Many companies speak about Millennials as if they are fundamentally different than other employees, as though their needs and desires from their employer don’t resemble anything familiar. But members of the largest generation in the workforce actually want exactly what older generations do, they just aren’t as willing to tolerate slights when they occur.
So, if you want to retain more Millennials at your business, here’s what you need to do.
Subjectivity and Work Processes
Few employees quit their companies; they quit their bosses. But the root cause isn’t always the manager. Subjectivity in work processes leads to disconnects, and these disconnects are the source of the problem.
So, what is subjectivity in work processes? It’s when the provided instructions or institutional policies are open to interpretation. How tasks are accomplished, what steps are required, and which outcomes are considered proper aren’t clearly defined. And, if an employee and a manager interpret these processes differently, then it opens the door for conflict.
For example, the concept of being a team player is ambiguous. But, if a boss doesn’t consider an employee to be a team player, even if the employee thinks they are operating fine as part of the team, it creates a point of contention that is challenging to address. If your Millennial workforce isn’t able to understand why their manager sees an issue with their performance, they may choose to leave simply because the problem can’t be well articulated, making resolutions difficult to identify.
The issue of subjectivity can apply to any process that isn’t well defined, including those surrounding promotions, pay raises and accessing various internal opportunities. And, the resulting conflicts, will cost you in the Millennial retention game.
How to Remove the Source of Conflict
If your goal is to keep more Millennials on staff, then it is important to eliminate subjectivity wherever it resides. Examine key processes to identify missing steps or poorly defined requirements, working to replace them with more concrete instruction that isn’t as open to interpretation.
At times, this can be as simple as reassessing your language choices within processes. Take the time to make sure all procedures and policies are precise and relate it to observable action.
If conflicts do arise, consider it an opportunity to examine the source of the issue and not necessarily how the situation has played out. Examine any applicable procedures involved in the conflict and see if the resulting issue is based on a lack of clarity instead of intentionally defiance. It’s highly possible your Millennial worker followed the procedure based on their interpretation, and that just didn’t match up with the manager’s understanding of the policy in question.
While it can take time to review every procedure for ambiguity, it is a critical step for improving your retention efforts. If you are looking for more tips about retaining Millennials or are searching for new employees to join your teams, let the professionals at The Armada Group put their experience to work for you. Contact us to discuss your current hiring and retention plan, and see how our services can help you reach your goals.
The use of social media as a recruitment tool is fairly common. Many recruitment professionals use these systems to locate and screen candidates, reach out to those with potential, and build long-term relationships with skilled tech professionals. Additionally, companies use these outlets to post information about job openings and highlight everything they have to offer new employees.
But how do you use social media properly to find the technology pros you need with greater ease? By making sure you cover the following basics.
Many companies jump onto social media and just expect people to follow them, even without a good reason to do so. If you want to attract potential candidates to your social media sites, you need to provide something of value. Often, simply adding posts with useful information is enough to attract some interest, so just make sure you have more than ads for your products and services posted regularly on all your accounts.
Your ideal candidates likely have certain priorities and points of interest. One way to get their attention is to create posts designed to draw them in and associating the information with hashtags relating to those areas. In most cases, upcoming tradeshows, news events and industry developments are quickly connected to a particular hashtag. By discovering what they are and writing posts that allow the use of the hashtag to feel organic, you can make a connection with potential job seekers who share that interest.
Your current employees can be your biggest cheerleaders, and they aren’t only focused on the bottom line. By encouraging employees to share company information – including job vacancies – with their networks, you can reach a new audience with greater ease. Make sure they are focused on posts with substance by not considering them a source of additional advertising. Like your own posts, providing information with substance will attract more positive attention than having everyone push the same carefully crafted slogan.
The purpose of social media is to be social, and this involves having actual conversations with other members of the community. Make sure to add personal touches to your content to show that there is an actual person behind the account and not a faceless automaton. And, if a person reaches out to your company, acknowledge them quickly and engage them directly.
