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The current competitive job market can be difficult for employers as well as job seekers. Sorting through a pile of resumes to find qualified candidates, then selecting that one right person out of a pool of potentials can be quite daunting.
Being prepared with a thorough job description and a clear idea of the well-suited employee for the position is the first step to finding the perfect match, but there are some other ways to filter out the wrong candidates.


Look at the Total Package
It can be tempting to isolate certain desired characteristics, especially if the position is responsible for a specific project or specialized tasks. But hiring based on expertise alone can create an unintentional minefield of issues. There are other questions to keep in mind as you sift through resumes and conduct interviews that will help you evaluate if they're both capable of performing and how they'll perform.


Do they have the knowledge as well as the experience the job requires? What other relevant experience and skills do they bring to the table? How's their attitude – are they a good fit for your company's culture? If they need to work closely with others, are they a team player? Does their desired career path align with what is available at your organization? Are they still committed to their career development, willing to pursue further education or certifications?


Weed Out the Unqualified with Interview Questions
When you've identified what you want to know about your candidates, use that to design the types of interview questions that will give you the insight you need. Sometimes simply asking a candidate what they learned from another job or volunteer experience will set the stage for a revealing answer. Other times, you may need to ask similar questions in different ways to pin down a response – and if you can't elicit one, that might be a red flag.


Along the way, don't dismiss any concerns that arise about the suitability of a particular candidate. Don't make assumptions or gloss over issues – both are likely to come back and bite you later. Clarify with further investigation.


Develop an Onboarding Program
The top talent you're looking for will be sharp, and full of questions about the position and its perks. Quality candidates will want to know what's in it for them beyond salary. Having a comprehensive onboarding program for new hires will be a feather in your cap, as it demonstrates the investment you're willing to make in new employees. Outlining your program with a candidate is a great way to discover more about their own goals and objectives while you communicate your company's.


While no single person is completely perfect, there is someone out there with the combination of skills, experience, knowledge, attitude, and work ethic that will complement your organization's needs. Remaining prepared and objective throughout the process will help you spot that candidate when they're across the interview table from you.

If you are looking for IT recruitment agencies in California, contact The Armada Group today.

Wednesday, Sep 11 2013

IT Onboarding Strategies

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Not to be confused with the less in-depth process of employee orientation, onboarding is a comprehensive program designed to acclimate new hires into the performance and social aspects of their position. A successful onboarding program is meant to teach the newcomer the skills, mindset, information, and conduct needed to thrive in your environment. There are several important components that make onboarding an effective talent management tool.


Set Clear Expectations & Goals
Because employee onboarding is more involved than a one-time orientation, each department's program can – and should – be different from another's. For the IT manager, the plan begins with a clear but thorough layout of the employee's responsibilities, performance targets, and purpose within the department and the company as a whole. The new talent should be made aware of your structure, from people to technology, as it is relevant to them, as well as how they tie into current and future projects and objectives. Everyone should remember that flexibility is key, and that some aspects will be dynamic as priorities change.


Assign a Mentor
As you familiarize new employees with the hierarchy and roles of your department, pair them with a more experienced IT professional who can help the new employee navigate everything from unforeseen issues to best practices. The ideal advisor is someone who enjoys personal interaction, understands boundaries, takes pleasure in their job, and has perhaps asked for more responsibility or expressed interest in management. If you're already grooming someone for career advancement, this could be a great way to help your mentor-to-be stretch his or her wings.


Develop Career Expectations & Share Skills Needed to Succeed
As part of your onboarding strategy, schedule review times for you and the new hire to sit down and chat. Casual "how's it going?" questions when you pass them in the hall don't count, as they may be either unprepared or too intimidated to answer honestly. Consider spending a few minutes with them after a day or two, a couple of weeks, at 30 days, and so on – whatever works best for your priorities. Do you have an open door policy? Make sure they know how you work so they can feel comfortable meeting with you outside a time in your original plan.


One of the goals of these meetings is to gauge how your new IT professional is fitting into their role and to make adjustments as necessary. This fine-tuning of the job description can be anything from their daily duties to helping them define their career opportunities. While you've already assigned them a mentor, you still have a responsibility to help them develop the skills they need to succeed with you.


