Hiring Strategy

 

When it comes to hiring, two things matter more than anything: speed and quality. While the two don’t always seem to go together well, there are strategies that can help you secure top talent as quickly as possible. Here’s how to get started.

 

Clearly Define Your Ideal Candidate

One of the easiest ways to improve your hiring process is to first clearly define what your ideal candidate looks like. Typically, this involves an extensive review of the job requirements with a focus on critical competencies and priorities, such as filling skill gaps.

 

Now, during this process, you don’t want to create a skills list that is so extensive it becomes practically unattainable, especially since many professionals won’t apply to a position unless that are a 100 percent match for the requirements. Instead, list only those that are most crucial for the role as requirements, and review the applications to determine if anyone also possesses any “nice to have” skills as well.

 

Align Your Interview Team

Often, each interviewer on a team or panel has a different idea of what a great candidate looks like unless they are given clear guidance regarding any current priorities. Failure to align your interview team means everyone isn’t likely to agree on a top prospect, which may leave you without a potential new hire.

 

Begin by identifying any essential core competencies that are necessary for the role as a method for guiding everyone’s analysis of the interviewees. This will also help you determine if you need someone who functions as more of a specialist or generalist in their particular area, as either approach can be appropriate, depending on your priorities. Then, consider if any attributes define candidates who may be a solid cultural fit, increasing the chances that they will excel in the environment.

 

You also want to make sure that the panel won’t place too much weight on credentials from top-ranked schools or previous experience at leading companies, as many professionals are just as skilled even though they don’t possess that particular pedigree. It also helps to have a discussion regarding the importance of achievement versus experience, as a seemingly less experienced job seeker may be more prone to greatness despite their greenness.

 

Agree on Acceptable Trade-Offs

Some teams are more willing to take a risk on a potentially great talent who needs some additional development than others, and getting everyone on the same page in this area is essential. If everyone isn’t assessing the candidates from the same perspective, you may have conflict in your interview team as they debate the merits of someone who appears to have potential but isn’t proven. By having this discussion in advance, it is easier to align the panel in a particular direction, speeding up the hiring process.

 

Similarly, very rarely does a candidate possess every skill or trait you’re hoping to find, so it is important to determine which points are non-negotiable and which can be overlooked as long as the interviewee has another characteristic or competency which could be helpful.

 

By following the tips above, you can streamline your hiring process significantly. If you would like to improve your strategy further, the recruitment specialists at The Armada Group can connect you with some of the area’s leading talent. Contact us today to see how our hiring strategies can work for you.

 

 

Bro Culture

 

With company culture being in the spotlight, creating the right environment for your employees is more critical than ever. The tech sector has been plagued by its reputation of lacking diversity and cultivating workplaces that aren’t as inclusive or diverse as they could be.

 

The prevalence of what has become known as “bro culture” harms diversity efforts and may lead some professionals – especially women, minorities and older workers – to leave the company or exit the field entirely based on their experience. In that regard, maintaining a bro culture ultimately harms your business. Here’s how.

 

It Isn’t Inclusive

Typically, a bro culture favors young men, even to the detriment of everyone else. Certain bad behaviors end up being tolerated, including inappropriate comments and jokes, that may offend employees who don’t fit into the bro culture segment. As their co-workers become uncomfortable with the environment, especially if they are left with little recourse or support from upper management, many flee the workplace.

 

This means you are missing out on great tech professionals simply because they don’t feel secure at work. Additionally, they tend to be passed over for promotional opportunities, harming their careers and their job satisfaction. You may lose top talent based on the company’s culture and perceived lack of support.

 

It Doesn’t Adapt to the Needs of Your Entire Workforce

Bro culture generally doesn’t consider the needs of those who may be in the minority when it comes to the environment or even benefits. For example, flexible work arrangements might not be available to women who give birth, or maternity leave may be lacking.

 

Regardless of whether the disparity is intentional or merely overlooked during the creation of compensation packages, the lack of support drives away workers who may require something that just isn’t being offered.

 

It Promotes Like-Mindedness

While co-workers having common ground can be beneficial, having a team who all share similar backgrounds and perspectives can limit your organization’s potential for innovation. Having a diverse staff means ideas will be introduced based on each employee’s unique experience and discussions will be livelier as a result of their differences.

 

It is true that these differing points of view can lead to conflict, but they also ensure that your company is benefiting from a larger cumulative world perspective, which can lead to the development of new products or services that will reach a broader market.

 

It Limits Your Candidate Pool

Unemployment among tech professionals is shockingly low, and having a less than stellar reputation means you may have even more trouble finding suitable job seekers to fill vacant positions. Being known for a bro culture, or simply not being inclusive, means some skilled candidates aren’t going to apply when you list a job, making your talent pool smaller than ever.