However, it is also important to manage any messages being sent carefully. Take the time to review any posts before they go live, even if you are responding with a direct message. The comments you write today will live on for a long time, so a poorly chosen word or phrase can create a bad impression for those who see it directly, as well as anyone within their network with whom they choose to share. And that can hurt your recruiting efforts in both the short and long term.
If you are currently looking for new candidates for open positions or are looking for a social media expert to help you connect with job seekers online, The Armada Group can help you locate the right people for your needs. Contact us to see how our services can help you achieve your larger hiring goals.
Becoming a full stack developer is no small feat. It involves learning a wide variety of skills and taking the time to master them. While many professionals think pursuing traditional methods for skill development is ideal, you can actually make a surprising amount of headway if you put down the reading material and learn by doing instead.
Why is the “learn by doing” approach ideal for many tech pros? Here are just a few reasons.
When you choose to explore new skills through mechanisms like books, blogs, and classroom-style learning, you have the chance to gain a lot of new information. While what you learn can be valuable, it isn’t necessarily a practical understanding of the skill.
Working as a developer means you spend the majority of your time creating and not reciting facts. If you want to go beyond just knowing the information, you need to put it to use in a real way. Spending some time to sit down and actually use your developing skills allows you to explore them in real-world scenarios. You can see the results of your work and have the chance to learn from your mistakes.
Yes, the process can be difficult and frustrating, but the lessons you learn during hands-on experimentation often lead to bigger leaps forward than simply reading about them in a book.
Show What You Can Do
If your ultimate goal is to achieve employment as a full stack developer, employers need to know what you can actually do, not just what you seem to know. Companies need to see that you can take their problems and craft strong solutions, which is something book-based learning can’t demonstrate.
By taking a “learn by doing” approach, you can create a list of projects that actually show hiring managers your capabilities. And when it comes to choosing a candidate for a position, this will always yield better results. Even the simplest use of these skills means more to an organization than explaining how you have educated yourself through reading.
Support Future Learning
Learning by doing helps develop skills that make learning the next skill easier. If you teach yourself a programming language, the next one is often easier to acquire. Not only does a hands-on approach help you develop a system for pursuing new knowledge, but it shows you can manage the trials and tribulations that come with exploring new skills.
You also have the option of building upon your existing foundation by using skills with which you are comfortable to explore those that are less familiar. This allows you to focus on new subjects as a method for augmenting your current abilities instead of starting from scratch.
If you are interested in finding a new position as a full stack developer or want to find a job that gives you a chance to learn new skills on-the-job, The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us and see what opportunities may be available in your area.
Being able to find top talent remains one of the biggest concerns amongst IT managers in almost every industry. It is closely followed by worries about retaining the employees that are currently on staff. This makes it even more imperative for businesses to have a strong culture that helps attract the candidates they need as well as keep those already working for the company in place.
In most cases, competitive compensation can only take you so far. While the associated salary and benefits are a big part of hiring any employee, the company’s culture also plays a role. But what creates a culture that is too good to pass up, and what will have candidates pass you by? To help you understand what it takes to create an environment that woos the best and brightest, here are some tips for cultivating the right culture in your business.
One of the most enticing offerings for talented candidates is the available to explore something new on the job. This can include the ability to train into different areas or experiment with new technology. Individuals who are especially adept at their job often crave new challenges. This keeps the environment exciting and gives them the chance to test their skills.
On the other side, having an environment that begins to feel tedious or dull, and that doesn’t support exploration and professional growth, is sure to be a turn-off when it comes to the best candidates on the market. Essentially, boredom is one of the biggest enemies, and it must be fought at all cost if you want great applicants to come knocking at your door.
Another important part of the company’s culture is morale. Happy employees will sing the praises of your business, and that makes top candidates interested in becoming a part of the workplace. Ultimately, everyone wants to enjoy their time on the job. So, if the culture doesn’t help keep employees engaged and content, you aren’t going to have access to the top talent you are hoping to find.