Stay in Constant Communication
Though hovering and micro-managing is never recommended, maintain a strong line of communication with your new hire. Occasional efforts to check in on specific projects, ask for feedback, or bring something interesting to their attention are great ways to let them know you value them. Everyone's communication style is different – some enjoy frequent face-to-face interaction, some would rather talk briefly on the phone, and others favor emails. Your new IT person should know what you expect, and you should discover what they prefer.


Onboarding new IT professionals is a process meant to build trust, establish communication, and set clear goals. Not an endeavor to be taken lightly, a good onboarding program will enable you and your new hire to work more effectively as you pinpoint one another's expectations. If you are looking for IT recruiters in California, contact The Armada Group today.

Staffing your team with people who fit your culture and who promote your mission is an involved process—one that many organizations choose to outsource. Get the most out of recruitment services by cultivating a connection with your vendor. When you make them feel like a valued partner, they will be dedicated to bringing you excellent and enthusiastic candidates. Responsiveness and clear communication are vital to developing this relationship.

No Time to Stall

If you gave your recruiter a clear picture of your ideal IT professional – a thorough job description, education and experience requirements, salary range, and the type of person who thrives in your working environment – be ready to receive several qualified candidates. Don’t delay in reviewing the information your vendor sends; not only does it slow down the process and create frustration, but you’ll miss out on top IT talent. Make a short list of candidates to follow up with, and keep the momentum going.

Be Objective to Reach Objectives

Once you review what your IT recruiter sent over, take the time to make some detailed notes about each candidate, even ones who don’t make the cut. Focus on each candidate’s suitability for the specific information technology position you want to fill. Creating a few objective questions and comments about your impressions while they’re fresh in your mind will give your recruiter some insightful feedback, helping to narrow the field of potentials.

Further Filtering

The next step is to set up appointments through the recruiter to screen your top candidates. This is as much a chance for your potential employee to find out about your organization as it is for you to dig a little deeper into what they have to offer. Your recruitment firm should have prepared both of you for this stretch, but now is the time to pay special attention to flags that signal possible success or catastrophe.

Winning the Winner

The IT talent you were searching for is now unmistakably narrowed down to one. Don’t dawdle in making your offer—and remember, recruiting requires some negotiation. Keep your IT recruiting firm filled in on the process and expected start date. You also don’t want to burn bridges with the candidates you screened out; they may fit a future position, so give them the courtesy of an update.

Staying Connected is Essential

Your association with the recruiter doesn’t end when you hire the IT specialist. Providing non-confidential feedback on your new team member and your experience with the vendor are two important ways to strengthen the relationship. Keep the recruiter abreast of what’s happening with your IT department; if they know you’re growing, making upgrades or changes, or in need of specialized IT services, chances are good they’ll keep a now-weather eye out for the perfect people to keep your information systems on track.

By investing in a partnership with your IT recruiter, you’ll lay the foundation for a strong employment relationship with your new IT professional. The better your IT recruiter knows your company’s mission, culture, and focus, the better they can supply you with a high-performing team as you grow. If you are looking for IT recruiters in California, contact the Armada Group today.

Wednesday, Aug 07 2013

Top IT Candidates in California

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 Senior Project Manager/Scrum Master


