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10 Social Media

 

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.

 

7 Lives

 

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.

Preventing Burnout

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.

Increasing Motivation

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.

Adding Experiences

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.

 

8 Project Managers

 

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.

Communication

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.

Scope Management

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.

Team Selection

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.

Time Management

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.

Risk Assessment

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.

Budget Management

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.

Procurement

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.

Quality Assurance

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.

Adaptability

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.

Technology

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.

 

3 Millennials

 

While certain aspects of project management have remained largely unchanged, Millennial workers are beginning to influence how the duties associated with these positions are managed. Thanks to their increased interest in technology and differing attitudes towards traditional work structures, the project manager of the future will use a varied approach when compared to some of the current norms. To help you see what the future holds, here are some of the ways Millennials are changing the role.

Digital Communication and Collaboration

Millennial workers aren’t fans of the traditional paradigm, shirking meetings in favor of well-rounded technology-based solutions for exchanging data and covering critical information. Applications designed to facilitate communication and collaboration are plentiful, allowing teams to share files, trade messages, and coordinate actions from almost any location at any time. Not only is this a relatively new way to keep project management teams connected, but it also supports the shift towards employing a remote workforce, allowing project managers to access the best and brightest talent regardless of location.

 

The ability to communicate in real-time can also support a stronger team dynamic. Instead of having to reach out to others in the group physically, they can accomplish the same level of communication from their workstation. This means decisions can be made more quickly than when groups have to be gathered for meetings, allowing the team to get more done in less time.

Flexible Scheduling and Worksites

While project management often requires adhering to strict timelines, that doesn’t mean everyone has to stick with a traditional 8 to 5 schedule to get things done. Facilitated by advanced communication and collaboration applications, Millennials enjoy being able to exercise a level of freedom while they accomplish their tasks without ever being fully inaccessible.

 

This approach makes work/life balance a priority but doesn’t mean these teams aren’t willing to put in the necessary hours to stay on target. Instead, they are more inclined to take work home, choosing comfortable off hours to tidy up anything that isn’t accomplished on a traditional schedule. Plus, since their personal lives are easier to manage, they are often more productive when they do focus on the task at hand.

New Perspectives

Since Millennial workers don’t view traditional hierarchies in the same way as other generations, many are more inclined to provide input instead of simply being led forward. This can increase innovation and creativity as more members of the group feel confident expressing their ideas. By leveraging their diverse perspectives, businesses are positioned to find solutions that may otherwise be missed.

 

If you are interested in seeking a project manager for your team or are want to take on a new challenge in a project management role, The Armada Group can locate your ideal fit. Contact us to discuss your needs today and see how our services can help you take the next step.

 

Wednesday, May 17 2017

Why Your Team Wants to Work From Home

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Work From Home

 

The idea of working from home appeals to workers in almost every field, with tech professionals leading the way. Having the opportunity to work remotely either full-time or a few days a week is one of the most valued job perks an employer can provide, even beating traditional offerings like health benefits. That means, if you want to attract top talent, giving telecommuting options is a surefire way to get some attention.

 

But what about remote work do tech pros find so appealing? Here are some of the top reasons why your team wants to work from home.

Increased Productivity

Many companies fear telecommuting leads employees to be less productive, but the opposite is actually more likely. Working from home significantly limits interruptions throughout the day and ultimately makes it easier to stay on task.

 

Instead of running between meetings that run long, dealing with co-workers dropping by, or focusing through the distractions caused by other activities in the workplace, remote workers have control over their home environment. This gives them a chance to work more effectively, especially on tasks that require high amounts of concentration and attention to detail.

 

The benefits of increased productivity can be even more notable if your company uses open office designs in the workplace. While 70 percent of employees work in this paradigm, almost no one likes the design. There’s a lack of privacy or sense of personal space, and it is easy to become irritated by extraneous noises coming from all across the floor. In that regard, working from home is an appreciated reprieve from an otherwise stressful environment, letting them focus on their job instead of what is happening around them.

More Comfort

Telecommuting gives employees the ability to be more comfortable within their workspace. Most offices provided limited options when it comes to body positioning, leaving workers in the same seated position for an entire shift.

 

When working from home, people can get up and move whenever they need to without having to worry about distracting their coworkers. They can put their feet up, shift around, change chairs, or pace around the room whenever the mood strikes. It removes the certain expectations regarding how you are expected to physically be while working, allowing them to do what it takes to stay comfortable while getting work done.

No Commute

While your employees might work for eight or more hours a day, their functional workday may start much sooner. Many employees spend an average of 25 minutes each way commuting, an action that is rarely stress-free.

 

If they have the chance to work from home, their commute is completely eliminated. This means they don’t have to start their day by battling traffic, only to end it by doing the same. Your employees also have more time to manage other tasks, as they essentially get almost an hour back that isn’t spent sitting in a car, train, or another form of transportation just to get to work.

 

Almost any tech employee would appreciate the chance to telecommute, and the advantages of the arrangement can lead to mutual benefit. If you are interested in finding new IT professionals to join your team, including by working from home, The Armada Group can help you find the right candidates. Contact us today for more information about our employer services.

 

Deep Work

Today’s workplace is plagued by constantly updating email inboxes, intrusive messenger notifications, and a plethora of other alerts designed to pull your attention in a new direction. Add to that the assault from personal accounts and devices, and the cavalcade may seem never ending. While the commonplace nature of these interruptions make them seem like part of the daily grind, they can actually prevent you from engaging in “deep work,” or any activity that requires significant focus over a long period.

 

The constant bombardment means you aren’t able to concentrate on the task at hand, and that could ultimately cost you a promotion. Here’s why.

Shallow vs. Deep

The majority of the work people complete on a daily basis is shallow in nature. These are the routine activities that don’t require a lot of thought to complete properly, making the occasional (or frequent) distraction manageable. Typically, these are the duties we all must complete to ensure we don’t end up on a job hunt earlier than anticipated.

 

Deep work requires concentration and focus. It can be cognitively demanding, and often needs a significant time commitment to complete. To make the most of deep work, we need to remove these interruptions from our lives. Otherwise, our thought processes are interrupted, and we have to reset after every distraction.

How to Make Deep Work Possible

To participate in the kind of thinking required to complete deep work to your highest standard, you must set yourself up for success. This means taking a few proactive steps to limit interruptions and prevent unnecessary distractions before they occur.

 

One easy step is to schedule the time you need to dedicate to deep work tasks. Mark the time out on your calendar and consider it an active appointment with yourself. This prevents others from trying to schedule a meeting with you during that time, and can also show others you are busy.

 

Next, eliminate distractions that are under your control. This can include shutting down smartphones, closing out email and messaging applications, and setting your phone to “do not disturb.” Then, don’t check any of those items until your time for deep work has passed, or the task is complete.

 

In some cases, you may need to speak with your co-workers, managers or employees regarding protocols for deep work time. This ensures those around you support your need to concentrate and will only interrupt under circumstances that require your immediate attention. If your office supports an open floor plan, you may even need to secure a quiet space, such as a small conference room, to help get the heads-down time you need to succeed.

Why It Matters

In the end, deep work is often related to projects that will lead to the most advancement and organizational success. These are tasks that will get you noticed, and you need to make sure you have the chance to shine. That way, when the time is right, you can use those experiences to help you reach the next promotional opportunity along your career path.

 

If you are interested in exploring new promotional opportunities today, the experts at The Armada Group can help you on your journey. Contact us and see what options are available in your field today.