While some of employee morale is based solely on time spent working, giving workers a chance to cut loose and have fun can also improve the culture. Whether it is through employee appreciation events, team building retreats or a simple thank you lunch, creating an atmosphere that encourages bonding and socialization (at the right times) can work wonders for your company’s reputation as an employer of choice.
Hiring with Care
Once you establish your culture, it is important to hire new employees that fit. Choosing applicants who have similar values and general attitudes ensure your culture will thrive, making it easier to attract more top talent whenever the need arises. If you are looking to hire new IT professionals, The Armada Group can help you find the right candidates for your vacant positions. Contact us to discuss how we can help you create the kind of culture that will keep top talent coming in for years to come.
The current technology landscape is filled with trials. Unemployment among IT professionals remains low, making it more difficult to find candidates for almost any position. Couple that with growing skill gaps when it comes to various growth areas within the field, and your business is likely struggling to get the employees it needs to move forward with some of your most promising projects.
If you intend to seek out tech workers this year, here is an overview of some of the biggest talent gaps, and most challenging specialties to hire, based on the job market today.
The use of mobile technology is a staple in many workplaces. Add to that the fact that new developments in the area continue to rise, and it’s no wonder may companies are finding it hard to get the right people to fill their vacancies. This is especially true for businesses that choose to use more than one platform, such as Android and iOS, as not every IT professional with skills in mobile application development have working experience in both.
IT security professionals will continue to be in high demand, especially as a wider variety businesses rely more heavily on technical products and services as part of their daily operations. Even companies that serve industries other than tech are highly dependent on their software applications, IT infrastructure, and other services to keep things moving forward, and having employees that can secure the organization’s data are a necessity in every one of these landscapes.
In many cases, IT professionals are hyper-focused on their technical area of expertise. However, a certain portion of these employees also possess a wider understanding of business operations and priorities. Being able to understand the intricacies of the IT portions of the business within a broader view can make a significant difference in how a business plans for the future. Employees that have the right balance of technical expertise and business acumen are a coveted commodity as it helps develop stronger long-term strategies to meet the needs of the company over the long-term.
The introduction of cloud-based solutions had a great impact on how many companies do business, and it requires a specific set of skills to support these operations. Being able to support cloud applications and work with various data and storage solutions requires knowledge outside of what is necessary to support in-house operations. Having an IT professional that is familiar with both is often considered ideal as it allows a business to choose a hybrid solution without requiring separate staff for each.
Willingness to Learn
While this isn’t as easy to identify as hard skills, finding employees that are willing to learn and grow as technology changes are almost as important as locating candidates with the right skills today. Not every IT professional is open to expanding beyond a specific specialty, so finding a well-rounded individual that can adapt to the changing needs of a business is always a good find.
If you are looking to higher individuals with the skills mentioned above, The Armada Group has the industry-specific experience to help you along the way. Contact us to speak with a recruitment specialist about your needs today.
Recruiting skilled talent is rarely easy, and it can be especially challenging when searching for tech professionals. Aside from the demands that innately come with the job, IT recruiters must stay apprised of technology changes, hardware development, in-demand programming languages, and much more. Additionally, low unemployment levels among IT workers often necessitates finding candidates who aren’t actively on the market, many of whom aren’t concerned about being found.
Now, you also have to add social media recruiting to the mix. And that can feel like quite a task for those recruiters who have yet to use these resources for the purpose of recruiting.
However, adding social recruiting to your regular repertoire doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, taking your first steps into the arena can be fairly intuitive, as long as you have the drive to get it done based on the potential it holds.
Tech Pros Embrace Social Media
The primary reason IT recruiters need to embrace social media is the fact that the target market already has. Tech professionals are often active on some form of social media. In some cases, large-scale sources like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can provide access to a wide range of subject matter experts working in technology fields, and most people are at least somewhat familiar with how to engage others on these platforms.
