If we’re being honest about ourselves, we try to fit a 12-hour day into eight or nine hours. It’s not just you; it’s the IT field in general. It stands to reason that IT professionals gain the most when they maximize time in their areas of expertise, and minimize time in the areas that other experts can perform on a higher level.
There’s always a SQL database to maintain, or a network to patch – and there’s always an empty occupation to be filled, but there are better things you could be doing to lighten your load without stressing out over a vacancy.
So, like anyone performing at maximum efficiency, you partner with a staffing firm. What’s next?
- Consultation. This allows the firm to analyze current staffing situation compared to optimal productivity. The agency develops an understanding of your operations as well as the peculiar and unique methods that set you apart from other businesses. This is arguably the most crucial step, as the efficacy of the partnership relies on a complete understanding.
- Collaboration. After the agency comprehensively understands your needs, the firm and your business collectively create and implement a plan of the next steps. The agency understands both the IT portion AND the recruiting facets; hence, it is important to trust your agency here – they know what works!
- Implementation. This is the handoff period. This is where the agency starts putting the system you’ve jointly created into place. The Silicon Valley staffing agency is able to use their developed talent network to find you top candidates for your positions.
- Work. With the firm now fully handling your recruiting plan, you can get back to the 1s & 0s, default gateways, and PHP source code. This is where the firm operates and refines the plan, based on the comprehensive solution. This also reduces operating costs and lowers churn (and coincidentally, your blood pressure).
All staffing firms are not created equal. That’s why we’re here. At the Armada Group, we’re a Silicon Valley based IT staffing firm, specializing in on-demand solutions, and while our full, proprietary methodology is a little more involved, it has won us several awards, including “Best of Staffing,” several years in a row. We also offer a complimentary 8 point consultation to benefit you, and to demonstrate our subject matter expertise so you’ll see why we’re the best. If you are looking for a Silicon Valley based staffing agency, contact our team today.
There seems to be a stigma attached to hiring that, in today’s economy, anyone can find a qualified IT candidate, to the dismay of many great HR professionals. The IT industry has an enormous skills gap where many managers simply cannot find enough qualified candidates. Consequentially, it’s not uncommon to find candidates in a position where they’re underqualified or simply in the wrong place for a mutually beneficial career opportunity.
Often, a skilled recruiter or staffing agency is able to avoid these situations. The problem often arises when one has a particular IT talent, but doesn’t have the required understanding of hiring and recruiting. Here are five mistakes technical managers make while recruiting.
- Keywords can be learned overnight. Often, technical managers listen for certain acronyms or keywords to vet a candidate – just because a candidate is able to define a “variable” in a colloquial sentence doesn’t mean they’re a Java programmer. Knowing how to declare a variable and write an if/then statement doesn’t lend them any credence.
- A week of lost productivity is bad. Several months are worse. If you’re looking for a networking technician, taking the first person with a CCNA doesn’t always make sense. Make sure they have experience and references to back it up. Many technical managers want to fill a spot yesterday. If you don’t maintain a list of passive candidates, it will take time to find the right fit.
- Hiring underqualified personnel. This isn’t always as simple as it seems. Initially, it seems very straightforward – does the applicant know the subject matter and have the degree or certification required? Rooting out who is really qualified is something that takes practice and skill. A resume says only so much; experience in asking the right questions – and listening for the right answers- is paramount.
- Talk too much. The interviewer should be asking the questions and listening to the answers. Many technical managers like to ask a few basic questions then rave about the advantages of their company and their job for the remaining allotted time.
- Hire the wrong business culture. Skills are the obvious first priority – but hiring the right person also entails the candidate with a viewpoint and methodology that is in lockstep with the company and team. The wrong culture and mindset can cause personality clashes and generally raises the likelihood of turnover, thus costing more money.
Technical managers have a wealth of experience in their role – and there’s something to be said about that. However, it’s also fair to say that their role is not hiring, but managing current employees.
No matter what your recruiting process is, we can help. The Armada Group is a Silicon Valley based staffing agency specializing in many areas of on-demand talent. We specialize in bringing the most elite candidates to some of the fastest growing and most innovative companies in the world. Contact us today to see how we can help you. If you are looking for a technical recruiting agency in Silicon Valley, contact our team today.
