Today, many large workplaces have at least four generations represented in their employees. Though baby boomers have begun retiring, many have chosen to stay active in the working world. Gen X is prominent, and Millennials make up the bulk of most workforces. Now, Gen Z has begun to make themselves known as well.
Bringing together all of these different perspectives and preferences can be a challenge, and conflict is sure to arise from time to time. When one of those times comes, here are three ways to diffuse the tension created generational conflicts in the office.
1. Fight the Stereotypes
Even if a stereotype isn’t meant as a negative, making assumptions about what someone is like based solely on when they were born is a mistake. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t pervasive, especially when coworkers don’t interact with one another on a regular basis.
One way to stop conflicts based on stereotypes before they start is to get everyone engaged in projects together. Team-building exercises that provide the opportunity to explore each other’s skills outside of a traditional work situation can help employees get to know one another in a less threatening environment.
Within the workplace, encourage employees to work together regularly, or work on cross-training opportunities. Once a level of mutual respect is built, generational differences won’t be a source of conflict.
2. Keep Everyone Accountable
While younger generations have increased opportunities for flexible scheduling and remote work, not everyone has chosen to embrace those styles. Regardless of the number of people who do or don’t choose alternate scheduling options, it is important that accountability remains consistent across the entire workforce.
Set defined expectations regarding the level of communication as well as the method. For example, a weekly video conference gives everyone a chance to communicate in real-time, while email turnaround standards ensure that one employee isn’t stuck waiting for a response from another. You can also have set times where coworkers must be generally available to one another.
For example, set a particular hour each day where no one is allowed to set appointments with anyone outside of the team. That way, coworkers can schedule a time to catch up if scheduling conflicts have prevented them from touching base.
3. Use Technology Properly
Every generation has their preferred method for wasting a little time at work. While the occasional break should be encouraged, constant distractions from personal smartphones, emails, or other activities can harm productivity.
To make sure technology is seen as a positive in the workplace and not a source of distraction, set ground rules regarding personal tech use during work hours. While you don’t have to eliminate it completely, consider banning certain devices during specific occasions. For example, the weekly staff meeting could be tech free.
However, it is wise to balance this out by supporting technology (including social media) when it can serve the business well. Have your most tech-savvy employees work with those who are less familiar or who could use a process update.
By respecting the preferences of all of your employees at the right times, you can limit generational conflict and create an environment in which everyone can thrive.
If you are looking for more information about generational conflict in the workplace or are interested in locating a new employee to join your team, the professionals at The Armada Group are here to help. Contact us and speak to a recruitment specialist today.
Excitement over the potential found in data and analytics may lead you to believe that decision-makers consider the information critical to making business decisions. In fact, some leaders find it difficult to use the results to make calls that previously relied on their own experience and instincts.
This idea seems to be in contrast to hiring activities within the IT field. Even though many companies understand the value of the information they hold and are hiring competent professionals to manage and review the data, there are still serious doubts in the upper echelons regarding the reliability of the information they have hired people to provide.
However, it is important to understand that the mistrust is not necessarily in the quality of the IT professionals working in the space. Instead, it is a hesitance to change a major component of how business is traditionally done. While the insights offered by advanced data and analytics may not be inherently in question, changing how decisions are made within any organization can be challenging, especially for those who have operated in a particular fashion for the majority of their careers.
Trust Takes Time
Depending on your generation, previous experiences or industry, your trust in data may vary. While those who have focused their careers on data and technology may be more open to what these processes have to offer, people who have not focused their careers on tech-based analysis may be hesitant to shift the decision-making power based on a new mechanism.
Questions regarding the accuracy of the data being collected, as well as how it is leveraged, leave some wanting. In fact, many executives even feel being overly reliant on this information can put their organizations at risk. However, as more businesses look to analytics for guidance, the level of comfort may increase.
C-Level Support is Required
If a company wants to use more data and analytics to assist in decision-making, the organization needs buy off from those at the top of the proverbial food chain. When C-level executives are hesitant to get behind the findings, any subsequent attempts at data-driven action may be thwarted before they even had a chance to be explored.
There are still questions relating to the reliability of data-driven decision making, especially since traditional decision-making approaches are distinctly more common in today’s workplace. Additionally, anxiety around the analytics lifecycle increases as the business dives deeper into the process. Even if support is relatively high at the point where issues of data sourcing are being discussed, it is comparatively non-existent when it comes to deploying solutions and measuring the effectiveness of the actions.