Additionally, there are a variety of resources like GitHub and Stack Overflow, that tend to cater to those interested in tech. These can provide access to dedicated professionals who may shun traditional social media in favor of industry-specific interactions.
Becoming a Resource
The ultimate purpose of exploring social media as a recruiter is the potential to be seen as a resource. By participating regularly and in a meaningful way, they can position themselves as a resource in the community, and not just a person looking to make a placement. For recruiters who specialize in IT, building a strong reputation in the community can provide a natural point in which to engage with professionals working in the industry.
And once you are seen as a resource, you are more likely to be exposed to new resources. For example, many social media participants openly share information with others with whom they have built a relationship. This can give you new sources of cutting-edge developments and industry information. You may find yourself better prepared to anticipate the needs of client companies as upcoming trends may enter your radar more quickly.
In some cases, recruiters may even find an opportunity to locate a candidate for placement directly from these sources, but it is also possible to locate available professionals through association. If your need for a specific tech specialist is known, you may find those with whom you have connected to be a valuable source of referrals.
Maintaining more connections gives you access to more potential candidates by extension, and sometimes casting a wide net is the ideal solution when searching for a difficult-to-locate skill set.
That is the same principle that can make working with professional staffing firms like The Armada Group so effective. Contact The Armada Group today and let our recruitment network work for you.
In the end, your resume is one of the most important documents you will ever create. It outlines your IT skills and experience to give hiring managers insight regarding what you have to offer. But creating a strong resume is no easy task, especially since there is flexibility regarding how the document can be designed.
However, certain mistakes are more common than others. If you are an IT job seeker, and you want to make sure your resume serves as the best introduction possible, here are four mistakes you should avoid.
1. Too Much Jargon
Not every hiring manager looking to fill an IT position is a tech professional themselves. Having a resume dominated by tech terminology can leave those less familiar with the jargon at a loss when it comes to understanding your qualifications. Additionally, diving too deep into the technical can come across as unapproachable or even intimidating to someone who is less comfortable with the subject matter.
Now, that doesn’t mean you should avoid key terms completely. Instead, take some time to determine which words or phrases are helpful and which can be removed. For example, feel free to use tech-oriented language that mirrors the job announcement. Additionally, include skills that pertain specifically to managing the job to which you are applying. Otherwise, if it isn’t directly applicable, consider leaving it on the cutting room floor.
2. Inappropriate Length
The correct length for a resume is a hotly debated topic. Some professionals still swear that a one-page resume is the only way to go while others believe a two-page approach is fine for those with longer career histories who are applying to upper-level positions. However, neither stance is entirely correct.
The truth is the correct resume length is the one that outlines your skills, experience and education that are valuable (and pertinent) based on the position to which you are applying. If you can include everything a hiring manager needs to see in a one-page format, don’t stretch it to two just because you think that is the standard. If you do, you’ll likely be relying on fluff and filler, neither of which will help you land an interview.
In contrast, if squeezing all the information into one or two pages isn’t possible, don’t beat yourself up for going to a third. However, if you are going beyond two pages, consider whether every line is actually valuable. Anything that doesn’t add to the conversation in a meaningful way should immediately be subtracted from your resume.
3. Ignoring Side Projects
Many professionals assume that experience gained outside of traditional employment or education needs to be left off of their resume. And while this is true for side projects that hold no relevance to the position, you can include information about any experience that applies regardless of where it was acquired.
For example, if you developed a mobile app, built a friend’s blog or used your technical skills in a way that is applicable to the position, consider including it. Even if you didn’t financially benefit from the project, that doesn’t mean they aren’t good examples of your skills.
Just make sure the information is appropriate to display in a professional context. If the subject matter involved is controversial or not appropriate in the work environment, it is better not to mention it at all.
