right tools, they can be just as productive from practically anywhere.
However, if you want to craft a truly remarkable IT team, then you need to manage them properly. Often, this requires company leaders to rethink how they operate, abandoning old paradigms that don’t always work when overseeing a remote workforce.
If you want your remote IT team to be as successful as possible, here are some tips that can help you manage them effectively.
With remote teams, how you delegate tasks is crucial to your success. Since your employees aren’t physically together, you need to assign activities based on who is most capable of providing the ideal result. This means concentrating more on the quality of the outputs and less on the methods used to achieve them, giving your remote workers the option to select the approach they prefer.
Additionally, it means putting a higher focus on accountability. The remote IT team member assigned to the task must take full responsibility for its completion and success, giving them a sense of ownership and potentially creating a source of motivation.
Focus on Trust
When you manage a remote team, trust is essential. After all, you don’t have the ability to peek in on their work by simply strolling over to their desk. Instead, you have to have faith they can use their expertise to deliver the desired results, even if they aren’t directly observed.
However, with remote teams, you don’t always have the opportunity to build trust before you empower them to take ownership of a task. Instead, you have to extend it first and give them a chance to rise to the occasion, believing they will live up to their end of the bargain practically from the beginning.
While this approach can seem odd, it’s a necessity. Micromanaging a remote team is nearly impossible, so attempting to do so will only breed frustration. But, if you empower them with trust, you give them a chance to thrive.
Make Success Collective
With remote teams, you are often their touchstone, acting as their primary connection to the larger organization. When your IT team achieves a victory, they may not receive accolades from other members of the leadership team simply because they aren’t in the same physical space.
This means you need to help fill that void. Acknowledge and even celebrate group victories often, and strive to show your appreciation for their contributions regularly. Without recognition, your remote IT pros may feel undervalued, and that can harm morale, productivity, and retention rates.
By recognizing everyone’s accomplishments, you demonstrate how valuable they are to you, their teammates, and the company, and that can go a long way when you want to craft a successful remote IT team.
If you are interested in learning more or are looking for IT pros to join your staff, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to learn more about our services today and see how our workforce management expertise can benefit you.
Most people would agree that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are two of the most exciting developments to emerge in the tech center in recent years. They have the potential to change how work is handled in a range of industries and on a broad scale, potentially empowering machines to manage repetitive and tedious tasks while allowing employees to focus on more engaging duties that genuinely require a human touch.
Additionally, AI and machine learning are giving companies the ability to make the most of their data by identifying patterns and trends that may be almost impossible for people to spot, especially when the information is stored in multiple databases or is held as unstructured data.
This has led business of all shapes and sizes to seek out professionals with AI and machine learning skills, and Silicon Valley is one of the hiring hotspots.
Silicon Valley is Hiring AI and Machine Learning Pros
According to a recent study, companies in San Jose and San Francisco are actively hiring AI and machine learning professionals to help them explore these burgeoning technologies.
In fact, San Jose is leading the way when it comes to job postings for machine learning engineers, computer vision engineers, and algorithm engineers, four of the jobs that most commonly require applicants to have machine learning and/or AI skills. The city also took the top spot for research engineers who need experience with AI and/or machine learning.
Overall, 9.6 percent of all job openings listed in Indeed that call for AI skills were in San Francisco. San Jose wasn’t far behind, being the location for 9.2 percent of the vacancies in these tech areas. Together, that’s a stunning 18.8 percent of all AI and machine learning-oriented vacancies in the country.
AI and Machine Learning Salaries
Having the right combination of AI or machine learning skills and experience can lead to an astonishingly lucrative career. There are extreme skill shortages in these specialties, so experts in the field can command massive salaries based on the capabilities.
With five years of experience in the field, an AI professional in San Francisco can receive a salary of about $121,000. Plus, as a tech pro’s experience and skill set grow, they can earn substantially more.
Additionally, while demand is expected to increase dramatically, it’s unlikely the supply of skilled IT professionals will rise at the same rate. This could mean salaries will continue to grow as companies compete for the best and brightest AI and machine learning specialists.
Plus, many AI and machine learning roles come with generous benefits packages, providing workers with even more value when they accept a position.
Ultimately, if you are an AI or machine learning professional, Silicon Valley is an excellent place to find an exciting job that allows you to focus on these technologies. If you are looking for a new IT position, the team at The Armada Group can connect you with some of Silicon Valley’s leading tech employers. Contact us to learn more about our available jobs today and see how our services can help you find your ideal role quickly and efficiently.