Network Engineers

 

Network engineers are vital. They ensure companies and employees have access to critical resources, allowing them to handle their duties quickly and efficiently.

 

While technical ability is obviously important, there are other skills that are essential if you want to have a successful career. If you're going to rise through the ranks as a network engineer, here are three must-have skills to keep you moving forward.

 

  1. Communication Skills

Network engineers, like many other tech professionals, are no longer in the proverbial shadows, restricted to basement work areas and never interacting with other employees.

 

Today, network engineers need to communicate with other professionals, including team members, upper management, and a variety of departments. Often, you’ll be tasked with relaying complex information to individuals who aren’t as tech-savvy. Additionally, you have to work with other departments to ensure any network changes actually meet their needs.

 

Without strong communication skills, you’ll struggle as a network engineer, so consider this a must.

 

 

  1. Organizational Skills

Since a core part of a network engineer’s job is the creation and deployment of potentially complex networks, having strong organizational skills is a must. You need to be able to outline a project, break it down into logical steps, and keep everything on target as you move forward.

 

Depending on your level of seniority, you may also be responsible for requesting bids, managing budgets, and ensuring outside parties adhere to their contractual obligations. Without strong organizational skills, it’s easy for the details to fall through the cracks, and this could quickly derail a project and, potentially, harm your career.

 

  1. Willingness to Learn

While this is more of a trait than a skill, a willingness to learn is essential for any network engineer who wants to be successful in their career. Technology evolves quickly, and IT professionals need to stay up-to-date if they're going to remain relevant in the field.

 

Without a willingness to learn or, even worse, a reluctance, you’ll quickly become stagnant in your network engineering career. Over time, your skill set may also become obsolete, cutting your career short.

 

You don’t necessarily have to commit to a lengthy formal education to keep up with the latest and greatest in the field. Instead, you can focus on up-and-coming certifications, attend training seminars and conferences, or simply conduct your own research. Additionally, if your company is bringing in a new technology, embrace it and focus on acquiring the knowledge to use it properly.

 

Ultimately, network engineers who possess the skills listed above are poised for greater success than their counterparts who may be lacking in these areas. If you haven’t focused on those before, now is a great time to start.

 

If you are currently seeking a new network engineering position, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you to top employers throughout the area. Contact us to speak with one of our recruitment specialists today and see how our services can help you find your ideal role.

 

 

Digital Transformation Goals

 

Typically, a digital transformation represents a significant overhaul of how a company does business. It leads to the integration of new processes and procedures, introduces technologies that weren’t previously in the workplace, and may even require a fundamental shift in mentality. However, like any large-scale undertaking, a successful digital transformation plan involves goal setting. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to determine whether the change produced positive results in the proper areas.

 

If you are ready to get started, here are some tips for setting digital transformation goals for your company.

 

Don’t Automatically Follow the Other Guy

There is a significant amount of information online, including tails of successful digital transformations. While it may be tempting to model your goals after another company, this isn’t always the wisest move.

 

Ultimately, every business is different. And, if your priorities differ from those of the example, their goals might not be appropriate for you.

 

Identify Important Metrics

Before you set goals, you need to understand which metrics, such as key performance indicators (KPIs) mean the most to your business. For example, you may want to increase profits, improve production rates, eliminate bottlenecks, or achieve an optimal inventory based on demand.

 

Unless you understand which metrics are most valuable to you, you’ll have trouble selecting measurable goals. And, if the objectives aren’t measurable, you may struggle to determine if your digital transformation was actually successful.

 

 

Align the Approach

After identifying key metrics, you need to align your approach with the broader objectives. Digital transformation can mean a lot of things, involving a wide range of technology options that may not be ideal for your business. You don’t want to incidentally waste time by focusing on a particular tech implementation that isn’t going to create meaningful value, so you need to focus on opportunities that actually align with what you hope to achieve.

 

During this phase, you’re effectively creating a project overview. You can identify potential technologies that could positively impact your KPIs and determine priorities, including whether any steps are prerequisites to others. After examining these points, create a rough outline of the project to help guide further goal setting.

 

Create Milestones

With the overview in place and your KPIs noted, you can create meaningful milestones to function as short-term goals in the larger project. Additionally, you can monitor related metrics as you move forward, giving you the ability to visualize the impact of the digital transformation as it takes place.

 

This approach gives you the ability to not just see your progress, but also make course corrections as necessary, helping you shift your strategy if you don't see the results you hope to have. Further, you can share this information with your staff, helping them stay on target and keep their priorities in the proper places.