4. Failing to Brag
While no one wants to come across as arrogant, many err too far on the side of caution and avoid discussing their major accomplishments in a meaningful way. A resume is a document designed to market your skills and abilities to hiring managers, making it a perfectly acceptable time to showcase what you’ve done.
Feel free to describe your successes, just make sure the tone is professional.
If you are interested in improving your resume or are looking for a new IT position, the professionals at The Armada Group are here to help. Contact us and see how you can elevate your resume to the next level to score the position of your dreams.
Whether you are pursuing your first step on a career path, or have decided to move away from your current career towards a different future, becoming a project manager can be a satisfying and lucrative career. But how lucrative varies based on certain criteria. Education and experience always come into play for job offers and salary negotiations, and your field of focus can also be a factor.
If you are wondering how much a project manager can make in Silicon Valley, here are some key points to consider.
Your level of experience is one of the largest determining factors regarding potential salary. In the Silicon Valley area, entry-level positions tend to be in the $60,000 area (without accounting for any potential bonus payments). Generally, that is considered a fairly strong starting salary, though the cost of living in the San Francisco can be relatively high.
However, the upper edge of the overall salary potential is well into six-figure territory, even without bonuses. And as demand for skilled project managers increases, and finding candidates in the IT field becomes more challenging, it is possible salary levels will increase in the years to come.
Now, it is possible to avoid a stop at the entry-level salary point if you have significant experience in the field in which you intend to work as a project manager. For example, an IT professional transitioning into project management in a tech field may see higher starting salaries than those who are relying solely on their education.
Often, successful project managers have a combination of experience. First, they likely have a degree in their chosen specialty area. For example, IT project managers may have a degree in computer science or information technology, while those interested in becoming a construction project manager may have a degree in engineering.
Additionally, most project managers complete coursework in the areas of business management or even project management specifically. Some of these options involve graduate-level education, including master’s degrees or professional certificates. For example, the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification can help those working in the field achieve higher salary levels than those who aren’t certified.
Salary and Compensation
As of late 2016, salary estimates for project managers in the Silicon Valley area ranged from $61,874 to $143,241. Additionally, financial compensation may also be available in the forms of bonuses and profit sharing, though this isn’t necessarily standard.
Working as a project manager can also provide access to a comprehensive benefits package if you work as a long-term employee for a business. This can include access to medical insurance and prescription drug coverage and may include dental and vision benefits. Additionally, retirement benefits may also be included.
However, some project managers work as independent contractors or are self-employed. In those cases, benefits are not provided by the companies with which you work. Instead, you will need to select your own solutions in those areas.
If you are interested in becoming a project manager in Silicon Valley, The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact our recruiters today to see what options may be available.
As a job seeker, working with a tech recruiter requires a significant amount of trust. You need to feel secure in the idea they are prioritizing your needs appropriately, and not just focused on meeting the needs of the companies with which they work. Without trust, you will struggle to create a partnership with your recruiter that will ultimately yield results.
But determining which recruiters you can trust and which you should pass by isn’t always easy. To help you find the right tech recruiter for your job search, here are some key characteristics to aid you in identifying a recruiter on which you can rely.
A recruiter that is truly concerned about your needs when looking for potential employment opportunities will provide you with all of the information you need to make an informed decision. They will outline the pros and cons of any position or company in consideration and will be thorough in their descriptions of the work tasks involved and how the business operates.
Additionally, they will be open to hearing your concerns and finding answers to any questions you may have about the position. If they truly feel you are a match for a position, there will likely be a level of excitement or eagerness about delivering information to you, and they won’t be inclined to avoid any detail when speaking to you about the opportunity.
However, if it seems your recruiter is hiding something such as withholding important details or glossing over your concerns, then it could be a sign of trouble. If they aren’t willing to share the name of the company, provide information about the work environment or discuss potential compensation, that should be a red flag.