•Results driven, hands-on project leader and scrum master with an outstanding record of 15+ years delivering complex technology and system integration projects on time and within budget.
•Expert in Agile software development and release management.
•Skilled at managing projects with budgets of $2 to $20 million; effective in keeping projects on-schedule and within budget;
•Project management expertise in providing overall responsibility for all project management deliverables that support projects and programs including scope management, quality management, resource management, schedule management, risk management, communications management, 3rd party contract management.
•Expert in Scrum, its roles, ceremonies, artifacts and best practices.
•Technical knowledge and hands-on experience with architecture design, database performance and software application functions in complex environments.
•Analytical skills in creating project plans and establish timelines to ensure milestones are achieved using industry accepted tools.
•Proactive, works closely with end users and development team during the design, configuration, application development and implementation and training stages.
•Extensive full life cycle program development experience.
•Focused on exceeding customer expectations while providing value and insuring organizational profitability. Monitored and maintained Customer Satisfaction by engaging in weekly or monthly status meetings.
•Ability to manage a several highly technical and complex projects or programs concurrently.
•Program management skills, ability to analyze complex problems and give recommendations, comfortable communicating at all levels of the organization, able to adapt communications and presentations according to the audience, ability to command respect.
•Matured ability to communicate complex concepts clearly and effectively. Ability to run project update meeting with both technical and non-technical attendees.
•Excellent communicator, both written and oral.
•Strong knowledge of Microsoft project, Microsoft office suite (PowerPoint, Visio, Outlook, Excel, etc), and other project management tools including Clarity, PPM, RTC, Rally and SharePoint.

 

Android Developer

•4+ years of extensive experience in Design, development, testing and System Integration in Telecom applications 2G-3G UMTS and Mobile Applications
•Extensive experience in design, development, troubleshoot and porting video streaming application across multiple mobile platforms of Android, RIM, J2ME
•Development, System Integration and Technical Evaluations on J2ME, MID, Windows Mobile, Linux, Android, UMPC, RIM/Blackberry, WML, WAP, etc. in the 4G/3G and Mobile Advertising group for Sprint Nextel
•Core expertise in application development using Object Oriented Design, UML, JAVA, C++, XML, Perl, TCL, JAVA, SNMP programming
•Experience in Object Oriented Design and Programming using C++.
•Extensive experience on working on various Unix/Linux environment including Sun Solaris and Linux

 

iOS Developer

•4+ years of experience with Xcode, Instruments, Cocoa Touch, and Objective C
•Updated knowledge of XCode 4.5, iOS 5 and 6
•Complete understanding of Object Oriented Features (Inheritance, Polymorphism, Abstraction and Encapsulation)
•Experienced in XML and JSON Parsing with NSJSONSeralization and NSXMLParser
•Experienced with using GCD and NSOperationQueue with Multithreading
•Familiar with UI design implementation using Storyboards and NIB files
•Efficient storage of data using SQLite, Core Data and Database
•Recognition of all features of and differences between iOS 3.0-6.0
•Experienced in all aspects of iPad application development including designing for all types of screen sizes and orientations.
•Experienced with SVN and Git
•Experienced with Security framework and AFNetworking Library.
•Experienced with SCRUM, Waterfall, and Test Driven Development SDLCs.
•Familiar with deploying applications using 1st party and 3rd party methods
•Developed native based iPhone applications and beginning knowledge of hybrid development

 

Front-End Developer

•Professional software engineer with 5 years of industry experience in creating web and mobile applications most recently at PayPal.
•Worked with HTML and CSS for 5 years and HTML5 and CSS3 for 2 years.
•3 years of experience working with JavaScript and 2 years of JQuery.
•Enjoys delivering software on tight deadlines with a positive user experience.
•Quick learner, pays great attention to detail and would be outstanding contributor to all of the projects they participates in.

 

Sr. Manager & Release Engineer

•Sr. Manager for Software, Build and Release.
•80% of his time on build and release and 20% on management.
•Has over 15 years experience with Python, Perl, Shell, JavaScript.
•10+ years of solid build and release experience.
•10+ years experience with software branching with the release level process.
•Currently manages 300-400 releases per day.
•Looking for an exciting new career opportunity.

 

If you are interested in any of our top candidates, contact The Armada Group today.

 

 

Boring resumes go to the bin

It’s a harsh reality, but if your resume reads like a vague primer on Developer 101, chances are high that it’ll get sent to the recycling bin before the hiring process even begins. There are a quite a few facts that a hiring manager can get from your job title—basic responsibilities and tasks that you’re obviously capable of—and they don’t need to be restated as bullet points.

One of the other biggest resume flaws is talking about your team as opposed to yourself; it may seem self-aggrandizing, but resumes are one place where you need to tout yourself. After all, the hiring manager isn’t looking to hire your team. You need to make it clear what you can do—and what you, yourself, have done in the past.