Data and Analytics Leaders Must Step Forward
Leaders in the areas of data and analytics will need to alleviate any concerns regarding the use of data-driven insights in the decision-making process. Ultimately, they will be responsible for creating the trust necessary to allow these projects to move forward in a corporate environment.
If your business is ready to see everything that data and analytics have to offer, The Armada Group can help the tech professionals you need to make the transition into a new way of thinking easier. Contact us to speak with one of our professional recruiters and see how we can help you modernize your decision-making processes.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has gained significant attention across the business landscape. Connected products and integrated technologies have businesses eager to take advantage of new developments in the arena. However, the talent required to manage this changing IT landscape isn’t readily available. Shortages in available data scientists, security personnel and wireless networking specialists have made it difficult to fill current openings. And demand is only expected to grow as we enter 2017.
IoT Requires Specific Skills
Not everyone working in the IT professions have the skill sets required to meet the needs of this changing technical environment. IoT technologies involve specialized hardware and software, and new network protocols. Advanced security measures are required to maintain network and data integrity, and big data analytics have a starring role in these developments.
Since each of these specialties may be covered by different IT professionals, a business must have a diverse team to move forward with these new technologies. Having a skills deficit within the team can cause development to practically halt until the missing talents are either acquired or added. This means that financial investments in training, recruiting or both, may be required to keep projects moving forward.
IT Unemployment is Incredibly Low
Unemployment rates for tech professionals are currently 2.8 percent, well below the national average of 4.9 percent. This means that demand for IT skills is incredibly high when compared to the number of professionals available. The lack of talented IT professionals means compensating for skills deficits will be even more challenging, especially in fledgling fields like big data analytics.
Unemployment rates are expected to stay low as more baby boomers reach retirement age as there are not enough potential employees to replace all of those who will be leaving. While talented individuals can be wooed away from their current employers, other businesses may be pursuing your employees in turn. The low unemployment rates also allow professionals to feel more secure about voluntarily quitting a position to search for greener pastures, as the current expectation is that new opportunities can be found quickly.
This means that organizations will need to offer highly competitive wages and benefits to attract new talent and retain current top performers. Often, that means companies have to be willing to invest before the benefits of the new hires are fully realized. Some businesses may be hesitant to dedicate funds based on the potential of IoT but may be unable to enter the field without taking the risk.
A Fight for the Future of Tech
Both of these factors mean that many businesses may not be able to pursue the projects they have recently had their eye on. Until the required skills become more prevalent in the workforce, finding suitable candidates to fulfill your needs will remain a challenge. The Armada Group can help you locate top talent to advance your IoT endeavours. Contact us to speak with one of our professional recruiters about your current needs and what we have to offer.
For software developers, writing code and making it work is the fun part of the job. For software testers, breaking code is the fun part of the job. Until recently, this meant that testers were the "bad guys" at work. They were there to find flaws and point them out. This meant they weren't popular with either software developers or management.
Today, things are different. Well – developers still like writing code and testers still like breaking it. But today the relationship between coders and testers is a partnership. The shift to agile and test-driven design means that testing isn't left for the end of a project, when everyone wants to push it out the door and move on to the next great thing; testing is part of the project every day. That means testers aren't seen as a stumbling block to the project's release, but rather as partners in creating a product that will succeed.
The increased emphasis on testing means that what testers need to know to succeed is changing, too. Testers now need:
To know how to write automated tests.
Manual testing is time-consuming and tedious. Automating the test process speeds it up. While there are specific tools to create and execute test cases, testers who know a scripting language will be able to more easily set up the environment for test scenarios.
To understand the full requirements.
Agile development methods don't create extensive requirements documents. Instead, they deliver small working chunks of functionality that will eventually add up to a full application. Testers need to understand the ultimate goal to make sure the functionality in each sprint moves it forward.
To communicate testing results.
To be full members of the project team, testers can't simply tell management the percentage of tests that were passed or failed. They need to evaluate and discuss the overall quality and performance of the application in a much deeper sense.
Successful software projects require rock solid coding verified by rock solid testing. Find employees with the skills to deliver by contacting a recruiter at The Armada Group.
There's never been a greater need for information security professionals. New technology, such as the growth of electronic health records, means there's more valuable information online to steal. And new technology also provides new angles of attack, such as a recent DDOS attack powered by unsecured Internet of Things devices.
For those building a career protecting businesses and consumers from these threats, these are the 10 highest-paying IT security jobs to aspire to. Titles and responsibilities vary by company, so be sure to explore all your options whether you're aiming for a role that's hands-on, a team lead or manager position, or as a senior executive.
