When managers picture crafting a robust IT team, they typically focus on hiring individuals with specific technical skills that are vital for reaching their goals. However, if you neglect to add a skilled business analyst to your staff, your tech projects might not be a successful as they could be.
Business analysts perform a unique function, acting as a link between your IT team and the rest of the organization. Typically, they have experience in both the tech space and in business, giving them a solid understanding of each groups perspective and enabling them to work with tech pros and other business professionals to find solutions and reach compromises.
However, you do need to select the right business analyst to experience these benefits. This includes knowledge of data analytics, change management, and much more. If you want to strengthen your IT team, here’s how to select a business analyst to help you do just that.
Understand the Core Responsibilities
If you want to hire a top business analyst, it is critical that you understand the core responsibilities typically associated with these roles. Overall, they are usually tasked with identifying changes to processes, services, systems, and products that will facilitate positive change, such as increased efficiency and productivity.
They assist with determining project requirements, analyzing existing processes, and crafting recommendations, ensuring that a new solution is both technically viable and filled with features and capabilities that provide the end users with value. Additionally, they help the end users and IT team to communicate effectively, acting as a translator between the two segments of the business.
Critical Skills and Experiences
When you need a highly capable business analyst, it’s important to locate a candidate with the right combination of skills and experience. While every business analyst usually has more experience in either IT or business, it is crucial that they have a solid foundation in both areas. Otherwise, their lack of understanding on one side may hinder the success of the project.
For example, if a business analyst is highly knowledgeable on the business end but doesn’t have experience with the IT specialty involved, they may struggle when it comes to determining technical feasibility. This means their recommendations might not be ideal.
When it comes to hard skills, cost-benefit analysis, analytics, and process modeling should all be priorities. For soft skills, focusing on communication, problem-solving, conflict mediation, and interpersonal skills is often essential.
Additionally, most successful business analysts will have formal education that assists them in their role. This could include either a technical bachelor’s degree, such as computer science or information technology, or a business degree, depending on which area they gave greater focus. In some cases, they may also bring additional certifications to the table, though this may not be a necessity depending on your company’s or project’s goals.
Making the Right Hiring Decision
As you start looking for a business analyst to join your team, it’s vital you identify the technologies involved. Otherwise, it will be difficult to determine if the job seeker has the required level of technical expertise.
Additionally, you want to find a business analyst that meshes with the company’s culture as well as the IT team. This increases the odds they will connect with other professionals in the business, making it easier for them to perform their duties successfully.
If you are looking for the ideal business analyst, the recruitment specialists at The Armada Group can help you find the right candidate. Contact us to discuss your vacancy today and see how our services can benefit you.
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.
Job descriptions may attract you to a job, but they're rarely a good description of the role. The person who prepares the description may not really know anything about the job. It may be the same description used on another job in another department. It may list technologies the project isn’t using, or omit important aspects of the job, such as on-call production support.
This means you can't simply trust a job description to tell you what skills are really needed and what you'll be doing on a day-to-day basis if you get hired. You need to do some research and ask questions to find out the truth about the job.
Ask about the technology being used on the project and in the job you're being hired for.
Most projects use multiple technologies, but not all roles will use every technology. Find out for certain which languages will be used by the job you're being interviewed for so you can be certain it's a language you want to program in.
Clarify the scope of the position.
Not all programming positions are alike. Some have you spending all your time coding to someone else's design. Other's require you to spend time talking to business users to figure out the requirements long before you write any code. There's nothing wrong with either kind of shop, as long as the responsibilities of the role match what you want to do.
Get feedback on the company from current and former employees.
During your interview, pay attention to the tone as well as the comments expressed by your interviewers. Try to gauge whether they're genuinely enthusiastic about the work and the company. If you have any contacts within the company, get their opinions about the company and the department you'd be working in. If you know people who've left the company, ask them why.
A staffing agency can also give you insight into a job and a company. The recruiters at The Armada Group are skilled at matching candidates with the right opportunity. Contact us to learn how we can help you read between the lines of a job ad to find a job that will truly advance your career.
Just getting through the day at the office can be tough sometimes. When you're worried about being fired, each eight-hour workday can feel like 80. Here are four tips that can help you minimize the risk of being fired and let you enjoy the challenges of your job.
Fit In With the Company Culture
No matter how good you are technically, if you don't fit in, you may eventually be cast out. Every company has a culture, which includes things like how the employees dress, what time they show up for work, how they communicate, how they react to problems, and what the priorities are. Because it's hard to change your personality and the way you behave, it's best to evaluate your cultural fit before you accept a position.
Build a Solid Relationship With Your Manager
Even if layoffs are mandated by senior executives, your immediate manager probably has some say in which employees are let go. The better your manager knows you and your work, the more likely your position will be secure. In some tech organizations, the project manager or technical leader who oversees your work isn't the manager with the hiring authority, so be sure you understand who is. Then make sure to keep that manager updated about the work you're doing. If they offer one-on-one meetings, take them and discuss your career path. If you make it evident you see a future for yourself with the company, so will the manager.
Address Any Performance Issues
While ideally you're succeeding at your job, if there are problems, you need to address them to boost your job security. This can mean improving your technical skills—if you wrote buggy code that delayed a release or caused a production problem, you need to learn from those errors and let your managers know it won't happen again. Other problems may have to do with communication skills, whether with teammates or with the business or end users. Make sure you have good working relationships with everyone you interact with at the office.
Don't Play Politics
For the most part, technical workers have little to gain by becoming involved in office gossip or political machinations. Focus on completing your work; your own solid technical contributions are more likely to help you get ahead or keep your job secure than any attempts at undermining colleagues
Sometimes, no matter how talented you are and how well you do your job, you get fired anyway. When that happens, let The Armada Group help you find your next job. We understand technology and will match you to an employer who appreciates your talents. Contact us to start your search 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.