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connect with linkedin

It's no secret that social media can be an enormous time waster. Facebook connects you with family, friends, acquaintances, and people whose names you barely recognize. You're bombarded with updates on everything that's going on in their lives. A lot of it has no importance to you, but you still find yourself accepting every invitation, reading every update, glancing at every photo, and clicking every shared link.

LinkedIn is a different sort of social network, with much more emphasis on meaningful business connections. In many cases, joining groups, reading company pages, following posts, and connecting with individuals can provide insights that help you succeed in your career. Even so, making the most effective use of LinkedIn requires some thought, or you can waste time as easily as on other social sites. It's less about the size of your network, and more about the quality of your network.

Connect with others in your industry.

Particularly for job seekers, connecting with others in the industry is a great way to keep up with what's happening in the industry. Not only can connections share technical information, they can connect you to job openings at their company. Plus, their own job moves can clue you into openings that aren't public, or to new projects and other changes in the industry that can lead to opportunities for you.

Connect with people in your community.

Although technology makes your geographic location less important than it used to be, you're more likely to look for work in your own neighborhood, rather than look into relocating. Your local connections can make you aware of technology opportunities in other industries that you wouldn't have thought to explore. You can also find opportunities to attend local training events and seminars, plus local in-person networking events. Face-to-face contact is still the best way to make a genuine connection.

Connect with your past contacts.

Connecting online is an easy way to keep in touch with people you interacted with professionally in the past – connect with your former professors, former co-workers, and former managers. All those people know about you, your interests, and your abilities, and maintaining a connection means they may think of you when an opportunity arises.

One other connection you should maintain? Connect with IT recruiters who understand your background and what you hope to achieve in your career. At The Armada Group, our experienced recruiters get to know candidates, so we can match you with the perfect opportunity. Connect with us on LinkedIn or contact us to get started.

tired of your current position

When you do the same thing over and over again, you develop expertise. Being an expert is valuable in your career, but sometimes doing the same thing over and over again gets boring. Changing technical specialties gives you the chance to develop new skills and new challenges, and it doesn't have to mean taking an entry-level position and salary. Use these five tips to transition to a new IT specialty, and find new excitement at work.

Choose the right new specialty.

Before making a change, make sure the position you're moving into offers the kinds of challenges you enjoy. If you've been working in technical support, but hate dealing with users, you'll probably find working as a business analyst equally frustrating. But you might enjoy working as a QA tester, which often has little need for interacting with end users and can leverage your familiarity with the kinds of problems that occur in systems.

Discuss making a change with your manager.

While your current employer may view you in a specific way and have trouble seeing you in another capability, if you have a good relationship with your manager, talking with them can help make a transition feasible. Your manager can let you know what skills you'll need to make the move, inform you about current openings, and talk you up to the hiring manager for the new position.

Prepare yourself.

You'll need to develop the skills needed for the new specialty before applying for a transfer or job with another firm. Take advantage of any training your company offers; companies often have libraries of online courses available to any employee. You can also take courses outside of work. Completing a sequence of courses and earning a recognized certificate will attest to both your skills and commitment to do the work in the new specialty.

Leverage your current experience.

When you prepare your resume and answer interview questions, relate your past and current project experience to the demands of the new role. For example, if you worked as a QA tester, you've developed insights into the kinds of bugs coders create that can help you write less buggy code if you switch to a programming role.

Consider working for a smaller company.

In smaller businesses, employees need to wear many hats. You won't be locked into a single specific job function, giving you the chance to experience many roles. Not only will you develop multiple skill sets, you'll get insights that help make sure the next specialty you commit to is one you'll enjoy for the rest of your career.

Ready to make a change? At The Armada Group, our recruiting specialists see you as a whole person, not just the skills you've used in your previous jobs. We'll work with you to understand what you want to achieve in your career and match you to job opportunities that allow you to grow. Contact us to seamlessly switch to your new IT specialty. 

why having a diverse upper

Companies that have a diverse workforce have a competitive advantage. The different perspectives and insights that employees bring from their various backgrounds help companies shape products that appeal to the widest possible audience.

Recruiting that diverse workforce takes a concerted effort. Certainly, pictures on your website send a message about who works for you, but that isn't enough to attract diverse workers. You need to actively reach out and take steps to appeal to the diverse population.

Make a Visible Commitment to Diversity

As with most things, the commitment to success begins at the top. The best way to demonstrate that you're committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce is to have diversity in the most publicly visible layer of employees—senior, board-level management. The new generation of employees, Millennials, takes diversity seriously and is likely to dismiss you as a potential employer if they don't see a truly diverse workforce.

Define Diversity Broadly

Define what diversity means for your business and make sure it's a broad definition: race, religion, age, social background, and other factors all give people different perspectives that are valuable when shared in in the workplace.

Develop a Recruitment Plan

Don't wait for diverse workers to reach out to you. Actively reach out and recruit through organizations that serve people of different backgrounds. Student groups and ethnic professional associations are great places to find talented potential employees. Churches and cultural institutions can also connect you with a diverse population.

Support Diverse Employees at Work

Once you've hired a diverse workforce, make sure the environment encourages them to remain at your business. Provide mentors and other programs to help these employees succeed. Having diverse upper management helps remind these workers that success at this company is possible. Make diversity training mandatory and take visible action if discriminatory behavior occurs.