 

By following the tips above, you can create customized goals for your digital transformation. If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our experience can benefit you.

 

 

Machine Learning Developer

 

If you are interviewing machine learning developer candidates, you likely have a strong grasp of technical concepts. Plus, those who make your short list are practically guaranteed to have a level of tech prowess, regardless if they’ve specifically worked in the machine learning arena before.

 

However, since machine learning development is a relatively new specialty, it can be hard to determine what interview questions will help you sort out those with the right kind of potential. This is especially true since many fledgling fields attract job seekers looking to make a change, so their prior experience may not be in the world of machine learning.

 

If you are getting ready to interview machine learning developer candidates, here are a few questions you can ask to help identify top talent.

 

What’s the Difference Between Bias and Variance?

This question is designed to help separate those who have a textbook understanding of the concepts from those who understand how they impact machine learning applications. While the fact-based response isn’t inherently wrong, by looking for candidates who take it to the next level, you can gauge if they have a functional understanding, as well as a conceptual one.

 

 

If You Had to Choose, Would You Say Model Accuracy or Model Performance is More Important?

Many job seekers approach this question by attempting to avoid a direct answer, instead focusing on how both are important. However, top talent will understand that, without accurate data, performance is largely irrelevant.

 

By asking this question, you can assess whether a candidate has a realistic picture of how the two concepts work together. While them mentioning that both are vital for overall success, a skilled developer is going to understand that accuracy is paramount, since low quality data makes even the speediest results unusable.

 

How Does Deep Learning Contract With Other Typical Machine Learning Algorithms?

Some job seekers are going to assert that deep learning is just a more complex or sophisticated approach to machine learning. However, this is only a surface level response.

 

The ideal candidate will be able to express a more thorough understanding of deep learning, including the use of the neural network model and how it can eliminate the need for manual feature selection based on the algorithm’s ability to learn meaningful features without the need for intervention.

 

Ultimately, top talent can go beyond a simplistic definition and actually show how they grasp the concept more fully, as well as how it affects the use of algorithms.

 

By asking the questions above, you are better equipped to determine which machine learning developer candidates have the strongest understanding of the field and are most likely to meet your needs. If you are seeking high-quality machine learning professionals to join your team, the staff at The Armada Group can connect you with some of the area’s leading developers. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff today and see how our services can help you find the ideal candidate quickly and efficiently.

 

 

Stay Interviews

 

Hiring managers understand the time, energy, and resources it takes to hire a new employee. Often, this is what makes retention so important, as being able to keep your best and brightest on staff is obviously preferred over having to find their replacement.

 

But many companies struggle to understand why some workers stay with the business and others leave. This is especially true if there are no known issues and the employee seems generally satisfied.

 

Luckily, there is a way to gather additional information that can help you with your retention efforts. By conducting stay interviews, you gain access to powerful insights, allowing to your do more to keep your top talent working for the company.

 

What Are Stay Interviews?

A stay interview is a conversation that functions similarly to an exit interview. It’s a discussion where the employee can provide feedback on the organization.

 

However, instead of waiting for the team member to provide their notice, a stay interview happens while the person is a part of your staff.

 

Why You Need to Conduct Stay Interviews

While exit interviews provide valuable information, they occur at a time where it is nearly impossible to convince that employee to stay on board, even if you are willing to make changes. A stay interview happens while the worker is still a permanent part of your staff, so the information you receive can create opportunities for action.

 

By giving your star performers a chance to participate in a stay interview, you can find out what is working for them and what they think could use improvement. Then, you can make reasonable adjustments to provide the employee with what they need so that they are open to remaining with the company for the long-term.

 

 

How to Conduct Stay Interviews

Stay interviews need to be one-on-one, giving the employee a sense of privacy and allowing them to be the focus. These meetings should be conducted in person, as a survey usually won’t provide you with the level of detail a conversation can, and the opinions of your best and brightest won’t get lost in the shuffle.

 

Work to ask probing questions that will produce honest answers. Resist the urge to interject, regardless of how you feel about what is being said, as becoming defensive may lead the employee to hold back, ensuring you won’t get the desired result.

 

Let the worker know that their feedback is valued and that their responses may help shape the future of the company. Ultimately, you want to know what will keep them interested and engaged on the job and what they value as well as any issues they’ve experienced that haven’t been addressed.

 

By conducting stay interviews, you can boost your retention rates through right-action. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking a skilled professional to join your team, the employment specialists at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members and see how our services can benefit your company today.

 

 

New Tech Hire

 

While each member of your tech team likely possesses a range of valuable skills, some are probably more effective in their positions than others. And, in many cases, their hard skills are only part of the story.