 

Eliminating your bro culture opens the door for a more diverse workforce and encourages a wider range of candidates to apply to work for your company, making it a wise business move overall.

 

If you would like to learn more or are seeking out top talent for an open position, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today.

 

 

Business Intelligence

 

In a world where artificial intelligence, big data, and advanced analytics are making headlines, many companies are struggling to see how business intelligence (BI) fits into their plans. The technology, which involves software and associated services that help translate data into actionable intelligence, has been around for some time, leaving some to wonder if BI is still relevant in the workplace.

 

The truth is, BI still provides a significant amount of real value, as long as it is handled and leveraged properly. To help you see what business intelligence brings to the table, here is what you need to know.

 

The Data is There

In most cases, companies are collecting the kind of data that BI tools can use to provide valuable insights. These programs allow you to observe relevant trends and the success of past efforts, helping to steer the direction of an organization’s future actions. And, since the data is available, failing to use BI means potentially missed opportunities, even if other forms of analytics are performed on a regular basis.

 

The Past and Present Are Relevant

As more companies put emphasis on predictive technologies, some choose to shift away from BI. However, making this choice means you aren’t getting an accurate understanding of the implications of past events as well as a full assessment of your current state.

 

To make smart business decisions, organizations need to be able to reflect back on past activities and see where things sit today. Otherwise, it can be especially challenging to choose how to act on predictive recommendations as you don’t have a strong grasp of your current activities, systems, and capabilities.

 

Additionally, BI gives you tools to better determine the feasibility of business analytics (BA) outputs. For example, a BA tool may state that lowering a product’s price to a particular point could lead to increased sales, but it may not take into account larger parts of the picture (such as whether the current inventory could support the projected sales).

 

It’s Part of a Larger Whole

New software systems are being designed that combine aspects of BI and BA, and even integrate new technologies like machine learning. Combining these resources in the workplace can create a whole that is more powerful than the sum of its parts, giving you a complete picture of the state of business and allowing for deeper explorations through what-if scenario analysis.

 

BI provides a strong foundation upon which to begin making a new plan of action, as it lets you know where things were, the state of the company now, and how things shifted based on previous actions. When combined with analytics, you could have the potential to make stronger business decisions that are more likely to benefit your organization.

 

If you would like to know more about BI in the workplace or need a business intelligence professional to join your team, the knowledgeable staff at The Armada Group have the expertise you need to succeed. Contact us to see how our services can help you unleash the power of BI in your workplace.

 

 

Software Architect

 

When you’re looking for a new job, the salary a company offers often plays a large factor in whether you should accept. In general, software architects in the Silicon Valley area make significantly more than the national average, making it a great location to pursue a career in the field.

 

In fact, the national average for comparable positions sits just over $120,000, but the same positions in San Jose, California, and the surrounding area can come with an average paycheck of nearly $160,000. And experienced top talent can easily cross the $200,000 mark. But not everyone qualifies for such high pay rates. The unique mix of skills and education a job seeker brings to the table often determine whether they can reach the upper echelons in regards to salary.

 

If you’re interested in securing a higher-level position, here’s what you need to know.

 

Experience Matters

In most cases, people who reach the average pay rate in Silicon Valley have a minimum of five years of experience in the field, and those at the top may have 10, 15, or even 20 years of relevant experience. As with any job, entry-level positions will pay significantly lower than those that require time in the field.

 

However, even lower-level positions can be incredibly lucrative. The lowest 10 percent of software architects, on a national scale, can still reach the six-figure mark if they bring the right education and skills to the job.

 

Required Skill Sets

Typically, software architects need extensive knowledge of programming languages and specific computer systems. However, which ones are required can differ depending on the employer. That means software architects that have experience in in-demand languages, like Java and C++, may have an easier time finding a high-paying position than those whose skills are less needed by today’s workplaces.

 

Experience in particular development methodologies, such as Agile, or certain application program interfaces, like RESTful, may also be requirements depending on the expectations associated with the position.

 

Education

The amount of required education can also vary greatly from one job to the next. Some companies are comfortable offering positions to job seekers who have a bachelor’s degree, though many of the higher paying jobs consider a master’s degree to be the minimum.

 

In some cases, acquired experience in the field can offset a lower level of education and vice versa. However, it is often safest to assume that a bachelor’s degree is the minimum amount of educational experience required to reach the higher pay levels.

 

As with any job, pay rates can vary greatly based on a wide range of factors, so there isn’t necessarily a target that every job seeker should seek out. However, reaching the $160,000 point with the right education and experience in a Silicon Valley is perfectly plausible with proper career planning.

 

If you would like to learn more or are looking for a new software architect position, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to see how our expertise can benefit your career.

