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.
There are more IT specializations than there are flavors of ice cream. The best way to communicate your knowledge is to supplement your experience with a certification. Seasoned professionals and recent graduates alike can benefit from these standardized measurements of expertise. But how do you know which one(s) will best top off your career?
What's Your IT Demographic?
Unlike the average person, you know that IT doesn't just translate into "good with computers". So are you a network specialist, or have you focused on security? Maybe you're a web developer or an app programmer. Getting certified in one area when you're experienced in another only makes sense if you're switching. Otherwise, there's plenty of diversification within your own specialization. Focus your certification efforts to collaborate with your experience.
What Are Your Career Objectives?
How far do you want to go? Do you want to become a CSO and oversee all of a company's security efforts? Or are you content with the next level of maintaining the firewall? Define what you want before investing the time and money educating yourself. Be SMART with your objectives – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Be aware of trends within your IT specialization, such as cloud computing and mobile security. With clear goals in mind, research which certifications might be useful in obtaining your objectives. Remember that many require a commitment to maintaining a certified status.
What Career Path Interests You?
If career objectives describe your destination, a career path is the map of your journey to get there. Just like there is more than one way to go from Philadelphia to New York City, your career path has alternate routes. Some may involve lateral moves to positions with the same pay and responsibilities as your current one, but will offer opportunities to gain the skills and experience you need to move forward. Some routes may leapfrog you ahead, provided you jump through a few hoops while in "mid-air". Both ways may require certifications, but different ones. Talk to your supervisor and/or human resources representative to discover if what you want is a possibility and if your ideas on achieving advancement coincide with theirs.
What Certifications Will Have a Significant Impact?
While certain skills are emphasized more than others at times, a few are essential. Some certifications have also been around for many years, and are simply updated as technology evolves. Whether these or newer/trending certifications are right for you can only be determined by your career objectives, path, specialization... and the demand.
Right now, project management is a hot topic, so PMP certification is highly desired for professionals looking to manage more IT projects. As Linux continues to broaden its market influence, Red Hat Certified Engineers are becoming more necessary in the system administration. RHCEs can also benefit from related but more specialized Linux certifications. There is also a high demand for virtualization (VCP), security (CISSP), networking (particularly Cisco's CCIE), and all the different flavors within Microsoft's family of domains (MCITP varietals).
Pursuing a certification for the sake of having a few letters next to your name is not going to help drive your career. Taking the time to define, discover and discuss what you really have a taste for will make you happier with what you choose and get you closer to your dreams. If you are looking IT job opportuntiites in California, contact The Armada Group today.
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.
• 3 years of experience with HTML5 and CSS3.
• Over 2 years of mobile application development while working with responsive design.
• 6 ½ years of UI development, recent employers include Apple and Google
• 4-5 years of experience utilizing responsive web design
• Solid experience creating consumer-facing, high profile mobile web applications
• 3+ years of recent experience working with cloud computing services such as Amazon Web Services and VMware
• Over 10 years of experience with systems administration and 2+ with DevOps at major companies such as Hightail and eBay
• Excellent Shell and Perl scripting skills
• Confident working in both start-up and enterprise environments
If you are interested in one of our top candidates, contact us today.
Searching for a job is a job in and of itself, and it can be frustrating when the one measurable goal – landing rewarding employment – is still out of reach after applying yourself again and again. When looking for someone to hire you, it seems the decision is out of your hands, but there many aspects of the job search that are under your control. Here are a few ways you can work a little smarter to secure the job you want.
Resurface and Rethink
When diving after every possible position in your field, you’ll need to come up for air once in awhile. Take the time to give yourself a bit of a break – but a meaningful one. Remind yourself of prior successful projects. Recall the rough spots and what got you through them. Reflect on your vocation; your choices in education, training, and other experiences; and the efforts you invested to become knowledgeable, qualified, and resourceful.
Once you break away from making a job title your identity, think about what you really want from your next position. What’s the ideal direction for your career? To keep your goals in sight, make sure the water’s no longer cloudy with discouragement and desperation before you dive back into the job search.
Plan on It
You know who you are, and you have a definite goal. Now, develop a strategy. Treating the process as a project will allow you to remain objective. Break down your big-picture vision into smaller steps, and give yourself ways to measure your progress. For example, you may want to research a networking group online, and give yourself a deadline for deciding whether or not to join. The clearer you are about search-related tasks, the less mental clutter you’ll have.