 

Successful IT professionals often have a range of qualities that help them excel, allowing them to stand out from their peers. By hiring tech pros with these traits, you can improve the overall performance of your team. To help you get started, here are seven qualities your new tech hire should possess.

 

  1. Curiosity

If you're looking for a top performer, seek out candidates who are insatiably curious about their area of technical expertise. This can include professionals who explore their field both inside and out of the office, as well as those who stay abreast of rising trends and devour new details about emerging technologies.

 

  1. Adaptability

Technology is an ever-changing world, and the best tech pros are prepared to roll with the changes. Ultimately, IT teams can’t afford to stand still when it comes to examining the potential of different technologies and must be willing to make a transition when it benefits the company. Otherwise, it’s easy to stagnate or, worse, fall behind the times.

 

  1. Problem-Solving

In the world of IT, rarely does everything go to plan. If your team is going to be successful, your employees need to be able to identify problems, analyze the situation, and find solutions.

 

People who are problem-solvers are typically also strong learners, as they have to take in new information to get to the root of an issue and correct it.

 

  1. Teaching

The ability to teach others is a highly valuable trait, particularly in a world filled with skill gaps. A willingness to teach also indicates that they put the needs of the team first while being effective in this role shows they have a range of important soft skills, like communication and patience, that aren’t always easy to find.

 

 

  1. Coachable

A willingness to receive feedback and adjust their approach is also a valuable quality. This indicates the candidate isn’t necessarily set in their ways and is open to constructive criticism that helps them improve.

 

  1. Business-Savvy

As technology becomes ingrained in nearly every department, having a foundational understanding of business is beneficial. It will make it easier for them to understand the needs of the company as a whole as well as individual departments.

 

  1. Leadership

Leadership isn’t limited to telling people what to do. Instead, it also includes being able to bring people together to achieve a common goal or encourage others to be at their best.

 

A tech pro with leadership skills can help ensure your team works well together, making it easier for them to accomplish joint goals.

 

By seeking out the qualities listed above, you can find a tech pro who can do more than just complete individual tasks as they are assigned.

 

If you are looking for a skilled IT professional to join your team, the experienced staff at The Armada Group can connect you with some of today’s top talent. Contact us today to learn more about our services can how they can help you find the ideal tech pro for your open positions.

 

 

Productive

 

In most cases, it’s easy to see if your team is busy. After all, furious typing, frequent meetings, and piles of reports stacked on desks can show that your staff has a lot on their plate.

 

But being busy isn’t the same as being productive. In fact, some of your highly tasked workers might not actually be accomplishing much during your day.

 

How can you tell how productive your employees are actually? By asking them this one simple question.

 

What Results Did You Achieve Today?

Ultimately, results are more important in business than just being busy. But, if you ask your team what they actually achieved over the course of their day, even if they’ve been working furiously, you may find that they don’t have much to show for their efforts.

 

Now, this doesn’t mean it’s your staff’s fault, though, at times, it certainly can be. Luckily, there are things you can do to increase their level of productivity. Here’s how to get started.

 

Align Their Duties with Their Talents

In some cases, an employee is busy because they are working on a task that doesn’t fit with their primary skill set. This can increase the amount of effort and research required to get the job done when compared to that of a worker who is adept in that area.

 

If you want to increase productivity, make sure to align a person’s role with their primary skills. That way everyone can work more efficiently by staying largely within their wheelhouse.

 

 

Use Metrics for Accountability

Often, a particular position is associated with specific goals, and progress towards these goals is typically measurable. Ideally, you want to identify any Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) associated with each position, and then monitor the employee’s productivity based on those metrics.

 

By doing so regularly, you can ensure that accountability is a foundation upon which your business is built. You’ll be able to identify which workers are meeting expectations and which aren’t, giving you a chance to intervene when necessary.

 

Delegate Properly

Simply dumping a task or project on an employee isn’t delegation. Instead, you need to set your staff up for success by ensuring they have the proper tools and information to perform. Additionally, you need to set clear expectations, including defining milestones, to help keep them on target.

 

Essentially, don’t just define what they need to do, but also how, why, and when. This creates a roadmap that not only outlines your expectations but also gives them a plan of attack, making it easier for them to meet or exceed your expectations.

 

By following the tips above, you can determine exactly how productive your employees are while also increasing the odds that they can achieve the results you need to succeed.

 

If you are interested in learning more or are looking for a skilled professional to join your team, the experienced staff at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of your knowledgeable team members today and see how our services can benefit you.