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Even though Millennials make up the largest portion of the current workforce, many companies struggle when it comes to recruiting them for open position. Often, this is because Millennials have different preferences when compared to previous generations, and failing to update certain offerings based on their needs makes the business a less attractive employer.


If you are struggling to recruit Millennials, here’s what you need to know.


What Millennials are Seeking

Millennial workers aren’t always enticed by traditional benefits like healthcare options and retirement plans as previous generations. While they still value those opportunities, they place a greater emphasis on cultural fit and the grander purpose behind their work.


Additionally, Millennials tend to value experiences over material possessions, so they seek out companies that will provide them with chances to learn and grow professionally, often favoring those benefits over more physically-oriented perks.


Why Companies Struggle

Typically, businesses find it difficult to recruit Millennials when they aren’t sufficiently prepared to meet their needs and preferences, particularly if a competitor company is capable of offering what they hope to find. To gain the attention of these job seekers, you need to have a culture that suits their preferences and benefits that provide them with what they consider valuable.


In some cases, hiring managers can actually drive away Millennials, especially if they subscribe to some of the stereotypes associated with this generation. If hiring managers are automatically skeptical of Millennials, it will come through during interviews or may lead them to screen out applicants who appear to be from Gen Y before they are even invited in.


Luckily, there are things you can do to correct any issues that may make your company less attractive to Millennials. This includes reviewing your culture to determine if it meets their needs and generating benefits that speak to their preferences, like mentorship programs and opportunities to experience new things.


Additionally, you need to make sure that your hiring managers aren’t harboring negative stereotypes that may be harmful to your recruitment goals. To do so, consider having them reframe their concerns to see how these characteristics could actually be an advantage.


For example, Millennials may be seen as job hoppers but, if the worker has changed positions and each one was a step forward in their career, the new opportunities actually demonstrate their professional drive. In those cases, creating succession plans that can help them advance gives them the change to keep moving along their career path and gives you a chance to help groom your next leader.


With just a few adjustments, you can make strides towards recruiting more Millennial candidates, which is incredibly relevant as they continue to become a larger part of the workforce. If you are looking to hire a new employee, the recruitment specialists at The Armada Group can connect you with some of today’s top talent. Contact us to see how our services can reshape your recruitment strategy today.



Published in Recruiting

ruby comeback

For all the supposed logic required to program, choices of programming language are often fickle. Industry trends mean languages rise and fade in popularity. Even languages you may think are dead are not; COBOL still powers 70 to 80 percent of business transactions.

The language Ruby isn't nearly as old as COBOL and never reached its level of acceptance, but after a spurt of popularity in the first decade of the century, its usage dropped due mostly to performance concerns. Now, usage surveys show Ruby is rising again. Why?

Ruby on Rails supports web development.

Ruby underlies the Ruby on Rails web development framework. With many third-party libraries available, companies that use Ruby on Rails are able to develop websites quickly and easily, plus support them effectively. Since every business depends on its online presence, those characteristics make Ruby an appealing choice for development.

Ruby is interpreted.

In slower environments, the interpreted nature of Ruby could contribute to performance problems. On fast modern hardware, using an interpreted language eliminates the need for compiling code. That makes working with Ruby quicker and easier. Given the drive towards agile development, eliminating unnecessary steps that slow things down is very appealing.

Ruby has a strong community.

There's an established community that creates resources companies can leverage to make creating Ruby applications even easier. The many frameworks and libraries mean less need to write code from scratch and faster development. There's solid documentation, plus active forums where developers can get help resolving problems; Ruby has large StackOverflow and Meetup communities. All of that reassures businesses that they're not on their own if they choose Ruby.

Ruby is cross-platform.

Companies can use RubyMotion to write cross-platform applications that run on both iOS and Android mobile devices. This means developers don't need to learn special languages and tools to create mobile apps, letting companies use their developer resources more efficiently.

Ruby is easy to learn.

Because finding technically qualified employees is so difficult, companies need to invest in training their own staff. They want this investment to pay off quickly. Ruby is easy to learn, so companies that develop in Ruby can easily grow staff who can contribute to these projects. As an easy-to-learn language that makes it easy to prototype, Ruby offers companies a great way to make progress fast.

Looking for a Ruby job or Ruby developers? The Armada Group knows who has the skills and who needs them. Whether you're a Ruby developer or you want to hire one, contact us to talk to a recruiter who can connect you to Ruby careers and Ruby professionals.


Should Your Company Have a Boomerang to Close Your Skills Gap

Is handing out their last paycheck the last time you talk to your former employees? If it is, your company may be missing out on one of your best sources of potential new hires.

Instead, consider creating an alumni community that can help former employees boomerang back into working for you.

More than half of workers say they'd be willing to return to a previous employer. Of course, the opportunity has to be right. Retired workers who find they're bored – or short of cash – in retirement might be glad for the chance to step right back into their previous role, while younger returnees might only come back to a new position which offers an additional challenge.

In either case, the onboarding process is significantly shorter when you re-hire a former employee. There's less need for background checks, and the returnees are already familiar with many company policies and procedures. Depending on how long they were gone, they may be deeply familiar with the corporate culture and already have the working relationships needed to help get the job done.

Develop a Strategy

But without a formal strategy for keeping in touch, companies lose the opportunity to re-recruit former staffers. It doesn't have to be expensive. Email newsletters, LinkedIn, and Facebook groups are all low-cost means of contacting employees once they're off the company distribution lists. The groups and communications can be organized around departments, skills, or locations, allowing you to tailor your messages.