For some reason, the IT industry places a different emphasis on certifications than other industries. Perchance it’s because there are so many “self-taught” IT professionals who understand the subject matter but never set foot in college. Or perhaps it’s because IT is such a wide vertical that even a degree can’t teach you everything. Whatever the case, there’s no doubt that certifications provide one of the best measures of demonstrating subject matter expertise.
With that in mind, your career path will help determine which certifications are right for you. Here are some of Microsoft’s certifications to help advance your career:
MTA, or Microsoft Technology Associate, is the most basic MS certification, and usually entails an entry-level (if even that) understanding of the subject matter. The MTA is presently offered in Server, Desktop, Database, and Developer categories. The MTA by itself will not likely land you a job, but it may help familiarize you if you’re new to the field.
MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) is a more common “entry-level” certificate and proves a solid understanding of the fundamentals. This is widely accepted as the standard in beginning an IT career, and is offered in servers (Windows Servers 2008 and 2012) desktop, (Windows 7 and 8) applications and database roles.
After the MCSA is the MCSE (or MCSD for developers) which is a notch above, and is the pinnacle of Microsoft’s certifications since the retirement of MCM/MCSM/MCA programs at the first of the year. The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert certification is for the elite, and requires documented hands-on experience – as well as the MCSA – prior to testing. Servers, databases, and developers (MCSD) all have this as an option.
The Microsoft Office Specialist and MOS Expert are unique to the applications field. The MOS is the base; while MCSA is the middle and MOS (Expert) is at the top.
When examining credentials, the most important factor to consider is “where will this take me, and is it worth the time, effort, and cost?” The best way to discern the above is to plan out a career path with where you want to be, and then ascertain which certifications will get you there.
This is when talking to a staffing agency becomes the logical next step. At The Armada Group, we know what certifications are important, and as we deal with many different talents, we can help you in terms of finding the right career opportunity for you. We work with some of the most innovative and fastest-growing companies in the world, and we want to help you find the opportunities you’re looking for, and develop the experience along the way. If you are looking for technical employment in Silicon Valley, contact our team today.
Software engineering is a broad spectrum of an occupation and has a wide variety of different roles. There are hundreds of software applications to work on, from one designed in-house to a massive enterprise application. With so many diverse options, how do you market yourself to stand out?
- Diversify. If you’re shooting for a specific niche, ignore this step; however, you will also pass by potentially dozens of other opportunities while you’re doing so. If you’re looking for more options beyond a specific niche, broaden your horizons, especially on your resume. Focus several bullet points on your accomplishments in a narrow area, but continue to expand your knowledge. This changes prospective employers from seeing you as a C++ or Oracle implementation expert to a true engineer with a variety of skill sets.
- Start a blog. Blogs can increase web traffic and a following, but they also provide a tool that separates you from many other software engineers. Moreover, it offers you an opportunity to showcase your subject matter expertise, as well as interact with others – and maybe learn a thing or two in the process, while informing visitors. Put the link on a resume or LinkedIn profile and it allows a recruiter to see your skill sets before they even contact you, generating interest.
- Network. This cannot be understated. Find a local networking group and meet people. Follow up with them via LinkedIn, Twitter or email. Establish rapport.
- Social Media. While probably the most obvious, this is often the most mismanaged. The beauty of social media is that you can market yourself as a true expert in engineering and your specific role simultaneously. You are able to share valuable information with your personal network. Build your personal network and provide valuable resources to them. Also, join LinkedIn groups and participate in discussions to establish thought leadership.
- Pair with a staffing firm. Staffing firms understand the value of the overall concepts in your given field, as well as the individual accomplishments and where they’re the best fit. They know what businesses are looking for, and they know what you have to offer. In many situations, this is the best of both worlds, because agencies look for the best candidate for a company, and the best company for a candidate. This makes for an ideal match and long-term job satisfaction.