Minimalism

It’s tempting to highlight all your great accomplishments in an effort to overwhelm hiring managers with your prior work. The truth is, resumes with long bullet lists tend to get skimmed over, and half those bullets are likely to be implicitly stated in your job title. By focusing on a small handful of truly outstanding contributions you made to your company, you’ll demonstrate proficiency and talent. And keep it brief: one to two lines for each bullet is the optimal length to be read and digested.

Specificity

Next, check your bullets for detail. Make sure they clearly state your personal impact, and add specific details about what you did. If a bullet seems vague—“designed new features”—edit it to more accurately reflect what you spent your time doing. Sure, you were designing new features, but doesn’t it sound more appealing to say that you created an automatic thesaurus tool to cut down on typing time? It can be difficult to balance the need for specific details with the brevity required on a resume, but the right combination makes a key difference.

Quantification

The ultimate in detail is hard numbers; they’re difficult to argue against, and give you an objective recommendation. It isn’t always easy to come up with numbers, particularly for something as general as “saves time,” but a little research and a good estimate will go a long way toward making a solid case for your new employment. How much time was saved, how much was something optimized, and the effectiveness of your new method can all demonstrate the benefits you’ll offer as an employee.

A dramatic first entrance

Your resume is the first impression you’ll make on a hiring manager, so it only makes sense to put your best accomplishments forward and do a little tooting of your own horn. Clear, concise, detailed bullet points that focus on your specific accomplishments are the polite, two-dimensional version of throwing open the door and yelling, “Here I am—hire me!” You’ll be memorable and relevant, which are two ideal starting points for new employment.

If you are looking for IT jobs in Santa Cruz, CA, contact the staffing experts at The Armada Group today.

Wednesday, Jun 26 2013

Top IT Candidates - June

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Sr. Visual Designer

• 25 years of industry experience with most recent experience at Symantec.
• 5 years of experience with UX design in mobile app's and web design.
• Lead visual design for projects from conception to development, translating rough ideas into working, intuitive and elegant solutions.
• Understands responsive design, web 2.0 standards, SEO best practices, browser compatibility issues and usability testing.

Program Manger –Scrum Certified

• 20 years experience in engineering, development and QA with most recent experience at Ellie Mae Inc.
• Experience in building and managing QA teams both Onshore/Offshore and globally distributed teams (50 + QA engineers) following 24 x 5 sun model in known silicon valley companies.
• 7 years of experience as a Scrum Master and Agile coach.
• Certified Scrum Master and is currently in the process to get CPM.
• Well versed with 2 – 4 week sprints, user stories creation/product backlog grooming/sprint planning/Agile release planning.

Sr. QA Automation Engineer

• Master's Degree in CS with more than ten years extensive experience in SDLC
• Working experience in Java, C/C++, Spring/Hibernate, Servlets(JDBC), Tomcat/Apache, XML,HTML XSLT/CSS, Perl, Php, and Oracle/MySQL
• Proficient in data modeling using Microsoft Visio, working knowledge in OOA/OOD, Design Patterns, and experience in J2EE
• Proficient in writing automated tools using Java and scripting languages (Perl, Python) on server side, QuickTest Professional, Selenium on GUI side
• Highly self-motivated team player and fast learner.

FE Java Developer

● Around 5 years of IT experience in Software Design, development & Implementation/Integration.
● Proficient with Object Oriented Programming using Java and J2EE technologies.
● Experience in Software Development Life Cycle - SDLC (Analysis, Design, Development and Testing), requirement gathering, use Case Design and understanding
● Experience in design and implementation of applications based on MVC pattern.
● Strong experience in data analysis and Proficient in writing Mysql/SQL queries.
● Excellent communication and analytical skills, self-motivated, ability to conceptualize, document and communicate project ideas and plans.
● Strong module management skills including Planning, providing estimates Problem Solving and Decision Making abilities.
● Team player with good interpersonal & communication skills and ability to multi-task.
● Self-motivated professional providing creative solutions, working constructively as a team member or independently.
● Experience in testing, defect tracking and management.
● Strong experience on Innovative development with new ideas, tools development to reduce development time.

