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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Technology is a larger part of more businesses today than ever before. Emerging solutions and emerging trends have the potential to reshape workplaces across the country, freeing workers from tedium and allowing them to focus on activities that truly require their attention. To show everything the future of IT has to offer in regards to increased efficiency, here are some developments that are changing processes today that will continue to do so for years to come.
A technology that is quickly finding its home in the mainstream, automation gives us an indication of the future of IT and the working world. Repetitive tasks are slowly being taken over by automated processes, allowing employees to escape the monotony and concentrate on assignments that require their attention.
Automation also has the ability to perform certain functions faster, allowing for deep analysis of data in less time. They can also be more accurate than their human counterparts, allowing for more reliable results. That means workers can say goodbye to the mundane and businesses still get high-quality results. And that leaves everyone happy.
As IT becomes a larger part of many organizations, it isn’t surprising that there are becoming more connected to other departments in the companies. While tech professionals are often sectioned off into their own teams, increasing dependence on technology could mean IT workers will be integrated into the groups they support. Instead of a single IT department supporting an entire business, the finance section may have their own team of tech workers focused on their systems.
While a shift that large has yet to enter the mainstream, current activities forecast that it’s coming. Other departments are more involved in IT decisions that affect their work now than ever before, and this connection allows user requirements to be gathered with greater ease and suitable solutions to be identified more easily based on the cumulative needs of the entire organization.
As automation increases the speed of locating and processing information and professional learn to work symbiotically with these new solutions, information will become more accessible than ever before. IT professionals will have the ability to view data outputs in real-time, ensuring everyone has the proper details, based on the most updated data, just as they are required.
This paves the way for the quick delivery of targeted technical solutions across the business space. Additionally, workers will have more time to innovate, allowing the strategic value of their actions to increase.
While this does require leadership to be comfortable with machines making certain decisions and handling a range of activities on their own, the potential to improve efficiency throughout the organization is certainly enticing. It will take time for some automated offerings to develop far enough to provide significant advantages, but we are well on our way to reaching that destination.
If you are interested in learning more, finding a new IT position, or needing a tech pro for a vacant position, The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to discover more about what we have to offer.
Simply being in a management position doesn’t guarantee a person is a great leader, and just because someone isn’t currently a manager doesn’t mean they don’t have great potential to lead. The right skills can be found almost anywhere within your ranks or among the range of candidates who don’t explicitly have prior experience in these roles. To help you identify a great leader in a non-management position, look for some of these key traits in your applicants.
Pursuit of Professional Development
Most true leaders aren’t satisfied with staying where they are today. Instead, they look for opportunities to gain new skills, take on additional responsibilities, and develop as a professional. Often, they take on these tasks without direct instruction, pursuing these activities for their intrinsic and potential career value.
When meeting with candidates, ask them to discuss how they gained specific skills and if they have future plans for additional development. Those with this trait will be able to demonstrate clear desires in this area and can easily explain how they got from point A to point B.
As a leader, an individual often must make hard decisions in a short amount of time. Candidates who aren’t afraid to make a call (and even make mistakes during the process) may have leadership potential. To help determine their experience, as applicants to describe a time when they had to make a tough decision, how they reached a solution, what the outcome was, and what they learned in the process. This can provide you with insight into their decision making, making it easier to determine if you have a leader in your midst.
To grow professional, you need to know what you’re doing right and what could use improvement. Top performers typically seek out feedback as a method for spurring personal or professional growth and generally receive the information with grace regardless of whether it is positive or negative.
As you interview candidates, have the discuss a time they sought out feedback as well as what they do once they hear the good or bad news. This can give you indications of their character and if they could potentially make a great leader.
Leaders have to manage a range of personalities, all of which may have different needs in regards to keeping them motivated and engaged. A person with emotional intelligence has the ability to see things from the perspective of others and understand the emotions that drive that person’s decisions and reactions. Candidates who’ve used this skill before will be able to discuss it clearly, so don’t be afraid to ask them for an example of a time when they used emotional intelligence in the workplace.
If you are looking for a new professional to join your leadership team, the recruitment specialists at The Armada Group can help you identify the best candidates for the job. Contact us to see how our expertise can ease the hiring process, allowing you to find the skills you need quickly and efficiently.
The majority of IT professionals have embraced at least one social media platform. Whether it’s an account on LinkedIn created to help their career, a Facebook profile to connect with friends and family, or a Twitter account to find and share interesting news, social media use is prolific. But, it is important to recognize that all of the accounts may be searched when you are applying for a new position, as most employers scan these sites with screening candidates. And how you manage your profiles can make the difference between landing the job and being passed over. To help ensure you’ve got everything in order, here’s what you need to know.
Employers Expect and Online Presence
Some job seekers decided to avoid the risks associated with poorly managed social media profiles by not having one at all. While this approach may have worked in the earlier days of these platforms, it isn’t necessarily acceptable today.
Based on a recent survey, over half of all hiring managers would choose not to pursue candidates who don’t have online presences. That means your application would end up on the discard pile just because you can’t be found on popular platforms. In the end, that means having at least on professional social media profile could be considered mandatory. If you don’t have one now, consider starting with a site like LinkedIn. Otherwise, you might get passed over regardless of what else you have to offer.
Content Control is a Necessity
Questionable content on your social media profile is one of the easiest ways to eliminate yourself from contention for a new position. Organizations are putting increased energy into managing their company culture, so signs that a person might not have the right traits for their teams won’t be overlooked.
Posts and photographs that are provocative or suggest you may discriminate against a specific race, religion, or gender are all considered red flags by hiring managers. Similarly, evidence of excessive alcohol or drug use, as well as potentially illegal activity, can end your status as a potential candidate.