At The Armada Group, that’s exactly what we do. We take time to get to know you, and what you have to offer in order to better pair you together with a company where you can be successful. We work with some of the most innovative companies in the world, and we want you to be a part of our success. If you are looking for software engineering employment in Silicon Valley, contact us today.
Theodore Roosevelt said: “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” This is an essential distinction for people in charge at any level—if you want to be a great leader, you can’t hog the wheel.
But what is leading? While there are many different styles of leadership, they all typically have some things in common. Here are some of the characteristics that great IT leaders often share.
Leaders are not islands
Some bosses are convinced they know everything, and they have no need to consult others. However, considering the complexities and the scope of the IT field, it’s virtually impossible for one person to know it all.
That’s why great IT leaders surround themselves with reliable people who are able to complement their strengths, and shore up their weaknesses. The ability to know when you need outside expertise, and to delegate intelligently, is an essential trait for a leader.
Leaders are two-way channels
Bosses broadcast. Leaders communicate. Excellent communication skills are a must for any successful IT leader—and you need to be able to both give and take feedback from people at all levels, in every department, from many walks of life.
Many of the people IT leaders work with are not fluent in tech. As a leader, you have to clearly articulate your messages in ways anyone can understand. This ability to communicate should apply to your emails and phone calls, your presentation style, your negotiations, and even your casual conversations.
Leaders allow their people to fail
While a boss may not tolerate mistakes, shortcomings, or failures, a leader will often encourage them. There can be no innovation without risk, and great IT leaders strive for a safe-to-fail environment where team members have the confidence to try new things, without fear of negative repercussions from management.
Of course, it can be difficult to create a balanced environment that encourages calculated risks, but not wild shots in the dark. You may need to experiment with boundaries to strike the right tone for innovation.
Leaders are often imitated, but never duplicated
Bosses might attempt to copy someone else’s successful managerial style, with mixed results. Leaders understand that authenticity can’t be forced, and remaining true to your own style, values, and personality is the only path to true success.
You may be surprised to learn that being yourself is not only less exhausting, but also far more effective. Playing the role of a leader can be draining. When you are genuine and honest, you’ll find that leadership comes naturally—and your team will be happy to follow your example.
What traits do you believe great IT leaders have? Share your thoughts in the comments! If you are an IT manager looking for recruiting agencies in Silicon Valley, contact our team today.
The technology landscape is transforming faster every day. Mobile technology, Big Data, social media, analytics, cloud computing, and more impact the digital world, creating massive infrastructure shifts and leaving businesses scrambling to keep up. Companies running on legacy platforms need a way to compete with newer organizations born in the digital era—and a CDO might be the answer.
Chief Digital Officer, or CDO, is a new and evolving role in the business world. In fact, CDOs are so new that the positions are barely defined, and few of these professionals have set-in-stone job descriptions. However, that isn’t stopping companies from hiring for this untested position in a bid to harness the latest technologies.
What is a CDO?
Chief digital officers are not to be confused with chief information officers (CIOs). Where the CIO typically runs the company infrastructure and makes technology decisions, the CDO is generally responsible for organizational transformation—helping the company as a whole break down older, legacy frameworks and practices, and transition into a fluid new infrastructure built on new tech.
While the actual responsibilities of the CDO vary from company to company, the core commitment is to develop, implement, and manage a smooth transition. CDOs must be fluent in both technology and business skills, able to truly understand both the company and the ultimate vision for where the organization wants to be.
CDOs: A rising trend
In a recent post on Gartner’s blog, analyst Dave Aron stated, “The Chief Digital Officer is emerging and maturing as a role fast.” Gartner’s data indicates that while only 6 percent of companies currently employ CDOs, the numbers are “springing up faster than we can count them.” By 2015, Gartner projects that 25% of companies will have a CDO.
How to succeed as a CDO
What does it take to land and perform a job that is under-defined and still emerging? Some of the top traits of successful CDOs include:
- Leadership skills. Transformative, large-scale projects require everyone’s cooperation to succeed. A good CDO will be able to earn an organization-wide commitment, despite any internal office politics that may serve as a barrier.
- Detailed planning abilities. The CDO’s primary role is to create an end-to-end digital strategy that covers every corner of the company’s operations.