Sr. Java Developer

• An IT/IS professional with around 9 years of experience in building robust, reliable and intelligent software solutions for networking, utilities, energy and other industries.
• Highly experienced in developing Java/J2EE based Web applications (Web Client Model), Client-Server model; loosely coupled Distributed applications using Web Services (SOAP, REST), XML-RPC.
• Experienced in front end (WebUI) development based on GWT (Google Web Toolkit), GXT (GWT on top of EXT-JS), Java Script, JQuery, JSP and HTML.
• Strong hands-on skills in design and implementation of distributed mission-critical systems (involving proprietary and commercial technologies, database components); processing and managing huge data contents. Knowledge of mature technologies that give a manifold increase in quality and productivity of product, while significantly reducing implementation time.
• Complete SDLC experience: Requirements gathering; Writing Business Requirement Documents, Technical Design Documents; Design database schema and components; Complete application development (Interface/backend); working closely with QA and providing support for the applications.
• Extensively used UML in writing Technical Design Documents, exposure in reverse engineering existing code.
• Experience in developing Model-View-Control Architecture (MVC) applications using Spring, Struts, Casper frameworks and with application/understanding of various design patterns.
• Experience working on ORMs like Hibernate and eMatrix (GE proprietary)
• Good experience in designing the database schema model, developing database components using SQL, PL/SQL and worked extensively with Oracle databases.
• Extensively worked with the XML based technologies like XPath, XQuery and used various parsers for processing XML files.
• Experience developing Enterprise applications using EJB and JMS and JPA
• Extensively worked with application servers like Tomcat and JBOSS, WebLogic.
• Well versed with CMM level 5 methodologies, Six Sigma Green Belt Trained.
• Exposure to SDLC methodologies like Agile/Scrum, and worked in TDD - test driven development using JUnit.
• Good domain knowledge on networking, utilities, energy; complete working knowledge of Energy Axis Smart Grid (Utilities).
• Worked on Python scripts for file processing and developing a meter data factory interface.
• Exposure with Java, C++ integrations using Jawin (JNI) and Java, Python using Jython.
• Worked with charting utilities like JFreeCharts.
• Great ability to work both independently and in a team. Versatile and adaptable team player with strong analytical and problem solving skills.
• Experience in coordinating work with global teams, worked extensively in onshore – offshore model.

Data Warehouse Engineer

• Over 10+ years of experience in delivering Data Intensive solutions in Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence, Analytics, Data Quality/Profiling,MDM, ETL and various OLAP applications.
• Specialize in the strategy, design, and implementation of Enterprise Data Management solutions including Big Data and Cloud based BI solutions.
• Experience in deriving physical data models from a logical data model and reverse engineering a physical data model. Experience developing both OLTP and Data warehousing data models.
• Knowledge of reporting and ETL technologies/methods, including data warehouses, operational data stores, data marts, star and snow-flake schemas.
• Experience working with and managing large data sets with large relational databases (e.g., Teradata, Oracle, MS SQL Server) , including extraction and merges from source systems, data cleansing and transformations, and providing preliminary descriptive statistics.
• Execution experience with project management (PMI -PMP) and Agile (Scrum) software development methodologies.
• Translate the strategy into an integrated project roadmap, key performance indicators and metrics for measuring progress. I ensure that the strategy is adapted and modified to be measurable in terms of customer outcomes.
• Have hands on experience in information management, data warehousing, data quality, advanced analytics and data integration with ERP and CRM application.
• Involved into customer-facing role including deep analysis, developing dashboards, KPI's using OBIEE, Microstrategy utilizing data from source systems like SFDC, Siebel CRM, SAP, Mainframe legacy systems.
• Hands on experience in data modeling for data warehousing - star, snowflake schema designs and consolidate data using ETL tools.
• Strong understanding of Data Mining concepts and techniques.
• Good Understanding of HADOOP eco system – Hive, HBASE, Sqoop and enterprise data integration.

Interested in any of our top candidates? Call today (800)408-2120