 

 

Culture

 

The need for a strong corporate culture has gained more attention over recent years, especially as competition for skilled IT workers continues to become fiercer. But a company’s culture isn’t just there to benefit the employees; it can help the business too. A culture of productivity can contribute to improving morale, increase efficiency and enable teams to be more effective. If you want to design a culture that supports these goals, here are four ways to get started.

 

Provide a Sense of Safety

No one is at their best if they feel threatened. Fear and anxiety can negatively impact a person’s ability to solve problems and think creatively, lowering overall productivity and harming the quality of any outputs. Creating an environment that provides employees with the physical and psychological safety they require ensures everyone can be at their best.

 

While physical safety is obvious, making it easier to manage, psychological safety is less clear. However, focusing on organizational transparency, respect and trust goes a long way.

 

Demonstrate Care for Your Workers

When leadership cares about how their employees are doing, it creates an environment based on trust and loyalty while also improving engagement. Often, this means creating programs designed to support the needs of workers including opportunities for growth and advancement, and creating a workplace that focuses on inclusion and acceptance.

 

It’s also important to create an environment that utilizes a team-like atmosphere. Typically, this means making sure management doesn’t distance themselves too far from regular employees and instead fosters a sense that everyone is in this together.

 

Team Building

When team members have strong, healthy working relationships, they are more likely to collaborate effectively. Additionally, having friends at work can reduce turnover and improve the level of job satisfaction they experience. All of these points can increase engagement and enhance productivity, as happy employees are often more effective and efficient in the workplace.

 

In some cases, team members will connect naturally. However, introducing team-building activities can help foster relationships that may otherwise take more time to develop, allowing everyone to work better together more quickly.

 

Supporting Innovation

When workers feel they can take risks and cultivate new ideas, it can create a culture in which innovation thrives. Enabling employees to explore new approaches and ensuring they have suitable support from management can encourage them to think outside the box, potentially developing new systems, solutions or products that can increase productivity or even profitability.

 

To get the ball rolling in this area, your company may wish to offer training on best practices associated with innovative thinking, and the creation of processes designed to make sure ideas can be thoroughly examined and implemented when appropriate.

 

If you’re interested in finding out more about creating a workplace with a culture of productivity or are looking for a new employee to join your team, the professionals at The Armada Group have the expertise you need to succeed. Contact us to discuss your needs today and see how our customized approach to staffing can work for you.

 

 

Great Leader

 

Companies frequently want to find candidates with exceptional leadership skills to fill open positions, but figuring out who has the chops when they haven’t previously worked in such a role can seem like a challenge. Luckily, there are qualities that indicate an applicant has the potential to be a great leader even if they’ve never been in a management position. Here are six traits to keep an eye out for when evaluating candidates.

 

  1. Self-Motivated Skills Development

Most leaders aim to keep their skills up to date and improve their capabilities. Candidates who pursue opportunities to develop professionally are likely to possess these characteristics. To discover who has these inclinations, ask the interviewee for examples of how they’ve improved their skills. That will let you know who is truly dedicated to the field as well as personal growth.

 

  1. A Willingness to Make Tough Calls

To be a strong leader, a person must be fearless when making decisions. These candidates often aren’t afraid of the occasional misstep as long as it helps move things forward. You can identify these individuals by having them speak about instances when they had to make a tough call and how they approached the decision-making process.

 

  1. Pursuit of Feedback

Those interested in progressing understand that gathering feedback regarding their performance is an important step. Potential leaders will often seek out feedback to give them a basis for improvement. Ask candidates to discuss a time when they sought such input and how they reacted to the news once feedback was received.

 

  1. A Dynamic Personality

Leaders need to be able to engage with and motivate their teams, and that requires a certain kind of personality. While being a bit anxious during an interview is normal, those with leadership potential will still clearly show their personality during the process.

 

  1. Emotional Intelligence

In any workplace, emotional intelligence is something leaders need to possess. This allows them to view issues from the perspective of others and make smart decisions based on the emotions behind actions. This interpersonal soft skill can be hard to gauge, so asking candidates to recall a time when they used emotional intelligence to handle a situation in the workplace can be an ideal way to gain valuable insight into their capabilities.

 

  1. A Focus on Quality

Members of the leadership team must make the quality of their results a priority, and those with an inclination to strive for excellence often possess the necessary drive to do so. Have candidates discuss examples or metrics that clearly show their dedication to quality and you can likely identify the leader your business needs.

 

By focusing on the traits above, you can spot a great leader even if the person has never officially been a member of a leadership team. If you would like assistance during your search for an exceptional candidate for your open positions, the team at The Armada Group can connect you with top talent in their field. Contact us today to see how our services can make it easier to find the qualities you need in an ideal employee.