There are more ways to network than ever before. Make sure those in your immediate circle know you’re looking, but don’t stop there. Explore the possibilities for professional interaction online – niche sites for your field, groups on LinkedIn, forums on sites related to your occupation – and check into local groups that meet regularly. Volunteering is another great way to expand your circle, but make sure to choose a cause and an activity that genuinely interests you.
Sharpen Your Tools
Apply your new outlook to your core search implements. Refine your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile to reflect your passion, experience, and insight. Use features on LinkedIn creatively, and share your profile link on other social media sites when appropriate.
Like any project, a job search is done best when you’re thinking clearly. Keep yourself on a regular schedule, and put your skills and experience to work on focused tasks. This will help you move forward and stay in control of your best job search asset: a positive attitude.
If you are looking for IT or more specifically developer jobs in Santa Cruz CA, contact the employment experts at The Armada Group today.
It’s often safe to say that managing a tech team is somewhat different than managing salespeople or customer service staff. Clear and ongoing communication, however, remains a core principle of successful project completion. The following tactics will help you establish and maintain productive interaction.
Definitions & Deadlines
Whether members of your team pride themselves on promptness or are prone to procrastination, your project will languish in ambiguity and confusion if there’s just one main objective and deadline. Serve your team’s need for clarity by breaking down the project into smaller tasks with shorter deadlines, and make sure everyone knows who’s doing what. The various roles and their responsibilities should be clearly defined, and their important connection to completing the project should be understood.
Consider asking for volunteers for certain parts of the project, instead of just assigning duties – many IT specialists thrive on new opportunities that challenge them and expand their expertise.
Use Tech Tools to Communicate
You could create a flat outline of the project flow on a whiteboard somewhere, but the best way to keep the dialogue flowing is to use technology. There are many project management tools out there for your team, from free and basic cloud solutions to multi-layered and enterprise-level programs. You know best what you’ll need, but it should be something your team can quickly and easily use to share ideas, information, and project documents with an eye on the deadlines you’ve set.
Make a Habit of Meeting
Even if some of your tech team fall into the introvert category, don’t assume they want to stay hunched over their computer for the duration of the project. Bring them up for air and remind them they are a valuable team member by scheduling short, regular meetings with the entire group.
Avoid the negative rap of meetings by staying focused. Refer to your project outline, and utilize the chosen communication tool. Most importantly, really listen to your team when they talk about their progress, frustrations they’re experiencing, and their thoughts in general. Take notes, and be sure to make positive, meaningful comments.
Follow up, but Don’t Micromanage
Great leaders remove roadblocks to keep their group moving forward. Follow up individually with team members. Using your notes, remind them of what they said during meetings. Are there problems unrelated to their assignment that you can handle for them? Do they need more tools or training? Don’t hover, nitpick, or second-guess how they’re doing their work, or you’ll risk compromising any trust they have in you.
Managing people effectively can be challenging, especially when the project is particularly important. With carefully planned communication, regular and relevant interaction, and an atmosphere of trust and support, you can help your IT team not only complete a successful project, but develop a more productive work environment for the future.
If you are looking for IT employment agencies in Santa Cruz, contact the experts at 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.
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.
Businesses committed to progress must keep up with rapidly evolving technology – anticipating trends, guaranteeing data capacity, and utilizing innovation. So who’s responsible for leading the charge, all while protecting the company’s systems and bottom line? Here are five roles that control the backbone of information technology.
CIO: Chief Information Officer – Median Income $160,000
Sometimes referred to as a CISO (Chief Information Systems Officer), this high-ranking position drives the organization’s objectives through technology. Focused primarily on internal customers, they are responsible for the enterprise-level network infrastructure, supporting data requirements and communication across the organization. This usually includes vendor negotiations for needed equipment, software, and services.
CIOs develop strategies and initiatives that employ information systems to support business processes. They propose budgets for programs, upgrades, and IT-related projects. The CIO role is shifting more toward business management, with an emphasis on special expertise in finance, law, green tech, and security.