- A strong network. The best digital professionals are connected with several experts. They aren’t necessarily the most knowledgeable or tech-savvy individual to be found—but they do have a solid network of experts and innovators for consulting and collaboration.
- Business fluency. Tech skills are essential for CDOs. But just as important are business skills in every department, and the ability to communicate on multiple levels—from highly technical to powerfully simplistic. A successful CDO will be able to excite not only in-house staff, but also customers, vendors, and boards of directors about the upcoming transition.
If you’re an aspiring CDO, now is the time to find that perfect position. Established companies are looking for skilled digital experts to help them boldly enter the brave new world of advanced technology, and keep up with their savvy competition. You can be the solution to this problem. If you are looking for employment agencies in Silicon Valley, contact our team today.
Think about how much time you spend in the office each day…and now, consider how much you actually get done. Chances are you’re not as productive as you could be. The good news is, you can boost your productivity—and decrease your stress—by consistently implementing a few simple changes at your workplace.
1. Prep your space for success
The foundation for productivity is an efficient environment—one that lets you find what you’re looking for quickly, and offers easy access to the things you work with most. To turn your office into a productive space, start with a purge: go through your desk drawers, filing cabinets, shelves, stacks of paper, and random cluttered areas, and throw away everything you don’t need.
Once you’ve pared down your office, the next step is rearranging. Think about how you work, and adjust your furniture layout accordingly. For example, if you have to get up from your desk every time you throw something away, you’re likely to leave trash on your desk or floor—so move the wastebasket close to your desk.
Finally, organize your desktop so that it contains only the supplies and devices you use on a daily basis. Everything else should have a permanent home where it can be returned when you’re finished.
2. Develop a system
When you have everything purged and organized, you’ll need a system to help you keep things in place. There’s no right or wrong way to create a system—simply use a strategy that suits the way you work.
A few helpful tips for developing organization systems:
- Establish a paper workflow with an inbox, an “in-process” box, and a filing system (which may be a trash can, if you don’t generally keep paper documents).
- When you’re looking at a paper document to deal with, decide what action you should take and follow through—don’t just put it back on your desk. If action isn’t immediately possible, place the document in the appropriate next-step area of your system.
- Don’t forget to organize electronic files as well, using a system that makes sense with your working style
- Develop an index, or master list, of your files (paper and digital) to reduce duplicates and help maintain organization
3. Implement basic time management
For many, “time management” sounds like a complicated corporate objective that wastes more time than it saves while you’re trying to learn it. The truth is that time management doesn’t have to be difficult. Just a few simple strategies can save you hours every week.
Keep a running to-do list of all your projects, appointments, and deadlines. If you’re using a mobile device to help you keep track, make sure you’re able to sync with your primary computer—it’s easy, automatic, and ensures that your list is at your fingertips no matter what you’re doing.
Choose an hour or so each day to focus solely on projects and tasks. Make sure to build a time cushion into your schedule to account for any (usually inevitable) interruptions. You can also tackle larger projects more confidently by breaking them down into shorter tasks that can be completed one at a time.
4. Create a communication schedule
Most people are not surprised to learn that email is one of the top office time-wasters, and phone calls are a fairly close second. Rather than continuing to handle emails and phone calls all day as they come in—and break concentration on the tasks you’re working on while you deal with them—set aside a few short blocks of time each day to deal with communication.
You can take 10 to 15 minutes in the morning, and again in the afternoon, to tackle your inbox and return phone calls. The rest of the time shut off all of your notifications so you can work uninterrupted. You may be shocked at how much time this saves!
You don’t have to reserve productivity for those rare days when you’re feeling energetic and ultra-determined. When you make organization and time management a habit, you can have a productive day, every day.
If you are looking for recruiting agencies in Silicon Valley CA, contact our team of experienced recruiters today.
Just as with every field, not all IT administrator salaries are the same. Your earnings—both your potential and actual income—can be affected by a number of factors. Figuring it out can be tricky, but it’s good to know what you should be worth while you’re on the job search path. You can use your estimated salary as a negotiating point with potential employers, as well as a tool to discount lowball offers.