While you want a recruiter to be your advocate, you also want them to be honest. They should be clear about how the process works as well as what they will or will not do to help match you to a position. Additionally, they should be able to provide information about placement rates and current client relationships.
Recruiters who are reluctant to answer your questions with an appropriate level of detail could signal a problem. Additionally, if they say they are interested in helping you, but speak more about how you can help them, there may be another motive behind their actions.
Being a recruiter requires specific skills, just as any technical position does. They need to have knowledge of the current job market, an understanding of what your skills mean and ability to speak with hiring managers to reach a mutual benefit. Those with a high level of competency know what questions to ask candidates to determine their needs and gain thorough knowledge about their capabilities. Additionally, they will have the ability get details about available positions from businesses.
A skilled recruiter wants to create a situation where everyone benefits in the end. However, a less competent recruiter may not get all of the information necessary to truly find a match or may pressure you to accept a deal that doesn’t actually meet your needs. Additionally, they may end up overpromising about what they can do, selling an outcome that might not be realistic. And sometimes, that fact doesn’t come to light until the process has gone on for some time.
Finding a skilled tech employer doesn’t have to be a challenge. By working with a company that has significant experience in the tech recruitment field, such as The Armada Group, you can find a recruiter who will operate with integrity and work diligently to meet your need. Contact us for a consultation and see the benefit of selecting the right recruiter first-hand.
There are times when the interview process can feel frustratingly short. When you are interviewing candidates for an automation engineering position, you want to make sure you get all of the information you need as efficiently as possible. One way to ensure that happens is to ask the right questions during the interview.
But how do you know which questions will get to the core of what you need to know? Here are some interview questions that are sure to fit the bill.
What Automation Tools Are You Most Familiar With?
Not every automation engineer has gotten their hands on every available tool. By requesting an overview of the tools with which they are most comfortable will help determine whether they have the background required for the position.
Some automation tools have focused functionality. For example, Selenium and Watir automate browser-based applications. That means experience in that area won’t directly translate into tasks that require the testing of GUIs or APIs. However, someone familiar with tools offering a wider functionality, such as TestComplete, HP Unified Functional Testing Software, or Telerik TestStudio, may be considered more suitable for positions that require a wider range of potential applications.
Can You Write a Function That Determines…?
One of the easiest was to see someone’s skills on-the-fly is to request a demonstration. Make sure that the interview space has a whiteboard or other suitable surface and have every candidate complete a suitable request or two, similar to a basic pop quiz. Cover the specific skills that are fundamental to the position individually, or combine them for a single demonstration. Not only can this help ensure that the applicant has the skills required to do the job, but it also gives you an idea of how the react when put on the spot.
When Face with a Problem You Don’t Know How to Solve, What Do You Do?
This question segues fairly naturally from the prior demonstrations regardless of whether the candidate struggled. It also serves as an indicator of what their general problem-solving strategy would be and whether the approach matches stylistically with how the work environment generally operates. Ultimately, this is a question with no prescribed right or wrong, but it can be revealing nonetheless.
Describe Your Ideal Work Environment
Here is a prompt that is valuable regardless of the position being filled. Even the most skilled automation engineers may struggle if there is not a suitable cultural fit with the organization at large. For example, if your management style focuses on empowering employees, then it won’t be a good fit for an employee that prefers specific direction.
How Would Your Current (Previous) Manager and Coworkers Describe You?
Similar to the previous prompt, this question is designed to determine a candidate’s likelihood of fitting into the section, department, or business at large. It will give indications regarding their work style as well as which traits they believe are more perceptible to those around them. Additionally, it lends itself to great honesty than self-assessments as the information is theoretically verifiable should you contact their references.
Narrow Down Your Candidate Pool with Skilled Recruiting
If you want to give yourself more time to assess top tier candidates, the professional recruiters at The Armada Group have the experience required to locate and prescreen the best applicants for your automation engineering positions. Contact us and speak with one of our recruiters today.