According to a recent study, over 40 percent of all IT professionals are interviewing for a new job, and they are currently employed elsewhere. A shocking 60 percent want to quit their job. While their reasons are varied, issues with management was a commonly cited motivator. Other causes include unequal opportunities, a lack of challenging work, and no recognition for their efforts.
If your company isn’t working diligently to keep you tech employees engaged and going the extra mile to make them feel appreciated, there is a decent chance they will move on to something else. Similarly, if the employee’s manager isn’t a source of inspiration, an ally in the office, or otherwise fails to meet your IT pros expectations, don’t expect them to stay for the long-term.
Luckily, there are things you can do to entice your tech pros into staying, allowing you to reduce turnover and keep your best and brightest on board. Here’s how to get started.
Technology has changed the workplace in notable ways, particularly when it comes to working remotely. This allows companies to explore opportunities to outsource certain tasks that don’t require a physical presence in the office, and this has given rise to contract work, especially in the tech space.
A significant amount of potential exists in this arena, including the ability to piece out larger projects and secure top talent in specific niches, something that would have been incredibly difficult to accomplish only a few years ago. Additionally, the approach allows professionals to focus on particular areas of interest, giving them more control over their careers and the tasks they choose to take on.
If you haven’t delved into these arrangements, here’s what you need to know.
Not Traditional Outsourcing
Many businesses and professionals maintain an antiquated view on outsourcing, assuming that entire projects or functions need to be offloaded for the arrangement to be effective.
However, opportunities exist that allow companies to break larger projects into smaller components, giving them a chance to secure highly specialized skills for a short period. It also allows multiple pieces to be in progress simultaneously as long as each part isn’t reliant on another. This can shorten development times significantly, letting projects reach completion faster than ever before.
Further, workers can concentrate on specific skill areas, performing tasks that only relate to their preferred field. For professionals who have a passion for a particular niche, this can be an invigorating way to structure their career, allowing them to get more value from their work.
When it comes to highly specialized skills, companies may struggle to find suitable workers depending on the availability of talent in their area. Similarly, a professional with a particular focus may not always locate positions in their immediate vicinity.
Contract arrangements, supported by remote work technologies, allow businesses and workers to connect even if they aren’t in the same city or even state. This gives both sides more access to what they are looking for, giving companies a method for overcoming skill gaps and professionals a chance to find the kind of work they want to do.
In general, most work can be divided into two categories: core and non-core. While core tasks are usually assigned to full-time employees, non-core activities may be ideal for contractors, especially if the arrangement isn’t necessarily going to be long-term. This allows for more effective workflow designs and increased overall efficiency, especially when it comes to completing projects that require a highly defined skill set.
Ultimately, the benefits of contractor roles in IT means that they are likely to remain a viable option for companies and professionals for the long-term, particularly as the technologies that support these opportunities only continue to improve.
If you are interested in learning more, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to see how our expertise can help you navigate the world of contract work with greater ease and confidence.
All software testing comes with a level of risk, and automated testing is not immune to that risk. Even organizations that focus on agile methodology need to make sure that an appropriate amount of time and care is dedicated to the process before taking a product to market. Many businesses select an automation tool and assume it will manage all of their problems.
Initial test cases often lead to quick wins, but further developing the tool and creating a strong test portfolio takes effort. Additionally, many companies become overconfident based on automated test case results without accounting for the use of poorly defined tests and issues of inconsistency.
The use of Agile can shift focus onto the speed of development and release. While staying ahead requires moving swiftly, failing to avoid certain pitfalls associated with automation tools can lead to errors, subpar releases and unstable products. To avoid some of the risks associated with automated testing, here are some tips to follow.
Slow Down Implementation
Once an automation tool or solution is selected, it is important to dedicate a significant amount of time to planning. Implementing too quickly can lead teams to work on solving a particular issue within their overall testing strategy instead of seeing how the tools fit into the big picture.
It is critical to review Agile development and continuous testing principles and work to apply the concepts in a broad manner. That way, decisions are made based on the benefits that will be made available throughout the organization, including everyone from developers and testers to managers and executives.
A side effect of overconfidence in the automation tool or solution is failing to complete adequate amounts of testing. Rushing a product to market creates a sense of tunnel vision where reaching the end of the race to market is the sole focus. However, allowing that urgency to create an environment where testing becomes less thorough increases the risk of a notable defect reaching the consumer market.
Failing to catch certain defects before a product reaches the market can have long-lasting negative impacts on the company’s reputation. Over time, the affects the entirety of the brand, even if the issue was limited to a specific product offering, and affects customer loyalty.
Customers have high expectations regarding the functionality of their tech. Whether it is a mobile app, web-based application, large-scale software solution, or anything in between, failing to meet expectations will have consumers looking for alternative offerings.
Some organizations believe that using automated tools lessens the amount of technical expertise they need among their staff. However, automated testing still relies on a strong test infrastructure and competent code. Ignoring the human factor in the overall testing landscape can lead to shortcomings based on a lack of appropriate skills. And that can lead even the best testing tools and solutions to provide unreliable results.
Automated testing is intended to supplement the traditional testing process by eliminating certain tasks from an individual’s workload. However, it cannot fully stand in for all testing professionals. These tests are meant to be part of the development pipeline, but are not a reason to abandon traditional manual testing entirely.
If you are interested in finding skilled testing professionals to ensure your process yields the best results, The Armada Group has the recruitment experience you need to find top candidates in the field. Contact us to explore available candidates today.
The gig economy isn't just for Uber drivers. Companies are also turning to contract employees for skilled work, including in the technology industry. There are several reasons for this outsourcing:
Contract employees offer companies flexibility.
Companies today need to be able to respond to changing business demands and scale up or down quickly. Through using contract employees, companies are able to add or shed workers easily in response to growth or other changes in the business environment.
Technology enables remote work.
The internet, virtual desktops, and video conferencing all mean that people don't need to be in the same place to get work done. Documents and other resources are easily shared no matter where people are located, so companies don't need all their employees working in one office.
Contract employees offer special skills.
Companies sometimes need a specific skill for a short time, to fill a specific gap in their teams. If they don’t have many projects that will utilize that skill, it's difficult to justify adding a permanent employee just to add that skill to the team. By bringing in contractors, the employer gets the skills they need without making a long-term commitment. Employers also use contractors to help train their existing workers when there's a mismatch between the skills they have and the skills they'll need going forward.
Hiring contractors is cost-effective.
When companies hire contractors, the contractor is paid for their work, but the hiring company doesn't have the expenses of benefits like health insurance, 401K matching, unemployment insurance or contributing the company's share of Social Security taxes. Companies also don't withhold taxes on behalf of the contractor.
There are different legal obligations between employers and contractors than there are between employers and employees. One of the main legal obligations employers have is to classify their workers correctly; companies cannot simply call a worker a contractor in order to avoid paying unemployment costs. In order to avoid the risks of being accused of misclassifying workers, many companies prefer to hire contractors who operate as employees of a contracting agency.
The Armada Group helps companies fill their staffing needs whether they want to hire permanent employees, use a contract-to-hire model to help evaluate potential employees, or add contractors on an as-needed basis. Contact us to learn how our services can help your company grow.