Types of IT administrators
One of the major factors in calculating IT administrator salary is the type of job you’re qualified to work. There are dozens of possibilities here, from broad administrator roles to specialized niches. Three of the most common general categories are:
Network and computer systems administrator: This is the broadest type of IT administrator. The role may be described as both network and systems admin, especially for smaller companies—but in larger companies, there may be separate positions for network administrators and systems administrators.
Duties and responsibilities for these positions tend to overlap, which is why they’re often combined. However, when they’re available as separate roles, the systems administrator is usually the more skilled—and therefore the higher paid—of the two.
According to Indeed.com, the average salary for:
- Systems administrators is $77,000
- Network administrators is $70,000
- Network and systems administrators is $76,000
Database administrator: This highly sought-after position is becoming increasingly important to organizations in the age of Big Data. Database admins can find work on a variety of levels, from database integration to creation, development, and maintenance. They may work in-house for companies, or as external consultants.
Indeed.com reports that the average salary for a database administrator is $74,000.
Web administrator: Specialists in maintaining websites, the web administrator approves content, monitors speed, analyzes data on traffic patterns, and implements user suggestions for improvements on websites. In today’s business culture, this role is often blended with other IT responsibilities—so the average salary for web administration alone is $61,000, according to Indeed.com.
Factors that affect IT administrator salaries
Outside the type of IT admin role, there are many things that affect your salary potential. These can include:
- Education. Both the degree earned and the quality of the institution can impact your salary. Having the right degree for the job, obtained at a well-regarded college or university, will give you the best chance at a higher salary.
- Skills. This factor is high on the list for determining salary. The more relevant skills you have, the better you can expect to be paid—as long as you’re able to demonstrate that you can use those skills.
- Experience. Although IT is a relatively young industry, experience still counts for a lot. IT administrators with 5 or more years of experience can command double, or even triple, the salary of entry-level professionals.
- Certifications. Many companies require their IT staff to have certain certifications. If you already have them, you’ll be worth more in terms of salary than a potential employee who has to be certified on the company dime. Optional certifications that are considered a plus can also increase your salary potential.
- Company size and location. This is one salary factor that you won’t have much control over. Salaries vary from company to company, and region to region, in the United States. Generally, you can expect larger companies to pay more than small businesses, and companies in major urban areas to pay more than rurally located companies.
A working knowledge of your anticipated salary can help you ensure that you’ll be paid what you’re worth as an IT administrator. Take the time to calculate your potential salary before your next interview, and you’ll be able to negotiate with confidence. If you are looking for IT administrator jobs in San Francisco CA, contact our team today.
In today’s job market, front-end developers are facing competition for the best positions out there. If you’re looking to land your dream job, you need to be able to stand out from the crowd in this hot market.
What can you do to differentiate yourself as a front-end candidate? Here are three ways to impress potential employers and get the front-end dev job you want.
1. Make your portfolio pop
In addition to cover letters and resumes, front-end engineer candidates need to worry about having a portfolio. These are typically in the form of websites that showcase your experiences, your skills, and coding projects you’ve worked on.
Many recruiters and hiring managers give your portfolio more weight than your resume during the hiring process. The best thing you can do to give yourself an edge is to make sure you have a great portfolio, with at least one good, clean sample website.
2. Know (more than) your stuff
Improve your desirability by knowing something that other front-end developers typically don’t. Some of the possibilities with the highest potential include interactive design, responsive design, Web GL, AJAX, and Android or iOS development.
Get active with personal projects
More so than other hiring managers, IT recruiters and managers are practically guaranteed to look you up on Google. Make sure you’re ready to impress by having some personal projects developed and ready to find, such as apps, demos, and open source projects.
You should also be active online in the places that count. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is detailed and current, along with any other social media sites you use. It’s in your best interests to join and be active in one or more popular developer communities, too. A few of the best known include Stack Overflow.
Your resume is just the starting point to open a conversation with recruiters and hiring managers. Give yourself the best possible chance at landing the front-end developer job you want by using these tips to stand out and get noticed.
If you are looking for front-end engineer jobs in Silicon Valley CA, contact our team today.