Further, hiring managers are going to be concerned with they see posts or images that badmouth your past employers or co-workers as these suggest you may have a negative attitude or a challenging to have in the office. Additionally, indications that you’ve shared confidential or proprietary details about your current or previous work may have them worried about your ability to keep their information private.
Finally, you need to be aware of your spelling, grammar, and word choice. Failing to write in a coherent manner, especially on professional profiles, may suggest you lack certain written communication skills. While not every post needs to be fully professional quality, doing some basic edits can ensure you make a better impression even when the content is casual.
If you would like to learn more about how your social media profiles are viewed by employers or are interested in working with professional recruiters during your job search, the team at The Armada Group is here is assist. Contact us to schedule time with one of our skilled team members and see how our services can help you find the right opportunity for you.
National unemployment rates among IT workers remains shockingly low, hovering around the 2.5 percent mark during the first quarter of 2017. As businesses struggle to find the candidates they need for vacant positions, many are putting more pressure on their current workforce to ensure required tasks are getting accomplished. This leads many tech pros to dedicate more hours to work, sacrificing their personal lives in the process.
But failing to lead a fulfilling life outside of the office can have detrimental effects, leading to decreased productivity as morale begins to suffer. That makes this model unsustainable over the long-term. To help you see why, here are some of the reasons IT pros must have lives outside of work.
When your workers spend extra hours at the office and don’t completely disconnect from their duties during their off time, burnout is almost a guarantee. The constant feeling of having to be 100 percent available weighs them down and can build resentment throughout your team.
Encouraging your staff to engage in personal interests when away from their desks can help relieve some of this pressure, giving them an outlet for frustrations and supporting their need to relax and recharge. While they might not be able to completely put work down depending on their assigned duties, even regularly scheduled reprieves can make a big difference in combating burnout.
Sometimes, we all need to know there is some form of light at the end of the tunnel. Having a personal activity to look forward to after hours can help them push through the more challenging times as it functions as a reward for their hard work. This gives them a powerful incentive, giving them a reason to focus on essential tasks. Ultimately, knowing there is something enjoyable just around the corner can make a world of difference when it comes to keeping motivation high.
IT is an ever-evolving field, and most professionals have to dedicate serious time to keep up with the latest news and trends. However, when you feel bogged down by the day-to-day, exploring new technologies and learning additional skills will take a backseat in their lives.
By ensuring your workforce is given the time to pursue their interests during their off time, you may find them more inclined to keep up with changes in the industry. This can lead them to discover new technologies that can help increase productivity or find solutions they may otherwise have missed.
Even completely personal pursuits can enhance creativity, as their unconscious mind may have the chance to solve problems when their conscious mind isn’t actively concerned about the issues. Sometimes, brilliant revelations occur thanks to unexpected catalysts, making these other experiences valuable in numerous ways.
If you want to alleviate some of the pressure from your IT team, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you find suitable candidates for vacant positions. Contact us to get the recruitment process started today and see how even just one more skilled worker can make things better for everyone in the office.
To be a successful IT project manager, you need the right combination of skills. Unlike some other tech-oriented professions, the competencies required for these roles are fairly diverse, covering aspects of finance, human resources, leadership, and more. If your goal is to move into the field of IT project management, here are 10 skills you need to have under your belt.
Most project managers will spend a notable amount of time working with a range of professionals including the members of the project team, various stakeholders, and even the final customer. Since not everyone with which you will interact has the same technical background, it is imperative to be able to communicate with every effectively regardless of the level of understanding. This means breaking down technical concepts into relatable terms is critical to the success of many projects, making this skill particularly valuable.
The success of many projects actually hinges on the scope. Failing to define the scope leaves the goals unclear while also leaving you open to scope creep. Being adept at gathering critical information and establishing the project’s target increases your odds of success.
If you’re given the chance to choose your team, then learning key human resources skills like candidate screening and skill assessment ensure you have the right professionals for the job at hand. Without these competencies, you may find yourself battling skill gaps instead of making forward progress, which can spell doom for any IT project.
Project managers are often tasked with creating comprehensive schedules to meet strict deadlines. Understanding how to allocate time properly and delegate tasks can keep things on target, creating a foundation for the team’s success.
All projects face a level of risk. Being able to see potential vulnerabilities or roadblocks gives you the opportunity to mitigate any potential ill-effects should they arise, leaving you prepared to manage the worst even while planning for the best possible outcome.
Many project managers are given an initial budget and are expected to manage the funds appropriately as things move forward. Understanding key concepts like cost estimation, expense control, and budgeting are critical to your success. You’ll also need to learn how to make adjustments should unexpected costs threaten to bankrupt the project.
For projects that require outside materials or third-party support, it is important to know the fundamentals of the procurement process. Everything from bid requests and analysis, supplier identification, and vendor contracts play a role in this area, and managing the tasks well can make budgeting a simpler task to handle.
Unless your project’s final output meets quality expectations, it is unlikely to be deemed a success. Understanding how to monitor progress for quality control is key to ensuring all standards or requirements are being met effectively. It also ensures you’ll have the opportunity to intervene should things begin to go off track early on, making changes easier to manage.
With so many variables, most large-scale IT project will hit a snag at some point in the process. Being prepared to adjust on the fly often means understanding that nothing is set in stone, and maintaining that perspective can make the entire venture easier to manage.
As an IT project manager, being familiar with the technologies covered in the project as well as any project management systems in place are both critical to overall success. Without this core knowledge, you may find yourself spending more time asking questions than making progress.
If you’re an IT professional interested in a project management role, the team at The Armada Group can help you explore options in your area. Contact us to discuss your career goals today.