Chief Security Officer
These C-suite executives oversee the security strategy of an entire business and monitor the effectiveness of the operational teams. With big responsibility comes a big paycheck of nearly $200,000.
Chief Information Security Officer
Like a CSO, the CISO is a senior executive with high-level responsibility. The CISO focuses more intently on information and data assets. Salaries match or exceed their CSO peer, and can reach close to $250,000.
Global Information Security Director
With an understanding of industry-specific security requirements, these professionals direct the work of project teams and are responsible for the response to a breach. Salaries extend upwards of $150,000.
Director of Security
The security director works with security teams and vendors to reduce the data security threats facing the organization. Salaries hit over $175,000.
IT Security Consultant
If you want the flexibility of working for more than one company, apply your security expertise as an IT security consultant. You'll help companies apply best practices or guide them through a crisis response. Expect a salary of more than $125,000.
Application Security Manager
Applications have specific risks based on the nature of the data they collect and store. An application security manager makes sure that applications have security appropriate to the risks they face. The salary for this work can reach more than $175,000.
Lead Software Security Engineer
As a lead software security engineer, you'll lead a team implementing security solutions throughout the enterprise. Median salaries are over $120,000.
You can't defend against threats if you don't know what the threats are; cybersecurity leads help companies identify potential and actual threats, plus help defend against them. Median salaries hit $105,000.
Lead Security Engineer
Like a lead software security engineer, lead security engineers help teams implement security solutions, but have a focus that extends beyond software. Salaries reach more than $145,000.
A front-line defender of the organization, this is a hands-on role that involves probing for vulnerabilities and then building defenses. Look for salaries up to $125,000 or more.
Whether you're a security professional looking for a job, or an employer in search of a security professional, the Armada Group can match you to a position or candidate that will secure your future. Contact us to speak with a recruiter and learn about our process.
Data Science, Big Data, and Analytics are three of the hottest buzzwords in technology. Competition is fierce for developers with skills in the tools used, like Hadoop and NoSQL databases. But does the promise of big data and data science live up to the hype? For companies that haven't yet made an investment in building a data science team, these three examples of real-life problems solved by data science can make the case for bringing those skills into your business.
1. Predictive analytics replace preventive maintenance.
In many industrial and commercial operations, machines undergo maintenance on a regular schedule, with parts replaced whether they show signs of wear or not in order to avoid costly failures. But that scheduled maintenance has its own costs. Predictive analytics is able to identify parts that are about to fail, meaning maintenance can be performed on a just-before-needed basis, replacing only the parts that are likely to fail in the near term. Companies like UPS are using predictive analytics to reduce their maintenance expenses.
2. Analytics help determine the best prices.
Data science and analytics can support dynamic pricing, identifying an optimum price at a moment in time. Airbnb uses a dynamic pricing algorithm to help renters set their prices.
3. Data science helps companies understand customer feedback.
Using new methods for analyzing unstructured data such as comments on social media and forums, companies are able to dig deeper into their customer's feedback and tailor customer service and product changes in response.
Building a data science team requires adding data scientists, data engineers, and data administrators to your organization. The Armada Group can help you identify talent with the data science skills needed to help you get your team up and running and solving problems. We've been helping companies hire great employees for more than 20 years and have plenty of data to inform the way we work. Our successful process starts by understanding your company and the position you need to fill. Contact us to learn how our experienced recruiters can help you find the best new hires to meet your staffing needs.
With today's emphasis on collaboration, you might think an open plan office is the way to go. By eliminating even cubicle walls, it should be easy to encourage communication and collaboration, right?
Unfortunately, that's not what happens. What happens in an open plan office is it becomes noisy and full of distractions. There may be a few types of work where that isn't a problem, but software development isn’t one of them.
Software development is highly intellectual work. The hands-on-keyboard coding is just typing; that's not where the developers' skills and talents lie. Those skills are in their ability to think through a challenging design problem or a difficult bug in order to come up with a solution. And being able to think like that requires quiet and the ability to concentrate; exactly what's missing from open plan offices.
In some companies, the open plan gets in the way of collaboration in other ways, too. Developers who are desperate for the chance to think book conference rooms where they can close the door and block out the chatter. That makes conference rooms unavailable for their intended purpose. When there's no conference room available, either the meeting and its collaboration doesn’t happen, or the meeting is held by telephone, adding to the overall noise level and distraction.