Diverse workplaces are successful workplaces. The Armada Group's talent database can connect you with skilled employees from many different backgrounds. Contact us to work with a recruiter who will understand your business needs and match you with the talent that will help your business grow.

java developers

Java is still one of the most widely used programming languages, which means there are lots of opportunities but also lots of competition. Position yourself to stand out from your peers with these tips.

Core Java is a foundation, but not enough to get you hired.

Make yourself more valuable to employers by adding other skills needed on both the frontend and the backend. JavaScript, CSS, and HTML are important; make sure you know popular front end frameworks like AngularJS or ReactJS. For backend development, knowing Python and Ruby also adds to your hireability.

Enhance your database skills.

Every application needs to get its data from somewhere, and most need to store results, as well. SQL databases are still standard, but NoSQL is becoming more important.

Be fully agile.

Almost all companies use some variant of the agile development methodology to manage their projects. Be prepared to explain how agile works and how it's affected your approach to building your applications. Demonstrate the interpersonal skills needed to participate in agile scrums and planning sessions.

Boost your communication skills.

Defining requirements is still the top challenge facing most software projects. Even if your team has business analysts who write the specifications, the better you can communicate with your business users, the better the applications you'll create.

Get certified.

Earning relevant certifications like the Oracle Certified Expert Java EE Web Component Developer not only shows you know your stuff, it shows you are committed to developing your skills to the top of the profession.

Identify the career path you want to follow.

You'll help employers see how you'll fit into their organization long-term if you are clear on the career you want to have. Whether you plan to remain technical or want to move into management, be able to speak to this and show how you're developing the skills that will keep you valuable – even after the project with the opening is complete.

Do you have top Java skills? The Armada Group can connect you with top Java job opportunities. Take a look at the opportunities to see where your skills can take you, and then contact us to show off your talent.

the most thorough way

The more you know about a company before going in for an interview, the better you'll do. You'll have a comfort level of knowledge about what they're looking for, and you'll be able to highlight your skills and experience to match their needs. Understanding a potential employer requires more than simply glancing at their website. Follow this list of things you should do to thoroughly research a company before your interview.

Look at the company website.

Start here, and dig far beyond the landing page. Read about the company's mission, their values, and their products. Take a look at the biographies of management and employees to see if your background is similar. Explore the recruiting section thoroughly; it may tell you what to expect when you come in to the office. There may be interviews or videos with current employees telling you what it's like to work for the company. If they have the information publicly available, read through the benefits section to get a sense of how employees are really treated. Check out their competitors, too, to see how they compare.

Check out the company's social media.

Take a look at the company's posts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The first two will let you see how the company interacts with the public and whether there are lots of complaints about their products. LinkedIn offers a more professional view of the company. You can view profiles of company employees and see any posts offering perspectives on the industry.

Hear what employees have to say.

If you have friends who work for the company, ask them for the true inside scoop. While their opinions are the best source, knowing the person lets you know how much weight to give their opinion. Are they perpetually happy, go-with-the-flow types or does every little thing upset them? Use that to give some shade to the information they share. If you don't have friends who work for the company, search for online reviews at sites like Glassdoor. Just be aware that the review sites may not verify that the commenter really works for the company, and you don't have all the necessary information to decide if their opinion is valid.

When you've done your company and industry research and are ready for the interview, The Armada Group will match you to the right open position. Contact us and let our recruiters help prepare you for your interviews and the next step in your career.

Thursday, Jul 21 2016

How Developers Want to be Recruited

Written by

how developers want to

Recruiting new employees is as much about wooing as is it about screening. You want to find the right hire, and that requires attracting candidates who can help your projects succeed as well as screening out those who just don't fit. In order to draw candidates to you, treat them the way they want to be treated. When it comes to recruiting developers, this means:

Go beyond acronyms.

Developer resumes are filled with acronyms and buzzwords, which present easy filtering criteria. Think about it from the developer's perspective, though: the acronyms on their resume represent every technology they've ever worked with, not just the tech they work with now or the tech they want to work with in the future. Instead of mass mailing or calling every candidate with the skills you need on their resume, take the time to read the resume and see if their experience with that skill is recent. You might think it's more efficient to let the candidates screen themselves out, but overloading their inboxes with inappropriate job listings hurts your reputation and can cause candidates to ignore every mail from you – even if it describes a job they'd be perfect for.

Don't rely on interviews.

Sure, development is a team effort and everyone needs to be able to interact with their peers. But unless you're hiring a lead or support role, most programming jobs are more about spending time with a keyboard than time with people. So while the interview is necessary, don't overemphasize it; many developers simply are introverts and won't do well when pinned down for verbal answers. Instead, use tests to verify a candidate's technical ability to do the job. And when you give those tests, don't make developers talk through their solution standing in front of a white board. No one works that way in reality. Instead, let the programmers develop their solution sitting in front of a computer – the way they will when they're on the job.

Present the job the way it really is.

Both resumes and job descriptions have an element of exaggeration to them; after all, they're both advertisements, in a way. Despite that, don't stretch the truth in your job description or when speaking with candidates in person. Don't try to make the job seem more exciting than it really is. If it's mostly maintenance of existing code rather than new development or there's little opportunity for advancement, be honest about that. It might cost you the chance to hire this particular candidate, but hiring someone who then quits because the job isn't what they signed up for is more expensive.

The Armada Group has been recruiting top technical employees for more than 20 years. We understand the way developers think and what they're looking for at work, and are the experts at matching developers to opportunities. Contact us to talk about your hiring needs and how we can help you recruit the right developer the right way.