Don't tailor those messages too narrowly, though. Those former employees have personal connections to many other people, which means they can be a great source of referrals, even when they aren't interested in returning themselves. Send frequent enough communications to keep your company on their minds, and make sure the message – and their thoughts – are positive.

You can even invite former employees to company events, to make them feel like they're part of the family. Who knows, they may recommend your company to their children, extending the connection for another generation.

Extend Your Network

If your network of former employees hasn't helped you fill your open positions, contact us to expand your network with ours. The Armada Group has offered boutique staffing services for 20 years. We work to understand your open positions and company culture to help find the best new employees

Published in Hiring Managers

Why QA Analysts are Essential to Your Company

There are no lemon laws for bad software, but that doesn’t mean bad software doesn't matter. The QA role is one of the last chances to stop from shipping bad software. Contrary to what many think, the fact that it comes near the end of the development process doesn't mean it has little importance; it makes it crucial to producing quality products that boost a company's reputation, as well as its sales.

QA analysts develop test plans, execute tests, and evaluate a product's readiness to ship – but they can do so much more. QA can take on role that goes beyond verifying code quality to perform functions that ensure the product addresses the underlying user needs.

Involve the QA Team During Requirements

This means involving QA during the requirements phase, not waiting to bring them in until coding is complete. Like business analysts, QA staff understand both technology and business needs. They can help address developers' questions when the business isn't available. They also have a comprehensive view of what the application needs to do, keeping in mind some of the less common scenarios business users tend to omit. By reviewing the requirements early in the development process, QA can help ensure that important scenarios are identified prior to testing.

Involve the QA Team to Extend the Testing Process

Although test-driven development relies on developers to keep testing as each piece of functionality is created, QA can build an environment that reduces the likelihood of defects slipping through. Automating the test process and maintaining a library of regression test cases are critical to ensuring that comprehensive testing is performed. QA also brings focus to testing issues that can't be effectively tested without viewing the application as a whole, such as performance and security.

Involve the QA Team to Shape Future Development

QA should also remain involved after testing is complete. The output from the QA testing process shouldn't simply be a signoff that the application is ready to ship. QA should provide feedback to the application owner to help identify issues that extend beyond problems in a single test case. Because they look at the entire application and the business process, QA can identify failings in the development process that are resulting in defects.

Published in Hiring Managers

tougher competition

Since the economic recession, employers have been slow to return to previous hiring levels. It’s taken quite a while for the job market to bounce back, but according to the 2015 hiring forecast from CareerBuilder, things may be finally turning a corner with the strongest forecast since 2006.

An increase in hiring is good news all around, but it also means that both employers and job seekers will face stiffer competition in a recovering job market.

All types of hiring will increase in 2015

The CareerBuilder survey found that employers plan to hire more for full-time, part-time, and temporary positions within their organizations.

This year, 36 percent of employers will hire more full-time, permanent employees — up from 24 percent of employers last year. What’s more, full-time hiring is anticipated to be over the national average for some industries that have recently seen accelerated growth. According to CareerBuilder:

  • 54 percent of employers plan to hire full-time IT employees
  • 42 percent will hire for financial services
  • 41 percent will hire in manufacturing
  • 38 percent of employers plan to hire healthcare professionals

Also this year, 46 percent of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers, compared to 42 percent in 2014. Part of the reason behind the increase in temporary hires is that employers are looking for ways to maintain a more flexible workforce, in order to adapt to changes in the market. In addition, more employers are hiring temporary staff to fill high-demand roles where talent is in short supply.

Finally, 23 percent of employers plan to hire more part-time employees in 2015, up from 17 percent last year.

The STEM jobs market continues to increase

Hiring for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs has increased sharply over the last few years, and this trend is expected to continue in 2015 with 31 percent of employers planning to create and hire for jobs in these areas.

Related positions that are tied to innovation, customer loyalty, and revenue growth will also see an increase in hiring for 2015. Employers plan to hire more full-time, permanent staff for positions in:

  • Sales (36 percent)
  • Customer service (33 percent)
  • Information technology (26 percent)
  • Production (26 percent)
  • Administration (22 percent)

More jobs with better pay

In 2015, many employers plan to pay staff higher salaries, with the minimum wage battle and increased competition for in-demand skills cited as the primary reasons for raising pay.

While it’s still uncertain whether the federal minimum wage will increase, at least 21 states are raising minimum wage — and some employers are increasing their own minimum salaries within the company. In 2015, 45 percent of employers expect to raise their minimum pay, with 50 percent increasing by $2 or more per hour and around one-third increasing by $3 or more per hour.

Employers are also offering more competitive salaries in order to attract and retain the best talent. This year, 82 percent plan to increase salaries for current employees and 64 percent plan to offer higher starting salaries — up from 73 percent and 49 percent in 2014, respectively.

Educational requirements are increasing

In a more competitive job market, employers are looking for candidates with more advanced education. According to the CareerBuilder survey:

  • 28 percent of companies will hire more employees with master’s degrees for positions that were previously held by employees with four-year degrees.
  • 37 percent of companies will hire employees with college degrees for positions previously held by employees with high school diplomas.
  • 65 percent of employers attribute the increase in educational requirements to evolving skills required for the positions.

Today’s job market is more competitive — and more rewarding — for professionals in many industries, with particularly strong growth and opportunity for IT pros and STEM-related skills.

Published in Staffing News