CTO: Chief Technology Officer – Median Income $150,000
This role is often confused with the CIO. The latter is concerned with the profitability of the IT structure, while the CTO is motivated by the external customer and uses technology to augment their organization’s offerings. Though they do share some responsibilities, the strategies a CTO develops are intended to increase revenue.
The CTO is responsible for the company’s web presence, maintaining site registration, up-time, and search engine optimization. They may conduct code reviews, test for conformance, and examine web analytics. If relevant, CTOs also supervise web application and software development.
CSO: Chief Security Officer – Median Income $150,000
While the CSO may also be required to provide for the physical security of employees and facilities, this job’s primary function is to shield the organization’s data from internal and external threats.
The goal is to proactively protect sensitive information by identifying vulnerabilities, creating security solutions, and developing and implementing policies and procedures, which the CSO then communicates to employees. Staff training and active system monitoring help ensure security. The CSO may also be involved in plans for disaster recovery and business continuity efforts.
VPIT: Vice President of Information Technology – Median Income $140,000
The VP of IT is the visionary, anticipating company growth and using emerging technology to support long-term objectives. They implement and maintain current systems and infrastructure while analyzing new possibilities for integration.
The VP allocates resources, prioritizes IT projects, and administers the development of applications and technology, providing leadership for development teams. Plans, policies, programs, and schedules for networks, computer services, data processing, and business operations are directed and managed by the VP.
ITSM: Information Technology Security Manager – Median Income $135,000
An Information Technology Security Manager establishes the company’s security strength via guidelines, design, and training. The role oversees risk audits and assessments, implementing appropriate security solutions and collaborating with other departments to ensure that employees comply with procedures. The ITSM maintains an awareness of possible threats and plans countermeasures for security vulnerabilities. Responsibilities may also include securing networks and any off-site backup storage.
Most of these positions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, but MBAs or specialized master’s degrees will serve better. Would honing your skills and education pay off? We see the IT field expanding rapidly, and the need for qualified experts is poised for growth.
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.
•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
•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
•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.
•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.
•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.
Most employers are past the point of weighing the pros and cons of joining Facebook. These days, they know that utilizing social media is a smart and essential strategy for building and growing a business, making new contacts, and staying ahead of the competition. If you use the Internet and technology in your business and workplace—and who doesn't these days? —then social media platforms are one of your greatest allies.
It’s Not the Number of Fish—it’s the Quality of the Water
Many employers assume that social media strategy is all about simple mathematics. Do you have more “likes” than your competitors? How many followers do you have on Twitter? The truth is, numbers matter very little if there isn't true engagement from those liking and following you, and the most reliable way to ensure engagement is to give your social media contacts something worth their time and attention.
Are you providing potential customers with meaningful, ongoing content via Facebook or Twitter? Do you interact across social media platforms in ways that spark conversation? Are you actively listening to, learning from, and participating in online conversations? If you don't have at least one employee (or, if you have a large company, a team within your organization) tasked with keeping your social media presence fresh, interesting, and real, your online relationships will suffer.
It's Not Who You Know
Actually, it is. Social media platforms can dupe employers into believing that these sites are just free, virtual billboards that can be clogged up with advertising. Don't be fooled. Utilizing social media to its fullest potential requires even more care and expertise than traditional marketing.
A buckshot mentality is even less likely to work on a social media platform, because everyone is suspicious of a business that dominates social media space. To create a personable brand, offer a voice on social. Let your audience know there is a person behind the logo. Build a positive reputation by showing your passion and expertise for what you offer.
The best rule of thumb is to be the kind of business you would want to interact with online. From friends on Facebook to followers on Twitter to pinners on Pinterest, everybody is looking for some authenticity in this competitive market.
Don't Hire the Tailors Who Made the Emperor's New Clothes
One of the most valid and useful ways employers can benefit from social media is with more informed hiring and recruitment. It used to be that a resume and a couple of phone calls were all you had to go on to determine whether a candidate would be a good fit. These days, almost everyone has an online profile in at least one, if not many, online platforms. Do some research to find out if this person's claims are legitimate and if they would be a good fit for your organization? You can bet they're doing the same about you.
These suggestions just scratch the surface of how social media, if used properly and consistently, can strengthen your businesses. Jump in and get started. The results are worth it.
If you are looking to attract top IT talent in California, contact the staffing experts at The Armada Group today.