It isn't always possible to reconfigure office space, but companies can take a few steps to help developers cope. Even low cubicle walls can help block some distracting sights, and you can offer developers noise-canceling headphones. Noise baffling curtains and ceiling tiles can help reduce the decibel level. Your company culture can discourage the use of speakerphones, and you can also provide small phone rooms and informal meeting spaces to reduce the number of desk-side calls and meetings.
You can use your investment in a quiet workplace as a selling point when you meet with prospective employees. Creating a workplace where developers can easily work is a sign of the respect you have for their needs and abilities.
You knew a career as a developer meant always needing to learn new languages and new development methodologies. Did you think that moving into project management meant an end to learning? Sorry. You always need to be developing new skills to stay competitive. Here's how you need to evolve as a project manager:
Stay current on technology trends.
You no longer need to know the detailed syntax of every new programming language, but you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different technology options in order to evaluate your team's suggestions and your end user's requests.
Understand new project management methodologies.
Running an agile development team is nothing like managing a team that follows the waterfall development method. And chances are, your team isn't strictly following agile, anyway. In all likelihood, none of the "textbook" project management methodologies are perfect for your environment. You need to understand multiple approaches to project management to craft a solution that works for your team. (And that solution may change over time, so you always need to be evaluating new methodologies).
Your job title says "manager," but you need to be a leader.
Don't focus on managing and controlling your team's activities. Focus on inspiring and leading them to where they need to be. The team will be happier and more productive, and you'll feel more rewarded.
Understand your end users.
Project management isn't just about the project. It's also about keeping your business users happy. You should spend as much or more time talking to the business as you do to the tech team. Learn to speak their language, and try to see the issues from their perspective. Ideally, you're able to partner with both the business and with your technical staff to define and deliver a real solution.
If you're a project manager seeking new challenges, or a company needing to hire a driven project manager, The Armada Group can help fill your needs. We've been matching candidates to opportunities for nearly two decades, and have a deep understanding of the information technology workplace and IT staffers. Contact us and let us help make your career and your projects a success.
Your customers probably interact with you online, whether searching for customer support at your web site or following your social media to find special offers. Making sure the experience consumers have with your digital media is positive and consistent with your overall brand image is just part of the reason companies are hiring digital brand managers.
Digital brand managers make sure you have an online presence on important social media sites. Consumers expect to engage with firms online, and a bad experience can lead to viral bad publicity. And digital brand managers make sure consumers can find you online, working to implement digital marketing strategies and evaluating new digital technologies to see how they can support your other marketing efforts.
Your online presence is also a factor in attracting employees. A smooth online application process, backed up by an informative website about working at your company, can encourage potential employees to submit their information. Meanwhile, an uninformative site and unfriendly online application process — like requiring candidates to key in information rather than parsing it from an uploaded resume — can drive candidates away.
For potential employees in the technology space, your online presence is also an indicator of your commitment to working with new technology and whether you'll offer the kinds of opportunities and challenges they're interested in. If your website isn't mobile friendly or you don't have a mobile app, those can suggest that you're behind the times technically and reduce their interest in working for you.
Whether you need help hiring a digital brand manager or the technical team to implement the digital brand manager's great ideas, The Armada Group can help you find talent with the skills needed to boost your digital presence. We've got more than 20 years' experience matching candidates to opportunities where they will excel. Contact us to find out how our recruiters can help you hire the technical talent to drive your company's digital success.
If you want to know which programming languages will help you get hired, take a look at the program language rankings from the IEEE. The engineering association's list rates languages that are growing rapidly, those that are most in demand by employers, and those that are popular on open source projects. Not surprisingly, there's considerable overlap on the lists.
The IEEE's survey shows these are the top 3 trending languages:
It's almost hard to believe that C is a trending language; it's been a workhorse of development since it was invented back in the 1970s. But the powerful, flexible language continues to be used. The rise of the Internet of Things and the increased emphasis on embedded systems program are part of the reason for the language's continued growth; C is also popular for mobile application development and enterprise application development.
The object-oriented offshoot of C holds the number 2 slot on the IEEE's list of trending languages, and for many of the same reasons: the language is widely used for mobile, enterprise, and embedded systems development. The object-oriented nature of C++ enables the development of modern, reusable code.
Python isn't the youngest of the top 3 trending languages, but it has perhaps the most recent success. Python is often used as a scripting language to support automation of testing and deployment tasks. The growth of DevOps and agile approaches likely contribute to the demand for this capability.
Whether you have the skills in demand now or are developing the skills that are trending and will be in top demand in the near future, The Armada Group can help you find a job that will put your skills to use. We have more than 20 years experience matching developer talent with employers. Contact us to start leveraging our recruiters' insight and speed up your job search.